Monthly Memories: July – A Month of Identity, Empowerment and Shared Joy

We have reached past the halfway mark of the year, which means I have been keeping up (even if barely) with my monthly memories for 6 months! I’m deciding to make some changes. This Monthly Memories for July is going to be very brief since it’s already September and because I want to spend more time on the projects and hobbies I write about instead of spending so much time and energy on my Monthly Memories. I also was thinking about possibly trying out weekly memories instead to see how that would be like but I may need to catch up to the present first or maybe I could try that for August. Weekly tracking could help me with tracking goals better and see progress and change from week to week within the month. Sharing reflections and accounts in the Monthly Memories has it’s own value too. Hmm…maybe I’ll do a weekly and monthly mash up.

Anyways!

The highlights of July were:

  • Getting a transformative haircut and donating my hair for the second time
  • Getting a MacBook Air
  • Joining a new dance class (it’s like a New Age Zumba class)
  • Learning to speed read
  • Having interesting social encounters through Pokemon Go
  • Finishing the book Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Trying Joylent
  • Going to my high school reunion
  • Finding out that my friend is getting engaged
  • Going to Isotope comics
  • Training a new staff
  • Seeing the clients participate in a gardening class that supplies the food for the cooking class
  • My client illustrating and writing the story of Mulan on a scroll in ancient Chinese
  • Reuniting with my Samba Troupe and eating a lot of dim sum
  • Having a long conversation with a client in ASL

There are a few points I want to elaborate on. One is the Pokemon Go experience. First off, I missed the boat when it came to enjoying the Gameboy games, the card game, and the TV show in the 90’s. But I wanted to see what the hubbub was about and be part of the fun. I wanted to send friends funny, creative pictures with the Pokemon and know what all the fuss is about. During that week I was shamefully addicted, but I had some very interesting encounters including a little boy coming up to me and leading me around the park and teaching me how to catch the one of rarest Pokemon, Dragonite. It was so sweet! Another was when my client and I hopped into a taxi and our Brazilian driver handed me her iPad to help her kids level up and catch Pokemon as we drove around Downtown. That experience was so funny and surprising! Other encounters were getting submersed in other people’s social circles and joining a group on a common quest for Pokemon. People were so friendly and eager to connect and help each other. It was such an interesting social experiment for me. The last straw though was the app consistently crashing and not paying attention to the real world. But I defiantly had some good takeaway experiences.

A lot of changes happened at work, including one of my supervisors moving back home and leaving the company. This makes me the most experienced person with my client in our program. My supervisor was the one who trained me and now I’ll need to train everyone else before waiting until they get enough experience to be able to train others. My supervisor used to be the one I would call for advice and help about how to handle certain situations. For most things now, it’s on me because none of my supervisors have worked with her extensively like my previous supervisor. What’s also interesting is that I was the first person my previous supervisor hired and I was hired specifically to help my supervisor move to her position and have her previous position covered. Hearing the news that she was leaving made my time and experience at my job come full circle.

My haircut had a whole blog of its own. You can read about its lasting impact here.

The high school reunion was at first challenging because I was initially feeling shy and awkward to approach others but once someone started talking to me it was really interesting to learn about everyone’s lives. Learning about other people’s lives gave me perspective about my own life. There are so many possibilities and everyone is slowly learning about themselves through their careers and experiences. We’re all figuring out what we want most out of our lives, what issues and populations we care most about and what we want to make an impact on. Seeing people I haven’t seen in a decade acted as an unexpected mirror because they made comments about me based on the person they knew back then. It surprised me to know that someone who I hardly talked to in high school remembered that I was creative and my art and thought I should always keep up with that. For a moment I thought “I was?” as if I forgot that I made a lot of art in high school and then second thought, “How do you know?”, baffled by her ancient observations. People also were pleasantly unsurprised that I work with people with disabilities. They said how it suits me, I was always a caring person. It felt great to hear these affirmations from people who I didn’t realize knew me from afar or in passing.

Cooking Class

Cooking Class

I know I say this every month but it’s so hard to grow and maintain seven different dreams and parts of yourself. Friends will ask how’s my drawing or sign language doing and be so surprised that I haven’t kept up with it.

I know what I want but what do I need?

I know I want to write children’s books and comic books, I know I think it would be cool to lead a Zumba class for my clients at work, but what do I need to do? I need sleep and exercise, food and a clean space, and an engaging and meaningful job that satisfies my financial, intellectual, and emotional needs. I also need to be outside and social as well as have leisurely relaxing time when I’m tired.

So next month I’m hoping to focus and track weekly my needs and personal goals.

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