Shifting Relationships with School

It’s strange to think I went from preparing for graduate school to putting it on hold and now I’m taking a certification course. I guess it’s the feeling of “being done with school! hooray!”, only to find yourself in a different version of it…The feeling can be odd, but it does makes sense to me.

I think the catch with secondary education is you’re taking a bunch of core classes with a limited variety of electives that may or may not align with your interests. Then you get to tertiary education (in my case University) where easily half your degree can be a combination of courses you just took in secondary school and courses that aren’t even relevant to your specific degree.

So if/when you do enter the world of specialized courses and certifications, it’s enlightening because you know you’re not having to deal with frivolous extras. No more having to pay for unrelated things. You have a specific interest you want to learn about and BAM! It’s all you’re focused on.

Once I finish my current course I already have a few I’m planning to take next. Some are related to data analytics, but the one I’m most looking forward to is a drawing course! As someone who loves to commission art I’ve always wanted to learn and finally did some digging. The good news is there are tons of talented artists offering courses which made it loads easier.

So here’s to building new and difficult skills!

Artist: oshtu

Jumping Back in the Learning Pool

So I finally did it. I started my data analytics course!

After spending the last year and a half collecting, managing, and preparing data- I’ve learned I really enjoy working with it. The way I see it, data is data and it all comes down to honing skills in how to efficiently manipulate it. Mainly to answer managements’ questions.

When I was preparing to move out of state it was decided I would take on a final project of cleaning/preparing the company’s data for a systems change before being officially phased out. It was pretty much a win-win for everyone since I knew the data the best, I’d been helping create the new system, I could work from home, and I wouldn’t be stressed needing to get a new job right away. I was pretty stoked, but as I worked through the project I knew there were definitely quicker ways to get certain tasks done. The only problem was; I didn’t know those ways.

I looked into a course and realized I simply wouldn’t have the time to enroll on top of the overtime I was already working. With that in mind I figured I’d just start once I finished the project. Simple enough, right?

Well…things don’t always go as planned. The final stage of my project was ultimately put on hold (pretty recently, too) and I was given my original duties.

As soon as I was back in the swing of things I knew it was now or never and signed myself up.

As of right now I’m two weeks in and have finished about an eighth of the course (grossly ahead of schedule). Initially, my goal was to try and get through it as quickly as possible- maximize my time. But between a tendency to burn out and wanting to really get this right…I’m planning to go in moderation.

The goal? To finish by the end of the year then see where it takes me.

Artist: oshtu

Cranking it Out: Writing

I don’t know if anyone knows this, but like to roleplay. I currently have about…five going on with I.L. Knight and something amazing has happened: ALL MY REPLIES ARE DONE. That’s right. Who has replies to do? Not me because they’ve been written, posted, and received by my partner in crime. The best part is; I sent it off this morning so now I’m in easy breezy land for at least tonight (because she works the night shift)!

And if you’re thinking: “But what about those personal projects that you’ve only posted one installment on?“, then I regret to inform you that I think we have a bad connection because I didn’t catch that. 

It’s really weird though because now all I can do is wait and there isn’t much I can do to distract myself– except looking at my own stuff of course.

But honestly…what about my stuff?

I mean, I got through all the first installments because I wanted to give myself a base to come back to when I inevitably lost my muse/confidence. I’m very happy with my past self for knowing my future self so well, but…I’m still hesitant. I think I’ve gotten very comfortable in the rp format and the idea of writing something all by myself is a bit daunting, maybe? It’s like: what if I miss something or don’t set something up properly? what if I’m assuming too much? what if my writing is flat without something else to balance off of? what if? what if? what if?  

So many questions and really only two outcomes: either I continue with the projects or I don’t. Do I want to continue the projects? Yes, so I will. 

Since it’s a slow day at work maybe I’ll read through my first installments and see what comes to me because I don’t know about you, but for reason I can really crank it out when I’m at work (after finishing my duties of course)! 

Artist: oshtu

Time for a Reset

Sometimes you just need a hard reset.

The reasons for it and ways we go about it vary tremendously, but I decided to start with things I do and experience daily which meant: my bedroom. Now I’ve rearranged/cleaned out my room probably every 3-4 months to keep things fresh for ages. I’m talking to the point where my family wasn’t even surprised when they’d catch me in the act anymore- they were just curious to see how I’d do it differently. And this worked up until I ran out of ways to position everything. Since high school I never really bothered buying new things or redecorating because I was always looking ahead to when I planned on moving out, but after rescinding my E.P.I.K. application and realizing I was going to be home for another year…I knew I needed to make some changes.

SO I got rid of my couch, chair, mirrors, and carpet. I bought a shelf unit, full length mirror, carpet, and wallpaper. I moved my dresser into the closet to open up the space and got my family to help hang everything up.

I knew I’d done well at really switching things up too when my mom was visibly shocked (and even a little impressed) at the almost final product. Did she tell me I needed to get a new bed set to tie the room together? Of course she did, but hey- she’s right and come next month I should have it.

With phase one done I can now successfully move to the next which is…*drum roll*…exercise. I’ve tried doing this in the past and have always lacked follow through for several reasons. One is I have a thing about working out where people can see me which is part of the reason why I opened up my room in the first place. So now it’s like: You don’t want to work out in public? Now you have a private place to do it plus a full mirror to check your form. You’re too tired after work and don’t want to? You can look at the bed as motivation while you get it done. You can’t remember the exercises and can’t ask someone? Google it, bitch. No one to talk to? Put on a podcast.

So in the past, phase three would be all about skin care, but I’m honestly pretty content right now. This isn’t to say my skin is perfect or anything because that would be insane. What it does mean though is my skin is on the right track, I’m seeing results, and instead of stressing I’d rather just keep up with my routine. What’s phase three then?

Pole dancing. That’s right. I know what you’re thinking: but didn’t you just say you don’t like working out in public? Why yes. Yes I did. BUT pole dancing classes are normally closed AND it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. To be honest this entire phase is really just about getting out there and trying things I’ve talked or thought about because I’m done putting it off. Especially when it’s something I can easily manage to do, but I’ve just been lazy/nervous.

Phase four: friends and relationships. Now I don’t want to give the impression I’m about to do a major clean sweep or something because nothing severe has happened. This has more to do with me putting more effort into my family and being more open with my friends in general. I guess in a way maybe this one is more about me being more authentic to myself?…Well that’s always a work in progress.

All in all phase one is one complete; exercising in my room starts this week; pole dancing starts next month; and friends/relationships has already been happening. At first I didn’t want to make a post about it because I didn’t want to jinx myself, but then I thought- why not? The only thing that can jinx me is myself and things are going pretty well. I’ve honestly been feeling a lot less down since I started making moves again and it feels good.

I just realized I saved all the physical stuff for last and I’m not even surprised.

Artist: oshtu

It can’t be just me: Procrastination

For me procrastination is right up there with good ol’ lack of confidence and I’d say they’re probably about equal/possibly intertwined, even.

Recently though, I’ve been able to implement a system that’s working pretty damn well! I set out a daily to-do list for the upcoming week (leaving a few spots blank in case something comes up) and then just…do it. At first I wasn’t entirely confident it would work, but just there’s just something about trying to go to bed knowing not everything’s been crossed off for the day that really hits me deep.

That being said. So far it’s kept me on track to where I got an A on the final for my TEFL course, set medical appointments, started paying more attention to this site, etc. BUT it could not get me to finish my EPIK application lesson plan!

Then it happened: heavy rain = office building flooding; and the next thing I know I have Weds through Friday off. What a dream, right? Nope. Turns out that with all that extra time I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. There was no sense of immediate urgency to get the lesson plan done even though I was anxious to get it done. I’d start doing research to prep and then just put it down and start doing something else: i.e. calling friends, working on roleplays, lunch with my mom, and of course the almighty NETFLIX. I was literally doing everything under the rising son instead of working on this lesson plan because, “I don’t need to have it until next Wednesday“.

BUT, BUT, BUT. You know that strange thing where you either push out the product at the last minute or randomly get the bug and start without prompting? Well, I’m glad to say I’m moving farther away from the first and more towards the second track which is exactly what happened today. I went to my dog sitting gig without my EPIK application materials and absolutely no intent of working on it. Somehow though, I ended up opening Google Docs, opening some tabs to better understand what they’re looking for, and hashed out a rough draft to polish once I get back home.

Was it what I was expecting? Obviously not, but it happened and I felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders because I’d actually produced something meaty!

I think procrastination is one of those things that clearly never fully goes away because we experience it with different tasks for wildly different reasons. I tend to work better when I’ve mapped things out, but if something drastically changes (such as no work for three days) it clearly throws me off my game. The answer isn’t the same for everyone and I know it’s probably not the best to rely on that efficiency bug to bite you in the ass, but isn’t it great how once you get started sometimes you just turn into the energizer bunny and start steam rolling through stuff? Even right now as I’m typing this I’m also resizing my photo to put on my application.

No? Maybe it’s just me.

Photo by Pedro da Silva on Unsplash