A tiny life update

I’ve really been slacking on posting lately. I genuinely wanted to have a posting schedule, and be more active, but have found myself COMPLETELY devoid of inspiration and dedication. I’m working on it, I really am. But for now, here’s a little look into what I’ve been up to.

First of all, I FINALLY WENT TO A THEATRE AGAIN. As a lover of movies, this counts as a life update for me. I haven’t been in a movie theatre since January 2020, when I went to watch Frozen 2 with my cousins. I had been planning a trip to the movies right when COVID hit, and cinemas have been closed here (for the most part) ever since. Theatres opened again under limited capacity a few weeks ago, and last weekend, I finally took the plunge and went to the nearby movie theatre to watch Black Widow.

I booked the tickets Saturday morning for that same afternoon. The theatre I went to has those massive plush armchair seats, with armrests and a foot stool, where you can adjust the angle of your seat. It felt like the perfect theatre to mark my return back to theatres. When you book the tickets, they automatically block out the seats beside you, so no one can sit directly next to you in the theatre. Masks were also required in the theatre at all points when not seated and if not eating. I kept mine on, choosing to forego snacks for safety reasons.

In the best of ways, watching a movie in the theatre again was an almost overwhelming experience. The draw of the massive screen, the moment where the lights go down before the movie starts, the sheer VOLUME of the music and the action. I got emotional at a trailer I had already seen. I got emotional at various parts throughout the movie. Partially, of course, because I found the movie itself emotionally affecting (quick review: I loved it, I’d die for Yelena Belova, fuck the patriarchy), but I couldn’t help but think that part of it was just the feeling of being in a movie theatre itself.

That’s not to say there were no negatives to the experience. It’s a bit awkward to wear a mask in the theatre, and there were some kids running around the theatre during the credits who were allowed to run amok wayyyy longer than they should have been. But none of that was enough to be a damper on the experience. I missed theatres, I’ve missed them the whole time, and they’ll never be obsolete to me.

Second, probably more major life update: I got a new job! I won’t go into details about what it is, but it will require me to move downtown–within only a few weeks. I’m being provided with a place to live and most amenities, but there’s still a lot to get done in that time period! On top of filling out the required forms and papers that always come with getting a new job, I’ve been making lists of things I’ll need to buy, doing some early research, reading reviews, and thinking about my budget. I’ll have to go through all of my clothes and see what I need to to bring (not an easy feat with the amount of clothes and shoes I own), what I need to buy more of, and what I can leave at home (close enough to get picked up on a free day if I really need it). I’ll have to figure out what luggage and bags I’ll be bringing, do some cleaning, pick up new toiletries. I also have yet to get a full list of requirements and scheduling and information from said new job, so I have to take that into account while doing all of this work and planning. It’s exciting to have a new job, but I almost feel like I won’t even truly take it in until I have all of this done.

I’m going to do my best to post more within all of the planning. Not for anyone else’s sake, but for my own.

Movies I watched in 2021 (Part 4)

At it again! Here is the last part if you missed it.

The Woman In The Window: This Netflix film is based on a novel of the same name, which I have not read. It stars Amy Adams as an agoraphobic woman who spends her time spying on her new neighbours until she witnesses a crime in their apartment. Things start getting strange when denials from the police and her neighbours cause her to question not only what she saw but her reality and her sanity. This movie got some mixed reviews, but I like a mystery and there’s a lot of great actors in the cast (Amy Adams, Wyatt Russell, Anthony Mackie, Gary Oldman) so I gave it a shot. And it was fine! I guessed at least one of the twists, but I don’t think that makes it a bad movie. I wouldn’t rush to watch it again, but I watched the whole thing and the performances were very good. It wasn’t a stand-out of this genre, but a fine watch if bored and it’s a genre you’re already into.

Raya and The Last Dragon: I love a good Disney movie, and would have watched this one sooner if theatres were open here. Alas, it was $30 extra on Disney Plus, and I didn’t feel like paying that, so I had to wait until it was available for free on the platform. I’m really glad I watched! The story follows Raya, a warrior princess who sets out to seek the legendary last dragon, hoping to restore the kingdom. I thought this movie was a TON of fun. I loved the main character, Raya. She was tough and stubborn and made mistakes, but she was also a cool and confident princess who wanted to do the best for her kingdom. I also deeply appreciated that they didn’t throw in an unnecessary love interest for her, she had enough going on. The animation in this movie was BEAUTIFUL. I especially loved the designs of the dragons (and that there were dragons in general! I just really love dragons) but in general it was absolutely beautiful to look at. I could see kids being obsessed with this movie, but even as an adult, I really enjoyed watching it.

In The Heights: You know what else I love? A MUSICAL. I’d been looking forward to this movie since it was first announced. I’d never seen this show onstage, sadly, but had heard some of the songs and knew it would be a good time. The movie tells the story of a pre-dominantly latino neighbourhood of Washington Heights in New York City, following a few days around a blackout. Among many others it stars Anthony Ramos, who I knew from his role as John Laurens in Hamilton (which is written by Lin Manuel Miranda, who also wrote In The Heights). Reader, I loved it. I love a movie musical that isn’t afraid to be a musical, that isn’t afraid of spectacle and tricks with camera work and perspective and scene changes and elaborate dance numbers. I loved the music–every single person on the cast is EXCEEDINGLY talented and deserves all the applause, and the energy in the music is so much fun to watch in general. One number brought me to tears. Other numbers had me laughing. If you love musicals, or dance numbers, watch In The Heights.

Luca: We are back to Disney, this time with the latest Disney/Pixar release! For some reason the Pixar releases aren’t being released with the extra price on Disney Plus, which both annoys me on behalf of the creative teams, and pleases me because it means I can watch them the day they are released. Luca is set on the Italian riviera–already a win for me, who comes from an Italian background–and follows a young fish person? humanoid aquatic creature? who longs to explore on the surface. He discovers that he turns into a human when on land, and so befriends Alberto, another sea creature living as a human on land. The two of them run off to the nearby human town, where they meet a young human girl named Giulia, and team up with her to race to try and win a vespa. This movie is adorable and funny and joyous and heartwarming. It just made me feel good inside when I watched it. I loved the setting (there’s some extra comedy if you understand Italian), I thought all of the characters felt well fleshed-out and fully rendered, I enjoyed the message of the story, and the friendships between the characters. Again, the animation was beautiful, in a much different way than Raya and The Last Dragon‘s animation was beautiful. I would definitely watch it again and recommend it.

Crimson Peak: And now for something completely different. This movie was released in 2015, and I’ve meant to watch it for a while. I love the work of the director, Guillermo Del Toro, and I love a period piece. What was deterring me, for years, was that it’s a creepy ghost story. I’m not inherently against ghost stories, but I can get really freaked out sometimes. I ended up having a work-related excuse to watch it, and so powered through while in my bed alone–with my phone to block the view when necessary. The movie follows a young woman named Edith (Mia Wasikowska), an aspiring writer and heiress in 1901 who falls in love with an English Baronet, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). When she moves to his dilapidated mansion in England with him and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain, who I did not recognize right away), she soon discovers that the siblings, and the house itself, hold dark secrets. The movie also stars Charlie Hunnam, which I mention because I love him. This movie was very good. That may sound strange to say considering I had to watch through my fingers at certain parts, but I don’t think that ultimately took away from the quality of the movie for me. It’s less of a ghost story, and more of a story where there are ghosts (both literal and figurative). The performances were all excellent, and the costumes and aesthetic were AMAZING. I would never expect less from this director, who puts so much thought and detail into each and every one of his films. Frankly I think the trailer is kind of misleading, and I think it’s less of a horror and more of a classic gothic tale. If those appeal to you, I’d give it a watch.

Theatres open here in a limited capacity on July 16th, and I am bursting at the seams to get into one (wearing a mask and being safe). Hopefully next time I write one of these, I will have seen Black Widow in theatres.

Doing a Quiz, Part 3

I can never resist answering questions in quiz form apparently, so here is Part 3 of my friend Paul’s “Captains Quiz.” Here is a link to Part 2, which has a link to Part 1!

I haven’t won yet, but it’s the journey that’s important isn’t it?

THE 10 QUESTIONS

1. You and a stranger are stuck in an elevator for three hours. After how many minutes would you tell them your name?

Approximately ten minutes after it’s confirmed we are stuck in an elevator together, once we know it’s going to be a while. Might as well know the name of the person you’re stuck with.

2. You’re the first person to enter the movie theatre. Which seat do you choose and why?

In a row a few rows above the middle of the room, in a seat in the dead centre of the row if possible.

3. If you were to navigate a giant maze with one celebrity, who would it be and why do you think you’d work well together?

I’m going to say Jason Momoa because he seems nice and also he is large so if there was an emergency I know he could carry to me to safety.

4. Eggs can be cooked in many different ways. Pick one and build a meal around it. What is included in that meal?

Scrambling eggs and putting them in rice along with mushrooms, peas, baby corn, and some chicken, with teriyaki sauce on top!

5. Select the task you’d be able to complete the fastest and explain why:
A) Blow up (with your mouth) and tie 3 balloons
or
B) Pop 150 balloons with a thumbtack

Absolutely B. I have never, in my life, successfully blown up a balloon.

6. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a talk show hosted by Jerry Seinfeld. Using the same format for the title (Ex. Poodles on Patios Getting Crumbs), what would be the name of your talk show?

Dancers on Decks Getting Deep.

7. Arthur is an animated educational television series for children. What are 5 television shows you watched as a child?

Magic School Bus, Bill Nye The Science Guy, Popular Mechanics for Kids, Incredible Story Studios, Country Mouse and City Mouse.

8. Pillows provide support and help keep our upper body aligned during sleep. What is the strangest place you’ve ever fallen asleep? Tell the story, if there is one.

Honestly the weirdest place is probably just a plane, which isn’t even that weird. I find it really difficult to fall asleep anywhere that isn’t a bed, I often even struggle on couches. I remember flying overnight to England (as a grown adult) with my parents to visit my brother and falling asleep with my head on my dad’s shoulder and my legs on my mom’s lap. They were displeased.

9. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a song by the band, Tears for Fears. If you could be in charge of anything, what would it be?

I was going to say the internet, but that seems like too much responsibility. Maybe just specifically what job I get and when.

10. Your closet is a portal to a new “location” (think: wardrobe to Narnia), where does it lead to? What do you see?

I think it would be fun to visit a magical fairytale fantasy land of some sort, as long as I could get back. I don’t have a specific one in mind (not Narnia, the time differential is too complicated) but maybe with fairies. And dragons from a safe distance.

BONUS QUESTION

1. Please enter the correct 6-digit passcode to successfully escape this quiz.

372273

Guess who’s double vaxxed

My original appointment date for my second vaccine was August 31. I was disappointed in how far away it was, but it was still closer than that of many other people I knew, so it was fine.

Luckily, my area recently allowed people to accelerate second vaccine appointments, and I was able to rebook my appointment for July 1. That’s a full two months earlier! It was the same location as the first vaccine, so I knew what to expect and was all set.

On the afternoon of July 1, I put on a cute top and my favourite pants–because I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to wear nice clothes in the past year–and was driven to the centre to get my second vaccine shot. It was very efficient. I felt like I flew threw the line. My first shot was Pfizer but the second was Moderna, and they asked me at every checkpoint if I was okay with this. I said I was. I had a nice chat with the nurse who did my shot while I got it done, waited the mandatory 15 minutes, got my sticker and receipt, posted some excited pictures to instagram, and headed home fully vaccinated.

My arm was pretty sore already, but I was mostly fine. I had no side effects after the first shot other than a day of a sore arm, so I didn’t anticipate any this time around. I thought I would just have to sleep on my right side for a night and otherwise it would be fine.

This was not the case.

About 2 am, my arm was so sore that I couldn’t sleep. I took some tylenol, brought up a bottle of water, and went back to bed. When I woke up properly several hours later, I had a massive headache and was shivering. It wasn’t a particularly chilly day, and I was under my duvet, but I was shivering. I went downstairs and had some water and some milk, already feeling a bit nauseous. I was still shivering, so I put on warmer clothes, dragged another blanket onto my bed, and then did the obvious: I texted my mom. She told me to check if I had a fever and to take another Tylenol and try and sleep. My temperature was 38.1, which is basically on the cusp of what’s considered a fever, so I decided to indeed take the tylenol.

Two minutes after I swallowed it, I was running to the bathroom where I threw up twice. Never a fun experience. Brushed my teeth, decided I was not going to risk trying to swallow another pill, and proceeded to bury myself under my blankets in the dark and try to nap.

After a while I dragged myself downstairs to continue drinking water and I managed to keep down a piece of bread, although still nauseous. I wrapped myself up in blankets on the couch and decided to watch some TV, needing a change of scenery from my bedroom. I watched one episode of the Netflix show Sweet Tooth, which I’m watching right now. I decided I needed something that required less focus once that was finished, so I watched two episodes of Bones on TV, a series that I’ve already seen in its entirety. For some reason I find watching a show about murder and forensic anthropology very relaxing.

The rest of the day was taken up by finally taking a tylenol, watching some youtube, napping further, and managing to keep down two oatmeal cookies. By the end of the day I still wasn’t feeling great, but it was an improvement compared to that morning. I had more energy, was no longer feverish, and could get to sleep soundly.

I felt much better this morning, although I still had a headache upon waking up. I suspect that was mostly to do with me not having eaten much yesterday (my body: “we need food to run!!” me: “well I gave some to you and you THREW IT OUT”). I had a small lunch and felt fine. I’m not shivering or feverish anymore, and my body feels a lot less sore overall.

Yes, I got the vaccine and felt sick and miserable the day afterwards. But it was ONE DAY of feeling sick and miserable. That’s nothing compared to what I could experience if I got COVID-19, or what a member of my family could experience if I got COVID-19. Getting vaccinated is important, it’s necessary, and it is absolutely worth a day of being sick in bed.

I don’t have any set plans for when the two weeks are up and I am considered fully vaccinated. My hair is ridiculously long right now, so I’ll be scheduling a trim. I’ll be waiting anxiously until movie theatres open here–I cannot express how excited I will be to watch a movie in theatres again. I want to see my friends, I’m already plotting out plans with one of them. I also desperately want to travel, but I’m not sure where and I’m not sure when I will feel 100% comfortable doing so. All I know is this feels like a step forward, and I’m so happy we are finally, slowly, getting there.

Movies I Watched in 2021 (Part 3)

I meant to read another book and write about it, but didn’t end up having the time to do so because of work. I’ll get to that soon. But for now, here are the four VERY DIFFERENT movies I have watched for the first time since the last time I did this. All the trailers are linked!

Love and Monsters: This movie was released on Netflix and stars Dylan O’Brien as a young guy who has been stuck in a bunker for several years during the apocalypse with a group of other survivors. He decides one day to leave the bunker in search of his former girlfriend, who he hasn’t seen since the day of the apocalypse. I admittedly watched this movie largely for Dylan O’Brien, who I watched religiously in Teen Wolf and have been fond of ever since. But I ended up really enjoying it. I knew it would be fun, but it got a lot of genuine laughs from me, was genuinely heartwarming, and Dylan was very likeable, understandable, and charismatic as the protagonist. I also loved the concept for the apocalypse. Basically, an asteroid headed for Earth is destroyed, and that creates chemical fallout. This causes cold blooded animals to mutate into large monsters, many who are dangerous and kill off much of the population, while the rest hides from them. I’ve devoured a LOT of post-apocalyptic content, and can honestly say I’ve never seen an apocalypse quite like this before. It was really fun and definitely worth a watch.

Promising Young Woman: This is a surprisingly divisive movie. But I was interested in it from the first trailer, and after watching, think it was a brilliant film. But I get why it isn’t what some people wanted or expected. I also get why it can be hard for some people to watch. It’s hard to talk about. I think if you aren’t triggered by discussions of sexual assault, and it’s safe for you to watch, you should give it a try. The performances by the entire cast is amazing (and some of the casting choices are just brilliant….the use of actors who have played iconic “nice guys” is an amazing touch), the cinematography is beautiful, and so much is just a fucking gut punch. Things are morally grey, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

The Mitchells vs the Machines: And now swerving back to Netflix family fare about the apocalypse! This is an animated film about a family who finds themselves the only ones who can prevent the end of humanity when a furious AI takes control of technology. There’s so much to love about this movie. It’s funny, really funny in a way that’s silly and interesting and never punches down. It’s a story about technology and about finding yourself and about the importance of family even when it’s not perfect and also about robots. There are lots of robots! It’s also so interesting stylistically. I know not everyone loves stylized movies but it’s always appealed to me. I think the style and editing of this cartoon is really quirky and fun and suits the storyline and the main character. Absolutely recommend if you want a laugh and also robots.

Bo Burnham: Inside: This is the second project featuring Bo Burnham on this list, since he also stars in Promising Young Woman. This is his latest Netflix special, created by himself during the pandemic, and in a lot of ways, it’s about the pandemic, and about us during the pandemic, and about Bo during the pandemic. I don’t know if “comedy special” is the right descriptor for this film. Yes it’s definitely funny, in weird ways, and in silly ways, and in dark ways. But it also gets dark and meaningful and hard to watch in a way where you don’t want to stop watching. It’s the most creative “comedy special” I have ever seen. It’s poignant and funny and off-kilter and full of songs and it’s just so damn good.

I’m hoping to see a movie in theatres this summer, although I don’t think there’s even a possibility of that here until July. But fingers crossed!

Random recent TV show ramblings

I’ve been a bit uninspired lately–as I suppose happens when you’re in lockdown again, so I thought I would ramble about some of the television series I’ve finished watching recently, just for fun.

Before I do that: I got my first vaccine shot! It went fine, although my arm was very sore for at least a day afterwards. My next appointment is in August, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

On to the television:

Shadow and Bone: Like millions of other people, if the viewing numbers on Netflix are anything to go off of, I recently finished watching the first season of the fantasy YA adaptation Shadow and Bone. Shockingly, while I had heard of the books, I had never actually read them. That may have to change, because I loved the series. It’s set in a historical fantasy kingdom where an orphaned girl learns that she is a Grisha, a person who has a magical ability. And not just any Grisha, she is the Sun Summoner, who is essentially a figure of legend and prophecy, with people hoping she can destroy the fold, a swatch of darkness and shadow that splits the kingdom in half and is very dangerous to cross. This premise may sound typical of YA fantasy (the “chosen one” is a common trope), but it didnt feel derivative or boring to me at all. The characters were really interesting, the worldbuilding was fun if overwhelming at times, and the aesthetic of the show is beautiful. I loved it, and it made me both interested in a second season and interested in reading the books.

The Nevers: The mid season finale of the first season of this HBO show aired, so it’s yet to be even a full season, but I thought I would talk about it anyway. It’s set in Victorian era england a few years after a mysterious event caused people–mostly women–to suddenly develop powers. The series follows two women and their group of the “touched” as they fight those trying to oppress them and/or capture them, and figure out various mysteries along the way. This is another series I’ve been really enjoying. Without spoiling it, I’ve loved how its developed so far, and how it fits into many of my specific interests. I love the Victorian era clothes and I think the cast and the quirkiness is really great. I’m interested to see where it goes next.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: I don’t think I’ve talked about it enough, but I’ve devoured pretty much everything Marvel has put out over the past decade or so, and the Disney Plus shows are no different. I loved WandaVision, so TFATWS had big shoes to fill. WandaVision also had the advantage because I thought it had a more unique premise and did something different, so I was looking forward to it more when it premiered. However, TFATWS was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the action scenes, I loved the character exploration, I loved the overall arc, and I loved a lot of the themes that it chose to present. Like every show on this list, it isnt free of fault or of criticism, but overall I that it was a fantastic watch. I also just really missed Marvel content. I’m sorry, I love a superhero.

The Irregulars: Sadly, this Netflix show has been cancelled after this first season (I think it was a victim to Netflix choosing to promote Shadow and Bone, which premiered only about a month later, instead of it, which sucks), but I really enjoyed it so thought I would talk about it anyway. This was another Victorian-era set show, where a group of ragtag teenagers in London find themselves working for the strange Doctor Watson and his mysterious associate Sherlock Holmes as they investigate a series of supernatural crimes and events in the city. I have watched pretty much every Holmes adaptation there is, and I thought it was cool that this came at it from a different angle and included a supernatural component, so this is another show that fit right into my specific interests. I do think it wrapped up in a way that would make it satisfying to watch just the first season, but there was so much potential there and wish it could get a second season. It was really fun and creepy and enjoyable to watch.

I have, of course, watched a lot more TV this year. But this is what I’ve completed in the last month or so, so will leave it here for now.

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.