9 Goals for 2019

I am still young, but as each year passes, I feel as though time is speeding up.  I remember as a kid every year used to feel like an eternity.  What happened only a year prior felt as though it was several years prior.  I felt I had all this time and experience built up and that I could remember way, way far back.

As I enter 2019 a couple years into my 30’s, I am acutely aware of the passage of time.  Attending university again for my second Bachelor’s degree at a university with a traditional undergraduate student body has made me very conscious of my age and stage in life.  I am consistently reminded of this in my interactions with other students.  Our differences are sometimes very stark, depending on the student.

It is here at university and as I grow older that I feel the passage of time so acutely.  No longer are the 90’s 10 years ago.  Soon the 80’s will be 40 years ago and the 90’s 30.  The decades I was born and grew up in are growing older and older.  I can now finally say I can remember things many years in the past as my childhood was many, many years ago.

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This year will be a big year for me.  I am graduating with my second Bachelor’s degree in May in Digital Technology and Culture from Washington State University.  If my grades hold, I will graduate magna cum laude, but if I can raise my GPA .04, I will graduate summa cum laude.  Following graduation, I will be either on the job hunt or already into a new job and my partner and I will be moving back to the Seattle area.

As I have done with years past, I am creating goals for this coming year.  Goals that I do not necessarily have to achieve and that can change.  With all the changes happening this next year, I have several goals I want to achieve.

  1. Write – This is a consistent goal of mine, but I never seem to be able to find the time and space for writing.  I think this year will be different as my goal for my future career is content creation.  I want to build my portfolio more and write more, so I am hoping to write more blog posts, write more through paid gigs, and possibly write again for the student newspaper.  I have a lot of topics, I just need to finally write them.
  2. Planning – I want to start having more of a set plan for what’s next.  I have started to narrow down options and figure out more, but I want more of a concrete plan.  I cannot make certain plans too far in the future, but I do want to make as much of a plan as I can so that I do not get stuck wondering what to do next and get stressed out.  There are so many moving parts that planning ahead is the best bet.  Planning includes but is not limited to completing my portfolio, finding a place to live, finding a job, and planning for the move.
  3. School – I want to raise my overall GPA to a 3.9.  I am just shy at 3.86.  I believe I can do it.  If not, I will still graduate with high honors and magna cum laude (if my grades hold), and that will be an incredible accomplishment.  I want to graduate with high honors and I know I can.
  4. Body – It has been difficult to be kind to my body and practice body-neutrality.  I am surrounded by young adults who are still growing into adult bodies and my fat body sticks out.  It is hard to be the only fat person in the room as well as the oldest (minus the professor who is generally my age or slightly older).  I need to tap into that part of myself that knows that it does not matter what anyone else thinks and that knows and believes in health at every size.
  5. Organization – I need to do a serious overhaul of my stuff from here and my parents’ home.  I need to choose what to keep and what to get rid of as I move into a new stage in my life.  I am finally moving out of my parents’ house for good and I do not expect to be coming back.
  6. Job/Career – I want to find a job that I can start after university that I can either stay with when I move back to the Seattle area or can serve as a temporary position before I find something more permanent when we move.  I want to do something that I find enjoyable, is creative, makes an impact in the world, and would help me develop more skills and knowledge.
  7. Housing – My goal is to find a place that suits the needs of the family that my partner and I have together, which consists of our three cats.  I do not just want a place that suits my needs or suits his needs or allows our cats, but something that works for all of us.  It is likely a tall order considering we would like to stay in the Seattle area for at least a short while.
  8. ICED Conference 2019 – The ICED Conference I am attending is this March in NYC.  My goal is to really make the most of the conference and my time in New York.  I want to network, network, network and spend as much time as I can with the people I know and care about that I only get to see a couple times a year.  I am very excited for the conference and I really want to make a huge impression while I am there.  Add this to the list of things to plan!
  9. Self-Compassion – I doubt I am alone in believing that I am not worth as much as others.  That somehow others are better than me.  Other people get the jobs, win the awards, have the friends, the life, the whatever.  But none of that is true.  I am good enough.  I want to recognize those negative feelings and emotions and have compassion towards myself rather than judging or criticizing myself for a perceived flaw or failure.  I think this is one of the most difficult goals as I am so prone to automatically find fault within myself and immediately latch on to the negative.  I want to put a lot of effort into re-framing and self-compassion as this will be a year of a lot of change, which is always stressful for me.  I believe that I can do this.

I want to acknowledge that there is a goal that is not on the list this year that usually makes the list every year.  It is relationships.  I have struggled to find friendships outside of online friendships as friendships are difficult to find in adulthood outside of university.  Now that I am in university again, I joined a club this year and found a group of friends.  These individuals are all very kind and amazing and it feels really good to have some friendships outside of online relationships again.  I am not necessarily looking forward to graduating in May and making friends again, but I am grateful for what I have in this moment now.

8 Goals for 2018

Every year despite the amount of blog posts I have been able to make, I create my goals for the new year.   This will be no different.  Hopefully I will find the time and energy to write the post I really want to about all the changes and transitions happening in my life right now and what the start of the new year means for me.

As always, these goals are changeable.  This time of year is rife with “new year, new you” and “new year’s resolutions” rhetoric, but these goals are different.  Instead of a resolution that I must achieve or else I am a failure, these goals represent what I hope to accomplish in the new year with the knowledge that life happens and things change and with that, so do my goals.

  1. Write – My writing is personal in nature and requires a lot of emotional and mental energy.  I have found it very difficult to write if I do not have the energy.  I make it my goal every year to write more and each year I feel like I fail regardless of my intention to not make my goals absolute.  Since writing is so important to me and is something I want to do in the future, I feel much more critical of myself for “failing” to accomplish my goal.  This year I truly hope to feel as though I accomplished writing more.  I think being in school is a good opportunity to really get back to my writing.
  2. Relationships – I am lonely.  I have wanted to write a post about my lack of friend relationships since graduating from university all those years ago, but I have yet to find the courage for such a post.  I think being an adult and finding friends is rather difficult.  I think the feelings of loneliness are amplified by social media where everyone looks to be out having fun and living the life.  I want to make the goal of finding more friends in my life and fostering the relationships I do have so that I have more people in my every day life than my family and partner.
  3. Self-care – Some days I am so good about taking good self-care, others I am terrible.  I think it is even more difficult now that I am in school again where attendance is mandatory and will effect my grade to the point of failure of a course.  It has been hard transitioning from being able to take a self-care or sick day when I needed at my prior job to now going to class no matter what because my grade will be effected.  I need to work on finding more and different ways of self-care that work around this BS policy.
  4. Planning – I have been doing a lot of thinking about my future in the past several months.  Is this program the right program?  Should I stay in school or find a career now?  Do I even go to graduate school?  It is a lot of think about and a lot to contemplate on my own.  I still have not quite figured out the answer, but I think I am getting closer.  I think the path I am currently on with getting a second degree is the right path and will lead my to my ultimate goal of a pants-free, stay-at-home career.
  5. Body – Another blog post that I need to write is on my body image.  It has been a tough transition from my eating disorder back to nearly the same body I was in before it.  I have been struggling for many years as the weight I lost during my disorder returned and how my body compares to others who are in recovery/recovered.  I really need to focus myself on not necessarily loving my body, but simply being neutral about it.  Some may frown upon the idea of body neutrality, but I think that is enough of a goal for me and what I feel I can accomplish in the future.  Maybe one day I can love my body, but my main goal is to simply stop hating it.
  6. Struggles – I have been without much therapy at all for a little over a year and there are few if any resources where I am now living.  It is hard to go from therapy a couple days per week to none at all.  I want to acknowledge how well I have been doing and at the same time acknowledge how difficult certain things still are.  My goal this year is to reach out when I need help and continue to work on my own through my struggles and issues.
  7. School – I was awesome this past fall.  I realize that I am in undergraduate courses and some lower level undergraduate courses, but I still had the best semester I have ever had in all my years of school.  My goal is to remind myself of how smart I am, how well I have done thus far, and continue to do well.
  8. Organization – I have had difficulty organizing since my move, whether that is organizing my time or my space.  I really want to try to better organize my life so that I can accomplish all that I want to accomplish and have the space in which to do it.  It may feel unobtainable at times given my time constraints and whatnot, but I know I can make little changes that will impact the overall goal.

Endings and New Beginnings

–I had written this post before, but it got lost. Here is attempt #2.–

Today is the last day of operation of FxMcRory’s. I am more emotional about it’s closure than I thought I would be.

I worked here many years ago as a food runner during Seattle sports gamedays. Located nearby the stadiums, FxMcRory’s is a popular bar and restaurant with over 40 years of operation. It has a reputation of being the tailgate location before games, especially the Seahawks, where the bar fills up by 9-10am and there are wall-to-wall people.

The years I worked here were very busy and when I was at my most ill. I spent many days struggling to make it through the up to 10-12 hour shifts with few breaks. I was anxious, stressed, and sick most every day I worked. It was some of the roughest years of my life.

But working here and those years in my life were not all bad. Between the stresses of my job and my eating disorder and anxiety, I also entered my recovery. I went from struggling to make it through my days and shifts to thriving and moving forward with the rest of my life.

This place, this bar, is my constant reminder of the struggle of where I started and the joy of where I am going. I look around here at this place and those memories and I am reminded that I have grown so much and I have so much ahead of me. Where I used to barely get by, I now thrive. This was the end of the pain and sadness of my eating disorder and the beginning of my recovery.

As it closes, I too close a chapter in my life. I am transitioning from the beginnings of my recovery into the next stage of my life–going to school again and getting a second Bachelor’s degree. I do not know exactly what is ahead of me, but I am reminded what is behind. I feel grief, relief, sorrow, and triumpth. I know that the past may have been difficult, but my future is here and now and I cannot wait to see what will happen and what I will experience.

A salute to endings and new beginnings! Goodbye FxMcRory’s and hello Washington State University and my future!

Politics: Healthcare

Today is a very difficult day for me.  It is a difficult day for so many people.  We are entering an unknown period of time with a new US president and a GOP controlled congress.  Their goals are not necessarily the goals of the majority of the American people and it is scary.  No one knows what will happen, what the president and congress can or will accomplish, and no one can say that everything will be okay.

And it scares me.

I rely on healthcare and the mandates of the Affordable Care Act.  There are so many people in America who do.  It was a lifesaver covering me because of my mental health pre-existing conditions, erasing lifetime limits, and covering me on my parents health plans until I was 26.  I rely on the mandate that people are required to purchase healthcare to keep costs down for everyone because the more healthy people that purchase healthcare, the cheaper it is for all of us.  These healthy people who use their insurance less, keep costs through paying into the system and not using their health insurance as frequently as others.  When so many healthy people did not buy into this system and instead choose to pay the fine, my premiums and so many other’s rose.

The law is not perfect.  Definitely not.  For instance, with the ACA I qualify for subsidies and plans that would not meet my needs as a person who needs to utilize my plan often.  Therefore, I need to purchase a plan outside of the exchange and usually it means only being able to choose between two companies in the state of Washington.  Neither plan necessarily meets my full needs because I use in-network and out of network care and the deductible for out of network are always ridiculous even on the best plans available.

I am lucky.  I can purchase outside of the exchange.  I have the financial ability to do so when so many do not.  They may have healthcare but these deductibles in the ACA that are too outrageous to make it worthwhile.

The logical thing would be to make the law better or replace it with universal healthcare, which would be a single-payer system.  But the current people in power do not see healthcare as a human right, only a right of the privileged few who can pay.  They will do what they can to destroy what is good about the law, not replace it with something better, and those like me who rely on healthcare will be left wondering what to do next, which is paying for basic needs like housing and gas and our doctors and medication.

And this is what terrifies me.  It is not only that my healthcare is at jeopardy–it is the healthcare of millions.  People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake all in the name of partisan politics and money.  Disproportionately it is the lives and livelihoods of poor and minority households that will be affected by a repeal and already struggle to afford healthcare under the ACA because of huge deductibles and rising premiums.  It is because rich white men in government do not care about people who are not other rich white men and blatantly lie about their true motives to continue to get elected by an electorate that is (sometimes) well-intentioned yet uninformed.

 

7 Goals for 2017 & Update

I cannot believe how quickly 2016 came and went.

There has been so much going on in my life over the past many months since my last entry.  I have tried writing many times, but I have been interrupted or became too busy to finish posts.  While it is not a bad thing to get busy with life, it does make me sad that I have neglected my blog so much recently.

I am going to work in the next couple weeks on making updates on what has been going on in my life since my last entry.  One update in particular is so big that it definitely needs its own blog post.  Keep an eye out for those.

Since it is 2017 and I always like to make goals (whether I achieve them or not) for each new year, here are my 7 goals for 2017:

  1. Write: I always have all of these great ideas in the car, shower, and at work but never can find the time to actually write!  I really want to work on creating more space and time for myself for writing.
  2. Keep working on my issues: I still have things I need to work on, places where I can improve, etc.  I am always a work in progress.
  3. Prepare myself for Fall: There are new beginnings happening in the fall.  I need to prepare myself as much as I can for the changes ahead.
  4. Resources: Ensure I have the resources I need to accomplish what I want to.
  5. Relationships: Continue to invest in the relationships I have and build new ones.
  6. Next step: Keep working towards the next step in my life, whatever that may be–grad school, career, etc.
  7. Stay positive: Re-frame, re-frame, re-frame! #CBT

My Recovery Journey: Four Years Later

Four years ago today I was returning home following my second stay in residential treatment.  Today I am at the ICED conference preparing to network, learn, and figure out a next step in my life as I navigate working as a professional in this field.  It is incredible to look back each and every year and realize the changes that I have made and the hurdles I have overcome.  None of it was easy, some of it was incredibly painful and hard, but it has all been worth it to get to this point.  If I have made it this far in four years, I can only imagine where I will be in four more.

I hope that you, too, celebrate each and every accomplishment.  You are worth it.

6 Goals for 2016

Hello again!  Forgive me for my absence.  The last 8 months or so have been hectic and crazy with a lot of change and transition going on in my life.  Time to get back to some blogging.

It is nearly the end of the year now and that means it is time for me to set some goals for the new year.  It is something I have been doing for many years now and I love doing it.  It keeps me focused on what I want to achieve and the things I am still striving towards.

Since it is about to be 2016, let’s do 6 for ’16!

  1. Write: I am really striving to write more.  I got out of the rhythm of blogging and let other things get in the way of it.  In 2016, I am going to make it a top goal to keep blogging, journaling, and tweeting.
  2. Work through my issues: I have things to work on—everyone does.  As with every year, I really want to keep working as hard as I can to overcome my issues.  I have confidence in myself.  I know I can do this.
  3. Continue and finish re-organizing my space: I finally have some new pieces for my space that I have needed desperately.  Now it is up to me to put it all together.  I really want to accomplish this and make my space even more my own and workable.
  4. Graduate school applications: I am finally going to apply to graduate school in 2016.  It will be a full-year commitment to get everything together to apply.  I have some of it done already, but there is still more to go.  Fingers crossed!
  5. Create a backup plan: If not graduate school, then what?  If I do not get in, what will be my next move?
  6. Keep reaching towards my goals: Sometimes I get really down on myself because I believe that I am not good enough for this or that, but I need to keep in mind that I am.  I need to keep reaching towards the things that I want instead of allowing other things to get in the way.

What are your goals for 2016?

Happy (almost) New Year everyone!

Gratitude: Change/Transition

I am regaining my ground.  I am connecting with others.  I have joined a group.  I have even cut my hair and styled it ever so slightly differently.  It is an all-around change to my life.

I was inspired after my last post at the ocean to begin keeping busier and start changing with the change instead of against it.  Amazing how much better that has worked!  I am actually enjoying some of the change (especially my hair) rather than dreading the lot.

Nothing is perfect, nothing ever is, but it is better.  Things are better.  For that I am grateful.  Grateful to be able to spend time with friends.  Grateful to not be sick.  Grateful that I have such an amazing support system.  Grateful that I am coping okay with these changes and transitioning better than I was.  Grateful that with change I am learning I can do anything and overcome anything.  Grateful that I am in recovery, for which I am always grateful.

Hopefully soon I will write a proper post with an update on what I have been up to.  Until then, remember that change is not the end of the world.  Change is hard and it really sucks sometimes, but it also can be good and you never know what it can bring.  Give change a chance?

Keep up recovery, warriors!