Friendship breakup rambles

I randomly thought about this last night, so I thought I would write about it.

For the most part, I’m not the type of person to have massive fights or end up on bad terms with people. I’ve lost touch with or drifted away from friends, which is normal in life, but not because we have fought or hurt each other. I’ve not spoken to friends for months or even years and then was able to pick right up where we left off, or at least have great conversations and have fun when we do speak or see each other again. We didn’t end up on bad terms and it’s usually not a sudden shift, and it’s always great to hear from each other again. It’s not that I’m not a dramatic person, I’m just not in this area of my life.

But there’s always an exception.

I’m going to keep the details private publicly, even though I know these people will never see this. That might make this kind of frustratingly vague and uninteresting, but I’m writing it anyway.

I was very close friends with someone for years, and virtually overnight, we were no longer friends. We had an exchange that happened over Facebook messaging, of all things, that came as kind of a surprise to me (and in hindsight, it shouldn’t have). It did not end well. I ended up feeling hurt and upset, they ended up feeling hurt and upset, and that was the last time we ever spoke.

We had a mutual friend, also one of my best friends at the time, who kind of glossed over the topic online. But when I spoke to her in person a few months later, she told me I should be the one to reach out to our other friend, even though I wasn’t the one who cut ties. I didn’t think it should have been me. After that day, we spoke normally for a while, but it got to a point where I felt like I was the only one maintaining effort to keep up the friendship or to initiate conversation. We haven’t spoken for a while now, and I can’t help but feel like she chose our other friend’s “side.” I think it wouldn’t be awkward if we bumped into each other randomly, and I hope she feels the same.

Looking back, I’m not going to say I was completely blameless. I think everyone involved–including our mutual friend–could have handled the situation better. I think we could have all been the adults we were and communicated better. It’s fascinating how communication can break down so easily, even between people who you consider your closest friends.

I have so many memories with these people. For the first friend, the one I actually fell out with, I can think of shows and movies we first watched together. I can remember classes we had together. I can remember parties and random hang-outs. I have so many memories from my early twenties tied to this person, to both people, and for a long time, they felt kind of bittersweet. Sometimes they still do.

Even though it’s been years now, I sometimes still think of reaching out. I can’t help it–there’s a part of me that yearns to be liked, that hates being on bad terms with anyone, that wants those memories to be less bittersweet. There’s even a small part of me that wonders if, years later, we could be friends again.

For some strange reason, I actually feel like it would be easier to reach out to the friend I originally fell out with than the mutual friend who ended up drifting away from me. Not logistically–they were notoriously not fond of social media and I suspect that haven’t changed–but emotionally. I almost feel like it would be easier to deal with that situation, where the fact we fell out was clear and where we had such a sudden break from friendship, than to deal with one where I worry I’m imagining things about picking sides and not trying.

Thinking about it now it all feels very dramatic and teenage but the feelings are still real. It still kind of hurts to think about. Friendship is weird. Fights are weird. Time is weird. Your 20’s are weird.

This post is weird.

There’s an imposter among us

First things first, I’m negative for COVID! Yay! As I said in my last post this is what I expected, but still happy to have the confirmation

Now for today’s topic–have you experienced imposter syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is defined as “is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or interpret it as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.”

I have felt like this more and more lately, perhaps as a symptom of the pandemic and of job searching even before the pandemic. Job searching can be a very frustrating and disheartening experience. The more you get turned down, the more you think things like “I only got lucky with the jobs I do have or have had before” or “I’m not as good as this as I thought I was.”

I often have moments of identifying it as imposter syndrome, and then turning around and thinking “but what if I’m actually not competent, and I’m actually not good at this, and acknowledging this as imposter syndrome is misplaced confidence?” In job interviews and sometimes during jobs themselves, I’m often plagued with thoughts that I’m doing everything wrong. Sometimes I hesitate applying to jobs or even to volunteer for things in work situations because I worry in advance I won’t be good enough to do it (there are other reasons for hesitation as well, of course, but I can’t pretend this isn’t one of them.) Even as I write this, I’m pausing and thinking, “but what if I AM not good enough though.”

So what do I do about it?

This is so much easier to do when I experience a similar issue regarding health problems. If I have a day of wondering if I really have a migraine or this is just how everyone feels all the time, all it takes it me waking up the next morning clear headed to think “oh no, THIS is how it feels when you don’t have a migraine.” When my chronic stomach issues act up, I sometimes worry so much that people will think I’m making it up that I start wondering if I AM making it up…and then I’m in pain and it’s a reminder that no, I’m not making this up.

But how do you combat imposter syndrome?

Unable to come up with answers myself, I did what any self respecting person would do in 2021, and googled it. I found a list created by a woman who is an internationally recognized expert on imposter syndrome, and decided to go through it:

Break the silence:” I’m doing that right now.

Separate feelings from fact. There are times you’ll feel stupid. It happens to everyone from time to time. Realize that just because you may feel stupid, doesn’t mean you are:” I feel like this is easier said than done, in a way. I can acknowledge my feelings are irrational, but that doesn’t stop me feeling this way. Especially because I then turn around and think, well what if I AM wrong, or stupid?

Recognize when you should feel fraudulent…Instead of taking your self-doubt as a sign of your ineptness, recognize that it might be a normal response to being on the receiving end of social stereotypes about competence and intelligence:” I think this is common with women especially. There’s a joke I’ve heard about how we should hold ourselves with the confidence of a mediocre white man, and there’s some truth to that. Additionally, I haven’t shared a picture of myself here, but anyone who has seen me will tell you I look young for my age, and I sometimes worry that keeps people from taking me seriously, or I become unsure what people’s expectations for me are.

Accentuate the positive. The good news is being a perfectionist means you care deeply about the quality of your work. The key is to continue to strive for excellence when it matters most, but don’t persevere over routine tasks and forgive yourself when the inevitable mistake happens:” I’ve been trying very hard to work on this. When I write for work, I tell myself it’s a good thing that I take my time, and put work into it and edit over and over until I can say I’m happy with what I put out. And not to beat myself up the times I do make mistakes.

“Develop a healthy response to failure and mistake making:” This is a hard one, but as I have said before, I’m working on it. I just hate dedicating time to things when I feel like I didn’t do them well. This feeling multiplies when I’m applying for jobs, or even deciding what direction I should take work wise, because I don’t want to dedicate so much time and energy to something I may not succeed at, or something I don’t feel passionate about doing. I don’t want to make a mistake in choosing.

“Right the rules. If you’ve been operating under misguided rules like, “I should always know the answer,” or “Never ask for help” start asserting your rights. Recognize that you have just as much right as the next person to be wrong, have an off-day, or ask for assistance:” I have had jobs that basically make me feel guilty for asking for clarification or for help, so this is another I have to work on. I think the hard thing, with lists like this, is this is harder to achieve than it is to say. Should I be writing lists? Should I be convincing myself in the mirror?

Develop a new script. Become consciously aware of the conversation going on in your head when you’re in a situation that triggers your Impostor feelings. This is your internal script:” I might try and write out a chart for doing something like this. Just for me.

Visualize success. Do what professional athletes do. Spend time beforehand picturing yourself making a successful presentation or calmly posing your question in class. It sure beats picturing impending disaster and will help with performance-related stress:” As someone who has danced my whole life, I actually think this is the easiest step. It’s making it happen that’s the hard part!

Reward yourself. Break the cycle of continually seeking °© and then dismissing °© validation outside of yourself by learning to pat yourself on the back:” This is something I have been trying to do, especially with a lack of external validation due to COVID. I have to admit I always feel satisfied when I do get that validation though. The problem is, depending on that validation means that external criticism hits harder.

Fake it ‘til you make it. Now and then we all have to fly by the seat of our pants. Instead of considering “winging it” as proof of your ineptness, learn to do what many high achievers do and view it as a skill. The point of the worn-out phrase, fake it til you make it, still stands: Don’t wait until you feel confident to start putting yourself out there. Courage comes from taking risks. Change your behavior first and allow your confidence to build:” This is absolutely the most difficult part for me. I’m not really a risk taker. I don’t take risks. I’m more likely to take risks physically than I am in any other areas. I’m not very spontaneous, and even planned, calculated risks are very difficult for me. I constantly worry–what if that was the wrong choice? What if I can’t go back? And then: what if all this worrying means I have wasted too much time? And then it goes again.

If you made it this far, thanks. This was a lot of rambling and not a lot of answers or solutions, but sometimes it just feels good to get thoughts in your head down on a page.

I’m working on it.

A first…

I got a COVID-19 test for the first time today.

That’s right, April 2021, people my age are already getting vaccinated in many parts of the US, and meanwhile I’m getting my first COVID test.

I’m not sick and I’m not showing any symptoms, but I’ve been to a lot of doctors visits in the past few weeks, and I live in a hotspot, and I got a bit paranoid. So I made an appointment at the nearest testing centre and headed in today. It was very efficient, you can tell they’ve got it down to a science at this point.

I have no idea how people on movie sets or other jobs with frequent testing do that every single day. I felt like I could feel that swab in my brain. I was STILL feeling it when I got home. I can’t imagine doing that frequently, or even administering a test myself, the way I have seen some people do.

I think the test will most likely come back negative, I’ve been as safe as I possibly can be right now. But I don’t regret doing it. It was free and quick and even though I felt like an Egyptian mummy getting my brain pulled out through my nose, I would rather be safe than sorry.

I can’t wait until I finally get a vaccine. I can’t wait until enough of the country is vaccinated that we are all worrying much less. I can’t wait until cases go down, hopefully before that time. I can’t wait until I leave the house to do something other than doctor’s visits or COVID tests. I feel lucky that these tests even exist and are free, I feel lucky that so many people have worked so hard to create vaccines that I will be able to get within the next few months.

I think I’ll probably still wear my mask on public transit for a while, especially while crowded. Ironically enough, 2020 was the first year of my entire life that I didn’t have some sort of respiratory illness, and I’m hoping to keep that streak going, at least for a little while longer. But it will be nice when masks are less of a necessity everywhere you go.

I’ll have something more interesting to talk about next time, but today, I just wanted to commemorate this occasion. May it be the first and also the last.

Movies I watched in 2021 (part 2)

I have watched five movies since the first time I did this, with one of them being four hours long. I think I went through quite a range of movies in the past month! Once again, these are only films I am watching for the first time, so this does not include my rewatches of Mean Girls, Tangled, or Spiderman Far From Home, for example.

Palm Springs: This is a movie I have wanted to watch since I saw the trailer, and it finally got released on streaming in Canada (we don’t have Hulu). This movie follows the “Groundhog Day” trope of repeating the same day over and over, but at no point did it feel like a remake or like something I’d seen before. This movie stars Cristin Milioti as a young woman who meets a guy, played by Andy Samberg, at her sisters wedding, only to accidentally find herself trapped in the same repeating time loop that he has already been stuck in for a while. This movie was very well acted and very funny, but also genuinely heartfelt and emotional. When it ended I found myself thinking, “wow. I’m so glad I watched that.” I’m glad it got some awards buzz because it definitely deserved it. Also, if you watch this and enjoy it or enjoy the Groundhog Day trope in general, I would also recommend “Happy Death Day” for a slasher-comedy version of this, and “Before I Fall” if you want to cry.

Alitta: Battle Angel: I kind of avoided this film when it was first released because I was so weirded out by the uncanny valley nature of the main character’s appearance. It still weirded me out after watching the movie, but you do get more used to it in time. This movie tells the story of a cyborg who gets reactivated by a doctor, turning out to have the soul of a young woman, who then sets out on a quest to discover her own identity. I don’t think this was a bad movie but I think it could have been a better one. I think it had a lot of really cool imagery and a lot of interesting concepts. But I also felt it tried to fit in too many plot threads and storylines at once, which consequentially, meant several of them felt strangely tacked on or not fully fleshed out. This movie is based on a manga series, which I think partially explains how this happened. They may have tried to fit in too many points from the manga. Overall a fun watch, but I don’t think I would watch again. I’d love to see this turned into a TV show of some kind.

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles: This documentary follows chef Yotam Ottolenghi as he and a team of pastry chefs from all over the world put on a Versailles themed gala at the Met Museum in NYC. I love history and history-based documentaries are my favourite kind of documentaries. I love learning about Versailles. I love watching cooking shows (even though I’m not exactly a cook myself). So unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed this. I think it was so cool to see how these modern pastry chefs interpreted the spectacle and atmosphere of the feasts of Versailles for this space and this gala. It’s only about 75 minutes, so I would recommend checking it out if you like history or food or museums or all of those things.

The Trial of the Chicago 7: This is another movie that has received a lot of awards hype, both wins and nominations. This is a drama based on the historical story of a trial in 1969 of defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy during the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. I’m not usually drawn to court drama films, but I had heard so many good things and the cast is full of amazing actors, so I decided to check it out. And I absolutely do not regret it. This movie was fantastic. The writing, the acting, the cinematography, the energy, the message–it was just riveting to watch. It’s also shockingly relevant in 2021. Definitely one to watch.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League: For those of you who don’t know, Justice League was originally released in 2017. It had been directed by Zack Snyder, but he had to step down partway through production due to a personal tragedy, leading Joss Whedon to take over. Whedon made rewrites and reshot some scenes, making it a different film than Zack Snyder’s original vision. Zack Snyder has now released “the Snyder cut,” a FOUR HOUR cut of the film which is closer to his original vision. Yes you heard that right, four hours. I had to watch this over two days, although I know others who watched it all in one shot. I thought the original film was alright–it’s a superhero movie, I watch all of them and always end up having a good time to some extent–but did have some issues. The four hour version of the film, surprisingly, solved a lot of those. There were more clear backgrounds and motivations for most of the characters and just a better sense of the universe and a more fleshed out and interesting plot. Of course this brings up some questions and concerns–like was his vision going to involve a FOUR HOUR theatrical release, and if not, maybe there should have been some cuts and rewrites before going into production? But I did think it was good and there were some moments that really stuck with me. It’s a shame there won’t be a direct continuation to this movie (to either version of it really) because I would have liked to see where they would go. I do look forward to seeing the individual character movies for some of the heroes that are in development or in production. I do hope they have less slow motion moments with dramatic music in the background though, I cannot express how many of those were in this movie.

So that’s it for the time period between Feb 20 and April 1! I have also been reading, working, working out, and watching television shows (I don’t talk enough about television on blog, but I love tv shows and series!) so it’s not all movies all the time. But overall I saw some really fantastic movies in the past month, and ones I definitely suggest watching when you have the time. I’ve linked to all the trailers, so if my vague thoughts are at all interesting, or even if they aren’t, check those out too.