Quarantine Revelations:Toxicity

With the way things are right now I don’t really see a point in talking about my personal day to day. I mean, plenty of us are experiencing variations of the same thing, so what more can I possibly add. Right?

For instance, in my case there are only three important (if we can even call them that) points: I was put on a ‘work from home’ order two week ago after returning from Washington state; with budget cuts I’m now working part time; everyone will be moving out of my home in a few weeks.

See my point? None of that is very worth noting aside from my privilege/luck of having a boss who fought and succeeded in keeping me employed (thank you *****!).


With all that out of the way I wanted to talk about something I’ve come to realize in these times of deep “self reflection” or what I like to call: I now have no distraction from self reflection and over thinking. So, what is this thing I’ve discovered about myself? Well, I’m pretty sure I’m a toxic friend and it’s put me in a position where I think maybe all this social distancing would do me good in kind of stepping away from things and out of tropes…if that makes sense?

I guess given all the added stress on everyone right now I’d rather not add unnecessary fuel to the fire.

If you’re wondering how I know I’m a toxic friend; such as if I was told in some way or snooped or something… I suppose the answer is no. It’s more: I was having a conversation with a friend about an issue we had and certain verbiage they used kind of struck a cord in me. Think of a light bulb moment, but instead of discovering Shirokuma Cafe you get hit with a wave of ‘I really must be trash‘ & ‘I’m surprised they haven’t chucked me‘.


On a completely unrelated note I was told I may or may not be adjusting well to quarantine and lack of human contact. Do I agree with this? No idea. I’ve been viewing it as a lesser issue in the grand scheme of everything happening right now. Is this the best stance to take? Who knows.

Anyway, this was my attempt at articulating my current thoughts and feelings in a way which hopefully made sense. I went back and forth on how to possibly close out the post for a while, but I think I’m going to have to just end it here.

Dragon Con!!!

It’s official people! As of last week I’m going to be experiencing Dragon Con for the first time!

I’d definitely heard about this convention before, but…I guess I took the name literally and just assumed it was a “dragon convention”. Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry because no one else did either! So in my mind I was picturing scale armor and everything related to dragons be it shows, movies, books, comics, games, etc.

Turns out I was partially right since it has those things, but I also missed the bar because it pretty much has everything. I didn’t realize this until I met my partner who goes every year and summed it up as, “five days of nonstop convention and partying“. I’m not going to front as if I’m a big partier, but the idea of going to largest convention in my region for five days… Let’s just say it’s time to get these cosplays ready!

So far I’ve decided on Shego (just ordered the wig), Princess Kida (the costume is in process), Miles Morales (my partner gave me the site they use for full body suits), and my favorite of Dracula’s brides (gotta save one as a secret).

I know the convention is a little under seven months away, but I’m so excited! I’m definitely planning on taking pictures and possibly a video…well we’ll have to see about the video, but why not?

Photo by eniko kis on Unsplash

Disagreements

It’s very rare my mom and I have a disagreement. Maybe once every one to three years we have a blow out, then after a few days we reconcile. Since our last blow out; at least two years ago now, I made an effort to not bottle things up and effectively voice my opinions with her without freaking out- specifically if she threw out the tried and true “you’re too sensitive” comment or some variation of it.

Now putting aside the dismissive everything about that phrase and how it makes me go from 15 to 70…I’ll get back on track.

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Vasilopita!!!

If you have no idea what the title of this post means then do not fear because the first time I heard it I didn’t either.

Vasilopita is a Greek tradition celebrated on New Year’s Day where a family or group cut a loaf of bread or cake to see who managed to get the single coin baked inside. Whoever has the coin has luck for the whole year.

In my family it’s my step-father who cuts the cake, then everyone selects a piece for themselves. For anyone who isn’t present at the time; we wrap a slice and set it aside.

In 2019 I wasn’t around for the cutting, so a few days later I opened my saved slice and guess what I found…That’s right! I found the coin!

Looking back on 2019 I can truly say there were some not to great moments (which are always going to happen) and there were a lot of really awesome moments: I found a job with an amazing work environment. I’m in a relationship with someone who loves me and trash t.v. I went to New York City for the first time. I went back to Chicago for New Years. I got to experience snow. I met my savings goal for the year. My skin cleared up a lot…It was great.

But 2019 is over and you know what that means? Time for VASILOPITA!!!

This time we waited until my siblings and I were all back together to cut the cake and do you know who won? ME. AGAIN. Reigning champion over here and I was one of the last to pick a slice!

Anyway, I know this is a super late New Year’s post, but here’s to 2020!

P.S. the uproar from my siblings when i found it again was hilarious

Photo by Matt Hoffman on Unsplash

Motor Vehicles: return of the unfortunate expense

Have you ever had a feeling something was going to happen and then it did?

In my case it was; you guessed it- car related. About a week about a week or two ago I decided to take my car to the shop once I received my tax refund. There wasn’t anything wrong with my car at the time. I just knew it had been a while and wanted a full maintenance check since I recently decided against applying to graduate school. Everything was going fine until a few days ago when the ‘check engine’ light came on.

I immediately went into overdrive and finagled it so my car was in the shop the very next morning.

Was there one thing wrong? No

Was there two things wrong? Nope.

Three? Still no.

Let’s just say it was enough to where the car stayed overnight and with an estimate of $1,700 worth of repairs. Luckily it wasn’t an engine issue so I was able to pick it up the next morning, but that also meant I needed to cough up that estimate.

Honestly I’m glad I caught it at the stage it was in (even if it wasn’t great) before things got even worse. There was definitely some initial shock at the price tag, but once it subsided I buckled down to figure out the best way tackle it. Of course this comes at a time when my car insurance payment is just around the corner along with a credit card bill, but you just have to ride with the wave sometimes.

Cars continue to remain the bane of my melodramatic consumer existence and my goal remains to live in a place where I can live without one. Until then though I’m definitely going to the auto-shop more regularly and not those quick oil-change places. Time to really treat my car like the life line it is for me right now.

P.S. I don’t think I ever gave my car a name or if I did I can’t remember it….maybe it’s time?

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Holiday Matsuri 2019!

The holiday season is here and what’s a better way to kick it off than going to a convention!?

Now if there’s anyone who hasn’t heard of Holiday Matsuri; never fear- because I only heard about it a few weeks beforehand and can sum it up pretty cleanly. So as the name suggests it’s holiday themed convention held in Orlando every December. A lot of cosplayers go as “holiday” versions of characters and just as many more simply go as their character of choice.

I went as a Star Fleet cadet and a certain Disney princess that I’ve been wanting to cosplay for YEARS. I honestly didn’t think it would happen, but thanks to my partner and his cosplay savvy crew I had a costume AND a staff! All I had to figure out was where to get the wig (Etsy).

To be honest I didn’t think anyone would really pay me any mind at Holmat. After all, I arrived late the first night and threw on a Star Fleet cadet uniform to hang out in the lobby. The way I saw it: I was neither holiday themed or Anime, so I’d just fall into the background.

Turns out I was wrong. Within fifteen minutes of hanging out I was approached by a videographer asking if he could take a video of me. ME. As in someone who had never done a video for ANYONE EVER IN MY LIFE. Did I do the video? Of course! Did I ask a lot of questions about what they wanted? Most definitely. I was even complimented for walking ‘regally’ which is something I’d never heard before- it warmed my heart so much though.

Being back in an environment where so many people are wearing what they please and having fun without a care in the world really helped me start to come out of my shell for the first time in a while. I hadn’t been to a convention since Summer and had all but accepted it would probably be my last. None of my local friends were really interested in conventions and my remote friends were never in town when they happened (I’m not the type to go by myself). This is why I really owe a huge thanks to my partner for not only inviting me and bringing me into his amazing friend group, but also for reigniting the convention spark in me!

By the time we left I’d already confirmed I was going to Dragon Con 2020 as well as at least two other conventions. Not to mention I already have cosplay ideas in the works!

I guess all that’s left would be for me to share a picture, but not only did I not take any pictures of myself…I also didn’t take any pictures of anything else…Oops. Maybe next time though.

[the amazing picture above is not of me]

A Potential Chapter: Graduate School?

As I pass my first month of unemployment my mom has once again started ‘lightly’ hammering the notion of graduate school.

Now as someone who used to plan for the next “chapter” of their life; I had three potential tracks I was floating for after graduation: (a) work for two years then go to grad school (b) work for a year, teach in South Korea for a year, then go to grad school (c) work for a year or two then move to Chicago.

If you remember my posts from a few months back; I actually applied and got accepted to teach in South Korea, but ultimately rescinded my application. I know my mom didn’t agree with the decision because she felt it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I think since then she’s wary that I’ve maybe become complacent and won’t see things through anymore- i.e. applying to graduate school.

When it came to rescinding it really boiled down to me having to do some pesky introspection and accepting I just wasn’t in the right mind set for it. Does that mean I still feel the same way now? Yes and no. Ultimately, I won’t be able to reapply for two semesters anyway due to restrictions, but by then who knows? Spring of 2021 isn’t as far away as it may seem.

But back to graduate school. Because I have concerns.

In the year I’ve been working since graduation I’ve managed to save up enough for my full tuition (with discounts) and around a semester of housing. My initial worry with was that since I’ve been unemployed and haven’t been able to continue saving; I wasn’t sure I’d be able to save the rest. My mom’s response was to remind me she already said she’d help me with housing given how much I’ve managed on my own- I just don’t want to feel like I’m leaching off her. My second issue was deciding whether to choose a one or two year program where the difference is a twelve month internship at the end. Fortunately, tuition for the second year is extremely affordable, but unfortunately that means I’d need to cough up an extra year’s worth of housing funds…My mom’s response was whether I felt it’d be worth it or not.

In the end I came to the conclusion it would be so long as I was able to secure housing because just in case you didn’t know: the school is in “totally affordable” London, England. My mom agreed hands down since so there’d be no way for me to manage without university housing and that same day I started the application process.

Side Note: Applying to this university is so easy breezy and the best part is that it’s FREE. That’s right! No application fees! (sorry I just have a big hang up about application fees)

So, after putting the issue to rest with mom I knew the next step was bringing this up to my boyfriend. Being the great guy he is, he admitted he wouldn’t be happy with it, but would never try to hold me back from something. He explained that instead of using his PTO for cosplay conventions he would instead use it to see me which definitely made my heart warm.

As we continued to talk over dinner another concern surprisingly surfaced which had to do with work load. For the one year program you’re taking five classes both semesters with a thesis due at the end. For the two year program your thesis is due at the end of second year which you spend in an internship. I think if I was only doing school then the one year wouldn’t be an issue, but I know I’m going to have to work and make money to support myself and I don’t want to fuck up such a large investment.

I know. I know. It probably seems like a lot of overthinking on my part.

There’s this idea of “if you want it then you’ll try your best and go for it” with the undercurrent being “you only live once and if you don’t try then you’ll never know” and while I enjoy the sentiment I think there’s also that protectionist mindset in a lot of us where we need to weigh the options and then struggle with the question of “am I holding myself back? am I too scared to take a risk? will I have regrets?“.

A part of me does regret not going to South Korea (especially since I’m currently unemployed), but I’m still doing things I really wanted to do. I mean, I’m going to Chicago for New Years to see if I can hack the winter; I’m going to cosplay as Princess Kida; I’m visiting my family more. I even went to New York for the first time!

So maybe there’s something to be said in accepting the decisions we make and then making the most of it. I’ve made the decision to apply to graduate school. Are there concerns? Yes. Can I boil it down without stressing myself out? Yes: In the one year program my biggest fear would be burnout. In the two year program my biggest fear would be conjuring up the funds.

Now I just need to on that good old personal statement!

Photo by Jordan Encarnacao on Unsplash