Conquering a Scary Goal

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was going to conquer the  ropes course at the Mall of America.  And conquer it I did.

It was extremely difficult to get photographic proof, since they make you lock up your belongings before you can get the harness, and (if you want to take the slide at least) they make you take off your harness before you can get your belongings.  So this is what I have to settle for:

Rest assured, this photo was taken (by a helpful stranger) inside the compound for the The Flying Dutchman Ropes Course.  This was also taken after the whole thing was finished, because I’m pretty sure if it had been taken before hand, I wouldn’t have been nearly as smiley.

I was drugged–make no mistake about that–but I was still nervous.  Much like my adventure to the 4th floor, I was still emotionally nervous, but the physical symptoms were for the most part gone.  There was still a mind over matter fight, but the fight was a lot more evenly matched.

I’m pretty sure the first obstacle I had to cross I asked my buddy 1.0 “What the hell was I thinking?”.  If you’re wondering why I was asking myself that, here is the official video for the attraction.

Some of the obstacles I really had no trouble with.  And the more I did, the fewer I had trouble with.  By the time we made it to the 4th level, the ones I skipped on the 1st level didn’t seem so intimidating.  We went over the course twice, and I made a point to hit most of the obstacles I’d skipped.

I started the adventure by telling 1.0 I’d go across something after I watched her do it.  But pretty quickly in I decided to screw that and make myself take the open paths.  I’m really glad that I did.  This will go down as one of the things I’m really glad I made myself do.

To everyone that’s said “Let’s do this together!” I assure you, I will do this again.  If you want to go, name the time and I’ll be there (unless I’m, you know, at work, or something equally pressing).  I have one more major obstacle I need to conquer, so the Flying Dutchman hasn’t seen the last of me.

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Better Living Through Blah Blah Blah

It’s no secret I am fighting really hard not to have to drug myself to get through life.  I have the utmost respect for the people that know they need it and for whom it helps–my feelings are completely, 100% personal.  And maybe I could stand to take a little advice from my shrink and “reframe” the way I think about them (she was trying to speak to me as an artist, it was really quite adorable and frankly a little genius).  That said, I find pharmaceuticals to induce existentialism in myself.  Namely, it feels that there isn’t a whole lot of point to life if I have to drug myself to get through it.  I know it’s not the healthiest attitude, but it’s the one I currently have, and I’m just being honest about my feelings.  Maybe one day I’ll try a different frame around it.

However, I do fully admit there are times when medications are needed.  I take antibiotics (grudgingly, if I absolutely have to, and then I also take additional meds for the unintended consequences), I take pain killers and anti-inflammatories.  But I’d also be pretty upset if I had to take them all the time.  Like, really upset.

I’ve recently also started taking anti-anxiety meds.  Benzos.  Because I didn’t want to have to take something every day.  At first I was pretty “meh” about them.  Not really understanding if they helped at all.  After I had a panic attack at work, I started taking one every day, as a preventative, but I’m really trying to get away from them.  Again, I don’t want to have to take them every day.  If I have to take them everyday, then that says something pathetic about my job.  But even still, I wasn’t sure if they were working.  Maybe I’m just starting to feel more confident because I’m getting more experienced?  Who knows.

So I tried something I knew would absolutely tell me, without a doubt, they were working.

I took one, and promptly made my way to the Mall of America to go for a stroll.  First floor, easy peasy (always is).  Second floor, smooth sailing (usually is, unless I go close to a rail).  Third floor, hey, are we still on the second floor? (Usually at this point I have to start walking faster to get back to the second floor as soon as possible).  Fourth floor… I know I should be nervous, but there are literally no physical reactions.  None.

A little history… I could probably count the number of times I’ve been on the fourth floor, and each of those times my heart practically beat out of my chest, and I had to fight the urge to crawl flat on the floor.

But not today.  Today the fourth floor was my bitch.  Take that, fourth floor!

Next stop? Ropes course!  Who’s with me?

2013, You Say?

Well, that last year sort of flew right on by, didn’t it?  It seriously feels like it was only a couple weeks ago that I was dressing up for Halloween and regretting painting my nails black and green because I had a job interview all of a sudden.  But now it’s 2013, and everyone is doing the resolution thing, and I’m contemplating jumping on that bandwagon.

Rather than resolutions, I’m going to try to have some goals.  Resolutions fail because people generally don’t have a plan.  Goals require planning and steps and follow through.  Since I have a lot of things I want to accomplish, my “resolution” is to plan my goals this year.

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Since I consider this poster (and the video from which it sprang) highly instrumental in putting me on the path to changing my life, I’m going to use it here as a reminder of what I can accomplish this year if I just freaking do it.  I unofficially gave last year the theme of “fearless” about halfway through the year.  I’m going to continue with that and officially make 2013 the year of being fearless.  And that’s goal one.

What will being fearless look like?  Well, maybe it will be as crazy as sky diving.  One friend in particular will be thrilled if that’s the case. I think it definitely needs to include attempting the ropes course at the Mall of America (and yes, I understand it’s intended for kids to be able to participate).  It might involved doing karaoke.  Fearless might look like speaking up when I need to speak up and going for things at work that will help move me forward.

Goal two is to get things organized.  This is going to be a slightly more involved goal.  I’ll need to sit down and go through my closets (clothes and fabric).  I’ll need to find storage solutions and get rid of things.  I will need to pare down room by room.

Goal three is to relearn how to eat.  2012 was a year of convenience.  I went out to grocery shop yesterday and realized I no longer remembered how to plan meals or how to eat healthy.  Ideally I’d like to lose weight, but first I need to learn how to eat again.  I think goal two will take the most man hours, but goal three is going to take the most planning and educating.  If I want to be successful and not rely on convenience, I’m going to need to have a detailed list of recipes and snacks so I don’t need to flounder.

Goal four feels like it should take a back burner to goal two, but I also think this one is important toward my sanity just as much as getting organized.  Goal four is to create.  It’s sad when someone needs to schedule in time for fun, but it feels as if we often don’t leave ourselves much choice.  So my goal is to work on the backlog of ideas–things I’ve wanted to make for years and just never have.  And in some ways, this will help with goal two.  How much fabric do I have laying around?  How much better would it be to see that fabric get turned into something awesome, something that I’ve wanted for a long time?

Four goals is probably ambitious, but I think each has a different level of difficulty and a different level of conscious involvement needed.  And this is really just a brief overview of each goal.  Ideally, I will plan each of these out more than what I’ve just said here–two through four, anyway, goal one is a little more spontaneous.  So in this I seek your support–if you have any suggestions toward achieving these goals, feel free to leave a comment.  If you have any goals of your own that you’re attempting, share those puppies as well.