Many people know about being afraid to fail. But what if you’re afraid to succeed? (or even more fun, have both).
So how does that work?
Well you do something and you notice you can do this. But if you manage to really pull it off, it will mean that people will have new expectations for you and next time you’ll have to be on par to meet those or even better surpass at those too. Que the stress.
I notice i am doing this yet again, in two instances even. I tried the test questions of the EDX course i’m doing and it didn’t go too bad. It went better than expected even. So now i can do the real homework test, right? Nope, i notice i have been looking for all kinds of excuses to not do them. Because if i manage to do those and succeed, it means that people will expect me to take on even more difficult stuff of which i’m really not sure i can do it.
Which is absolutely not true, this is my head screaming this at me.
Same with trying to get down to 79 kilos. The moment i get to 80 something Mister Sabotage sets in and i have tons of candy so i will not reach my goal weight. This is so tiresome. At least now i -know- that i’m doing this but breaking this circle is extremely hard.
After putting it off for a few hours (omg i have to clean, i have to clean my cats, i have to dye my hair) I started on the first practice questions of my homework. I expected it to be horrible. I never had this kind of physics at school and though the examples did make sense in a way, it’s different when you have to make those equations yourselfs.
So i got ready to haul through it in the long run.
It was indeed quite complicated, but I noticed that i can actually do this. Sure i have trouble with knowing which equations are for what, but that was to be expected. Filling them in and actually solving them was a lot more easy than i anticipated. I have the feeling i can actually do this, that this is not some ultimately crazy idea that i could finish this course.
Part of me is still going “WTF brain, you actually get this? whoa!” and than the giggling starts.
So what is it that i did yesterday?
Calculate distance, flux (redshift) and radius of stars and galaxies.
How awesome is that!
For a long time the Universe has been a great interest of mine. It started when I was a small kid and my parents had one of those big books that come with the encyclopedia. It was about the earth and the solar system and I loved it. The next one was about mysteries and planets and UFO’s.
Than for a long time I didn’t do anything with it, until I found an interest again in atheist groups and watched youtube movies about the big bang and evolution theory.
I always loved Carl Sagan and read the most popular book of Stephen Hawking. I followed the work of Brian Cox, Neil Degrasse Tyson and Lawerence Krauss (I even named one of my cats after the latter: Krausje).
I have t-shirts with 100% recycled stardust on it. I took up the plan to go visit CERN next year.
It took a nice long conversation with a friend at a bar to finally pull me over a threshold that I had put up for myself. Insecureties if I would be able to do it. Could I pull it off?
So I enrolled in a course of Astrophysics of the Australian National University (by the website EDX <3 ) And it's awesome! The hard part is the math and the physics. I graduated math in highschool but only had 2 years of physics and it's almost 30 years ago. The symbols and numbers and making my head spin and are the real challenge here. I'm hitting the first homework part now and i'm terrified. My head keeps screaming "i can't do this it's too long ago, there's so many numbers and symbols and it's all garglethingy aaaaahhhhh!" So i take a deep breath and start at the beginning, and again.. and again.. and again.. until all those funny symbols and numbers start to make sense. In the mean time i feel like crying but i keep telling myself that i can do this, because you know, I can! Fuck you little voice in my head!
I don’t have a drivers license so I don’t have a car. This means i’m very reliant on my bike. I bought it when I moved here from Rotterdam and it has served me well so far, until a few months ago. The axl in the hind wheel (is that proper english? no idea) sort of gave out. I looked stuff up on youtube and took it appart. Cleaned it, put it together. It lasted about 2 weeks, than broke down again. I took appart the axl of my “spare bike” (as in spare parts, the front fork had broken some time ago). Cleaned it, replaced stuff, serviced it (with grease and all) and it was okay. Better than okay really, it ran smoothly for the first time in ages.
Until I noticed the hind wheel is wobbling so I tightened it up. And now it’s already wobbling again.
Tomorrow I’m going back to work after the holidays and part of me is just terrified that my bike will break down on my way there and that i’ll have to walk and be late. So today i have to fix it and part of me is terrified that i’ll break it even further. So either sollution (do something or do nothing) is making me anxious and it’s just stupid.
I looked it up, i know exactly what i need to do to fix this wobbling thing and i have the tools to do so. Still I’m anxious but I try to not get angry at me for feeling like that, because that will only make it worse and will make sure i will not fix my bike today.
Sometimes i really… really hate my head.
When the days become shorter again, my emotional well-being is being challenged more and more. I feel like everything is costing me so much more extra energy to do. Lately I have noticed that even during the summer I have more “off days” than I used to. Days where I have the feeling the ground is made up of sucking mud in which I sink to my knees and than try to walk forwards, trying to do the stuff I want or need to do in a day.
When the weather is nice in the summer, it helps me to try and pull myself out of such a mood or at least still get some stuff done, but if there’s rain or the weather is just really dreary it gets harder and harder. I notice stuff in my house not getting done beyond the basics, which is feed myself and feed my cats. Bags from weekends away are still in my hallway, not yet unpacked. Laundry is not being done.
The more I have the feeling that I should be doing all that stuff, the more energy it seems to take. It’s amusing to notice that part of me is longing for the faster paced life when my work starts again next week.
I was talking to a colleage the other day. Talking about age and how that matters. We agreed that even though we both don’t feel old, we wouldn’t want to be young at this current time.
Imagine you missed the 80’s. Seriously. That’s a time period I wouldn’t have wanted to miss and the awesome and wrong and cool and bad and sweet music.
I <3 facebook, really I do most or some of the time. I have many people on it that i met through travelling, family from all over the world, local colleages, old friends, larpers from all over the country and now all over the world even. I love to see what keeps people busy, how they are doing and sometimes what they are doing. I like to try and cheer people up when i see they're meeting challenges and congratulate them with birthdays and milestones. I use the <3 more than i use the thumb. I love me some cat and panda pics and movies once in a while.
And i absolutely hate facebook. I hate the adverts, i hate the millions of shares of stupid “wisdom quotes”. By now i think i have blocked more than 10,000 websites and groups and I’m adding to that about 5-10 more every day. I hate the like and share fake actions that people still fall for, thinking they’re really going to win this kitchen, camper, car, bathroom, loungeset or whatever it is, this time. No you won’t, it’s all fake and it’s all a scam. I hate how easy it is to share fake news and hoaxes and how no one seems to take time to check a moment if something is even true. I hate how there still seem to be people who think that if they see it on facebook it must be true. I hate how so many shared things hit people in the underbelly and before you know it, it goes viral.
Oh and how much do i hate the tests. Those are the sites i, for some reason, cannot block so i keep seeing them. They’re fake, they’re stupid and they’re clickbait, worded in a way that you have to show that you are indeed smarter than everybody else if you have (almost) all of the answers correct. And people fall for it and give those sites access to way too much information.
If i could have one request of my friends… less quizzes and tests, more sharing of personal (creative) projects. <3
With all the stuff going on in the world and with me personally, I noticed that I wanted something more than just some facebook posts to write about this. There is so much on my mind and at times I feel so angry, sad, helpless, worried and frustrated that I’m carving out this little corner of the web again to see if it helps me to let go of those feelings if i write some stuff down.
So, welcome back to my little soapbox. You don’t need to agree with me and with my viewpoints, polite discussion is welcome but make sure to always carefully build your arguments, do your research and never come to me with “i feel it’s like this so you’re wrong and I’m right.”
I’m heavy on the Geek stuff, I’m an Atheist Feminist and very strong minded and opinionated. I <3 science and politics. If you're still not bored after reading all of that, be my guest to read my updates.
The site itself is a work in progress, incorperating old content with a new skin and such, old features which don’t work anymore. It’ll be a while before everything works perfectly.
ps. 17 years of blogging (on and off) are posted here openly. I have been through hell and back in that time and there’s quite a bit of drama, emo and other stuff I left in the past. I don’t delete it because it’s a part of me and who I have become. Read at your own risk.
So i have this goal for the spring, as i want to do the 7km strong viking.
Over the summer, due to some stress and such my weight went up from 77 to 82kg. Nothing too shocking but i’m not happy with it. I want to get it down a bit more over the winter but i notice i’m struggling.
Not the normal food, i eat healthy and balanced. It’s the sweets. And i know what the problem is. If it’s in the house i’ll eat it. Where in the past i could buy 1 serving packed things and keep to 1 serving it seems i just can’t do it right now. So the moment to battle this is in the supermarket. Obviously i have to not buy it for quite some time until i know i’m strong enough to not eat it. Now there’s a challenge.
I also notice that with my very physical work now and the days that i don’t work but walk a lot, my calories are going all over the place. So i have decided to go for a static 2000 calories a day and not log any activities and see how that goes. Than i’ll have a better understanding how much calories my body needs.
Needless to day i find it hard. I’m struggling but the only way i can get past this is to be honest about it and battle it, because i don’t ever want to be big like i used to again… ever.
Two years ago on my 40th birthday i was at the doctor’s office. I wanted to check if it was alright to start doing some sports with that weak knee that i have. It seemed all okay and he just wanted to take my bloodpressure in the end.
It was high.. not extremely but given my age if it would progress like that it would become a very serious problem. So to see what i was at healthwise i had to get some tests done. Bloodwork, sugarlevels, kidney function, potassium levels, cholesterol, the whole shebang.
I was very nervous when i got the results. They were surprising.
They were all allright, some even bordering normal healthy regions, which was actually very good for someone who weight 112.6 kg (248lbs). So my bloodpressure (which was 146/95) was the only problem. He spoke the magical words “sure i can give you a pill, but i believe that if you lose some weight you’ll be just fine”.
So i told him “than that’s what i’ll do”.
Two years later, my weight on my birthday was 80.6kg (177lbs) and my bloodpressure 116/85.
The majority of the weight i lost in the first year. In the spring i was at my lightest, 77kg (170lbs). The weightloss was such a journey. Learning about nutrition, which was so valuable, as i can admit that i’m a comfort eater. When i get stressed i turn to food or more specifically to candy.
Especially in the last year the true transformation began. There were things i wanted to do, goals i wanted to achieve.
I walked 1900km in one year mainly due to Ingress, the game i started in september 2014.
I did my first 5k. Sure i walked but that doesn’t matter. It was the color run here in Bergen op Zoom and it was awesome. I did the Eifel tower by stairs, together with Nadia when we were in Paris. 704 steps up.. and down.
I did the 4 days of evening walks (avond 4 daagse) 10km together with Alice. Blisters.. mainly due to not having the right kind of shoes.
It was time for a new goal, so I registered for a Strong Viking Obstacle color run. My mom gave me a membership for the gym, because this was something i knew i needed to actually train for. I started going to the gym and surprised myself with how fit i had become.
Than, two weeks before the run i decided it was time to push through my fear of running. My fear that my knee would buckle or that i just wasn’t in the right shape to run.
So i ran. I did it. When i stopped i cried.
The viking run i ran the biggest part where it was possible to run. It was awesome. Turns out my weakness isn’t my legs, it’s not even my knee (while it did take me 3 days to recover from the race). It was my upper torso and arm strength compared to my current weight.
So i have my work cut out for me in the gym to prepare for the strong viking i want to do in the spring.
That’s the physical stuff. What i tell friends is that it feels like i have been given this new body and that i’m finding out what the boundries are and to which extremes i can push it. I’m still surprised just how far i can push it and that feels very amazing.
But the biggest change didn’t happen physically. Sure that’s the part that’s visable at the outside, but i wouldn’t have been able to do this if i hadn’t changed on the inside.
I’m terrified to fail. It’s such a crippling fear that i sabotage myself to even start to do some things. I needed a complete new mindset and learn to love myself with my imperfections. Going from “I can’t do this, so i won’t even try” to “not sure if i can do this but i’ll try and see how far i get”. It got me very.. very far. completing goals and surprising myself. Sometimes i fell flat on my face.
Like last sunday. It was T-sessie and i had set myself the challenge to sing “rolling in the deep” by adele. A complex song, which i know i would be able to sing voice wise but honestly i didn’t really know the song well enough.
So i did it anyway and it was a humbling experience. It taught me that the base is there and yeah i can do it but to actually sing that song on stage i need practice both with the song and my voice. So that’s how i filed that experience away, people still told me they thought it was great. I sang “nobody’s wife” and “proud mary” that afternoon too and just killed it, blowing people away. That was awesome, but what i take away from that t-session is knowing what i can still work on and i don’t feel bad at all that “rolling in the deep” didn’t go that well, because i still tried.
What would happen in the past is that i would use this to torment myself for a long time to come. That i sucked and probably just should never get back on the stage again because i would want to spare the people seeing me fail.
Another big change this year has been that i do have paid work now. It started with me entering a re-integration project which due to some stuff not being clear and me not knowing what to expect that i had a lot of stress over the summer. How i tried to cope with that was another educational experience. I fell back in old patterns and turned to candy. That’s why i gained 5kg over the summer. I have been trying to navigate my coping mechanisms to find one which would work for me and not result into weightgain. I’m still working on that. It’s probably the hardest challenge of them all.
My food is good, healthy and of good variety. My excersize is too. Now this last thing, if i manage to overcome this i know i will never go back to that old weight.
Having work that’s very physical helps. Walking and lifting many things and not as much as a single muscle ache. I work 20-25 hours a week, which is not enough to be out of welfare yet, but it’s a start. Moneywise i’m doing fine, i have learned to get by of this amount and i have a very good contact person at the welfare office who’s very proud of me that i came this far. She knows that I need time to get used to working these hours before i try and work enough to completely be out of welfare. Small steps.
And while this work is alright, i know it’s not what i want to do in the future. I actually found out what i want to become when i grow up.
So that’s up next for this upcoming year. I need to finish my course for nutrition specialist and see if i can manage to completely get out of welfare. Keep track of that balance between work and things at home and my food so none of them slip away.
I am so proud of myself.