Today was my final day of the Intensive 5 week Professional Thai Massage course at TMC. Five weeks, what a whirlwind of wild adventures, important life lessons, emotional moments and phenomenal experiences. So much has changed and yet, nothing is different. “Same-Same, but different”.
Waiting for the taxi. I showed up early, as usual, 8:05 am and Taxi #2 was supposed to be at the Caltex stop sometime between 8:10 & 8:20. I had a backpack full of gifts for the teachers and staff of TMC and my head was full of worry as I was getting ready for my Professional 2 hour Thai Massage Practical – my case study was based on the idea that my client came in with a headache and neck stiffness. The amount of studying, worrying and anxiety that I put into this massage was enough to kill a normal human being. I woke up 3 hours early, felt my heart pounding out of my chest most of the day and I had sudden bursts of overwhelming emotions. WHY? I was READY for this. My whole adult life centered itself on massage, why was I so nervous? 8:30 am rolls around… I’m nervous, no – I’M FREAKING OUT. Taxi #1 & #3 had long since passed my stop and still there was no sign of my driver, I hadn’t ridden the taxi in over a month, did they forget me?!? As tears start to stream down my face from nervous anxiety and the overwhelming idea that this was how my day was going to go…. DAMN.
Wheeeewww! 8:33 am and the taxi is seen on the road, blinker on and coming for me! AHH!
Getting into class we started with our usual; morning prayers to the Buddha, exercise and stretching and some light meditation. Paired up by the teachers we decide who is going to give/receive the massage first, I was determined to do it, get it done! As the 2 hours went on I grew confident, focused and proud of the hard work I had put in to get me where I was. After we finished up the teacher reviewed our work with us, I got a 98%, missing only a few small movements that would only impact a massage if the person was a trained professional Thai Massage Therapist. I WAS SO ECSTATIC! Lunch was bittersweet, saying goodbye to Yupin at Happy Mushroom- my favorite place to eat in all of Chiang Mai- and getting my last Coconut Pancakes in the Market. After lunch was nothing but relief, a full 2 hour Thai Massage and a nap. I was grateful for the ability to relax after having such an up – and – down morning. Graduation was emotional, fun and inspiring. We gave our speeches, listened to our teachers sing and play guitar, collected our Professional Certificates and had traditional Thai Celebration food.
After our final goodbyes and leaving the school the students went out to celebrate, we ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, Chiang Mai. Nothing like a cold beer and a pulled pork sandwich to congratulate ourselves on a job well done. Lady-boy show with the rest of our class was a fun time to be had, but I was ready to get home after the show, maybe it was excitement? After all, I am headed to Koh Pha Ngan tomorrow! This is VACATION time, and I get to visit a friend I’ve missed for about a month. Yes, EXCITEMENT and a little anxious (as always). I cannot believe it’s already here.