Doing A Quiz: Part 5

Since I was the previous champion, I feel compelled, yet again, to participate in the quiz run by my friend Paul. Let’s see if I can do just as well.

THE 10 QUESTIONS

1. The Fab Five were a group of all-freshmen starters for the 1991 Michigan men’s basketball team. What is something you immediately excelled at?

Reading. My parents read to me when I was a child and I picked up reading by myself very early on.

2. One Direction was a boy band that eventually went in five directions. If you were in a five person band, would you be the first one to leave? Why or why not?

I like to think I am a very loyal person and I like having a sense of community and belonging so no, absolutely not.

3. Five Alive is a line of various fruit juice blends. Create a new drink and include any number (other than five) in its name. Tell me about the new drink.

A drink called “Mix’n Six” and every different flavour is a mix of 6 different fruits and/or vegetables!

4. In the mid-2000s, WWE Superstar John Cena had a weekly segment on WWE.com called, “Five Questions With The Champ” where he answered fan questions. If you were to send a celebrity five questions, who would it be and what would you ask?

John Cena: What was it like getting into acting? What do you eat on a regular basis? Who is your favourite other wrestler who later got into acting? What made you decide to participate in that Scooby-doo Cartoon? Would you ever do DWTS or would it be kind of awkward now?

5. The San Francisco 49ers have won five Super Bowls, with their last one coming in 1995. What is something from 1995 that you wish we still had and/or did in 2021?

Regularly buying physical copies of movies and CD’s. I know it is still doable and you can, it is much harder to find machines to play them on.

6. When you type, “Where are the” into Google, what is the fifth autocomplete option?

“Where are the Canary islands?”

7. The TV show, Breaking Bad, had five seasons. What is your favourite TV show and how many seasons does it have?

I don’t know how to decide on my favourite show!! This feels like unfair pressure to put on me. I will choose the most recent addition to my pantheon of favourite shows, which is Dark, and that’s three seasons.

8The PlayStation 5 has experienced supply issues due to a chip shortage. What are your top five potato chip flavours?

Sour Cream and Onion, Regular, Sour Cream and Cheddar (Ruffles specifically), Sea Salt, All Dressed

9. “Remember, remember, the 5th of November” is a line from the movie, V for Vendetta. What do you remember about November 5, 2021?

I was working that day and we ordered the biggest McDonald’s order I have ever seen in my life. Like to the point one of the security guards at work saw us go down to pick up the order and said seeing that much McDonald’s was actively turning him off McDonald’s.

10. How would you explain the “high five” hand gesture to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

Joining the palms together as a sign of joy, support, or agreement.

BONUS QUESTIONS

1. If you could be five-years-old for the next 24 hours, what would you do?

Go to one of those activity places full of bouncy castles and bouncy obstacle courses! I used to LOVE those and it’s not really acceptable to go as an adult unless you actively have a small child. So I would spend many hours at that, and then go to a restaurant and order a kids meal. And spend the rest of the time napping and playing with toys.

2. How many five-letter words can you type in two minutes? Do it, but don’t share the words with me. Your answer to this question will only be the number of words.

36

3. Tell me the story behind the fifth photo in your phone (or camera, computer, photo album).

Alas it’s nothing particularly interesting ! It’s a picture of my outfit on that day (October 23 2017) and I’m pretty sure I posted it on instagram with a caption like “It was a bad day but at least my outfit is cute” because I had got caught in the rain that day and missed a bus etc.

Doing A Quiz: Part 4

Trying to get back into the swing of blogging things, so thought I would participate in “The Captains Quiz 4“! It’s halloween themed, so feels appropriately festive as well.

THE 10 QUESTIONS

1. Rank your top five favourite Halloween candy and explain your choices.

  1. Mini snickers: because snickers are amazing but sometimes it can be a lot to have a whole bar so a mini bite sized version is perfect
  2. Mini caramilk: see above
  3. Mini kitkat: see above
  4. Fuzzy peaches: they’re so delicious and sweet and you don’t always get them so it’s always fun when you do
  5. Double Bubble: I’m not saying it’s the best gum in the world BUT it’s tasty enough and feels nostalgic and comes with a cute little comic!

2. In horror films, the victim normally runs upstairs while the killer is chasing them around the house. If you were to write a “what not to do” handbook for future characters in horror films, what would your chapter titles be?

It would be three chapters and they would be “leave your house,” “have back-up,” and “mind your own business”

3. If there was a monster under your bed, what would it look like?

Like Molly the doll from the Big Comfy Couch

4. I Know What You Did Last Summer follows a group of friends who are trying to keep the details of last summer under wraps, while being stalked by a killer with a hook. What is something you did this past summer that you did not share on social media?

I took plenty of naps and shockingly, I did not post about this.

5. If you were to provide a trick instead of a treat, what would your trick be?

I don’t think I’m very good at tricks. Maybe something just cute and harmless, like a skeleton hand coming out of the bowl of candy or something.

6. How long can you wear a Halloween costume before wanting to change into something else? Please provide a specific amount of time.

8-10 hours.

7. What Halloween decoration could we, as a society, do without?

The fake spiderweb stuff, mostly because people go way overboard with it and it rarely even looks that cute.

8. The songs, “Thriller” and “Monster Mash” have really cornered the market on “background-song-for-a-slideshow-of-student’s-Halloween-costumes”. What song was at the top of the Billboard Top 100 list the year you started high school? (You can find this on Google). Did you like the song?

Google tells me “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey was number one the year I entered high school. I remember HATING that song. I found it so over wrought and so over played and I was just not into it at all. Listening back now, it’s fine and pretty fun to dramatically lip synch to. Was I just in a bad mood that year? I mean I was 13/14, so probably.

9. What is your favourite Halloween-themed movie?

ParaNorman. A fantastic movie!

10. Bobbing for apples is a cliché party game that poses multiple health risks. If you threw a Halloween party, what activities would you provide?

Pin the tail on the black cat, a spooky themed bean bag toss, dancing to the Monster Mash, learning the thriller dance, decorating Halloween themed cookies.

BONUS QUESTIONS

1. Tell me a scary story.

Paul was sitting in his room, reading a book when the doorbell rang. He stopped reading to listen to make sure it was his, and sure enough his doorbell rang again…once more…twice more…and then insistently. He looked towards the door and hesitated, not sure what to do. He had no doorbell.

2. Put two minutes on the clock. Type as much as you can about anything pumpkin related, before time expires.

I’ve never been very good at carving pumpkins. i like the idea of it but it never turns out well. Maybe because my art skills aren’t that strong. But still, when presented with a pumpkin, I will do my very best. I will carve out its organs, reveling in the feeling of them. I’ll painstakingly draw a face that I’m meant to carve, being careful, making neat shapes, even though they always end up a little uneven. And then I pick up my carving knife, and stab as hard as I can through the eyes and mouth and nose of my chosen pumpkin. It’s stress relief.

3. List all the costumes you’ve ever worn for Halloween.

Pumpkin, pink power ranger, snow white, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, rock star, witch, fantasy witch, goth cheerleader, vampire, spooky doll, black cat, angel, hermione granger, Deryn Sharp from the Leviathan books, 80s pop star, Wednesday Addams

4. Are you a scarecrow or a jack-o’-lantern?

Scarecrow, duh.

So I’m 30 Now

On September 27 2021, I turned 30 years old.

I didn’t do anything big or fancy to mark it. One of my friends bought me brunch. I got a cupcake with my name on it at work. I got birthday messages from friends and family. It was all very nice.

But it just felt utterly inconceivable that I could be thirty years old. Shouldn’t I have it more together right now? Shouldn’t I know what I’m doing by now? Shouldn’t I feel more like a real grown up and not just a kind of sort of grown up mostly defined that way by absolutely not feeling like a teenager?

I would say I didn’t expect to be where I am now at thirty, but I’m not sure WHERE I expected to be. I’ve never been any good at hypotheticals. Being asked to say where I want to be in five years or ten years has always been very difficult for me. Hell, I was asked about something related to where I would be in a YEAR yesterday and I felt like I couldn’t properly know the answer to that question. How could I know before I lived more of the year??

I live about 20 minutes away from the home I’ve lived in all my life right now and this is the first time I’ve ever lived away from my family. I never did during my university years–I went to a school that was in the city and never ended up doing an exchange–so now, at 30, it’s the first time I’m doing so. It’s still in the same city, and I’m living away from home in an environment that’s very safe and easy to adjust to. Meanwhile, I see people my age getting married, or having kids on purpose, or travelling the world, or having had stable careers for years.

I’m not saying I want to be married or to have kids at this point in my life, I don’t. I certainly would like to travel more in some capacity. I’m hoping that the next year of the contracted job I’m currently in (which I’m enjoying by the way!) will give me an idea of what I want to do long term. But I still can’t help but wonder, shouldn’t I have it more together by now?

I guess the comforting thing about being thirty is realizing that even when you feel like you should have it more together than you do, there are other people who feel the same way that you do (Like in this post from my friend Paul, who is three weeks older than me and was far more eloquent and interesting in his post than I’m being right now). For every person I see who is getting married or buying a house, there’s someone else posting about living at home, or going back to school, or having a first date, or trying to take care of a pet fish. And deep down I know that everyone, no matter what stage of life they’re in at thirty, or whether or not they post it on social media, has days where they have no idea what they’re doing, or if they’re where they should be, or where they wonder “shouldn’t I have it more together by now?”

So I don’t know where my year of being thirty will take me. All I can hope is that a year from now I’m still here and still standing and can say maybe I have it a tiny bit more together than last year. Even just 1% more.

So, hi again

In my last post, I gave a little life update, and said I would be trying to post more often.

That was over a month ago.

I didn’t mean to go this long without posting, I really didn’t! But between preparing for my new job, moving for my new job, and then the job itself, I’ve either not made time, been too tired, or not known what to say. I won’t give away too many details of my job for Reasons, but I have been working with teenagers and it’s been a lot of long days, tiring days, and just busy days.

So what do I talk about without giving work details?

Well first of all, this is the very first time, in my life, that I am living with people who aren’t family members. The four other girls I’m living with are great! I get along with them all really well. There hasn’t been any major issues as of yet–but maybe we have just all been too busy for anything to come up. Shared spaces have been kept neat the majority of the time, we took turns taking out garbage, no one is overly noisy at weird hours of the day, etc.

It is a change though. The bathroom has three shower stalls, so getting used to showering when someone else can come into the bathroom is a new one (they can’t see me, there’s a curtain as well as some glass and dividers, but it’s still always a bit alarming). Buying food for myself individually can be a bit weird to get used to, I’m not used to not assuming someone else will eat it or use it or finish it if I don’t.

It’s also interesting getting used to new people’s habits and rhythms. Figuring out someone likes early morning runs, for example, or recognizing who is playing what music in their room midday, or accurately guessing who left all their mugs out on the sink. It’s been nothing crazy so far–there are no wild stories, or massive complaints. It’s just the experience of living with new people, and figuring them out.

Otherwise, you can definitely say I’ve been a bit wrapped up in my work. I think between moving and getting a new job, I’ve mainly spent the last few weeks adjusting to everything. I have only in the last few days, started figuring out how to bring my everyday life into this life, if that makes sense. I’ve found paths in the area to go on walks down, found the right spot in a living room for my yoga mat, plugged my computer into the TV screen to watch some shows. I’ve thought about going to the movie theatre and the mall when I have the time. I have some days off this week, and I’m hoping to see more friends and family if not now, then soon.

When I say I want to post more regularly, I really mean it this time!! At the very least, I won’t be letting myself go another month and a half without posting. My birthday is exactly one week from now, so I’m sure I will have something to post about next week. Until then, so long.

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.

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.

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.