Dear 2015.

Dear Twenty-Fifteen,

You were unlike any other year before you.

We had some good days. We had some bad days. We laughed. We cried. We ate too many pancakes.

JK. Too many pancakes doesn’t exist. It’s a myth.

Though I could easily write a novel about our adventures this year, I only have time for <350 words, so let’s show the highlight reel.

This year:

I trusted again. I got burned again. I trusted again after that.

I made hard decisions. I regretted some. I am proud of others.

I made dumb decisions out of temptation, ignorance, or just plain stupidity. I accept that I’m only human and sometimes eating a box of TimTam or sending that text/email is not the best of ideas.

I made mistakes. I forgave myself and others for prior wrongdoings.

I got healthy. I got unhealthy. I gained weight. I lost weight. I got healthy again.

I said yes when I should have said no. I said no when I should have said yes. I did what I thought was best every. single. time.

I fell in love. It was the wrong person. I let it go and didn’t stay for the sake of not being alone.

I got out of my comfort zone. I set up new healthy boundaries. Some things are flexible. Some are not.

I opened up more. I let people in. I locked some people out.

I did my best to not breed negativity. When I was witness to others engaging in negative talk about someone else, I didn’t contribute.

I made new friends. I strengthened old bonds. I surrounded myself with people who I respect and inspire me to always be better.

I stayed true to myself, with a few exceptions. But even when I wasn’t, I knew immediately that I had let myself down. I finally know myself that well.

I succeeded. I stayed humble.

I failed, learned, and failed better each time.

I continue to strive to be a person that I would want my daughter to look up to.

I didn’t just survive this year. I truly can say I lived this year.

I loved this year.

I lost this year.

I learned this year.

Most importantly, I have renewed my Faith this year. Faith in myself. Faith in a spiritual level. And Faith that the best days of my life are ahead of me.

2015, you were sometimes lovely, sometimes an asshole, and always worth it.

Thank you.

Love,

-k.

The Difference Between Self Care and Self Care-less

Hi Internet. I like that outfit. Is it new? Vintage? Whatever it is, you look ravishing.

You know what I’m really good at? Being an absolute D-bag to myself.

You know what else I’m really good at? Being really easy… … Like, too easy… on myself.

When I cancel plans on a friend, let something fall through the cracks at work or didn’t feel like answering a phone call or text message from friends or family members,  my auto pilot reaction is to beat myself up internally with a ton of negative self talk.

On the flip side, after a long work day, it’s very easy to tell myself that it’s okay to go right to bed at 7:30 PM because “what a long day you’ve had!”.  Or, instead of making a quick 30 minute healthy dinner, I opt to heat up mac and cheese for the 3rd night in a row because who feels like cooking after working all day? (It’s Such a Hard Life — and Other Lies I Tell Myself — coming to a bookstore near YOU!)

I’d call these little “gifts” to myself “self-care” but really, they’re self sabotage. Throwing tons of carbs into your face isn’t self care. Skimping out on working out and taking care of your hot rockin’ bod isn’t self care.

Just because you call it self-care doesn’t mean that you’re taking care of yourself. Often times, you’re practicing self-care-LESS-ness without even realizing. 

I. Am. So. Guilty.

There’s a time and a place for everything. Sometimes you really do need to kick your own ass and other times you really do need to let yourself off the freakin’ hook. The key is to know the difference and which approach really is best.

As a “fun” little exercise, I’ve been practicing doing the opposite of what I want to do. It’s been a challenge to be so damn radical and trying to have the response that’s best for me… but it seems to be working.

Even  though my gut instinct is to take on all of the blame for something that goes wrong and tell myself what an idiot I am, I don’t. I acknowledge what happened, accept that everyone makes mistakes, own my part of what happened if I have one, and then forgive myself and move on. Just because I’m having an off day doesn’t mean I’m any less of a person. (This has been a hard one!)

Even though after finishing up work, I want to stuff my face with carbs or order pizza, I don’t. I cook something that’s (mostly) healthy.

Even though my brain is fried by the end of the day and all I want to do is to crawl into bed, I don’t. Just because my brain has taken all it can at the end of the day, doesn’t mean my body has had a chance to get its groove on. I do my 30 minutes of activity, and then I get ready for bed.

Even though part of me wants to do special favors for others who aren’t the most trustworthy or reciprocating despite my gut feeling urging me not to, I don’t. I’ll do anything for anyone, but only if it means that my own beliefs and values aren’t compromised.

And even though I haven’t written on this blog, or really anywhere, doesn’t mean that I’m a failure or that I’ve given up. I’m still a writer even when I’m not writing.

Love you, Internet. Miss you. Let’s hang out. Smooches.

Lifeaversary | 6

It’s my Lifeaversary today.  Actually, it’s my Lifeaversary in 6 days, but you know me being on top of things. (Wink)

For the past 6 years, I’ve celebrated my Life-a-versary — the day that I decided to choose life over…well, not life, and started on what would be the most difficult journey to self-discovery and acceptance ever. I spent such a long time carrying such a massive burden on my shoulders. I really think that my disdain for mornings was due to the fact that moving, walking, just getting up was physically and emotionally painful from dragging along all of the crap…. the baggage – the expectations – the belief that I had to pretend to be someone I wasn’t in order to be liked. Letting all of that go was the most powerful thing I’ve ever done.

When someone asks me how I am, or how I’m doing — the only thing I can think to say is “lighter”, “free-er”, “calm-er” — but even that doesn’t begin to describe the amount of relief that I feel.  I wake up every single morning and am grateful for everything.

Okay, that’s a bit of a lie. For the first 10 minutes of being awake, I hate the world. But after that, I’m grateful. For everything. For YOU.

This year — particularly the last 6 months — I’ve taken a huge step back from just about everything and asked the question “Does this bring me joy?” and “Would I want my daughter to be in this situation?” – If the answer to either of these was no, I walked away.

I ditched friendships. I ditched relationships. I ditched clients. Most of all, I ditched apologizing for being who I am. I’m not afraid to tell someone “hey, this isn’t working”, “i don’t have time for negativity”, or my personal favorite, #byefelicia.

I know I’m not perfect — God, I’m my own number one critic. If you were to ask me right now what my flaws are, I would name 50. But what’s changed for me, especially this year, is that I can also tell you what makes me a kickass person who deserves happiness and doesn’t deserve to be treated with disrespect or carelessness — especially by my own self.  I can honestly say that despite my flaws, despite my mistakes, despite my little quirks and imperfections, I’m pretty dang awesome in my on right. Or as I like to say, “I’m charming as f*ck”.  And that doesn’t require an apology.

One of the things that I wholeheartedly believe is that we accept the love that we think we deserve. I accepted relationships because I thought I couldn’t get any better. I accepted friendships because I thought that merely talking to me deserved recognition. I said “yes” in situations where I clearly meant “no”.  Wanna fail really fast? Try to please every-damn-one. I wish I would have known that a few years ago.

I know my worth now and I don’t accept anything less. I say no. I ask for help. I stand firm in the beliefs that I know to be true. I’m ridiculously resilient. I fall down sometimes — I fail — I let things fall through cracks — but I always get back up again and start fresh. I apologize where it’s due, and I mean absolutely everything that I say.

So this year, I’m short on words, but not on gratitude for everyone who has seen me through the past few years. Instead of a huge celebration this year, I’m going to therapy, and the Incubus concert… because that’s what I want to do, and both of those things bring me joy. But if you offered me a pancake breakfast or brunch date, I wouldn’t turn you guys down. I also would accept a cardboard cutout of Edward Cullen or Dexter. Take notes.

As I enter year 7, I can proudly say that I’ll stop banking on the phrase “It gets better” and move on to “It got better”.  And I’ll even throw in a “I love this life, now.” Because really. I love it. I don’t love it everyday. And some days I want to bitch slap every one I come into contact with, but they’re just days, and they always pass.

I don’t know whether it’s the fact that my best friend had a baby that I’m so in love with. Or that I almost lost someone so incredibly important to me, but he survived. Or that I had a spiritual awakening knowing that my Grandmother has a firm hand in helping guide my way — or a combination of all of these things. All I know is that I am filled with so much gratitude for everyone, everything, and every moment in my life.

In the coming months, I will be very busy being awesome, all in preparation for my now yearly trip to Florida with my family and to see my dad. I could have gone anywhere for my birthday vacation, but honestly, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.

Except maybe at IHOP. Or your house holding hands watching Dexter while I longingly picture myself stroking Michael C. Hall’s beautiful face.

Some things never change, Internet.

 

Wanna read about Life-a-versaries Past? 

 Lifeaversary 5
Lifeaversary 4
Lifeaversary 3
Lifeaversary 2 

 

Comfort Zones + Hot Dogs

 

ComfortZone

 

Oh, you look so handsome today, internet. Turn around… wow. Just… stunning.

I have this thing.

I wouldn’t call in an ‘infection’ per se…. (I’m kidding, yo!) … But I do have this thing. It’s this weird little gut feeling that’s just about always with me.

Sometimes I call it ‘my Grandmomma talking to me’.

Other times I call it ‘I’m hungry for pancakes or pizza’.

But most of the time that dull ache pulling me in one direction is my intuition.

I don’t chat much about religion here in my corner of the internet. It’s just something I like to keep personal. But on a scale of 1 to “bible thumping”, I’d say that I’d lightly brush up against a bible. Maybe softly and lovingly twirl its hairs, tickle its earlobes, or something.

(and on a scale of 1 to going to hell for probably mocking the bible, I’m decorating my hand-basket with glitter now).

The point (and I have one), is that in my almost 31 years on this earth, I’ve really grown into myself (does that sound really dirty? I’m not sorry about it at all, but it totally wasn’t intentional), and have gotten to be really good at knowing what I want, and doing what makes me feel good. I used to be solely a people pleaser, but now I know the value in pleasing myself. (Again, not intentional. Again, not sorry about it.)

I know when things aren’t good for me. Sometimes I do it anyway. In fact, I have a history of just doing it anyway. I also have a history of getting hurt. Over the last… I don’t know… 2 years, especially over the last year, I gauge just about everything on a scale of how hurt I could potentially be, and avoid doing something that could hurt me at just about all costs.

Example: About 12 years ago I ate a hot dog. (TWSS? No?) After I ate this hot dog, I was in an incredible amount of pain, ate an entire package of Tums, but ended up in the emergency room and getting emergency gall bladder surgery. I obviously made it through the ordeal, but it took me about 10 years to eat another hot dog. No wieners in this mouth. (Hi Mom!) But eventually, I took a chance, ate a Ball Park, and I lived. I didn’t have to have my gall bladder out again. (Because they totally grow back. I watch Grey’s Anatomy, weirder things have happened).  But even to this day, before I put a hot dog into my mouth (Hi Mom!), I have that weird gut instinct that says “NO. KATIE DON’T EAT IT REMEMBER THE TITANIC!”

When you get all analytical, which hello, have you met me?, you can obviously draw the conclusion that it wasn’t the entire hot dog empire that caused my gall bladder attack. It was just the last thing that I ate. Maybe it was a bad hot dog. It was a bad hot dog, not a bad life. (Write that down, free quotable quote for you, friends). I suppose it was normal to avoid eating one for a while, but eventually you have to let sh*t go. I did it, it hurt, I survived.

There’s something to be said for taking proper precautions though. Once you get hurt physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually and you feel that overwhelming pain in whatever form it comes in, you want to do everything you can to avoid it happening again. The basic rule would be to avoid the things that hurt you and aren’t good for you… I mean, right?

The thing that I struggle with, and continue to struggle with is whether something truly isn’t good for me, or if I’m relying on previous experiences to light my way… a little too much. Are the experiences that I think are lighting my way actually blinding me to the things that are in front of me that could actually be beneficial? At what point are you making the same mistake twice VS taking a new chance? Is there a clear damn line that someone can draw?

How the heck do I tell the difference between protecting myself and staying barricaded in my comfort zone?

Do I need to live more in the courage zone? Can I buy Fast Passes to the courage zone?

Should I be eating more hot dogs?

Sometimes I Hate The Internet

I’ve been known to complain a lot about the internet and how I feel it should work. I eventually realized that I was being a brat and complaining about other people complaining was never going to solve anything and I stopped (publicly) addressing all of the things that I feel are wrong with the internet.

Instead, I try and focus on the things that are right with the internet. Like all of you. Yes, you. You reading this. I like you. You’re cute as heck, to be honest.

But here’s the thing. I’m still a brat sometimes and the internet still pisses me off sometimes. I’m bringing this up because it’s my party and I’ll complain a little if I want to.

I’ve all but stopped using Facebook because when I read through statuses, I get a case of the sads or angries. People are really negative and passive aggressive and all-around hateful. I do try my best and be respectful of other people’s opinions, but sometimes I find it incredibly hard not to comment and ask people what in the ever loving eff is wrong with them. But I’ve learned self control.

Anyway, I recently took to Facebook to find out which of my “friends” were Jamberry representatives because I really adore those cute little nail stickers. No sooner did I post that status, within 15 minutes I had no less than 10 messages in my inbox of people who wanted to sell me nail decals. They’ve followed up with me nearly every single day since then, asking if I was ready to buy or if I had any questions or if I wanted a free sample.

A for freakin’ aggressive marketing, you guys.

F minus for ‘where the hell have you been over the last 5 years that we’ve been friends on Facebook?’, though.

Like, when my Grandmother died, or as I’ve been going through the last 2 years of public depressive hell. Where were these people? Honestly,  I have the most amazing support system ever, so it’s not like I was in extreme need. But how did they know that? Really, I moreso worry about other people who are in need of help. Are their status updates ignored or skipped over because they don’t have money making potential? Have we all become dollar signs to each other?

It just made me wonder how many lives would be changed for the better if we reached out to people we know for reasons other than that they can do something for us.

I don’t remember which of my friends it was but I remember someone posting an article about how “No, I won’t have coffee with you unless you have a potential client for me, or if you’re one of my clients.” They went on to explain that their time is valuable and blah blah blah. As a biz owner, I get the time is valuable thing, but people and human connections that are not prefaced by a dollar sign are way more important to me than any potential client.

I guess everyone is different.

This is literally the end my my rant. Honestly, this is such a small thing. The positive that I’ve gotten out of the internet far outweighs the negative and while I’m struggling to hit 500 words of this blog post, I could easily write at least 10,000 words about how much I love all of you.

But like I said. Sometimes I want to be a brat. And who else to be a brat with than you guys.

Thanks for accepting me in all my bratty imperfection.