SarahEmm

About Recent Entries

Project 2009: Year in ReviewDec. 31st, 2009 @ 08:45 pm
At the end of 2008, I started a project to "keep working on taking chances, speaking my mind, and not trying to fit into how everyone sees me just because I'm scared of what they'll think of me if I don't act like they think I should". I didn't know if it would continue past the first month or two, I didn't know if I would get anything major done, but I was starting to learn to be myself at that point, and had just missed an event I wanted to go to on new year's eve because I had kept quiet and not spoken up about it, and was determined not to let that happen again.
The project turned out better than my wildest dreams, and I managed to keep it going all year, doing tons of new scary things that I wanted to do, despite worries that other people wouldn't approve or that I might not succeed at them or that "I'm not the kind of person that does that". I've posted monthly summaries at the end of every month, and every one of them has had at least a couple things on it that were a big deal for me and that I wouldn't have done before this year.
Here's my summary of the biggest things I managed to do each month!

Summary cut because it's really long! Yay!Collapse )

For 2010? I'm going to make a post tomorrow outlining my plans, because I'm running out of time for tonight and wanted to get this summary up as close to one year from the Project 2009 kickoff post as I could. They'll be very similar to Project 2009, but with a few tweaks from things I've learned over the past year.

For tonight? I'm going to a rave at the same location organized by the same group that did the one I missed on new year's last year, because I didn't speak up and say I (really) wanted to go. I've been having huge anxiety issues the last few months around social events, but I'm trying some new strategies tonight that I hope will help. Project 2009 comes full-circle tonight, with luck. :)
Current Mood: extremely accomplished!

Project 2009: December Status ReportDec. 31st, 2009 @ 06:49 pm
At the end of 2008, I posted about wanting 2009 to be about doing new scary things that I'd been scared to do in the past. As part of that, I'm posting a 'status update' at the end of each month. Here are the things I've done for Project 2009 in December:
  • Went to our last lead climbing class, became lead certified at Rock Oasis and started lead climbing!
  • Met my new driving instructor and had my first lesson with him. Went well!
  • Met a climber I've been tweeting with for a few months and climbed with him at Rock Oasis
  • Scheduled and attended my first (and second, and third) appointment with a new electrologist, and got back into weekly electrolysis. Ow, but yay soooo much for making more progress.
  • Went to thedoh's work holiday party! Was extremely stressful at first, but her CEO came up to me and started talking to me shortly after I managed to get in, which calmed me down. Had a good time! :)

Goals for the next month:
  • Get bloodwork done again so I can up my dose of estrogen further! I couldn't do this in December due to doctor scheduling around the holidays.
  • Get a referral from my GP to my audi so I can get a new hearing test and new earmolds made. Also couldn't do this one in December due to doctor scheduling.
  • Go file whatever last divorce paperwork there is.
  • Go to a New Model Circus Army jam and meet other spinners.
  • Re-book the last of my lessons with my new driving instructor.
Current Mood: accomplished

Lead climbing class!Dec. 19th, 2009 @ 11:11 pm
lisanys and I had been talking about learning to lead climb for awhile now, and just over a month ago decided to learn. A couple months after I started climbing regularly I figured that once I could climb 5.10a I would consider myself ready to start working on leading, and I'd accomplished that a few months back now. We signed up for lessons at Rock Oasis (our normal climbing gym) and our first lesson of two was a month or so ago.

Long details of lead climbing lessons cutCollapse )
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Current Mood: excited

Project 2009: November Status ReportDec. 4th, 2009 @ 08:03 pm
At the end of 2008, I posted about wanting 2009 to be about doing new scary things that I'd been scared to do in the past. As part of that, I'm posting a 'status update' at the end of each month. Here are the things I've done for Project 2009 in November:
  • Became a member of Hacklab.TO (yay!)
  • Called my audiologist (finally) and talked to them, looks like I need a new referral as it's been a couple years, so I need to talk to my GP next to get a referral.
  • Got blood drawn for labwork! This is really hard for me, but did it quickly and being there was nearly a non-issue. Yay!
  • Talked to my GP about HRT dosing, and managed to get on a somewhat higher dose. It's still way too low (grr) but it's better than it was before. Another month of this, then get labwork done again and see...
  • Went back to Sheena's after a few months away. Was good to be back, though scary. Will likely keep going once a month or so for the next little while.
  • Talked to CRA about my taxes, they're still in the processing queue, and the queue is closer to a year now instead of 6 months. The answer was, basically, just keep waiting.
  • Went to our first lead climbing class at Rock Oasis. We've been mock-leading (on toprope but carrying/clipping a lead rope to get used to clipping) ever since, and it's lots of fun! Our next/last class will be week after next, and we'll learn to fall and belay and do all the other actual-leading stuff. Exciting/scary!

Goals for the next month:
  • Get bloodwork done again so I can up my dose of estrogen further!
  • Go file whatever last divorce paperwork there is.
  • Get a referral from my GP to my audi so I can get a new hearing test and new earmolds made.
  • Go to a New Model Circus Army jam and meet other spinners.
  • Go to our last lead climbing class.
  • Re-book and finish my remaining driving lessons (as my instructor retired and my remaining ones were cancelled).

The next status report will be the final 2009 one! I'll be doing a normal December one, plus a year-in-review one. I'll also have to start thinking about what to do next year, if I want to modify what I've been doing at all or keep the same kind of format and monthly checkins.
Current Mood: pleased

Project 2009: October Status ReportNov. 4th, 2009 @ 09:35 pm
At the end of 2008, I posted about wanting 2009 to be about doing new scary things that I'd been scared to do in the past. As part of that, I'm posting a 'status update' at the end of each month. Here are the things I've done for Project 2009 in October:
  • Visited Hacklab.TO on one random day, then on an Unpatched Tuesday. Planning to become a member there in the near future, hopefully. Nifty people and a nifty environment! :)
  • Got over my fear of falling in a major way climbing, and proceeded to send a number of 5.10a and a couple 5.10b routes. Having a lot more fun climbing and doing a lot better at it now that I'm climbing at/near my physical limits instead of being limited by mental ones.

Goals for the next month (I fell behind on getting goals done in October, need to catch up in November!):
  • Get bloodwork done so I can up my dose of estrogen!
  • Talk to CRA and try to figure out what's going on with my tax stuff. I was told around the beginning of the year there was a ~6mo backlog, but it's well over 6 months now.
  • Go file whatever last divorce paperwork there is.
  • Talk to my audiologist/dispenser to get my aids cleaned of playa dust and get a new hearing test, and get new earmolds made.
  • Go to a New Model Circus Army jam and meet other spinners.
  • Talk to people about becoming a member at HackLab.TO.
Other entries
» climbing progress!
i overcame a big fear issue last Friday climbing, and it seems to have stuck (at least through Monday's climbing session). I had gotten over a major fear piece a few months back where I had been coming down once getting ~15-20ft up. Since then I had been climbing significantly better, but I was still often coming down because I was too scared to fall while making a hard move high up, rather than trying the move anyway. On Friday I was determined to finish a 5.10b (YDS) route that I had been working on, which meant making a scary move and potentially falling (on top rope, so it's a very short fall). After telling myself this and rehearsing in my head all day Friday, I went and did it! I also climbed a 60ft 5.8 route (I had only ever done 5.6s at the 60ft level because heights still scare(d) me), and some misc. other ones that I'd been scared on.

Yesterday (Monday) I had hoped that I would still be able to climb like I did on Friday, told myself all day that I would be able to, and in the end I did! I worked on (and sent) a new ~5.9 route they put up that is on a surface that's scared me too much to finish routes in the past (it gets slanty in places and it means falls result in some swinging) and worked on/sent another 5.10b (eventually, this one took a long time and a lot of tries at a few hard moves).

lisanys and I had talked about wanting to start lead climbing in the near future, and I got brave and asked about their classes when we were on our way out. We're now signed up on their waiting list, and should be able to do the classes in the next month or so it sounds like. Scary, but very exciting too!

Climbing is a lot more fun when you're not terrified of making the hard moves ;)
Tags:

» Project 2009: Plan A
If Project 2009 has taught me anything so far, it's that I shouldn't be accepting things that are "probably as good as they'll get" if I'm not satisfied with them at that level. In talking to a number of people recently (including my mother on the weekend and my therp today) and doing a lot of thinking, I've realized that a number of my strategies to work with/around spectrumeyness issues are not working as well as they could be. In trying not to let my spectrumeyness affect me/not let it show (i.e. pretending I'm not spectrumey as best I can :P), I'm letting it affect me even worse by not working to improve my strategies. That needs to stop now, and I need to work to get beyond "probably as good as they'll get" and get to a functional level I'm happy with. There are a number of things that I've been avoiding working on over the past while:

Data Input: The easiest one! Work on learning contracted braille more. My uncontracted is good enough to be useful content-reading-wise, but being able to read at least basic contractions would greatly improve my speed (and therefore usefulness). I should be able to work on this by taking content currently in grade 1 and using sed to do single-letter contractions to start, and keep adding more things from there as I get better.

Audio Input/Filtering: Talk to my audiologist/dispenser about getting more occlusive molds to give me better control over sound input (and likely DAI boots for my aids to let me insert sound feeds without the EM interference I get from my earhooks). I need new molds *anyways*, and more occlusive ones would give me a significant advantage over my existing ones control-wise. They may not be the 'best option' for me on paper, but I know myself better than most professionals do. My current BTEs weren't the 'best option' on paper either, but they work 10x better for me than the ITEs that were 'best for me' on paper. If this one takes bringing someone (i.e. lisanys) to help advocate for me, then I need to do so.

Communication I/O (Close People): Take ASL classes again, this time with lisanys. ASL is extremely useful for communication as I can pretty much always use it no matter what state I'm in verbal/nonverbal-wise, and it's also useful in very noisy places and at random other times. I've been really scared to do this for months now, but at the present time I have no idea why that would be. It seems like it should be a good thing and not scary.

Communication Output (Random People): This is the big one, and I have no idea what to do about it. My AAC card pack (set of some preprinted and some blank dry erase cards and a marker I carry everywhere, essentially a more environmentally concious notepad :P) works acceptably for low-bandwidth communications and has served me reasonably well for many years now, but there *has* to be something that would work better than this... I just have no idea how to figure out what that is yet.
» project 2009 review dream!
had a very, very strange dream last night that seems to be my mind reviewing Project 2009. It involved driving, hang gliding (a lot of this), raving (in what i realized upon waking was Casey House's Jarvis street facility basement, where I did a bunch of work ~8 years ago), and getting recruited for the police. The latter isn't part of Project 2009 as far as I'm aware, but the policeman seemed insistent that I join the force, because they had far too many people that wore skirts there now, and they had identified me as a pants-wearer. *giggles* very odd.
The driving, hang gliding, and raving all make sense (stuff I've been doing since starting Project 2009), the latter I'm not sure where it came from. One thing I forgot to add into my Project 2009 update for last month (which has now been edited) was that I wore skirts and dresses on the playa! Burning Man seemed a safer place than pretty much anywhere else to do that, so I did (and am glad i did!). The skirt-related thing is probably because I was wearing skirts/dresses on the playa, but where getting recruited by the police comes from I have no idea...
» Project 2009: September Status Report
At the end of 2008, I posted about wanting 2009 to be about doing new scary things that I'd been scared to do in the past. As part of that, I'm posting a 'status update' at the end of each month. Here are the things I've done for Project 2009 in September (on time for once!):
  • Participated in Burning Man 2009! This was one of the biggest things I had planned for Project 2009, and was really amazing. I still need to write a separate post about this (I will at some point!) but it was amazing and beyond what I could have expected and I miss the playa a lot. Will definitely be returning in 2010.
  • Wore dresses and skirts! The playa seemed like the safest possible place to do so, and it worked out very well. :)
  • Talked to my doctor about my HRT and switched to oral instead of injectable. This gives me more time on Wednesday evenings, yay!
  • Talked to my therapist about dropping down to every other week for the time being. I'm doing well overall lately and would like a bit more time on weekday evenings to do the various things I do now (yay doing things!), so this should help. I now have every other Tuesday evening off, and every Wednesday/Thursday evening off.
  • Emailed my nutritionist to admit I've been having a lot of trouble following my meal plan lately, and am setting up an appointment to go talk to her about strategies to get/stay back on track.
  • Got some poi and started spinning/playing/learning! This was a scary/hard thing for me to do but it's been really awesome and fun! I've spent ~30 minutes a day (except one when it was extremely windy/rainy) spinning since I got them, and am loving it. It's much like climbing in that I'll try to work out a move over and over again, analyzing what parts need to be where at what time, then after the first time I make the move successfully it's just muscle memory and I can repeat it easily.

Goals for the next month:
  • Go file whatever last divorce paperwork there is, as with Burning Man recovery I didn't get a chance to in September.
  • Talk to my audiologist/dispenser to get my aids cleaned of playa dust and get a new hearing test.
  • Go to the next New Model Circus Army jam in a local park next Tuesday and meet other spinners.
  • Visit HackLab.TO at some point and consider becoming a member there.

» Project 2009: August Status Report
At the end of 2008, I posted about wanting 2009 to be about doing new scary things that I'd been scared to do in the past. As part of that, I'm posting a 'status update' at the end of each month. Here are the things I've done for Project 2009 in August (late because of Burning Man):
  • Visited thedoh's parents. I've done this once before, but this time was waaaay less stressy. Had a very good visit, yay! :)
  • Completed most of my in-car driving lessons! I've done lots of in-city driving now, and it's still scary but getting less so.
  • Went to Burning Man! Most of this will be covered in September (as most of Burning Man was in September) but the getting-there part can fall under August. :) I'll try to post a more detailed summary in a few more days when I'm mostly re-adapted to the non-playa world.

Goals for the next month:
  • Now that my divorce is finalized, go file whatever last paperwork there is to get a certificate in case it's needed in the future.
  • Talk to my audiologist/dispenser to get my aids cleaned of playa dust and get a new hearing test.
  • Start getting rid of lots of older computer hardware I'm not using, so as to make room for Living Room 2.0.
  • Talk to my doctor about switching from shots to pills my HRT. As long as my bloodwork results stay good after the change, this should improve my quality of life/amount of spare time/etc. some.
  • Play with poi! This falls under the "scary things that seem nifty to play with but that people like me don't do", so I need to do it ;)

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