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I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging because I’ve been preparing for a Tea Infusion Challenge (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). While I’ve been preparing, a part of me woke up that I thought I had healed, or at least gotten under control.

When I signed up for the Word Tea Expo, they had closed the competition. They had all the competitors they needed. Fine. Just reading about the competition made my nostrils flare and got the adrenaline going. I wanted to do it. But it was closed, so I just enjoyed the idea of going to the conference, all the stuff I was going to learn, all the people I was going to meet.

Then I got the email that they had re-opened the Tea Infusion Challenge. I think I was one of the first ones to reply. I got in.

I’m not saying I’m competitive, but I’ve gone through the handbook studying the rules and how we are going to be judged. I’ve figured out where my weak areas are and where I can pick up points. I’m detail oriented. In dressage, I was laser accurate and went deep into the corners. You don’t lose points for frivolity. You buffer your score so incase anything happens you’re still okay.

I checked out my competition, Googled their names to see what popped up, found videos to see what they had done. I figured out their strengths and weaknesses. I figured out what the judges would like about them. I then figured out who I could take and who I needed to look out for.
That’s right–this is a Tea Infusion Challenge, adding different temperature water to leaves.

I used to watch videos of myself competing like it was my job, scouring for flaws, imperfections, and areas of improvement. If I had done this…I would have scored better. What was good about my performance was natural and basic–of course you are accurate, go into the corners, heels down, and don’t fall off the horse.

I don’t understand competing for fun. I don’t. I think it’s why I’m afraid to join a recreational league of anything to make friends. I won’t make many friends. Oh you thought it was funny letting the ball go? How funny will it be you walking with a limp? I’m intense. We do things to do them well, the best, not because we enjoy it. We enjoy it because we’re good at it and we win.

I’m older but not wiser. I honestly thought I could get back into riding or dance and do it for myself. I’m treating a Tea Infusion Challenge, who can brew the best cup, like a life or death situation. I honestly thought it would be fun and I had myself in check.

I’ve always been a perfectionist. I’ve been pretty miserable because I didn’t measure up to my standards. I had standards in all categories: school, work, play, looks, writing, dance. I was lousy across the boards, just ask me, because I ranked a 5 (maybe) on my scale of 1-10. I’ve also learned I have achievement junkie habit courtesy of Christine Arylo. I’ll say,”I’ll be happy when… (fill in the blank)”– when I publish, when I win, when I drop weight. I’ve learned it’s a never-ending race. Those goals are just benchmarks. You reach them and keep going. You’re not happy.
These mentalities work against you.

So I’ve prepared for my challenge. Now it’s up to practicing and performing. Seeing how it goes and being okay with whatever happens. It’ll be a learning experience all around.