Changing Ways

I still remember being a child, and changing my ways for the acceptance of others. Now as I look back, I am quite miffed where this came from. I can’t quite pinpoint where my cognitive self put such ways into place, as all memories I have left of my childhood are those with a sense of inferiority. With an understanding of how our memories have potential to fog over the years and morph into one’s that may not ring true to others experience, who’s to say that my interpretation is not the same as how my family remembers such ideals.

I was a very insecure child growing up. I was a sister to two brothers, and the youngest female cousin in regards to my close relatives. I always found it hard to relate to others during family gatherings. At that time, my family participated in stereotypical gender roles. Female adults in the kitchen preparing the food, while the adult males watched telivision and drank beer. My brothers and the other guys were always rough playing which was not my fancy at that age, and my female cousins having conversations about topics slightly past my years. I recall so badly wanting to be a part of the circle. I was left to the kitchen.

During adolescence, I was a late bloomer. I remember watching my friends filling out into womanhood right before my eyes. The hips, the training bras. Here I was still in my very round silhouette, short surf cut, and as naive as they come. When I complained about my appearance, my mother would comfort me and say tell me that it’s just baby fat, I’ll grow out of it soon. At the time I thought it was all phony baloney. Because I was her offspring, she had to tell me words of comfort. (Now looking back through adult eyes, she was in fact right as always.) Still, the comparison was unavoidable in my eyes.

I spent most of my adolescence struggling so hard to be a part of…..  I’m still not quite sure. I suppose that sense of belonging is what I would word it now. There was a time teen magazines became a focus of mine. It was through those pages that I learned so much about what girls should (Or better yet, what advertising companies want you to) be like.

For whatever reason, I continued to carry these ideals with me throughout my early adulthood. I had spent so much time trying to be the ideal, perfect woman that my conscious had lead me to believe I should be. Trying so hard to maintain the same figure, the looks, and the confidence of one that didn’t belong to me.

I look back now and laugh at how silly I was. Sometimes cry at how sad I was also. To carry such a deformed sense of self for so long. Then I smile. Because that deformed sense of self brought me to embrace the self-awareness that I carry within myself today.

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I Did The Best I Could With What I Had

Maintaining my mental wellness after the birth of my first born was a horrific encounter for myself. Though most have heard the term baby blues, many are not familiar with the diagnosis of postpartum psychosis, let alone can even understand it. The early onset for myself began with unrationed thoughts of accidentally injuring my baby. I developed a fear that my baby would fall out of my arms while carrying him on the stairs of my home. Once that thought like that would fill my mind, I became obsessed with it.

Over the course of a few months many darker visions filled my mind and consumed my entire being, always revolving about the sight of endangering my baby. Terrified of shaking him, there were nights I had to leave my son to cry alone while I sit on the other side of the door crying for him, upset with myself for my inability to comfort him.

At nearly five months postpartum, I had lost touch of my realm. The realization of this came to me after I had wrapped up all the kitchen knives and hid them in the shed. I no longer trusted myself to be capable of keeping this little being alive. I remember my first night in the adult mental health ward after I checked myself in.  I sat on the edge of my bed and sobbed into the arms of two nurses whom held me until the tasty wafer I had been offered melted away. Thankful that the chemicals allowed me to drift off to sleep for two consecutive days.

baby-feetThe result of being heavily medicated while returning home with my baby on my own was a blurry transition. Often I felt as one does when descending into a dream while still being able to hear the world around you from afar. Everything I performed felt mechanical as though I were on autopilot. I had lost any relatable connection from my son. (Though, I’m not quite sure I had even established a healthy one due to the rough conditions at the start of our relationship.) I felt so distant to him and extremely lost as a parent, I didn’t know how to be one.

Eight years later, I am far from this place I have described. At times it is still a struggle for myself in the maintenance of  a consistent bond with my oldest. These occurrences bring me back to the guilt of our unwell postnatal past. Or maybe it is a battle of my own now. The battle to learn to appreciate that I am capable of providing my children with more than the basics of life, but one full of love, hope, safety, and strength.

Where the Intention Will Reside.

 

(Please note this blog is not a complete continuation of my previous. These words are more of a free flow compared to my last writing and a bit more of an introduction to myself.)

I am a single mother of two elementary school aged children and a full time student, currently in my second semester at college of a five semester program. Many people thought I was crazy for tackling a career change at this stage in my life. Not because of my age, but because of all the other stress and demands that were already filling my time. Though to me, the thought of continuing to live my life in the limbo that is was became too much to bare. How was I to move ahead with my life if I didn’t initiate it myself?

My current career was no longer working for my family. I needed a change and I was mentally prepared for this new chapter in my life. Or so I thought. Ready for change, yes, very much so. Little was I prepared for the challenges that emotions can be created when difficult times arise. I had underestimated the amount of time management that was involved with juggling parenting responsibilities and student life deadlines.  It wasn’t long before assignments and test prepping started taking over my life in all aspects.

I remember my first breakdown as a mature student. It was midterm week in first semester. I don’t recall the exact moment that my inner world developed into chaos, but I do remember times I would jump out of bed fearing I had overslept from class. My days became mixed up and I started losing track of where I was going. I had lost sight of myself, and started to become obsessed with “doing it right this time around” by setting the bar unrealistically too high for someone in my position.

The emotions that come with motivation and determination to succeed are overwhelming. Full of excitement, self-doubt and guilt. I’ve learned a lot already about the meaning of surrendering to the environment outside the comfort zone, and what well intentions can do for oneself.

There is no guidebook to being the best at your own life. When a new direction is taken, there’s going to be struggles trying to figure it all out. I am still learning to accept that knowing academically what I am capable of is more important than giving up my sanity, sleep and my children’s emotions to prove it. When It comes to self-contentment, I needed to control less, and embrace what I have in front of me.

A Bit About my Community

In this blog I will be disclosing a discourse community that I am a part of that may also give you a bit of insight about myself.  Initially I had in mind that I was going to write about a previous community that I was a part of, Scouts Canada. Though after discussing a bit about myself with my peers in communications lab, they helped me to realize that I am currently in A DC now. With no definitive title, many will certainly recognize, and I guarantee, have been a part of at some point in their lives whether they have realized it or not. The Transitional Community.

The word transition is defined as “the process or period changing from one state or condition to another” by Dictionary.com. It is possible to continually relate this definition to an experience we go through daily, though for the purposes of this DC discussion, I have placed myself in the Transitional Community for a group of people whom are or have endured a significant period of change in their lives.transition

You may have seen posters or advertisements for weekly groups of people whom welcome others to be a part of their groups. What you may not realize, some of these groups could be categorized as a transition group for those that share very similar experiences as one another. (You could call these as sub categories of Transition support groups.)

The sub categorized Transition group I recognize myself with is not one, but a few. In the last few years I have transitioned from a wife to a single mother, moving myself and my children from one province to another, from stay at home mom to full time student. These changes not only affected myself, but my children also. The transition of one life style to another, (for being as young as they are, they knew nothing about life outside where they were brought up.) Not to mention having to make new friends and starting a new school.

For my final article on DC, I will be specifying the aspects of how transition can have a great effect on all areas of your life and those around you. As well, discuss how many people are interrelated in this community and  offer tips of how to become a part it if they wish. Stay tuned!

Persuasive Reflection

Over the course of this semester, I have done more writing than I ever have in the last fourteen years. I mean, plenty. As in I have drained five pens within three months. (Yes, I am quite surprised myself.) And while through this semester, I am confident in confiding that I fell I am now a better writer than I was at the beginning of this school year.

When I first began this communications class I was quite leary about the course content. Some of the topics were not to my liking, and all in all it just felt like A LOT of weekly writing assignments. It was tough to think of things to write about, or if I did come up with feedback or opinins of the topic, it was a struggle to word it to the minimum word requirement. I would spend hours on a three paragraph blog. For a first draft. Yes, first drafts were the worst for me. I found translating my thoughts onto paper (or onto typed screens for that matter) was like pulling teeth for me. Some days it still can be, even. Though as the weeks have progressed and my writing skills have been brushed up from the years gone by, the development has surely improved.

Though I do enjoying writing for the most part, class assigned literature is usually not my forte. I am one for more with a creative writing style. Therefore, in previous years when I was expected to reply to my assignments on a more conservative level…. well let’s just say I ‘bull frogged’ my way through for a majority of it. I expierenced a refreshing surprise when I realized that my personal input was more than welcomed in this in this class. I have been able to better understand the drafting process and its importance on better quality returns. I have also gained a bit of insight about myself as well as my writing style along the was. This has better enabled my writing language to become more clear and easy to present.

Note ‘Blog one’. Even for myself now looking back at it, my response just about put myself to sleep. hearing my ‘voive in this article, i can see the automated response system that i had attained through writing highschool essays. Then moving on to my ‘This i believe article’ as one that Iwas able to writie about anything I felt passionate about. The three drafts I had to endure for that one took less time to do over than writing the initial first blog, one draft short write up.

As we move along through the semester, the balance of my own real opinions and replying to general assignments grew easier. (Noting the difference in voice between Blog 5 in comparison to Blog 1.) The ability to find this balance helped to not just write for the audience, but also for my own self as well.

The utilization of peer review has been a great process to this journey. I am one for the input of outside resources (being classmates for this matter) This has helped  me keep my abstracts in check and keep my topic afloat and on topic for that matter. (Did you see what I did there?) Constructive feeback makes for a great assist for our untrained eye. “I’m not sure the conclusion follows. Fighting our true selves? Identities? These may link to the idea of embracing radical change, but it’s not immediately clear to the audience.” This input has allowed me to see where the tracks need to keep going.

And through this transition, my fingertips are finding the keyboard lighter to navigate. The knowlege of a proper drafting process has become a valuable stratigic accessory in this endeavor. The more thoughts I put down, the easier the next draft develops from those random sentences. In result, returning to update a most recent draft becomes much more of an excitement to see where I will evolve it next!

Blog 5

I have just read Brian Casel’s writing titled, “What the Best Interviewers Get Right”. I will say, it is indeed a good read with a lot of great information enclosed.charlie_rose_interviews_barack_obama However, I’m not too keen on  how holding web interviews could ever successfully work with a result at an expert level. It appears to make for a poor method when it comes to greeting your guest pre interview not to mention very impersonal. When speaking to someone in person as opposed to online you can get a better gauge of body language and make eye contact creating a more intimate setting, as well as preparedness of detecting how your guest is feeling prior to a live show .

Brian references Charlie Rose and Howard Stern in regards to his favourite interviewers. If you are unaware of who these men are, you should know they would be on opposite ends when it come to interviewing styles. However, in saying that I do agree that they are both very talented in this profession. Howard is very much himself with hilarity and has a way of making the guest divulge possibly a little more than they intended. The atmosphere of his radio station is quite relaxed with an abundance of free speech flowing through the room. His space is a feeling of that as though you’re chilling at your buddies house, shooting the shit with each other making it easy for guests to be comfortable as themselves.

Charlie on the other hand is much more conservative than Howard, quite to the point and I think has a bit of a sly side to him keeping guests forgetting to keep on their toes, yet he is soft. The settings are usually more on the straight and narrow, with topics and words much more modified than Howard. He does hold great shows and is a well-liked guy. He tends to reel in guests with more of a political agenda and a style appreciated by the ‘all American’ household.

howard-sternAnd so, using these iconic men as a prime example,  you simply cannot attain a status such as theirs through web interviews. Without the capability to feel the energy in the room as well as to gain experience reading your subjects body language at a pro star level, the development of gaining a status such as theirs is just not feasible.

Blog 4

In this segment I will be sharing my thoughts on whom I feel would be a notable interviewee. I have decided to choose a person from history who has made a significant change to scientific findings in human health; Maurice Ralph Hillman. (August 30th, 1919 – April 11th, 2005)

Hillman was a specialized microbiologist whom dedicated his time in vaccinology. He developed over thirty-six vaccines, including eight that are still routinely recommended today: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pneumonia, meningitis, chicken pox, and haemophilus influenza bacteria.

Mr. Hilleman was the first to produce how the influenza virus mutates and with that he created the vaccine that prevented the Asian Flu outbreak in 1957 from becoming a pandemic like that of the Spanish Flu in 1918 which took 20million people worldwide. He aided in the discovery of the cold-producing adeno – viruses, the hepatitis viruses as well as the first to produce a licensed vaccine against a virally induced cancer. (Marek’s disease, a lymphoma of chickens.) Because of this development, he revolutionized the poultry industry. He has received a special lifetime achievement award from the World Health Organization among many others.

maurice-hillmanIf I had the opportunity to interview Maurice Hillman with just three questions, I would ask, “What motivates you to do what you do?” His focus and determination has stemmed from somewhere. What brought him to vaccinology? Slight life changes and his findings may not exist.

Secondly, “What were some of your unexpected hurdles and unexpected benefits?” How did Hillman make his way to be the 20th century’s leading vaccinologist? Especially in the area of time that he lived, it would be quite interesting to find out how science and mentality of scientists and others had an effect on how he got where he did in his career. Noting his lifetime, he would have lived through the great depression. I’m guessing that was an influence as well.

Lastly, “looking back at the start of your journey, where did you think this career would lead you?” What were his intentions when Hillman choose to go into microbiology? What exactly were his goals? Was his initial desire specifically to find immunity from disease? This would make for a great question to gain better insight into his past thoughts prior to the positive life changing results we know him by today.

References: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Hilleman), L.A.Times (http://articles.latimes.com/2005/apr/13/local/me-hilleman13.), The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48244-2005Apr12.html.), and NCBI (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC557162/.)