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Temporary Goodbyes are Hard

You remember Franklin, right? The guy from my positive post? Well he’s gone for a few weeks. I said goodbye to him yesterday and he’s heading to another state for a military class. I wish he found out for sure that he was going ahead of time so I could have more time to prepare. Seeing him nearly every day due to work and now kickboxing (yay, he finally joined me in kickboxing!) + my anxiety disorder = saying goodbye is difficult (yes, even when he’s leaving my house for the day, letting him go home is difficult. I have gotten him into a leg lock to keep him for extra time). Can adults get separation anxiety issues? I heard it’s just an issue kids have.

I’ve looked at subreddits for people in a similar situation to me (but for longer periods of time), so I know I would have been given the advice of “keep busy!” I work full-time and do kickboxing. That means Mondays and Wednesdays are full plates for me, but what about all day Sunday, Saturday afternoons, and after work on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays? Well, I figured out a few things to do.

  1. Do a video journal each day that Franklin is away. I will have a total of 13 videos, and will do them near the end of the day each day. When he comes back, I will have him watch all the videos. No, these videos will NOT go on YouTube. But speaking of YouTube…
  2. I will create a YouTube video about OPSEC and PERSEC. The video about Operational Security and Personal Security awareness will mainly be targeted at military significant others (often shortened to milso, meaning the significant other of a military service member), but the topic is also important for family members and friends of a military service member as well as people with jobs (or want jobs) that require a security clearance.
  3. Update my resume. No, I am not looking for a new job. However, it is important to keep your resume up to date just in case anything happens to that job. Plus, I want to look up a few resume tips to tailor my resume to the current formats and styles. The way you wrote a resume in the early 2010s may not be favored too much in 2017.
  4. Maybe do some exercising outside of kickboxing. Who am I kidding? I’ll be crying into a pillow or into my stuffed elephant. I’ll be too sad to do shoulder presses or bicep curls or tricep dips or running a quarter of a mile on the treadmill.
  5. Continue reading “Harmony” by Karis Walsh. I read 12 chapters so far and have 24 more chapters to go. Maybe doing some reading will keep my mind off of being separated.
  6. Drink more green tea. I have a bunch of boxes of green tea and I haven’t drunk much tea lately in the past months. I won’t drink the tea on Mondays or Wednesdays, but I can drink the tea the other days. Drinking tea a few times a week helps me not experience anxiety.

Yeah, that’s it. Got teary-eyed a few times in the few days leading to his departure (found out for sure yesterday that he’s going). I guess I can be fortunate that he’s in the National Guard which means that his class is less than half the time the class would have been if he was active duty army (which he used to be). Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to cry again.

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Reinventing Me

Hey readers! If you were following me, there is one thing I never mentioned: having a boyfriend. Well, had a boyfriend. I made the difficult decision to break up with him, and it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. I just wasn’t happy anymore, and life’s too short to stay unhappy. However, despite me breaking up with guys before, this was the hardest break-up for me to do.

So I’m going to use that time to reinvent myself.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

It is definitely time to reinvent myself and figure out who I am. I haven’t done that lately, even though I started this blog to talk about my journey of self-discovery.

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Positive Post! Talk About a Positive Person in Your Life!

My mental health has been good lately. I’ve come to terms with my ADHD and am learning techniques to help with my focus and improving my short-term memory.

People tell me I’m a negative person. I’m actually a realist. Many people who are realists seems like negative people to anyone who is (naively, in my opinion) an optimist. To prove that I’m not always a Negative Nancy and to celebrate my good mental health, let’s make a positive post!

Being around positive people is… how should I describe it… fun? good for you? mentally beneficial? All of the above! Being around positive people is fun, good for you, and mentally beneficial. The people who should be in your life are the ones who build you up instead of tearing you down. Who make you laugh. Who make you want to sing in the car despite having a horrible singing voice. Who make you not freak out when they drive with their knee instead of their hands (yeah, this is specific. Will talk about this later). A positive person I will talk about in today’s blog is my co-worker Franklin.

When I first met Franklin back in March, he was a new member of my project team (his role is different from mine). My first thought wasn’t the best thought, mainly due to my feelings that there aren’t enough women or people of color in the tech industry. When he was having issues with his car and asked people at lunch for a ride to and from work, as soon as he said where he lived, I instantly said “My car isn’t bulletproof.”  Yeah, I don’t have a brain-to-mouth filter because I don’t have the cognitive ability to know what stuff needs to be kept in my head (unlike a few family members who choose not to use that filter).

You’re probably wondering how we started getting along. Beats me. Weeks after the whole “My car isn’t bulletproof!” deal, his car was at the mechanic shop since his car needed a new part and there would possibly be much longer to wait for the back-ordered part. We had a team-bonding event coming up (it was canceled a few days beforehand since only a few people paid the developer lead in advanced and people were backing out) and after finding out that he’s in the safe part of that town, I offered to be his ride to the escape room and back to his place. Sadly for me and fortunately for him, the car part came in and his car was repaired in time. However, that wasn’t the last opportunity for me to make penance.

A few weeks after that, we started organizing Happy Hour after work. He wanted to ride with a designated driver, so I volunteered. The day of happy hour arrived and I was so excited that I went to TimeAndDate.com’s countdown creation and had a countdown created. During the drive to the happy hour location, I learned that he likes Eurovision. Yes! Another person aware of Eurovision! He’s aware of more songs than I know of, though. We had fun and went to get frozen yogurt afterwards.

I really got the chance to know him a little more than a week later when he came over to talk to my dad about his landlady issues. He moved out of his previous “apartment” (half of a basement rented out) to a new apartment at the end of June. I’m there about once a week since he can now have guests where he lives.

People have noticed that I’ve been happier since becoming close to Franklin, and I guess they’re right. I feel less pressure to catch up with other people my age in regards to independent development. I’ve started taking more care of my appearance (not with make-up. I’m still anti-makeup) by putting witch hazel on my shoulders to work on clearing my hyperpigmentation marks. I’m even starting to reclaim some femininity. When I picked him up from the train station last month, I wore a dress. I had plans to get rid of every single dress I owned and buy ties and bowties. I got my hair cut short (though that’s mainly due to hair breakage and questioning my gender identity…). Also, I sometimes sing in the car now. I never sing in the car. I can’t sing well.

I also like that he doesn’t think he’s better than other people because he was in the army (currently in National Guard). There were these two classmates in a university religion class who were in Army ROTC and they would be in their army combat uniform (some people call them “army fatigues”) every Thursday for ROTC leadership lab. The guy in ROTC seemed to think he (and other ROTC students) was more disciplined and all-around better than everyone else because the skills they’re learning for the army are useful outside of the army. The girl in ROTC wasn’t as bad as the guy, but she still had a little air of superiority. Enough about university. Back to this guy!

I didn’t mention this yet, but he does some amazing things (and some not-so-amazing things, like puns). He can drive with his left knee. I think he can only do that since he’s 5’10” (slightly under 178 cm) and I guess he has long legs. I can’t imagine my 5’3″ (160 cm) self being able to do that. I’m still trying to gain confidence when it comes to driving! He should be careful about doing that in inclement weather, though. Both hands on the steering wheel!

There’s more to say about this guy, but this post is kind of getting long anyways. To wrap this up, you have seen the posts I’ve been making lately. You probably were worried about my state of mental health. Heck, you were probably seconds away from sending crisis hotline information to me. Having one person or thing that creates some sunlight in a sky filled with dark clouds makes a difference. Don’t worry, I will still learn techniques to manage my anxiety and ADHD issues without the help of a medical professional or medications (for people who think my ADHD requires medications, it doesn’t. It’s too mild for medications and I have a naturally high heart rate, which would be made worse with stimulants).

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Got My Yellow Belt in Kickboxing!

I tested for my yellow belt on Saturday, July 15th. Before class started on July 17th, I was presented with my yellow belt.

Yes, my kickboxing gym does belts. When I was looking up kickboxing classes a year and a half ago, I found this gym. I liked it because of the belts. The belts would show measurable progress and it lets the coaches know what you will learn next. It takes 3-6 months to go from starting to yellow belt (it took me over 5 months), and for each subsequent belt, it takes longer and longer to test for the next belt. According to my coach, people can’t get their black belt sooner than 5 years after starting. He is an old-school teacher who lets you test when he feels that you’re ready to test. Nowadays, there are many martial arts schools that will give you a belt as long as you (or a parent) can pay the fees to attend training.

My next goal will be to get my green belt (they don’t do orange belts). That will likely take longer since I will learn some new kicks and improve the kicks I already know. Maybe if I’m lucky, I will get my green belt by the end of this year.

There were times I wanted to quit since one black belt kept pointing out my flaws. There were times that I thought I’d stay a white belt forever. There were times where I didn’t want to go to class. Whenever I didn’t want to go to class, I remind myself that I’ve wanted to do this since I was 14.

I know they won’t see this, but I want to thank James and Phil for reviewing the yellow belt requirements during the two weeks prior to my test.

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Awesome Blogger Award Nomination

Catherine, whom I feel would be my best friend if we lived near each other, nominated me for the Awesome Blogger Award. She’s awesome. I gave her a shout out in a previous blog, but here’s her blog again.

What is the Awesome Blogger Award?

This award was created by Miss Maggie over at Dreaming of Guatemala! And she says: “This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

Rules of This Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & include the reason behind the award.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

So here are the questions Catherine asked me.

1. What motivates/inspires you?

I know everyone is tired of me mentioning this motivation, but it would have to be my workout buddy Gary. He’s been through a lot of negative things, including nearly dying in November. He uses his second chance at life to take up boxing.

2. What kind of music do you like?

Rock (no preference over the style of rock), 90s Eurodance, Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and alternative music.

3. Do you read? What is your favorite book?

I have recently started reading physical books again. My favorite book is a tie between Nineteen Minutes (warning: the book contains a school shooting, relationship abuse, bullying, and suicide. Don’t read the book if you are triggered by anything I just listed) and I Can’t Think Straight (review will come later).

4. Do you like sport? Which is your favorite?

I never played many sports, but tennis is my favorite.

5. What’s your weirdest pet-peeve?

Hmmm, if I have to pick one, it’s people telling me to stop talking about a guy I like. I’ve experienced this since middle school and two people in university wrote a collaborative letter to me telling me to either talk to the guy in microbiology class I thought was cute or stop talking to them. I no longer talk to them.

6. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

There are so many things that happened to me, so I’m just going to pick one. A few months ago in kickboxing, my coach teased me about wanting Gary’s phone number (to check on my workout buddy whenever he’s not in the boxing gym). When Gary came back, I had him ask Coach about what he teased me about. Coach tried to pretend that he couldn’t remember and tried to make me say that I wanted Gary’s phone number. I got Gary’s number, so yay! It was funny because I thought I was blushing so hard when trying to get Coach to say it so I wouldn’t have to.

7. What actor would play you in a movie about your life?

I was actually thinking about this recently, and I had no idea. I still don’t know, to be honest. I want to say Sarah Barrable-Tishauer (Liberty van Zandt from Degrassi), but she no longer acts. She’s a DJ now.

8. What is your perfect pizza?

Barbecue chicken pizza, but without onions. I have yet to find a pizza place that doesn’t put onions in barbecue chicken pizza. It’s barbecue chicken pizza, not barbecue chicken and onion pizza!

9. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Probably Seattle or Portland. Portland because of the show Portlandia and their giant book store Powell’s Books, and Seattle because there was a girl who liked me and she lives in Seattle.

10. How do you spend your free time?

When I’m not at work or at kickboxing class, I sit on my butt in front of the computer.

It looks like I’m supposed to nominate some people now. I nominate the following people.

omydaisy

DirtySciFiBuddha

J. A. Allen

Kate Louise

Rasheed Clarke

My questions I want you to answer:

  1. What language would you like to learn?
  2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What is something you now like that you didn’t like before?
  4. What is currently your favorite song?
  5. If you wrote a script for a movie, what would it be about?
  6. Would you ever want any piercings?
  7. Did you ever have a crush on a cartoon character or anime character?
  8. If you were given $100, what would you spend it on?
  9. What was the best birthday present you have ever received?
  10. What instrument do you want to learn to play?
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Meet My Awesome Workout Buddy!

Hello my lovely readers! Diaryofself is back, but today, I will not be talking about myself. In honor of my three months in kickboxing, this post is mainly about someone whom I met months ago.

First, let’s take you to my first week of paying for kickboxing class (first full week of February 2017). I decided to ask this guy his name because I’ve heard him being referred to by different names and I want to get people’s names right (people don’t get my name right sometimes and it seriously pissed me off). I found out the guy’s name is Gary, but he also goes by “asshole”. He’s not an asshole, though. I thought his name was Mike, but upon some personal retrospection a month or more ago, it’s because both Gary and Mike are both tan, white guys with dark hair and are older than I am. The main difference between them is that Mike is a kickboxer like I am while Gary is a boxer.

I will be honest and say that I feel a deeper connection with Gary than the other boxers or kickboxers at the gym (boxers and kickboxers train at the same time). I can’t pinpoint exactly when I felt this connection with him, but it may have been when he told me something about himself that other people may be afraid to say to someone they don’t really know yet. He’s also funny too. I know that him telling me that he’s a liberal won me over. I wish people didn’t see being a liberal as a bad thing…

I risk having an arrow shoved into my mouth by someone for this, but I really admire Gary. With everything he’s going through and everything he’s gone through, he’s still comes to boxing. The following lyrics from “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba describe him: “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down”. Sometimes, I don’t feel like going to kickboxing, but I still put on my exercise clothes and drag myself into my car to drive to class. Knowing my workout buddy will hopefully be there and the enjoyment I get from doing something I’ve wanted to do since I was 14 helps motivate me.

However, there was almost a time when I would have never met my workout buddy. Gary almost died last year due to medical stuff. Thanks to doctors, he’s still alive. I want you to think about someone who is a positive part of your life. They can be a family member, a friend, a significant other, a co-worker, etc. Now try to imagine if they were not a part of your life. Can you imagine that? Do you want to imagine that? Now that Gary is in my life, I can’t imagine him not being in my life, and I refuse to imagine it.

Gary, if you’re reading this, this song is for you: Best Friend by Weezer

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Such Cuteness! Kitten Academy

I’m actually not going to rage today! To offset the depressing blog post I made earlier this week involving mental health stuff, I’m going to spread the overload of cuteness! Accept the cute! Accept it!

On April 20th 2016, two people started live streaming on YouTube. These people, known to the web as DJ and Mr. Academy, started showing the YouTube community the kittens they were fostering. Kitten Academy started because DJ wanted to foster a few kittens before she started med school. Now, they have had many graduation classes pass through kitten academy to learn how to cat.

I first discovered the kitten academy live stream (which you can find here) in mid-July 2016, a few weeks after my childhood friend’s wedding. At the time, the Jackson Hole live stream was popular (anyone remember “Red Truck!” or the dabbing police officer?). When I started watching Kitten Academy, there was “momcat” Ivy and her kittens Harvard (a.k.a. Harvey), Cornell (nicknamed Nelly, but has been renamed Phoebe by her adopter), and Yale.

On Angel’s Wings, a no-kill shelter in Illinois that also rescues animals from kill shelters and animal control, lets Kitten Academy know when there is an expecting momcat or if there are kittens who need to be fostered. The momcat and/or kittens will then arrive at kitten academy. Once the kittens are old enough to be adopted, they have a graduation ceremony which means they go to the vet to be spayed or neutered, get vaccinations, and get micro-chipped. People in the United States can apply to adopt a kitten or cat via On Angel’s Wings. Right now, On Angel’s Wings only allows people to adopt if they’re no further than 150 miles (a little more than 240 km), but exceptions have been made for big fans of specific kittens. Below are some important kitten academy links:

The link to Kitten Academy’s website

The link to the 24/7 stream (unless Comcast has technical difficulties).

The link to Kitten Academy’s YouTube channel (since they post videos of kittens as well)

The link to Kitten Academy’s Patreon

The link to Kitten Academy’s Facebook page

The link to Kitten Academy’s Twitter