Tag Archives: confession

Job Fears

One of the reasons that I am sort of looking for jobs but not actually is because I am afraid. The main source for my fear is: what would happen if I had an internship repeat? Would I relapse into depression and essentially do nothing at work? Could I function with the continual reminder of my internship when a similar situation would happen?

As many of you know, my experience on my internship wasn’t the best. I had a personality conflict with my supervisor that I thought was entirely my fault, I didn’t really get the training I needed so I had no idea what I was doing and wasn’t comfortable with what I did know, all the change in my life left me sleepless and eventually everything became too overwhelming and depression hit. Part of the time I couldn’t work,  I didn’t know how or I didn’t want to. This obviously affected the amount and quality of work that I did. Compared to the other interns, I felt like such a failure and ashamed of the paltry things I did work on.

Since I view my internship as a failure, it’s really difficult to speak positively about it to my friends and family, let alone someone in a job interview. This in itself plants a lot of doubt – if I was such a delinquent in my internship, how could I be any better at Company Z?

A weird and neat thing is that there has been a similar situation that parallels my fears and doubts about jobs: in my last photography course, Scenic and Wildlife Photography.

I really enjoy taking pictures of animals, macro-esque shots and closeups of nature, but taking photos of landscapes in the way that our instructor wanted them really stressed me out. I felt really overwhelmed and unsure of how to take a good landscape photo in my instructor’s eyes, as even though we were given a sheet telling us how to get everything is focus for various focal lengths. It probably doesn’t help that when we showed our initial landscape photos, when I showed the photo of Mount Assiniboine the instructor commented: “Since there is no foreground, it’s like the photo someone’s clueless uncle would take and cut everyone off at the knees.” To be honest, I was a bit crushed as I thought it was a really nice photo and that my photography skills would be better than someone’s clueless uncle. (I know taking criticism to heart is another issue I need to work on!)

As part of the course we had to create a slideshow that told a story. I went out to the mountains one day, only to have it end up snowing, which means poor visibility = can’t see the mountains = no great mountain shots. Then, when Mr. Bean and I went out to Canmore for his Christmas party, I tried to take more photos, but it ended up snowing again. So, trying to make lemonade out of the lemons I had been given, I made my slideshow on “Snow in the Mountains.” I thought it was pretty nice – I timed the music to how intense the snow was falling and had a few really nice close up shots. I was getting really anxious as mine was looking like it was the last to be played and so many of my classmates had amazing panoramas and other shots. After mine was played, what did the instructor comment on? How my slideshow was a good example of how you can’t use weather as an excuse not to go out taking photos. I’m not sure why, but this really discouraged me. Everyone else got comments about their favourite and good shots except for me!

After finishing the course, my desire to do photography was pretty low. I felt that all my photos were terrible, especially compared to the amazing ones that some people in my class took. This attitude continued for a while as when I would actually take photos, none of them were anything special. I just felt so discouraged and thought about how I didn’t know whether I could actually continue on with this photography thing.

Last Thursday night as we were gathering before being sent out to take photos, I was getting really nervous. What will I take photos of so that they’ll be different from others? What if none of my photos turn out? What if … this? What if that? I didn’t believe that I could do it at all let alone well. So, in my state, I went to the farthest place that I could see that none of my classmate were around. A bit of a coward’s move, but when I’m doubting myself, the last thing I want to be is around other people lest they clue in on my insecurities.

Of course, unsurprisingly, after I started taking photos and really looking around, I was having too much fun to think about how I couldn’t possibly take any good photos. I even got so distracted that poor Mr. Bean waited for me for over 15 minutes past the time we had arranged to get me at. When I got home, I looked at my photos and felt like I really had accomplished something and was proud of my work.

I still have fears for the uncertainty of what I will do with photography in my future, but I do feel that I am becoming a better photographer and there is hope for me yet.

I feel like I’m still in the discouraged “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do this” phase in regards to my job search. Unfortunately, a simple photo session won’t help to assuage many of my fears and doubts regarding working as an engineer. I know that I am working on this and similar issues in counselling, but I still feel that I have a long way to go.

Anyways, if you made it this far, I want to give you a gold star and my sincere gratitude for hearing me out. Thank you!

How do you deal with self doubt?

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Filed under Thoughts

Confessions

1. I totally didn’t melt the bottom of our kettle pad thing by turning on the stove element it was sitting on. My kitchen also didn’t fill up with nasty black plastic smoke. (I really need to work on the whole smoke free kitchen thing.)

2. My favourite thing about the Pundit Kitchen website is totally not Vladurday. I don’t find them hilarious for no reason at all.

This is definitely not my favourite and I don’t want you to imagine saying it with a Russian accent:

I also didn’t hang it on the wall of my office on my internship. Not at all.

3. The hard drive on my lappy (laptop) totally did not die. It totally didn’t send me through the stress wringer because I thought I had lost everything. It didn’t take two days to get a new hard drive installed and all the files recovered (Praise the Lord!) onto a new external hard drive where I spent half of the time praying that my photos and other things would be recovered.

4. I totally did not wonder if my Halloween costume was less skimpy that my friend’s because it was so short (short for me anyways. For the record I did end up having more on because her costume was backless. :P)

5. I also totally didn’t ride my bike to the farmer’s market and stuff my pannier bag with 10 lbs of carrots.

What have you totally not done recently?

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Filed under Life

My Kitchen Flops

Today, Lauren from Celiac Teen posted about some of her recent kitchen flops and I thought that I would follow suit. I’d like to pretend that I have a perfect record when it comes to kitchen successes, but that’s far from the truth.

I’ve had a quite a few flops before. The first two were in food classes in grade school with wheat flour – I once made green, playdough tasting hard-as-a-rock blueberry muffins and another time tried to make cupcakes that didn’t have enough flour and ended up being a caved in mess with some weird lace-like structure. Yummy. It’s safe to say that I didn’t receive a decent grade on either attempts.

With my somewhat selective memory (ahem :P) I have forgotten most of my gluten-free flops and/or someone in my family was willing to eat them. The ones I can remember best are all having to do with icings. I know that I probably should have thrown each icing out and started over, but I have this stubborn streak that urges me to try to fix things instead of giving up.

First, I tried to make a meringue buttercream icing, but I didn’t let the sugar/egg mixture cool enough before adding the fat and used margarine instead of butter. This resulted in a very margarine tasting (olive oil margarine nonetheless) icing that had a layer of oil underneath. Yuck. I still iced a cake with it but thinking back on it, that’s just gross.

The second is when I tried to make this coconut cream icing from Elana’s Pantry. I ran out of agave nectar part way and used honey instead. You’re supposed to freeze it for a while and then whip it up. Mine would not solidify and stayed sludgy despite how long I froze it and would not whip up. Whoops!

The third is when I decided to use light cream cheese instead of regular in a cream cheese icing. I didn’t soften it enough and it was having little cream cheese clumpies that wouldn’t beat out. I thought that well, if I soften it a bit, then it should work. I couldn’t stick it in the microwave given that it was in a metal bowl, so I decided to stick it in the oven for a few minutes. Stupid idea. The chunkies did soften up or melt, but the icing would not thicken despite sticking almost a kilogram (2 lbs) of icing sugar in it. It thickened up a bit, so I poured it over the cake I had made and had to wipe the edges of the plate as it slowly flowed off the plate before it was eaten.

There’s also the time that I made these sugar cookies and decided that I should use olive oil instead of melted butter. Not recommended.

Have you had any kitchen flops? What happened?

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Filed under Baking, Food

This Whole Time Management Thing…

I am not as good as I want to be at time management. There, I said it. What about you? Lately, it seems that time management is taking over my life and I’m not sure if I like it or not. Between 5 courses and the associated workload (= lots. All fourth engineering students nod their heads), trying to make time for God, Mr. Bean and my family, ballroom dancing lessons, two different bible/book studies, church duties, exercise, preventing my house from becoming like a bomb blast, counselling, trying to keep my sanity and stress levels low(ish) while preventing any kind of depressive or anxious episode, and writing in my blog let alone commenting, I’m pretty busy. Oh yeah, I have to remember to be a social being somewhere in there as well. (Can you tell which one falls to the wayside first? haha.)

Last time I saw my counsellor, he challenged me to come up with a system to manage my time so that I don’t stress out as much and fall down the slippery slope of negative mood swings. (like two weeks ago, which I really don’t want to repeat.) I haven’t really, so I need your help. Especially since I see him tomorrow – procrastination anyone?

I realize that I could spend lots of time scouring the interwebs on tips for time management, but I thought that it might be fun to ask all of you: What are your best tips for time management? How do(n’t) you effectively manage your time?

Please, do help a student out! I guess it’s time to stuff in some separation questions before bed. ;)

Please note that I do have a day timer, which is quite helpful for keeping track of when things are – Meeting with design project supervisor tomorrow – check, midterm and quiz on Thursday – check! But I have difficulty keeping track of all the tasks that I need to do. I usually end up writing them on a random piece of paper that gets lost in all the mess that equals my desk or kitchen table. Help?

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Filed under School

Chocolate, How I love(hate) you.

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I have an announcement to make: I am giving up chocolate. Wait, what? There’s a good reason. Or a few of them, unfortunately.

I’ve been experiencing a fair amount of stress in the last+ month – my report, my presentation, my job interview and now my last performance evaluation. When I’m stressy, I want to eat chocolate – what sane woman wouldn’t? Unfortunately, chocolate doesn’t always reciprocate my love for it as either the overabundance of dairy (in white chocolate) or the caffeine (in dark chocolate) gives me a headache and makes me tired, two of my classic allergic reactions to food I’m intolerant to. I usually eat milk chocolate as it’s the best (worst?) of both worlds.

But, the combination of chocolate and stress = face deciding to have a flashback to angsty teenage years. I’ve been breaking out and I hate it.

So what can I do about it? I have a pretty solid skin regime (cetaphil, benzoyl peroxide & dove non-comedogenic sensitive skin moisturizer, thanks the that acne guy) and my stress should be reducing shortly (last day of work on Friday! woo!) So all that is left to take into consideration is my diet. I usually eat pretty healthily because I can’t process much fat/processed foods/etc. Except for chocolate. Unfortunately that fat’s got to go somewhere (and it isn’t just my waistline!)

Thus, I made the hard decision to cut chocolate out of my diet, at least until my face calms down. Wish me luck! I guess I’m going to be getting my endorphins solely from exercise.

Chocolate, I’m going to miss you. Especially those tasty peanut butter cups I made for Mr. Bean

What do you do when you have a break out?

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Filed under Life