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Category: Cathrine's Corner

These are more personal posts where Cathrine reflects and shares her thoughts, feelings, experiences, goals and updates.

Personal Highlights from 2019

It’s December 31st, 2019. WHAAAAAT? 🤯 I have no idea how we’re almost in 2020, but here we are! Just a few hours left of the year. (Hi to my friends around the world who are already in 2020! 👋🏻) Like many others, I enjoy reflecting on the year that’s almost over. This year, I’ve decided to collect some of my highlights from 2019.

(Warning! There will be lots of tweets and pictures.)

Bullying, triggers, reactions, and reflections

After spending a week at MVP Summit with old and new friends, I feel energized. My brain has been refilled with lots of happy memories 😊

And one not-so-happy memory:

One. Just one negative experience during an otherwise fantastic week. One negative experience that objectively really wasn’t that big of a deal, followed by an absolutely overwhelming number of replies full of love and support. (Thank you 💙) And yet, this one negative experience has dominated my thoughts and feelings for days.

It’s easy to say that I refuse to let one stranger and one negative experience take over and push my happy memories away. Actually doing it is a whole different situation. No matter how determined I am or how much support I get, dealing with an experience like this is never easy for me.

I have trained my brain for many years to respond in a certain way, to gnaw at the negative even when it’s surrounded by positive. That habit does not change overnight just because I want it to. It’s something I need to actively work on to improve, and that requires determination and effort over time.

Writing is my way of dealing with things like this. Structuring my thoughts, describing my feelings, and reflecting on why I reacted the way I did is all part of my process.

But why are you sharing this publicly?

I’m very aware that my social media accounts are mostly highlight reels. I choose to focus on the positive things in my life, and so what most people see is the happy, bubbly, super excited version of me. I wish life was like that all the time 😊 But it’s not. Most days are not. Some days, you get flat out told that you suck, and instead of being strong and brushing it off, you end up crying and withdrawing from everything and everyone.

And that’s ok. That’s life. We’re flawed, and if we weren’t flawed, we wouldn’t be human. But being human also means we have choices. We can choose to take responsibility for our own feelings, get back up, try to learn from our experiences, and keep going.

Writing helps me. If I can also help someone else by sharing this publicly, whether it is helping one person understand why someone can react strongly to something seemingly small, or showing another person that they’re not alone in experiencing similar feelings, I will count that as a double win 😊

So what happened?

Dealing with Disappointment and Learning from Failures

I have written posts in the past about how to deal with technical failures as a speaker: Be prepared. Have backups of your files. Take screenshots or videos of your demos. Rehearse presenting your session with and without your slide deck. I have made plenty of I-wasn’t-prepared-for-that mistakes in the past, and I learned from them.

Last weekend was different. I was supposed to do a precon and a session at SQLSaturday Nashville. I didn’t experience any technical failures. I experienced what felt very much like personal failures.

On Friday, our precon got canceled due to weather.

On Saturday, no one showed up to my session.

I had not prepared for either of those things to happen, and I definitely had not prepared for both of those things to happen on the same weekend. I went through a whole range of emotions in a short amount of time, from embarrassment to disappointment to amusement.

Since then, I have debated with myself about whether or not to write this blog post. I have written and re-written it several times. I did not want to write a blog post full of whining and complaining, but I did want to share my experience as a reminder to both myself and others that:

  • These things happen. It’s ok to feel disappointed, but don’t let it stop you from trying again.
  • There is always something positive to take away from a negative experience.
  • Life is full of ups and downs. Social media (especially my own) often focus on the ups, but life is not amazing all the time.

If you only needed a few reminders, feel free to stop reading here 😊 The rest of the post is quite long and a little more like a journal entry, really.

I'm a BimlHero Certified Expert

BimlHero Logo.

In April 2015 I set a goal to become a Certified Expert in Biml. On February 1st, 2016, I became the second BimlHero in the world - the first woman and the first in Europe 🤓

Cathrine Wilhelmsen wearing a BimlHero Certified Expert t-shirt.

It has been a long journey, and I have loved every part of it! Varigence announced the certification program in March 2015, and in April I decided to go for it. I was accepted into the program, and in June I attended 8 hours of advanced training. I spent the next six months working on my Biml solution. I was unable to work full-time on it due to other tasks and responsibilities at work, so I spent quite a lot of time on it at home as well. In November I completed the BimlHero Certified Expert Test, and in December I submitted my Biml solution and my case study of how I implemented the solution at work. In January Varigence reviewed my test, solution and case study, and in February I had the final code review with Scott Currie. It was very nerve-wracking having the creator of Biml go through my code! 😅 But I received lots of useful feedback and finally a congratulations on passing and becoming a BimlHero.

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016!

Happy New Year 2016! 🥳

Captain Picard saying “don’t just wish for a happy new year 2016, make it so”.

2015 was a year of highs and lows for me. I did so many things for the first time and really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I made new friends and grew closer to old friends. At the same time I struggled more than ever with my old enemies depression, insomnia, migraine and impostor syndrome. All in all, I guess you can call it “life” 😊