This is where life begins

I did it. I finally slid through that finish line tape (ok, more like stumbled through after face planting a few times) they call graduation. After seven long years I can finally come home from work and actually take some time to unwind. I can finally hang out with people again without saying goodbye when we just arrived at our destination.

This feels like freedom.

I understand that life won’t exactly be less busy, but I am excited that it will finally be busy with things I really want to do instead of things I am just obligated to do.

I am excited about all the possibilities.

Oh the Irony

The more I grow up the more I wish I could grow young. I know that sounds weird, but I also know that most of you know exactly what I mean. I think that, deep down, we all have a little Benjamin Button Syndrome.

There are moments that I ache to the point of tears when I remember how things used to be. Will I always be that person that feels the grass is greener on the other side? Will I always be restless and impatient for change?

When I was younger I could not wait to get older. I could not wait to have more freedom, more money, and more responsibilities. Now that I am an adult I feel like I’m less free than I was as a kid.

Ironic is it not?

Life is ironic.

That is my conclusion.

Stars in the Trees

The sky has stopped crying and the air is left smelling like wet earth. A small breeze is playing its way through the trees, and even though the sky has a sweater on I still see stars. 

Countless blinking stars in a place closer to my eyes. Flying around my face. Lighting up the branches over my head. Stars chasing each other and blinking to ask the other stars on dates. 

Even at the end of a bad day my heart is lifted by these little lights. These little fireflies. 

These stars in the trees.

Maybe summer isn’t so bad after all.

Passion

Passion is defined in the dictionary as “a strong and barely controllable emotion.” 

From my limited experience of watching people who are passionate about something I have found these things to be true.

It keeps you awake at night, mulling over new ideas and wriggling with excitement. 

You can not stop talking about it with everyone. 

You work hard for that passion, stoking the flames and making it come to life. 

You attract other people with it. 

You are willing to go to great lengths for it, including traveling to the ends of the earth and facing your greatest fears. 

It makes you take risks. 

It causes you to be a healthier person because you have clear goals and are constantly moving to accomplish a purpose. 

These are all characteristics I have seen to be true of the passionate people that have walked in and out of my life. Characteristics I have yet to share with any of them for any long stretch of time. 

This has left me wondering if we are born with passion or if we have to choose something and work for it?

Did we all know what we wanted to be growing up?

Do we all have a passion just waiting to be discovered in the depths of our hearts and minds that just needs the right trigger? 

Is passion something that, once ignited, just continues getting stronger on its own? Is it as easy as people make it look? 

Can people really just not help themselves and this passion compels them to move forward? 

I think I fall in line with the answer that we make our passions and it always takes more work to maintain them than we think it will in the beginning. 

I know that sounds disheartening, and I could be wrong to throw it out there as a blanket statement, but maybe it’s not as sad as it comes across. 

Maybe we were made to work hard for and wrestle with our passions.

Maybe it wouldn’t be fulfilling any other way.

What do you think? 

Depression

I debated about sharing this with you all, but I have to admit I’m at a point where I do not know where else to go and I’m just so tired of being stuck. 

I think I have struggled with this since my mom died and we picked up and moved halfway across the world immediately after. I can not begin to tell you the emotional, mental, and even physical shock I went through with all of this happening at once. I lost my best friend, I lost my non-related friends, my hometown, and everything that was dear to me as a ten year old girl. To make matters worse, we moved from the far west to the far south east, which I have to say was an incredible culture shock. 

It took a lot out of me. I went from being an extreme extrovert who didn’t care what other people thought and loved being the center of attention, to this shy, timid shell that was not comfortable in her own skin. I was awkward and me, and everyone else around me, knew it. 

I was different at school and I was different at home. I never was like any of my family. I never got along with my father, I was five years younger than my closest sibling, I looked different, acted different, and believed different things. 

As the youngest I had a backwards mentality that I had to be strong for the rest of my family that was falling apart at the seams. I showed very little emotion for mom’s death apart from anger. They took that as “she doesn’t care.” But I did. 

I struggled to relate to anyone with anything that really made me, me. I struggled with who I was to begin with. I struggled with the emotional roller coaster that was inside my chest and my head at all times. I struggled with my faith. 

As the years went forward, I slowly started to stuff all of that down, suppressing it and trying to move forward. But even though I made a lot of good friends and put some pretty good academic accomplishments under my belt, at the end of the day I still felt empty, afraid, alone, and sad. 

It was not long before I was in college and many of those emotions were drowned out by apathy. As my family struggled with illness and depression and loss of jobs, friends, and cars over and over again and the weight of taking care of some of them started to fall more on my shoulders, I think I just gave up inside. 

At first I blamed myself. I thought my apathy was just me being lazy and selfish. I tried to change things over, and over again. I tried to find things to be motivated about. I longed to be passionate, to accomplish something great, and to make meaningful relationships. But the more I pushed myself to finish school, the more friends I made, the more I went to church, the more I worked, the more apathetic and empty I grew. Little sparks here and there just were not enough to light my long extinguished fire. 

I started sleeping more on days off, turning in homework as late as I could or sometimes not at all (I thought as long as I pass, that is enough), eating when I was not even hungry, spacing out with friends, avoiding family, and just plain not caring. The only part of me that kept me going was the part of me that wanted to avoid hurting those around me more and the thought of doing all of this work for nothing. 

I have to admit… Even those last two things are starting to lose their impact. I have reached the point where I know if I don’t do something I’m just going to become completely lifeless and drop it all. 

The part of me that hates that is writing this. The part of me that doesn’t want to be alone anymore. The part of me that wants help. 

Am I alone? 

Laugh! It’s healthy

When I can’t sleep or I’m struggling with too much worry I sometimes cheer myself up by watching Conan Obrien highlights.

Laughing, for me, is incredibly healing. It scares away those dark shadows long enough for me to breathe.

So, I thought I would share a laugh with you here. Enjoy.


My friends and I have decided we are going to do this warm up the next time we see each other. I’m afraid I would be the Nicolai of the group and blow it right off the bat.

When I find something funny the poker face faces a failure to launch.

Introverted idealist 

  1. I like the idea of travel. Like any other 20 something I enjoy curling up on the sofa and living vicariously through Rick Steves (or maybe that’s just me). I make a mental list of all my favorite places he visits and tell myself one day I’ll just drop everything and go. So far I’ve maybe gone to the mountains in my own state once this whole year. Really got a jump on that one.
  2. I like the idea of being an artist. I’ll read books about art and familiarize myself with enough famous artists to feel sophisticated and then I’ll sit down and sketch a horse in a hipster location and wonder if anyone else sees how artist-like I look (truth be told I got bored before I even got to the shading). 
  3. I love the idea of being an extrovert. I look at photos of my friends hanging out with their groups of friends and make mental notes on all the social gathering invites from my church and think to myself, “this week I’m gonna be a kool kid and broaden my community!” (By the time I get off work I groan at group texts and curl up with a book) (way to build community Kat! You’re a shining star in the eyes of those around you)
  4. I like the idea of being healthy and hiking the Apalachain trail one day. I look at pictures and read adventure blogs and I’m super pumped up to the point that those brownies call from the kitchen and my favorite show comes on. Then I look in the mirror the next morning and wonder “what happened yesterday? Didn’t you work out- oh wait..”

It’s at this point I realize the real me is tshirts and sweatpants and writing in my candlelit room.

The real me is coffee and a quiet evening on my porch watching the sun set with a good book close by. 

The real me is a foodie that needs to get her butt in shape and duck tape her mouth shut because she can’t resist a good brownie.

The real me prefers keeping up to date through YouTube to big crowds and socializing for hours, not because I’m shy but because I enjoy my alone time and people can be a bit exhausting sometimes.

The real me likes Walt Whitman more than she should and has headphones as a permanent fixture around her neck. 

The real me is an introverted idealist and I’m kind of ok with that. 

Retail: Beautiful Frustration

Retail. Often times the definition of retail to me is

tedious, mundane, frustration

There are days I come home and it’s all I can do to keep from crawling in a hole because my shift has been full of people who think they are the center of the universe and that it’s my role in life to be their door mat. There are days I have to bite my tongue. There are days that I fight back tears.

But then

An old man walks in, grabs me by the hands and starts dancing with me to the music playing in the store just because he wanted to dance with someone. His smile made my day. I can’t dance, but it didn’t matter.

A woman I helped earlier in the year brings her friend in to shop because she said I gave her the best service she has ever received in a store.

A couple gives me a hug and their card, telling me they can get me a seat at a Nascar race any time I want to because they enjoyed their time with me.

A man grabs my hands over the counter after I ring him up and prays for me.

A woman and her daughter donate $20 to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital because they saved the daughters life and the mom didn’t have to pay a dime.

There is always a silver lining. There are always people that make the job worth it. There are always moments that make you realize that life is not about you at all, its about loving others and serving them.

If you have your bad days, you can have mercy on others who also have bad days. You never know what people are going through. Do not take everything personally. Focus on the highlights and be grateful.

I am blessed. That’s all there is to it. God is good.