2018 Life Lessons

Another year come and gone, and you know what that means.

It’s time for me to highlight the lessons I’ve learned, or am still in the process of learning.

You see, every year I feel like there is something new to discover in all aspects of life, and that is why I enjoy writing these posts.

So what did I learn in 2018?

1. With patience and persistence, you will find the right person and place

After graduating from college, I desired to start my path to registration in my profession while everything from school was still fresh in my mind. Some of my classmates probably felt like taking an extended period of time off and/or work for a bit before doing what I was doing. But I’m different, sometimes it’s better to start sooner rather than later.

I wanted to begin a training internship that is included in the registration requirements for pharmacy technicians. I was willing to do it wherever, and all summer long I was calling different hospitals and stores hoping to find someone willing to take me on. It was a stressful process and I felt like I was searching for employment. It wasn’t until mid-September did I call someone who I had worked with once before in something related to my college program who agreed to train me in this internship.

I’ve been at that place ever since and I am enjoying the experience and people. Finding work whether it’s an internship or paid job is all about finding the right person and place. It requires patience and persistence since it can take time.

I always hoped by September I was going to find something, and I did. I just need to learn to relax and be patient and not give up.

2. Even the smallest thing can become something big in your heart

 Whenever I look for something new to get into, sometimes I tend to think too big. I should think small too, because there are smaller things out there in the world that may not be known to everyone, but it can still get me into it.

I can’t count how many different simulation games I used to play on Facebook or on my phone. Some of them I even spent my money on for better items. Like one time I played Crowdstar’s It Girl and spent $60 on Facebook credits so I could get this red ball gown which I wear today for Optimus Prime in my imagination.

But, all those games I let go because pulling out my wallet was a sign of addiction and I didn’t want to waste money. Other ones like Animal Crossing, I completed everything in the game I wanted to do. All I had left was to check the stores daily to see if something I wanted was there, but it rarely was. There was no way to predict when it would be so perhaps weeks of no luck made me stop.

Then, I found out about Slime Rancher. It was just an indie game on Steam and as its popularity grew, it spread to other consoles. It was adorable to the bone and didn’t connect with real time, nor did it have micro-transactions.

I bet if I completed everything I wanted to do in the game, I would still play it anyway because of its adorableness and isn’t as demanding. I thought it was going to be small, but eventually it grew into something bigger in my heart. It doesn’t have to be something popular. There are always little things to love in unseen places.

3. Some things take a lot of commitment, it’s just the matter of are you willing to commit?

Whether it’s a serious relationship, a career path, or saving up for a big purchase, it takes commitment. Near the end of 2018, I decided that I wanted to get a new gaming desktop since my taste in games was expanding and my current computer either couldn’t run or didn’t have enough space for such games.

I wanted the computer to be completely my own where I would choose the specs to meet the unique needs I desired as a gamer. I went onto a PC Part Picker, made a list of the parts I wanted and started saving. Sometimes, people would suggest to me that I get a pre-built gaming desktop instead with specs mostly equivalent to what I originally had in mind that would be cheaper, but I still decided that I really wanted a custom from scratch and have complete control over the specs, makes for likely easier upgrading in the future you know?

Eventually, I went down to Canada Computers with my list of parts and even though I ultimately decided that I wanted a custom build, we ended up changing a few of the parts since some were not available, but I know I’m still going to be satisfied. It was really expensive in the end, but it will be worth it 100%. (I’m actually getting them to build it for me since I’m not tech-savvy enough to do it myself! 😂 )

You see, I’ve learned that if there’s something I really want, I’m going to do whatever it takes to acquire it. I knew that building my own desktop was going to be expensive, so I prepared myself to make some sacrifices in my expenses to do so. I had enough perfume and makeup so cutting back so I could use up what I had really made a difference! Many gamers I’ve met either stick to console gaming or get a pre-built instead because the total cost of building a PC is what drives them towards the alternative. Some people don’t want to make that commitment for whatever the reason.

A word of advice, don’t let the price intimidate you. If you want it badly enough you better be prepared to commit yourself and make some sacrifices. Big things we want in life require devotion, but only those who are devoted badly enough will achieve what they want.

4. Hard work pays off

Yeah, one of my biggest achievements of 2018 was graduating from my program. I can’t lie, it was a long and challenging journey. There were many times where I felt I wasn’t going to make it.

The first three semesters were hectic as I took 4 – 6 courses. But succeeding was so important to me that I continued to use my time management method I learned in my previous program of the same profession to get through it.

I wrote every deadline down and started assignments early so I wouldn’t be scrambling at the last minute to get them done. I also made sure to take breaks and know when it was time to call it a day. You can only do so much schoolwork in one day you know! I also made sure to take care of myself since that would also have an impact on my performance.

Did I have setbacks? Yes many. I had to repeat a course once and a few exams. Those failures made me push myself harder. I was finally able to walk across that stage knowing my hard work and persistence paid off.

Today, I still use those methods to manage time because studying is not over when you graduate and I hope that pays off too.

5. Big changes take time to adjust to

The downside of graduation was the transition that came with it. Before graduation, I struggled to decide whether I wanted to start applying for any position in my profession, or begin pursuit of licensing as a pharmacy technician.

After a talk with my parents, I decided the latter. I made that choice because I believed it was best to write those exams while everything from school was still fresh in my mind. I do some review everyday to keep it fresh. Even if the test doesn’t word the questions like I’ve seen in school, studying regularly and knowing how to problem solve will help, I hope. I also wanted to start the process now because my Math prof warned us about the deadlines and said it was best to begin it ASAP before other life responsibilities made it harder to do so.

I was anxious to begin, but at the same time I wasn’t ready for the change. In late 2014 I had experienced this transition before, but it wasn’t long before I decided to go back to school again the next year. Now that it’s more official, it’s hard to adjust to.

When the final semester concluded, I needed to take some extended time off for at least a month. I spent that in Punta Cana with my mom for a week. Then, I got caught up on some gaming and did my first PC run of the Mass Effect trilogy. (what’s funny is I had started the first game before my beach vacation and had just finished the talk with Sovereign on Virmire before I had to get some sleep before our early flight the next day) I finished that playthrough the day before graduation.

After graduation, that’s when I decided to get this thing going and the change I had trouble accepting was the following: things move slower in the working world. I was so used to having structure in my day, and while I was searching for a place to do my internship, I was swimming in uncharted waters and my anxiety would take over. I didn’t like the unpredictability of everything.

In order to adjust to the change until I found something, I did what I could to fit structure into my day like adding lists of daily chores to take care of, scheduled time to volunteer at the hospital, and took advantage of having more free time to do some more fun things.

It isn’t easy adjusting and this won’t be the last time that my life will be like this. As somebody who is on the spectrum, I am not a fan of change and often need time to adjust to it. That’s okay. As much as I am enjoying my training, it won’t be easy finishing it if I don’t have something else lined up by then and that will likely be the case. I am in the midst of learning that it’s okay to not have something lined up right away, and it’s okay if you’re having trouble accepting change and need structure.

And that’s the stuff I’ve learned in 2018. I wanted to have this done before 2018 ended, but I got sidetracked so here it is now. I hope 2019 will be the year that is good for my career and for my personal life.


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