Failure, the Monster of Fear

I want to design things.

I keep seeing videos or projects or posters or fonts that make me want to make stuff. I listen to songs that make me want to make things and everything is just beautiful and so well done and I want to be able to do that too, but I can’t.

I hate the learning process. Let me unpack that a bit… I like learning new things, but I like to learn them and be able to be good at them right away. Maybe I like to discover things. Discovering things usually means they’re ready to go, like discovering a talent for something! Learning things means having to not be very good at them at first. It means being able to see something I want to be able to make so perfectly in my minds eye, and not being able to recreate it.

Learning is frustrating, it’s hard, it’s discouraging, it’s frightening. What if what I desire to create is something I will never achieve? What if no matter how hard I work and study and learn, I’ll never develop the ability to truly do to the extent I desire?

This week I feel like I’ve seen so many things that spark that desire to create, but I haven’t created a thing because I’m scared to try and sure I’ll fail. People tell me otherwise and they say I’ll be great, or they say, that’s part of learning! but that doesn’t actually lessen the sting of failure. I’ve built up failure as a monster of a fear in my mind’s eye, I might only be looking at the shadow, failure could be a mouse in front of a candle’s flame, but that shadow on the wall is big and scary and I’m not sure I can face it just yet. I begin to wonder if I’ll ever be ready to face it.

 

These are some things that I loved the look and sound and feel of lately:

Tessa’s music video for her song “Dream”

Dodie’s song “Sick of Losing Soulmates” (heads up, contains swear words)

Episode 1 of Emily’s webseries “Cold” (everything Emily touches is so beautifully made, her Letters to July series are amazing)

 

I turn 23 at the end of this week. It sounds too grown up.

-B

Crawling Back to Work

No one complains about a holiday, that would be madness! Time off from work or school is always appreciated and never seems to happen often enough.

No, it’s not the time off I have a problem with, it’s the coming back.

After four days away from writing blog posts my mind is dragging its feet, feeling tired and foggy. It’s not ready to come back, it was just entering vacation mode! But there are exams to study for, papers to write, work to be done, and blogs to post. My mind will get no break, no rest. I begin to wonder if it really is possible for my brain to ooze out my ear. Overworking is a word that whispers itself into my ear.

I ignore it, I’m too busy to consider that possibility.

Dealing with an Over-Spent Introvert

This world is an extrovert’s world. We are encouraged to socialize, to party, to go for coffee, to attend school, to work. It seems that almost constantly we are being encouraged to be around people, but not all people are designed to live that way.

People often look at extroverts as being outgoing, friendly, and social, while introverts are looked at as shy, antisocial, and awkward. It’s not quite that simple. In reality, extroverts are simply those who are energized by being with people, while introverts find themselves drained spending time with people. An extrovert is tired out by staying home alone, they want to be “doing”! An introvert needs that recharge time alone or else they burn out, and that is not an option that’s always given to people.

Many students work at least one job while attending school full time. They have work, school, friends, family, homework, and regular life-tasks to deal with. For an extrovert this can be tiring but invigorating. For an introvert this can equate complete burn out.

I am an introvert, a relatively social introvert, but an introvert. I am quite happy to chat with people, to hang out with friends, and to speak up in class, but if I have to go straight into doing something else without some time to recharge I frequently find myself plagued by headaches as I grow crankier and more antisocial. As my stream of social energy is rapidly depleted I recoil into myself like a wounded animal, striking out at those who attempt contact.

Extroverts rarely seem to understand this feeling and can often make things worse by trying to “talk it out”. Here are some tips for when dealing with your dried up Introvert:

  1. Talk as little as possible. Your Introvert doesn’t have much energy to listen right now. This may sound silly, but it’s true. Listening can take a lot of energy that simply isn’t there to use.
  2. Gently check when the last time your Introvert ate or drank was. They may be dehydrated or hangry (hungry-angry) as well as over-spent. Grab them some water or a snack and leave them to it.
  3. Leave them alone. Seriously, just do number 2 and leave. Your Introvert is not angry at you, they’re not needing help or counselling, they just need some time. Wait for them to come back to you because they will. They’ll sheepishly slink back over in half an hour or so, after an episode of T.V. or a chapter of their book, or they’ll bounce back into the room after a nap as if nothing ever happened. This is okay, this is normal. This is dealing with an Introvert.
  4. The most important thing about dealing with your Introvert is, don’t try to make them become an extrovert. They can’t, this is how their mind works, and that is alright. If they’re drawing back from a group chat, let them go. They may just need to listen from the sidelines and gather their strength for the next round. Let them take their time outs, let them have their quiet car rides when they need them.

As an Extrovert, you don’t have to necessarily have to fully understand your Introvert’s perspective, but with a little bit of consideration, you can help.

For more help in understanding your Introvert, check out Dr. Carmella’s Guide to Understanding the Introverted! (It has pictures!)

The Great E. Coli Scare of 2015

Well we can drink our water again. Wednesday evening it was announced that traces of E. Coli had been found in water samples from across the city to we were all on a boil-water advisory while they figured out what was going on. Today the second negative test came back so they’ve said Wedneday was false positives.

It’s nice to be able to use tap water again. I didn’t realise how much it effects me but I am very grateful for clean running water.

Also, it’s official now:

 

So that’s exciting! And tomorrow I’m speaking at a small school event so that should be interesting… Just finished my 10/15  minute talk…
HOPE I SURVIVE IT WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH I LOOOOOVE PUBLIC SPEAKING!

Anywho, see you tomorrow after I survive. I survived The Great E. Coli Scare of 2015, I got this, it’s cool…
-B

Me: Depression

I’ve probably said stuff like this before but earlier this year when I decided wasn’t going back to the university program I was in, I began to feel really excited for my future, like I just knew good stuff was gonna happen and it was coming and that’s a big deal.

Why is that a big deal? Well in the latter half of grade twelve and until after the new year after graduation I went through a period of what I can only call depression. I’m loathe to call it that because I know the connotations and the mentalities often paired with mental illness. I also know what I suffered was very light depression compared to what many people have to go through and for that I am grateful, but when you’re in it, when you’re in it, it does not feel “light”.

I don’t know what caused me to spiral down into where I landed part way through grade twelve but I suspect it was the fact that this was a last year and big changes were coming and I had no clue, literally no clue what I wanted to do. I am a person who craves structure (and with that often comes a need for control) and not knowing what was going to happen FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE freaked me out and as I went through the year still not knowing what I was doing and having nothing I could dig up peak my interest, I allowed myself to shut down.

Shut down? Well, often when emotions intimate me, I’ve allowed my mind to get into the habit of shutting them down. I push the problem out of the way and ignore it. This creates indifference (can’t see it, don’t need to bother with it. It’s no longer there), and then if it’s something important, when the deadline arrives, this method of coping results in a panic and if it’s bad enough, a full-fledged anxiety attack. I’ve only ever had three anxiety attacks that I can think of and I NEVER want to go through that again. The only way I can explain it is something explodes. The emotions that have been shut down and blocked out suddenly… pop. and everything explodes. Sound is extreme, light is extreme, people can’t talk-shouldn’t talk, there’s just sound and crying and panic and breathing, breathing is really loud and hard to do, and nothing makes sense and my mind stops registering anything and the worst thing you can EVER do if this is happening is ask me “what’s wrong?” I don’t know, that’s part of the problem, I just don’t know what’s going on. Something has become the last drop in the emotional pool to knock down the wall and all the hidden emotions are coming out.

That was a sidenote, sorry. (But seriously, the best thing you can do for someone having an anxiety attack, at least one like that, is just sit down and wait it out. Be there. Don’t talk, just be there. When they’re ready, they’ll talk. Don’t ask, don’t probe. Wait, and then listen. Once they’re done, think before you speak, if you are a person of faith, then you pray what God wants you to say then and there, because if that person just opened up to you that way they’re being extremely vulnerable and they’re are going to remember what you say and if you begin telling them what they’re feeling is wrong in any way, you’ve lost and they’re going to shut back down and think twice before opening up to you again. Be there and CARE)

Oh look, another sidenote. On a lighter note, depression… erm, uhh, nevermind.
So that year was hard because I shut down emotions and told next to no one what I was going through because I really didn’t understand it myself so how could I explain it to them and ask them to help me? To me I simply felt hopeless and indifferent all the freakin time and let me tell you, that is a crap way to live your life.
(In hindsight, just tell an adult you trust, they will be able to help. I mean I don’t know that from experience but I can imagine that’s a lot easier then suffering through it alone. At least then someone else knows and you don’t have to fake happy-and-normal with everyone)

I think what also allowed me to get so far down the spiral was that I stopped doing daily devotions and I stopped really pressing into God. I’ve heard a preacher say you can never stand still in your relationship with God. You’re either going forwards or you’re going back. I know I wasn’t going forwards in my relationship with God, so that means I spent a whole year backsliding and having pity parties. That’s a bad state of mind to be in. I don’t remember what happened but one day it was like something clicked and I realized “I don’t have to live like this…” and so I stopped.

I think that’s what makes many people doubt what I went through was real, the fact that it finished so fast, the fact that I could literally “snap” out of it. I am not saying, “get a grip, you can just snap out of it” to people. It was a mindset change. Like I said, something clicked. I don’t know what it was but in that moment it was like a little bit of hope came back. It didn’t have to be like this. This wasn’t all there was to life.

I never suffered suicidal thoughts but one thing I often prayed was “God, if this is life, it’s not worth it.” I’m not sure if I was accusing him, or just letting him know that’s how I felt, but I still agree with the statement, if that was life it wasn’t worth it. Thankfully, that’s not life.

The last year has been tough. I’m still getting back to where I was with God before it all happened and I’ve still never talked to anyone expect a couple friends (actually, maybe only one…) in this much detail about that year, so sometimes I think I’m trying to do it too much on my own but I still have a very hard time opening up to people (seriously, posting this is tough but telling it to someone in person… I mean I don’t want to say impossible, but…). I’m relearning how to read my Bible. I’m trying to get that foundation because I want it so bad. I want there to be a God who wants to have a relationship with me, I want to know him, I want there to be hope, I want there to be salvation. I need it. I don’t just want it, I NEED it, because life without that, it isn’t worth it. It just feels empty and hollow and bleak. Very bleak…

So I’ve been excited and hopeful for what’s to come for the first time in a long time and a few months ago it was decided that my church was going to restart and revamp it’s post-secondary Bible school from when I was a kid and as soon as I heard that I knew, yes, that was what my next year was going to be. It was going to happen if it happened based on my desperate prayers alone and I was the only student. And it’s happening guys, it’s happening and I’m really excited. I’m going to be getting theological training, and mentorship, and church ministry practicum, and I’m going to learn so much and grow so much in my relationship with God and I can’t wait! I know it’s going to be frightening and I’m going to have to learn to open up to people and I’m going to have to let go of a lot of control problems but I’m, well not ready, but I’m waiting in anticipation and I’m probably as ready as I’ll ever be!

I’m excited. I’m really excited that I AM excited. This is new. This is a new beginning, and it’s going to be good.

-Becky.

Some of my "textbooks" for school this year

Some of my “textbooks” for school this year

Queen of the Procrastinators

I am a procrastinator. The Queen of the Procrastinators. Example: It’s 11:57pm right now and I’ve been knowing I should sit down and write this since I got home six hours ago… Just starting. Whoops!

So I haven’t made a video in three weeks.

For those of you who don’t know, I make video-blogs (vlogs) on my youtube channel rlpdean. I try to make a video about once a week, I’m not in school, it’s a fairly reasonable goal, right? Well I’ve been barely managed more than one every two or three weeks. And why? I don’t know…

I can’t figure out where time goes other than I procrastinate it away. It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I’ve been sitting on one for almost a month now, but have I made it? Nooooooo. And why not? Well I want to make videos, I like making videos, but suddenly I’ve been feeling reluctant to make videos. It’s like as soon as I give myself a goal I start finding other things to do. Today I did laundry and actually put it away instead of letting it sit out folded until I use it. I pulled out my guitar and didn’t just practice, I started teaching myself a new song I found somewhere! and why? Well the plan had been to make a video this evening…

waste time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to think ahead for videos because my work schedule bounces all over the place, is that whats throwing me off? Am I over-thinking it and loosing the fun? Am I making things too rigid and immediately trying to get out of them? Usually my procrastinating takes the shape of putting off school-work, or chores, but why my videos all of a sudden? Why have I stopped? Are they becoming work and loosing the enjoyment? or am I turning into a lazy bump-on-a-log?

Honestly I think it’s a bit of both! I’m going to focus less on making a deadline with my videos and I’m also going to force myself to get up off my butt and do something. Even if it’s taking a walk with my camera and only taking still-pictures, at least it’s something and it might spark an idea because while I know I’m procrastinating, I also feel like I’ve got a bit of “writers-block” so to speak. I have ideas, they just all seem like unachievable or crappy ideas… So, I’m going to act on the crappy ideas and try and achieve the daunting. Things might fall into place and work out or I might get some flops, but at least I know I’m doing something and I can learn from mistakes.

Hopefully I’ll have some time and inspiration tomorrow after work! Talk to you then!
-B