be.

18010757_10209095998139594_4652677570080398632_nbe where your feet are. be present. be in the moment. being in the moment can help guide you to what you were created for (thank you esther for that insight). to be.

most of my life has been me living for either the past or the future. i would focus on the wonderful memories from the past and not want to let them go OR i would be living for upcoming adventures. both are good things to do but it shouldn’t be so that the present is completely ignored. in the last year, i really recall only looking to future trips and things i know that would make me happy. and when those future things happened, i wasn’t enjoying them, i was worried about how i would feel when it was over. what a terrible way to live!

my ‘tude change started with trips. i tried to put my phone down and be present in the moments of the things i was looking forward to and try and not let myself worry so much about how i would feel when it was over and not hurry it away. it really started to work. my memories became more vivid and i felt like i was getting more out of my experiences. i started that probably over a year ago.

then came the hard part…being in the moment and being present in my every day life at home. that’s where i was the worst with that, wishing it away faster so i could get on to the next thing I was looking forward to. there is nothing wrong with having something to look forward to. but when i was spending my time wishing away the current, i miss out on so much. and it really is the simple things that mean the most. i always struggled more at home because i had to sit with myself and be with myself with everything good and bad i am. i wasn’t able to escape it as easily because i wasn’t distracted with fun and exciting things. i still feel i struggle with this on occasion but i know it has improved greatly. normally i am the one who is traveling monthly or sometimes a couple times a month so that is always what i look forward to but from the middle of February through the middle of April, i didn’t go anywhere. i was “stuck” here. and it sucked at times but i realized i became content being here and doing things at home and being able to sit with myself–my struggles and be ok with them. accepting them for what they were and knowing it would pass; it wouldn’t last forever. i didn’t feel as “stuck” as i always had in the past. i was able to have adventures in my own back yard and appreciate home for what it was and who was here.

that brings me to my tattoo. the last 5 days, i adventured in LA with my 3 best friends from high school. minus Jason, those 3 really are my closest and best friends. and i think of all 4 of them like family. they know my stuff, i know their stuff, and we love each other anyway. i don’t feel ashamed of my struggles around any of the 4 of them and that’s what makes them my best friends. so i decided before we went to LA that it was time for my tattoo and who better to share that experience with than 3 of the people who mean the most to me in the world. i knew i would be nervous (and i was) and they calmed me down, encouraged me, and supported me thru it. it was an experience i will always remember and cherish close to my heart.

i got the word “be” written by my mom. there is so much around that and it honestly makes me emotional. first of all, it’s my mom. my person. my mom. i love her deeply and sometimes i get really scared when she’s not going to be around and how i will handle what life throws my way. she’s my safe place and she is my mom. so having her writing on me forever is something i’m totally ok with. secondly, it’s the word “be”. to be where my feet are. no matter what, good or bad. to be in the moment, to feel it all; no matter how good or bad it is. be. i have struggled specifically with myself the last 4 years and who i am and who i want to be and what i see as important but learning to not let anything define me except who i am. katie. and even amidst the struggle and heartbreak, i am ok. i am feeling it all and i’m being and i’m ok. as i sit here with tears welling in my eyes, i KNOW how much i’ve been blessed. God has given me SO much and i think i really see that now that i’m being present no matter what. i wouldn’t be who i am without my struggles. as i have said multiple times recently, those are what i believe really define you…who you are in those darker moments…that’s when you know what you’re made of. and i want to be made of strength, resilience, persistence, faith, hope, and a mantra to NEVER GIVE UP on yourself, no matter what.

i came home excited but also feeling renewed. i needed this trip. i needed to be with friends and to be reminded that i’m loved no matter what by people on this planet and even if not everyone agrees with the decisions i make all the time, they still love me. but most importantly, i love me. i love me for all i am. and when i look down at my wrist now, i will remember to be, how blessed i am, and that God never gave up on me so i shouldn’t give up on me either.

to be.

what a powerful sentiment. and i’m damn proud of focusing on that and for how far i’ve come.

be no matter what. you’ll be so happy you did.

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twenty. seven.

some how I’m not sure how I got here, I’m already turning 27? I feel like I’m still 23 or 24, I think that’s the age I’ll always think of myself as. To be honest though, I’m glad I’m NOT still those ages.

I’m a person who is big on anniversaries of events and important moments because it gives me an excuse to stop and reflect on myself: who I am at the current moment, remember how far I’ve come, be thankful for the memory, but continue to press onward.

I have ALWAYS been an anniversary of things person, especially anything I deemed as life changing or altering. So between my 26th birthday and a “life changing” moment I experienced, 26 did not start off on the most positive note. It felt like a year ago, my life turned upside down and I had to figure out how to live with this new normal. Everything I had known as true and real the last 2 years had suddenly changed and I had to figure out how to accept that change. If I’m being honest though, I don’t think I accepted that change until about January¬†2017. I spent 10 months, TEN WHOLE MONTHS, trying to accept a change that had already happened.

You see, I hate change, I really despise it, in pretty much every aspect of my life. I’m sure I’ve expressed this before, how much I hate change. But it’s a goal I have for myself this year (2017) is to be more open to changes and to be more accepting of them immediately because change is a part of life; it’s inevitable and instead of fighting it, I should learn to embrace it. It might make me happier and continue to be more present in my every day.

Reflecting now, I spent so much of my 26th year trying to accept this change and struggling with who I was, where my worth came from, and what I want for my life. I finally decided I didn’t want to live in this space of chasing something that I was never going to get. I didn’t want to be in this negative space where I couldn’t enjoy anything or was always looking forward to the next good thing and missing out on the present moment. I was tired of being miserable and the only one who was miserable. I realized my life was going to be gone and I was still going to be holding on to these very small and VERY past moments.

It was TOUGH to let go and put these good and bad moments behind me enough to enjoy the here and now but I decided back in March that I was damned and determined to end 26 in a better space than I started it. I felt like letting go meant I had to let go of all the good parts too and that I had to forget about the happy memories but you don’t have to do that. You get to keep those special moments that meant everything to you and hold on to those but it doesn’t have to control or run your life. It was very difficult for me to get to this space. It’s been a big change of perspective and I’ve had to learn to have and feel true acceptance. But now that I’m here, it feels good. It feels good to see how far I’ve come and all I’ve learned about life and myself through all this.

I’m very thankful for these challenges because it’s brought me to this new place and space. God has guided me and carried me through all this to get to the other side. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I know it’s all going to be ok, I know I’m stronger and more confident in myself now because of all the good and the heartache and break. You have to know what it’s like to walk through those valleys to enjoy the mountains that much more. 26 was a valley for me but 27, 27 is going to be my finding my way to the top. Everyone’s lives are full of ups and downs of all different kinds and I’m no different in that. My story and my growth will be able to help someone, I just know it. Just don’t give up on yourself, don’t lose hope, and don’t lose faith. We really learn who we are and what we’re made of in those valleys.

be where your feet are. be in those moments, no matter how hard or how wonderful they are, be in them fully. those are what matters and those shape who we become. don’t live in the past, don’t live for the future. just be because it’s all going to be ok in the end; God makes sure of it.

cheers to 27 and all those good moments to come….