Thursday, November 19, 2015

"I Okay Mom"

 It was Monday evening. I knew that there was a chance my results would be posted that night. The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada is based in Toronto. (3 hours ahead.) People were posting on the Bridging Friends Facebook page all day the different times that the results would be posted based on passed exams. I was reloading the page on my phone, anxiously looking for a new column to pop up. Monday night came and went and I felt deflated by Tuesday morning. Rob and I have been getting up to work out in our gym in the mornings. I went on the elliptical and the tread mill, taking only one peek. Our workout ended, still no news. Rob decided to shower before me, so I was hanging in bed with Alina. Then, one reload later a new column appeared; Recent Exam Results. My heart began to pound in my chest. Alina was watching a morning cartoon and I found myself in my closet fumbling to hit the link to my fate... I searched through hundreds of numbers, knowing mine by heart; 312118. As I neared similar numbers I slowed down and my heart picked up its pace. 312116... 312117... 312120. Wait... My number wasn't there. Just as I realized that my number wasn't among the newly licensed pharmacy technicians', Rob entered the closet. I whispered, "I didn't pass." I'm surprised he heard me I said it so quiet. 

 This is not the post I wanted to write, this was never part of the plan. But, this is my reality. Bad things happen and what I've learned from those bad experiences is that you always have to take something out of it. I needed something to remind me that it was worth it. My co-worker J. was also going through the same anxious waiting as I was, so I figured I should text her to let her know that the results were in. I showered in hot water and tears, feeling sorry for myself. Alina came into the bedroom as I was getting dressed and asked me why I was sad. I told her that I didn't pass that big test I had been studying so long for. She simply said; "Aww.. I okay Mom." She crawled up my legs and hugged me. She hugged me for a long time, patting my back. The best part about that was that she actually consoled me and I let her. It felt really good to be held by her. And she was right. She was going to be okay, no matter what the results and I would be too. J. replied with happy,crying emojis and the word YES. She had passed. My friend J. has had a tough year and to be honest, if anyone deserved damn good news it was her. I was happy for her even if it made my wound sting a little more.

 Rob told me that this licensing exam was my Super Bowl. He said that it was really hard to even get to it and that winning the Super Bowl ring wasn't for everyone. Right again. (It would have been so much cooler if I had though.) Later, I packed my make-up knowing that I would need to reapply at some point in the day and headed out to face it. I got to work and J. gave me a long hug. I had e-mailed my bosses, wanting them to hear it from me but also not wanting to have to say the words to them. The phone rang and I was summoned over, it was one of them. I was touched that she had phoned me so quickly. She reassured me that I was still important and she lifted me up and genuinely made me feel better. It wasn't just the words she was saying, but it was the act in her phoning me. I was really touched. 

 The people I work for have been encouraging me not to give up. They think that there still is a way for me to get certified. I have looked into other options; taking the OSPE again in April and then going to another province that is still offering the bridging program and registering there. That would include more fees, money to travel, finding a place to stay, finding a store to work at that would offer me a short stay to get my 500 prescriptions checked and of course, writing the Jurisprudence in their province. (Learning the other province's laws, etc.) Rob and I decided that that would be too much. After the year I had, I don't think I have it in me to do all of that. But I'm making peace with it.

 So the big question is; what have I taken from this experience? I'm more valued than I ever realized. People care about me and it is a surprising and pleasant feeling. I wasn't meant to be a registered technician, so I won't be. Simple. I was recently inspired by Michael Strahan's book "Wake Up Happy". In it he mentions waking up inspired and excited to start the day. So I'm exploring the idea of my first attempt at writing a book. I don't know what it would be about yet. But I took one entire year to educate myself in pharmacy and it was really, really challenging. I took on doing something that interests me but is most definitely not something that I'm passionate about. It was an opportunity. But imagine what I could do with something I love? I imagine that if I just tried and dedicated some time into writing something I might just come up with something. I think I would wake up very happy and very excited about my days if I knew it included writing...

 And I can't help but listen and believe the wisest words that came from one 2 and half year old;
" I Okay..." 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Inside Out - Spoiler Alert

 Inside Out is an animated movie by Pixar that showcases an eleven year old girl name Riley. The movie is primarily from Riley's mind or the workings of her mind. From day one she was simply influenced by Joy or Sadness. Shortly after, Disgust, Anger and Fear join forces. Each emotion that Riley has is depicted by a character. Each character takes a turn at running Riley's reaction for each situation she comes across. She forms memories which are later stored into short term and then long term memory banks. She has five core memories that fuel her major personality traits. There's Goofball Island, Family Island, Trust Island, Friendship Island and Hockey Island.
 The movie itself is cute and entertaining for sure. But it goes so much deeper than cute and entertaining too. Riley represents every single kid out there. She starts out with simple emotions but then life starts to throw her twists and turns. She can't simply feel one thing.. As the movie goes along, Joy who runs things in 'headquarters' begins to realize that Riley needs more than happiness in her life to get by.
I can't help but think of kids today, dealing with grown up situations and not totally knowing how to deal with them. The movie really spoke to me maybe because I grew up in a divorced home, but maybe more because of a young lady I know. She struggles with her emotions, much like most kids but I think more so because she is going through some adult, tough experiences at eleven.
 I loved the message Inside Out sends. Life isn't always easy but bottling up strong emotions like sadness doesn't make it any easier. It's okay to be sad. I have always felt compelled to reach out and help people, kids especially when advice is needed. If I could go back in time, I would have loved to study psychology to learn how the mind works.
 Another interesting part of the film was when Riley's personality traits (or islands) start to fall apart because she isn't happy and she doesn't have the chance to express her sadness she so strongly feels. It's true that as you grow up, those parts of you fade away. Her silly, good nature is shadowed by sarcasm and anger. We all go from innocent kids to awkward pre-teens to complicated, emotional teens.

 The relationship between Riley and her parents slowly gets tainted by Riley's unhappiness, her father's distance from his new job and her mother's pressure to stay positive. As viewers it is maddening watching Riley's dad disappoint her or react in the wrong way at the wrong time.
 I loved this movie because not only was it entertaining for my little buddy Alina who is pushing three, it was also really enjoyable for me. I feel like parents should watch this movie with their children of Riley's age and soak it all in. I bet everyone would learn a little something or at least be reminded of how life can get for kiddos out there, struggling with being a kid and coming into their own at the same time. It reminded me that Alina is currently in her simple emotions stage but that there will come a time when she will struggle within herself and I can only hope that we are there to do the right things and be aware of how much of an impact we have on who she becomes.. (Wow, that's deep and terrifying.)
 I love when a movie does it for me. I have thought about this movie after seeing it and I've spoken to people about how cute it is. I figured I made such a big deal about it, I had better write a post dedicated to my new favourite Pixar movie.

I wouldn't mind if she stayed this sweet forever............


Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Tick Tick

 Currently I live my life as normal. This week I started running and using our elliptical machine first thing in the morning. I get Alina and myself ready for the day as I always do. I drop her off and head towards the pharmacy in my ordinary way. But the difference is that there is this tick, tick ticking faintly in my head. It was hardly there in September, in October it was faint but today, this month, this pressure is beginning to weigh me down. Two weeks until I get the results from PEBC, releasing my fate. Do I get to burst into tears with relief and excitement and a true sense of accomplishment for doing what I set out to do over a year ago? Or will I simply search and search for my PEBC number only to be left with nothing.. Like Jeff Probst from Survivor says to the losing tribe; "I've got nothing for you.." I imagine both scenarios in my head often. One makes me feel elated, too giddy and excited to let my mind go there. It's too good to be true. The other makes my heart beat quickly and I have to squash the sick feelings I get.

 Work is getting more interesting too. Meetings are being set up to discuss my possible new role as a regulated pharmacy technician. Yet, the meetings are set up for one week before I find out my results. The pressure builds as my role expands, as plans for the store are set into motion. The tick, tick goes from an irritating unknown, to a pounding, deliberate, taunting drum.

 TICK (Did) TICK (I) TICK (Pass?)

TICK (Was) TICK (It) TICK (Enough?)

TICK (Can) TICK (I) TICK (Pull) TICK (This)TICK (Off?) 

TICK (What) TICK (If) TICK (I) TICK (Didn't...) 

I am being patient because I have two weeks until I find out. I am not getting too worked up but check back with me next week and it could be a different story. 
 On a lighter note, Alina started at a public daycare this week. She's doing well, getting along with the ladies and engaging with the kids. I'm proud of her and feel that tear in my eye when I think of how big she's getting. I love my girl and even though I'm feeling the pressures of my results, all I have to do is think of her little face and I feel better, no matter what my fate.. I'll have her either way and that's pretty cool. 

We got her hair cut!

Taken last night, keeping baby warm in her shirt and pretty proud of herself.