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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.

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?

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2019 Life and Priority Tweaks

New year, new beginnings, new you, isn’t that what they usually say? For me, it’s more like pressing play after having paused everything during my Christmas break. I’m continuing my smaller life and priority tweaks instead of making big changes and resolutions :) But it is a new year. It’s going to be different than the last one. And the ones before that. (Like every year, really. Funny how that works.)

I don’t often write personal posts, but these life and priority tweaks might affect how active I will be in our community this year, so I felt like writing a little bit about why.

Life and Priority Tweaks - A Winter Sunrise

Oh, who am I trying to trick? I’m really only writing this so I could show off this picture of a pretty winter sunrise, taken from my parents’ house during Christmas :D

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TENK Tech Camp 2018 – Experiences Volunteering

TENK Tech Camp 2018 was a 2-day event for teenage girls who are interested in technology and science. On August 9-10th, 2018, over 200 girls gathered at Teknisk Museum (Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology) in Oslo, Norway to attend workshops about coding, hacking, artificial intelligence, chatbots, design thinking, app development, web development – and rocket engineering!

TENK Tech Camp 2018 Attendees

I was honored to participate as a mentor alongside more than 50 other talented women working in STEM. It was an absolutely fantastic experience, and I’m already looking forward to being part of this event again in 2019!

In the videos below, you can see some of my memories from TENK Tech Camp 2018, and the official recap of the event :)

TENK Tech Camp 2018
Cathrine’s memories from TENK Tech Camp 2018
TENK Tech Camp 2018
Official video from TENK Tech Camp 2018
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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.

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My Learning Goals for 2018 (T-SQL Tuesday #97)

T-SQL Tuesday #97 - Setting Learning Goals for 2018T-SQL Tuesday #97 is hosted by Mala Mahadevan (@sqlmal), and the topic is Setting Learning Goals for 2018. Mala wants to know what we want to learn, how and when we want to learn, and how we plan to improve on what we have learned.

It’s always hard to predict what I need to learn in an upcoming year, but 2018 is particularly difficult to predict. Why? Because at the time I’m writing this, I currently don’t have a job :) I finished my previous job last week, and I’m taking the rest of December off. Then in January, a new adventure awaits. I just don’t know what yet! So in this post, I’ll focus on some wants instead. I have picked three main goals: one technical, one personal, and one professional.

I will revisit this post next December and see how things turned out. It will be interesting! :)

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