Growing Brains

Well, I'm 25 now, can you believe it? That is the age when the brain is supposed to finish developing. It feels like a milestone and with that coming up, I decided to spend some time reflecting on my development and things I could improve myself.

There are personal goals I would like to reach, and I know that it will take time to achieve them. But, they are things I would like to start down the path towards now that the time has come and I am FINALLY graduating.

1. Stop using my mom's L'Occitane products on my skin. Buy my own bottles of those products.




I know, it sounds funny to start off with something like this! But, it ties into a habit of mine, and my ability to choose what I think is right for me when it comes to personal care. Throughout my life, my mom would always choose what I would use in my hair or on my skin, but now that I'm an adult, I want to make that choice myself.

Sometimes, when I see something my mom uses, I try it and then when I like it, she begins to notice and tells me to stop. Recently, it was with her almond shower oil from L'Occitane. I ended up getting hooked onto it after stealing some to try. I always regret it later, so from now on, if I really want to try it, I should just buy my own bottle of it, no matter how much it costs. The same goes for any other product I come across. Don't steal from others, if you really want to try it, go get your own. Buying my own personal care products without having to sneak some from someone else or have them pick it for me, just is one of the many ways I can take care of my own body and make my own choices with it.

2. Avoid crawling under a rock if there's an event I will have to miss out on




I say this because this year I know Lordi will eventually be going out on tour when their new album is released. The first time, I wept like hell, and the second time, I crawled under a rock.

Not this time, no matter what happens, I am staying right where I am and will be happy for those who get to see them in the upcoming tour. Hell, there are many fans who have been waiting longer than I did to see them and who knows, maybe this tour will finally give them a chance. I already know they're going to tour Europe first, and North America may happen or it may not.

I should be doing this not just for Lordi, but for any band, and for any event that I might not be able to go to for whatever the reason: be it lack of time, money, or other commitments. I can't go to every event that interests me, but I can choose which ones I want to go to the most. If that is not possible because it's too far away or expensive, there's no need to cry or hide, just be happy for others and know that your chance will come another time.

3. Put the past behind me in my professional life




I've overcome many failures in this part of my life. They weren't the first, and they won't be the last. I have to recognize that when it's time to move forward because even though I may feel like I've moved on from something that's gone wrong, there's always a time where I begin to dwell on it again. I shouldn't associate what went wrong in the past with what may happen next. The reality is, I don't know how things will be different this time. I'm not going to specify these failures but I need to stop assuming they will happen again when we enter the uncharted waters.

Things might go better this time now that I have a more mature attitude and a smarter way to approach a situation any situation as I turn the page in my life. I have to believe that I will do better this time as long as I get help.

Shit happens, but you shouldn't let it prevent you from thinking positive.

4. Always make time for hobbies




I know I'm already doing this, but I want to continue to do it no matter how busy my life gets from here on. If there is one thing that is extremely important to me, it is having time to do things I love to do, no matter what they are. A lot of people tend to give up on some hobbies because they find themselves too busy with work and other responsibilities.

Throw that nonsense in the garbage, like I said, I believe you can always make time for something you enjoy, even if it's for just an hour. We all need our me-time whether we're living alone or raising a kid or two after a long day/night at work. A lot of us resort to just watching TV while I tend to spend my evenings writing, gaming, or even colouring in my adult colouring books: a new hobby I picked up not long after Christmas.

I know that in some situations, we get too busy for hobbies but after we work hard, we play hard which I totally get. There is nothing more satisfying than binge-playing your favourite game after a week's worth of studying for an exam. But, if it's one of those times where you've had a long stressful day at work, instead of flopping to do the usual lazy stuff once your duties are taken care of, why not take that opportunity to work on a hobby? Unless watching TV is your hobby!

5. Stop getting personal with materialistic people




For many years being part of any band fandoms, if there is one thing I hate, it is when I have to deal with materialistic fans, you know, the ones that feel they need to have a large collection of every piece of merchandise the band has put out; even three different versions of one album. I know, it's a little silly to me.

So how is this a problem? Well, whenever there's a time where I'd like to share that occasional haul of band merchandise I've picked up, I hate it when those kinds of fans start telling me what I "need" to get next because they assume I am a collector too. Correction: I am NOT a collector. Therefore the word "need" should be replaced with "want". I would like to have all the studio albums, but after that is where I draw the line: anything else like compilations, T-shirts and other items I don't need to have all of them to increase my love for the said band. If I get a few extra souvenirs, that's a plus but not a priority.

The heart of my devotion to a band is based on quality of merchandise and how I feel about the said band on the inside, not the size of my collection. I'm sick and tired of dealing with materialistic fans who may never understand my point of view, so I'm done. From now on, I'm going to bite my lip every time some merchandise hoarder thinks I need more stuff or starts to brag about the size own collection.

I need to focus on what I have as a fan of anything that I love.

6. Get behind the wheel again




That's right, I want to start driving again. I haven't driven since summer 2015. When I turned 16, I didn't feel like I was ready to drive nor did I feel like I needed to, and that's okay. There is no rule that you HAVE to get your license the moment you turn 16, it's just damn peer pressure that makes you want to start immediately. In late 2014 I got my G1, took some lessons, but never got around to taking the G2 test once my pharmacy program started.

Now, my license expires next year, so this summer would be a good time to go back to practicing and complete it.

They say driving a car can make you feel independent, but I've realized that you don't need a car to be independent. Instead we end up depending on our cars to get around! My brother has his G2 but my mom tells me I'm the more independent one because I don't wait around for a ride if I want to go somewhere. I'll walk, ride my bike, or take the bus. I'm all over town!

So why do I want to drive now? Well, the truth is, I want to broaden my horizons in places where I could work so I don't have to limit my options to something local only in the long run. I mean, you get a job somewhere out of town you have two options: relocate or drive there. Driving there is easier don't you think? I would like my first job out of college to be local, but still, in the long run, if I got something further away, I think I'd rather drive there.

If I start driving, I don't want to do so unless I really need to because I am strong advocate for protection of the environment: and cars are one of the main sources of pollution out there. Thankfully, some car companies recognize this and are starting to manufacture more eco-friendly cars. My dream car would definitely be something electric like a Tesla, Nissan Leaf, or Chevy Bolt. Unlikely one of those will be my first car when I'm licensed since they are very expensive. However, I may not even need to own a car if I only want to drive it long distances or I decide to move to the big city!

Still, it would be a good idea to start driving, you never know when I might need to do it and hopefully I'll find a way to do so while still keeping my carbon footprint small.

7. Have thick skin




No, I don't mean this literally, but by thick skin I mean to not take everything so personally. That's the problem with having autism; it's so easy to take a joke, criticism or any sort of comment online or in person.... personally. I still have trouble today not getting angry or tearful when I hear something I don't want to hear or get criticized. My mom has always noted that I tend to take everything as a personal attack and she always informs me that not everything is a criticism towards me. Therefore, this is something I'll have to work on if I want to continue to write things here, especially if they are some strong opinions. There will be times when I get people criticizing me or just being nasty and instead of getting upset, I want to be positive to silence the hater, respond better to criticism, or just ignore them.

The same thing goes for the workplace. I will definitely need to have thicker skin there if I am to survive and criticism. If there is one place where you will get the most of that, it's at work.

And those are the seven things I want to achieve, they certainly won't be accomplished that quickly but you know what they say: big goals are completed by taking baby steps!

👽Emily

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