Self-Reflection · Try Something New 2018

Try Something New: New Things in July

In this blog, I pledged to try one new thing each month in 2018. The new thing could be trying a new food, doing a new activity, or going someplace new. I have asked my fellow readers and my boyfriend to hold me accountable. At the end of each month, I will tell you all what new thing or things I have tried. I will also discuss the barriers that caused me to not try it before.

I did a lot in the first week, so I had to make sure not to do too many new things. We still have five months left to go this year! I’m going to format this a little differently than I have in the past so it won’t be too long.

First, I went to the gym on the military base where I work.

Barrier to going to the on-base gym: Before starting grad school, I was doing kickboxing three times per week. I felt like if I went to the gym as well, I’d be overtraining and overtraining increases your risk of injuries.

Why I went to the on-base gym: I was off from work and school on July 4th and I knew that no one was going to be opening up the kickboxing gym that day. Since I knew it wouldn’t be crowded at the on-base gym (it is crowded at the beginning of each week and I know this based on seeing the parking lot when I’d go to the on-base library to study), I wanted to try it out with my boyfriend.

My thoughts on the on-base gym:

  • They have many different rooms for exercise.
    • There’s a gymnasium with a few pieces of equipment and some stationary and recumbent bicycles
    • There’s a room for free weights (I’m in that area most often. I want to get stronger)
    • There’s a room for the Nautilus weight machines (some of the machines are made differently than the Precor weight machines I am used to at my undergraduate university)
    • There’s a big open area for cardio equipment
    • There’s a smaller room with some cardio equipment, some kettlebells, a sit-up bench and a lower back extension bench
  • I like having more options for exercise machines and weights compared to the small selection in the kickboxing gym
  • I now like using the barbell for bench pressing more than using the smith machine at the kickboxing gym (got to work on lowering both arms at once. Sometimes one arm goes lower than the other)
  • I need a spotter to help me get the barbell on and off the squat rack
  • No, I have never bench pressed or barbell squatted before. Yes, I liked doing those.

I also went some place new (and ate a new food there too)! I went to a Korean restaurant for lunch one day.

Barriers to eating at a Korean restaurant: I’ve mentioned this many times, but I’m a picky eater. Also, I thought there weren’t any Korean restaurants nearby. The nearest place I was aware of is nearly an hour away from me.

Why I decided to go to a Korean restaurant: Some co-workers from my new job invited me to join them.

Note: This is a very big deal because I did not have access to a computer at work at the time so I didn’t get a chance to look at the menu ahead of time. I always, and I mean ALWAYS, look at the menu ahead of time before going to any restaurant. I even look at the menu if I’ve been to the restaurant before because there have been times when a safe menu option was removed from the menu.

My thoughts on the Korean restaurant:

  • We waited a long time in line to even place our order at the counter and no one was in front of us (and I think I know why… come on, it’s 2018…)
  • Mandu is delicious! (The menu says “mandoo”, but it seems like Google changes it to mandu)
  • I liked how the menu (which is on the wall) has a picture of each food item which made it so much easier for me to choose

Oops, we did a lot this month, but it’s not even over yet! Now for the unplanned parts of this month since I didn’t want to do too much. This past Sunday, I went to a different church. Wait, Diary of Self, didn’t you mention at least once that you’re an atheist? (Wait, did I mention that?) Yes, but it was a Unitarian Universalist church, where anyone is welcome regardless of beliefs.

Barrier to going to a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church: I wanted to try out this church three years ago, but I became an atheist after finding out that dad needed a hip replacement surgery. Mom prayed for that to not happen, which made me realize that prayer is ineffective and any God that exists wouldn’t let bad things happen. Please do not try to make me not be an atheist. Any comments with a religious debate or attempts to convert WILL BE DELETED.

Why I wanted to try out a UU church: There is serious talks about Franklin and I getting married. He picked up the ring earlier this month. Despite my non-religious views, I felt like Franklin viewed going to church as an important thing for married couples to do. We are an interracial couple so Franklin would stick out like a sore thumb being the only white person in the black churches I go to. I didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb being the only black person in an all-white church. UU churches are also welcoming inclusive churches, so I knew we’d feel welcome as an interracial couple and I’d feel welcome as a bisexual black woman.

My thoughts about the UU church:

  • Many people greeted us both before and after service
  • There was no mentions of God, so people won’t feel weird if they are not Christian
  • There was coffee, tea, and light foods after service. From October through June, the second Sunday will have a potluck
  • The covers for each program (they call it Order of Service) are separate from that week’s program since the covers are reused
  • I liked today’s service. I’d want to go a few more times before I make my decision
  • This isn’t exactly about the church, but I felt very comfortable not having to go to church wearing a dress. I will wear a dress if I absolutely have to, but it doesn’t feel truly “me”

And for my last unexpected new thing, I went to a jazz concert. The jazz concert is a part of a summer concert series in the next town over.

Barrier to going to the summer concert series: There was nothing of interest for the concerts. I usually see bluegrass being performed for the concert series.

Why I decided to go to the jazz concert: Someone at church told Franklin and I about the jazz concert after service and Franklin remembered that I said I wanted to go to a jazz event (awww, he remembered. His memory is getting better).

My thoughts on the jazz concert:

  • Out of everyone there including the band, I was the only person there who isn’t white. It made me so uncomfortable that I don’t want to go to another summer concert series (though I know that town is 95% white when I checked years ago).
    • I was getting a lot of stares too
  • Most of the people in attendance were middle-aged or elderly
    • Probably explains all the stares. Back in their time, interracial relationships were a no-no
  • I seriously couldn’t get past the first bullet point. I’ve become very aware of social injustices so what made me feel fine in the past makes me feel scared of my existence now.

So since I did so many new things (even stuff that I briefly mentioned in bullet points), let’s do a count of the new things I did!

New places I’ve been to: 3

New foods I tried: 1

New activities: 3 (I’m counting the new exercises at the gym as new activities)