Reinventing Me: How is That Going?

Earlier this year, I ended a relationship. I vowed to reinvent myself by doing three things that would help out. Let’s see how I’m doing!

I will start working on figuring out who I am and to follow my passion for advocacy volunteering. Right now, I want to focus on speaking at events that promotes organ donation. I feel like that will be the safest advocacy work for me right now since the nearest major city where black rights activist events are held at has had more homicides this year than I ever remembered.

I still don’t know how I can figure out who I am, and at this point, I don’t want to accept that I don’t know who I am. I don’t want to accept that I may have no purpose in life. However, I no longer feel like knowing who I am is what needs to keep me alive. I’m 25. People a lot younger than I am know who they are.

Months later, I never heard back from the subgroup of Living Legacy Foundation that focuses on minorities becoming organ donors. Guess that’s not happening unless I talk to Living Legacy Foundation. However, I did a volunteering activity.

I’m going to try to go out and do more things on my own. I found a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) meeting that will be happening not far from my house next month (can’t make this month’s meeting because of kickboxing) and going to a meeting will make me feel not alone with being mentally ill.

I’m not really doing more things on my own. There’s nothing to do around here. I started driving to my boyfriend’s house again after finding out that my new medicated eye drops to prevent glaucoma is working. I did some volunteer work by myself on Thanksgiving morning. Read more about that here. Long story short, I had a great experience, was able to reflect on the things I do have, and befriended a university student who will be studying abroad in Korea in a couple of months. Good luck, Angela!

So I went to a NAMI meeting on a Tuesday. Apparently the newspaper put the wrong date because it happens one Wednesday each month. I was very angry about that and I don’t want to seek support for my mental health issues. No, I don’t want to miss one kickboxing day each month. I just learned the jumping spinning roundhouse kick and I’m working on having less fear when sparring.

I will take a look at Zen Buddhism, in order to see if there are teachings that can help with my healing and for other reasons. If you’re reading this post and you practice Zen Buddhism, please direct me to some recommended books or websites.

I looked through some websites and liked that Zen Buddhism isn’t a religious practice. I have personal issues with religions. However, what turned me off of Zen Buddhism is that they claim to have a “right” way of thinking. I have no idea what the “right” way of thinking is, but I have an anxiety disorder and ADHD. I can’t think right no matter what. Plus, there is more than one way to think about things. I don’t like people who think they are always right. It’s one reason why I left my ex. I can’t work on healing myself if I have to conform to a path of life.

So pretty much my reinvention isn’t going too well. I feel like I need to gain some life skills to become independent first before I do anything else. How I’m going to do that, I don’t know. First, I have to convince my parents that my disabilities should not prevent them from teaching me life skills.


Fun Post! Favorite Proposal Videos

One day, I went to the mall. I went into a jewelry store and while looking at jewelry, I struck up a conversation with a friendly jeweler. She informed me that it’s engagement season. In honor of engagement season, I will share my three favorite proposal videos. These are in order of when I found the videos and they all happen to be proposals at an anime convention.

First up, we have a video from the masquerade from Animazement 2011. In the anime convention world, a masquerade is when many people people perform skits, songs, or dances in front of convention attendees.

The video of the proposal

There was bonus rehearsal footage with the fake ending (a stage slap by the guy and the girl chasing the guy with her tonfa), but I can’t find the video anymore. It must have been taken down recently or put as “unlisted” (which means only people who have the link to a video can see it). In this proposal, three people do a skit. When the guy walks towards his girlfriend, instead of the planned ending, he takes the ring box out of his pocket and proposes to her. I think this is one of the first anime convention proposal videos I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the couple had a nasty spat and broke up a few months after the proposal.

Second, we have a very adorable proposal that happened at the end of a panel.

The video of the proposal

At Anime Detour in 2013, there was a Hetalia cosplay panel. At the end of the panel (you only see the end of the panel in the video), a Hungary cosplayer proposes to an England cosplayer. What makes this a favorite video is that the England cosplayer has an adorable reaction to her girlfriend proposing. They got married during the fall in 2015. Happy ending!

The third and final favorite proposal video is another skit, but this time, the proposal happened at Anime Expo in 2015.

The video of the proposal

After some technical difficulties in the beginning of their skit, this group of Pokemon cosplayers decide to do battle. The Luxray cosplayer used the “Destiny Knot” on the Houndour cosplayer. The “Destiny Knot” was an engagement ring. What made this engagement special was the Luxray cosplayer was professional voice actor Sean Chiplock. According to social media, Sean will be getting married soon.. In the words of someone in the Hetalia proposal, “Three cheers for the happy couple!”

So those are my three favorite proposals. What is your favorite proposal video you have seen or story you have read or heard about (other than yours)?


Time to Educate: How to Choose the Right Birth Control for You

So as a feminist, I believe that feminists should educate people. Since healthcare is a part of feminism that got me started with being a feminist (but not the main thing to make me become a feminist), I thought I should provide some education on choosing the right birth control for you. This blog post is inspired by a recent IUD string check.

Disclaimer: Diaryofself is not a medical professional. She is a software developer. Please have a discussion with your healthcare provider to determine the birth control that is right for you.

When determining what kind of birth control is right for you, there are some questions that may be helpful when making your decision. Here are some questions that I have come up with that you can answer:

  • Do you want to eventually have kids? If that answer is yes, then you want a temporary form of birth control. If that answer is no, there are a few permanent options for birth control
  • Do you want hormonal or non-hormonal? If you want hormonal, you have many options. If you want non-hormonal, there are not many options
  • Would you forget to take a pill at the same time each day? If so, choose something other than a pill. You can take it as soon as you remember, but you may ovulate if you take it even six hours later than usual (according to my 9th grade health teacher)
  • Would you be in circumstances where taking a pill the same time every day would not be possible? For example, you are a wedding attendant a wedding. Wedding attendants have to start getting ready for the wedding many hours before guests even start to arrive. Of course, all personal belongings will be locked in a room. Will you need to grab a pill to take it on time if the wedding ceremony or reception is still going on when it’s pill time?
  • Are you able to see a doctor every few months for shots? Working a job may make appointments difficult. So is traveling abroad. Will you be able to go to any doctor for a shot? Seriously, do you? I never did shots for birth control.

There may be other factors you may have of choosing the right birth control, but these were questions I came up with when helping someone online with choosing what birth control they want to use. A few questions were questions I answered before deciding that I want to get an IUD.

So I won’t risk making this blog post too long, if you want to know what birth control options exist, Planned Parenthood’s website is an excellent resource to use. Not only do they tell you what options exist, but they mention the pros and cons as well as the effectiveness of the birth control.


Fun Post! What’s in My Gym Bag?

Remember when I said I was going to post fun stuff in my blog? I finally get to!

So some of my followers and readers may go to the gym to exercise. Some people exercise at home. Some people go outside to run. I don’t like running, but my dad was a track and field star in high school. People say they don’t run unless they’re being chased. I only run when I’m chasing someone. I digress.

So if you are familiar with my blogs, you know I do kickboxing. For two hours a day, three days a week, I’m punching and kicking. So what do I pack for class? Fellow kickboxers do not need to pack the same things I do, but many things are stuff you should have.

  • A bottle of water. Because each class is two hours long, I carry a 32-oz water bottle. The brand of bottle I have is called Pogo. However, depending on the length of physical activity that you do, you may just need to carry a regular bottle of water.
  • Mouthguard. Sparring sometimes happens in my gym, so it is very important to protect your teeth.
  • Three sets of handwraps. I only use two since the 180-inch handwraps were determined to be too big for me. That set will probably go to my boyfriend. I use a set that is 108-inches and a set that is 120-inches. You need to wash your handwraps about once a week or once every two weeks, so you may want another set of handwraps in case you don’t have time to do laundry before your next class. Handwraps are important to help reduce your risk of injury. While it has a little bit of forgiveness if you punch wrong, you should still use proper technique when doing punches. Regular people who fight on the streets have broken their hands due to wildly punching people.
  • Boxing gloves. You want to punch the bags? At the gym I go to, with the exception of the speed bag (which you do without gloves on), you must wear boxing gloves to do bag work. One of our heavy bags is 350 pounds. Do you really want to punch it without gloves on?
  • Shin and instep protectors. This is optional. This can be used to help gain more confidence with certain kicks. However, I didn’t want to wear them at first because I felt I would get too dependent on them. If I needed to defend myself, I will likely not be wearing shin and instep protectors. The only reason why I have them was because I got a bruise on my shin while sparring with my coach back in May. I did a roundhouse kick and he blocked it with his boxing glove. Ouch.
  • Dry t-shirt to change into. Sometimes, I have an intense day of working out and I’m sweating a lot. I sweat a lot if I’m sparring that day or if I’m doing lots of mitt work. It’s getting cold where I live, so dad has me bring a dry shirt to change into after class so I don’t get sick.
  • A hand towel. I haven’t used it lately, but I would use it to wipe the sweat off my face during the summer. I would use it so I would make sure not to drink all my water too quickly.
  • A pair of tennis shoes not worn when walking into the gym. Honestly forgot about these being in my bag until I typed this out. If you’re going to wear shoes at kickboxing, we are told to wear shoes that we didn’t wear on the way to the gym. I go barefoot in the gym so I can properly pivot on most of the kicks, but I have a pair of tennis shoes because there are two treadmills and a stationary bike in the gym. If I want to use the treadmill (which I haven’t), do I really want to be barefoot for that? You probably can’t be.

So that’s what I have. Out of the things mentioned, a pair of 108-inch handwraps, boxing gloves, and my mouthguard were provided to me when I joined the kickboxing gym for a total of $55 while I bought the shin and instep protectors from my coach. You may have to supply your own gear, but see if you can buy your gear at your gym. What do you have in your gym bag when you exercise?


Feminist Joys: Impressing International Acquaintances

So yesterday, I went to kickboxing. While I was putting on my handwraps, a mysterious woman walks in. The woman, I soon learn, is a boxer from Germany who comes to exercise in the gym whenever she is visiting the United States.

I heard she just finished her Master’s degree and has not been able to train due to having to study all the time. I want to get my Master’s degree so I asked her what her degree is in and which school she went to. This is how I found out she’s from Germany. She told me that in order to be a teacher in Germany, you have to have a Master’s degree. Here in the United States, teachers don’t need Master’s degrees unless they want to be college professors. We continued talking about the differences between United States schools and German schools. In Germany, secondary school starts in 5th grade.

She asked me what I want to get my Master’s degree in. I told her Computer Science. She figured it was mostly guys in that field. She is very correct. I told her that I’m a software engineer and told her an overview what I have been doing at my job (didn’t go into details since having a security clearance means not to discuss what projects are specifically about). She said she was very impressed.

And that’s why I named my blog post “Feminist Joys: Impressing International Acquaintances”. Many times, feminists and womanists have things to rightfully be enraged about, especially in this political climate. To me, this is something to be happy about.

The future teacher of 5th through 10th grade students is here until mid-January. With her boxing experience, she would be a good sparring partner. Sometimes I’m the only woman in the combined boxing/kickboxing class and one of the black belt kickboxers feels like I should spar against women more often. I’m the oldest female who is a regular attendee in class, with the second oldest being in high school. I feel like I’ll be less scared to spar against our friendly visitor compared to sparring against my coach. It will be a good way for her to return to boxing. Due to having to study so much for her degree, she said she’s in the worst shape of her life. Anyways, she won’t be here for too long. She will return to Germany to start teaching in February. Good luck with teaching, Izzy!


Self-Reflection: My Thoughts from Volunteering on Thanksgiving Morning

This blog post is a follow-up to my post Oooh, A Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunity. Thought anyone who read that post would want to know how things went.

It’s Thanksgiving. A time to gather with family and friends to eat food and hopefully not have to work. I got to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, boyfriend, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. My grandparents are having car trouble so they weren’t able to make it :(. Franklin was looking forward to seeing my grandmother again. Double sad face. But before I got to eat food and play pirates with my niece and boyfriend, I did some volunteer work.

Let me talk about some things that were mentioned in the above linked blog post first.

I saw that volunteers were needed to help with a community Thanksgiving for people who cannot celebrate the holiday with family and friends. People can volunteer to help set up for the meal, transport people to and from the community center where the meal will be held, deliver meals to people who are unable to get to the community center, or serve meals. Personally, I’d just want to serve meals, but I can help with setting up as well.

When I got to the community center at 10 AM, I had to park in the grass since there were many more volunteers than parking spaces. Many of us had to park on the grass. I walked into the community center and signed in. I was asked what I wanted to do and I told the person at the sign-in desk that I wanted to serve meals. She told me where I needed to go and I walked into another part of the community center. In that section were the people behind the tables who were handling the food, people who were lined up holding the Styrofoam containers that the food will go into (these people were called “runners”), and the people who were in charge of packing up the meals for people who were delivering. I was one of the runners, and it involved 2.5 hours of walking in an oval-shaped. Got lots of walking done.

You can either sign up ahead of time or show up that day. By the time I got home from work, the Eventbrite sign up was sold out. I’m still going to show up that day, and if they don’t need me there since every thing is covered, I can just go home.

I did not have to worry about being turned away due to too many volunteers. I think if I showed up any later, then there would not have been enough servers, runners, or meal packer positions for me to do anything. Though I had my GPS with me to drive to the community center, I don’t feel comfortable driving to unfamiliar places unless I do a test run and don’t need to go on an interstate highway. I took a route that was 10 minutes longer just to avoid driving on the interstate to get to and from the community center.

So let me go into detail on my runner role for today’s volunteer opportunity. When I got assigned to the runner role, I got in line with another group of volunteers. Gloves were passed around since we’re going to be around food. We were told what we needed to do and were shown where the Styrofoam containers were located. There were two lines since we had 1,000 planned meals that were going to be delivered. I think the meals for people eating at the community center were served in another room. Those two lines had the same foods. Once I grabbed a container, I went through the line to get the following food items placed in the containers in order: stuffing, mashed potatoes (later changed to macaroni and cheese), turkey, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, and gravy to go over the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turkey. We would then go to a table to close the containers and leave the containers at the table before going around to repeat the process of grabbing a Styrofoam container and having the meals placed in the container. I did this until a little after 12:30 PM.

During that time walking around in circles, I befriended a younger person studying graphic design. She will be studying abroad at a university in Seoul, Korea next semester. Best of luck to her. Like me, it was her first time volunteering for this specific event. She found out about the volunteer opportunity through someone at her church while I learned about the event from an online news site called “The Patch”. The Patch has local news, but it has a Patch for many cities around the United States. She said she’ll definitely be back next year and I thought it was a good way to do something other than sitting around waiting for family. We exchanged phone numbers at the end.

So what are my thoughts about the volunteer activity? Even though I did not see the dining room or the line of people waiting to be served meals, I still feel like I made a difference. Some people don’t want to donate money due to many charities using a majority of the donated money to pay their workers instead of using a majority of the money for their cause. Here, we’re donating our time and have something tangible to give to those in need. Also, during one of the first few times I was having food placed in a container I was holding, I had the thought of “What if I was in line to get food so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a meal?” A few people I talked to wanted to do this too, but I didn’t see them. I probably missed them since they showed up earlier.

Maybe a few people can join me next year.

Self-Discovery · Self-Reflection

Finding My Voice in a Patriarchal Workplace

So today’s post was supposed to be an informational post to help people with finding the right birth control for them, but I did something at work that I’m proud of. Even Santa Claus was proud of me (more on Santa Claus later in this post).

So at work, we have to write user stories so there can be work for us software engineers to do. However, the software that is used for creating the user stories can only be fully used by certain people for right now. Me being one of them. That means people who can fully use the software has to input user stories from people who can’t create the stories on the software. However, I noticed that I’m the one being asked by another developer to input his user stories and another guy’s user stories into the software.

Is this sexism? I don’t know. I had to nip it in the bud.

So yesterday in our daily stand-up meeting (where some people sit down) after I said what I had done the day before and what I planned to do that day, I had asked if anyone else was being asked to input the user stories and I firmly (but professionally) stated that I will not be the secretary for this team. It felt good to nip any plans of taking advantage of me due to misogyny in the bud.

So one of my team leads (I have two) told me that he doesn’t want me feeling that way and he’s hoping that the additional creator licenses will free me from having to be a scribe. He also thinks they would have taken advantage of me if I didn’t speak up. Glad to have a team lead on my side. Then today before the stand-up meeting, a co-worker whose nickname is Santa Claus told me I get a gold star for yesterday. He told me he raised three daughters and he’d expect them to react the same way. As Santa said, I’m not a damn secretary.

I just don’t want a repeat of my previous job and just want to stop things before they start. Becoming a feminist has opened my eyes to opportunities to stop being silent. My mom got a magnet from a friend that says “Woman of strength and dignity” and it’s based on a Bible verse. That magnet will be me and I won’t let men or misogyny get in the way of that. I have the goal to not be like the old version of me who will be overly weak (as learned from an exercise I did with a therapist) and be worried about doing or saying something that makes people unhappy.

Maybe this is the beginning of my transformation. Come join me as I transform.