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Still Kicking

I hate that the default page my WordPress account takes me to when I click on “My sites” is the Stats page. Am I supposed to feel bad that I haven’t written in a while? I actually don’t mind that my viewership has gone down. I guess it works both ways. I haven’t had the motivation to write because too much stuff has been going on in my life outside of blogging and I haven’t been motivated to read and comment on posts of bloggers I like.

Today I got ridiculously excited after spotting a discarded phalaenoposis orchid sitting in a white pot outside a house. It was drenched from overwatering. I took it home with me and as soon as I had time, I started the process of dismantling all the moss its roots were wrapped up in and picking out the remnants with clean tweezers. I am a novice with phalaenoposis orchids and can only call myself as such after many trials of accidentally killing these plants in various ways. This time I was fully prepared to closely look for any signs of illness. It turned out that after getting all the moss out, there were visible black spots on the outer leaves around the crown. I chipped away slowly at the black with my tweezers to see how far in the spots had gone. Luckily they did not rot into the leaves under the outer ones. Rot that goes all the way into the center is a sure death sentence for an orchid.

Tending to a sick plant was fulfilling. It gave me a sense of purpose for a moment in time. In a weird way, I felt needed. I was giving a living thing another chance at life.

I turned 31 in November and I still don’t know the meaning of life. I don’t know what it means to have lived a good life. Every day I get things done and if I feel courageous, I push a little at my boundaries to get out of my comfort zone. Just a few days ago I had my first ever remote interview on Zoom for an internship. It was honestly the scariest thing I have done in a long time. I don’t know how I managed, as I can remember a time months ago when just the thought of logging into Zoom and being seen as a name on the “Participants” list during a class meeting made my stomach clench uncomfortably and I would spend the whole class on edge. Or the handful of times I’ve dared to use my microphone in class; trying so hard not to let my voice shake out of nervousness.

I’m still not over it. I can’t stand the sight of myself on camera so I often use the “Hide Self” feature when I am on camera during my remote therapy sessions. I even do that for my profile picture, which by default appears on screen above my name as an icon when I have my camera off. When I first started “seeing” the therapist I have now, I could only do text-based sessions with him on Zoom, where we would write in the chat box. Then he suggested we could try having our cameras on for one session. I didn’t say yes right off the bat. It took some time before I felt ready to try. That first time being on camera, my gosh, it was like being on the verge of death for every second that passed. And for every session since then, I’ve had my camera on. The whole point of this exercise was to give me exposure to an uncomfortable situation so over time I could learn to be uncomfortable but not totally overwhelmed. Progress was slow though it’s been good.

If you read my last post, I mentioned getting a remote internship. I have yet to start that one, mainly because of scheduling issues with other members of the project. We were all supposed to meet on Zoom to discuss our research plan but haven’t collectively figured out a date and time where we are all available to meet.

As for the internship I was recently interviewed for remotely, that one is an in-person opportunity that I can really want and it will take place in Spring 2021. I will be juggling four college courses in that semester, though I will also have Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the weekends with nothing to do. So I want that productivity even if it is a lot of pressure.

I think that pressure is necessary, too, because I don’t think it’s enough for me to earn bachelor’s degree and expect to find a job after graduation with only that. How many other people in NYC will have the same thing as me and probably more? I need to start building my resume now, even with unpaid work relating to my major to give myself a better chance at standing out among competition. Of course confidence doesn’t come easily. I imagine even if I had lots of work experience under my grasp, I might still feel unqualified for an opportunity I am interested in.

Lastly, I am grateful seasonal affective disorder hasn’t hit me as hard this winter. But I miss those humid, warm evenings where I could leave my bedroom windows open to let the air in. I am tired of seeing the skeletal branches of bare trees and I sigh internally every time the natural sunlight outside starts dimming around 4 pm. Everything out there looks dead and cold but I certainly am not!


Featured photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash.

7 thoughts on “Still Kicking

  1. It is lovely to see you, Nat : D I also have had my WordPress views drop last year as I barely posted and was barely on here. Doubt I will reach previous view numbers consistently again since well, real life is busy. Then again, I am happy with what I put out on my blog and have other reasons to blog and write.

    That must have been so nervy to show your face on Zoom for therapy and for your internship interview. Good luck with that and I hope you get it! I always avoid turning on the camera unless it’s compulsory for work. For all you know the other person is screenshotting your face from their end :/

    Soon spring and summer will come your way. Here in Australia it is summer but it will be cool and there will be dead-looking trees around me soon enough lol 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mabel, it’s always great to hear from you! Blogging really did not come first or even third or fourth on my priority list anymore since like you said, real life is busy. When I have time, I fully intend to catch up on your blog posts. 😊

      Definitely, the first couple of times in therapy with the camera on had me sweating and feeling like a cornered animal that just wanted to flee from the situation. The internship interview scared me more than that because I had to use my microphone at the same time, in addition to dealing with 3 interviewers at once! I had a one-on-one interview with a different organization a few days after this group interview and while I was still scared, I felt I did slightly better since I was speaking to only one person.

      That’s smart to keep your camera off except for necessary reasons. I have a little bit of paranoia about my camera still being “on” even if I have it off so I typically cover the eye of the camera with an eraser or something else that will block the camera from showing anything if it were on. One time I forgot I had the eraser still obscuring me from view during a live class session and I was completely invisible on the Zoom screen except for my designated background, lol.

      I am so jealous you have summer weather!!! I can’t stand the cold and the bare trees with no leaves outside.

      Like

      1. That is good you have had quite a few video and chats online. It sounded like there was a lot of coordination to have three people on the interview panel – and they probably have to sync up for all the interviewees. Quite an effort for them but definitely also good effort on your part for getting through with it.

        Haha I also like to cover my laptop’s camera except when I really need to be on video for work. I like to put a bit of black paper and some tape over it – so when I really need the camera right away I can just pull it off lol. This is partly because I don’t want any spyware or random person spying through my camera, but also don’t want to turn my camera accidentally on at a meeting and not realise it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I imagine conducting interviews when there are multiple interviewers present must not be very fun for the interviewers themselves either. I don’t feel as bad about not earning a spot in their internship program because they were looking to only get 3 people.

        It’s good to use caution to avoid Zoom call snafus. It really would be my worst nightmare to accidentally leave my camera on and allowing people to see me during a private moment, like if I were changing clothes. Ugh!

        Liked by 1 person

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