to be

every Monday morning I get an email from hb. She is a 20 something who I felt this instant connection to her words when I received her blog 2 years ago in my email. They’re deep (do I like any other kind?!), mean something, get me thinking and praying, and always so welcomed on a Monday. This morning’s referenced another blog of a friend of hers and MAN was it JUST what I needed to hear this morning.

Melissa’s blog says:

“My tattoo means “Be where your feet are.”

A friend of mine used this phrase as her New Year’s resolution. “Be with the person who planted her feet on the ground today,” she had said. “Don’t walk away from that person…[This life] goes fast. And it’s unpredictable. And it can be cruel and graceless and then the next day remarkable. Choose to feel all of it.””

WOW. How powerful are those words?! Be where your feet are. Yes, I’ve heard that quote before but today, I heard it differently. I heard it loud and clear for the first time today. And it was so welcomed.

You see, I’ve been on this war path (it feels to me anyway, it’s been pretty intense) to feel a certain way and to “be ok”. It’s all I have wanted for the last 6 months or so and fighting with myself to get there has been really tough because I don’t give myself grace. I want to skip the journey part and just get to where I’m ok…and happy. Striving for happiness I feel is just this unattainable goal and frankly, hope I never get there. I realized I kind of love the journey part more. Over the weekend, I went on a trip with girls I’ve known most of my life. Parts of it were not fun but really, I walked away with the realization of how much I’ve grown and how much happier and content I am compared to where I thought I was. I saw the growth in myself but the mirror image of my past self where I wasn’t ok and wasn’t content with who I was. I realized I don’t really care what others think about me and I don’t need approval from anyone for who I am or where I’m at right now. Today when I read Melissa’s words, I thought “Yes, I need to be with who I am every step of the way…..don’t try to hurry it along because every moment is important to your growth and your journey.” It’s OK to feel sad sometimes and that makes the better and brighter moments that much better. And being able to see my struggle through someone else’s (as hard as that was) just made me incredibly thankful for how much I have grown.

The 2016 journey has been everything but easy and I was fighting the hard and the tough because I felt I had dealt with that long enough and when I let go of that expectation and just appreciated for where I was at, it’s made all the difference. The last few weeks have been so incredibly freeing for me. Letting go of that expectation and just BEING, wow. I hope I never lose that, ever. God has blessed and granted me with a pretty amazing journey and story so far and I know He’s got so much more planned for me. And I know I can and will get there…especially by just being me and feeling everything & not beating myself up over not being where I think I should be. He’s clearly telling me I’m not ready to be in whatever place I have dreamed up yet. Embracing the journey and each step and moment make the victories and the feeling of growth that much sweeter.

be. to be. being. It’s the most wonderful reminder. be. be confident, content, present, and free. be that and everything will fall into place.

These feelings will not kill you

this a beautiful way to describe precisely how I’ve been feeling over that last few weeks. It has been a truly wonderful gift & I could not feel more blessed to feel my pain and know it’s making me stronger and more beautiful person.

girl gone free

“Sometimes, when I’m positive I’m being crushed, it’s like I feel God grab my face in his hands and say to me, ‘I am here with you. These feelings will not kill you.’ And every time, I make it through. I survive.”

A friend said this to me on the phone the other day. She’s walking the painful road of recovery from an addiction, and she’s experienced all kinds of feelings of discouragement, loss and desperation in the months she’s been pursuing sobriety. These feelings aren’t new. But for the first time, she is choosing not to try to run from them. Instead, she sits with them. Maybe she asks the question: “Are my insides trying to tell me something? What might I need right now?” But mostly, she just grieves and cries and feels and trusts that God is not removed from her suffering.

We’re all addicts.

We’ve all…

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stop the lies

It’s amazing the power of thoughts. Your thoughts could be the biggest lie out there but if you tell yourself it over and over again, it will become the truth and nothing can be done to turn that around. That’s the problem I’m facing right now. I keep telling myself lies over and over again….and they’re mostly about myself.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just kept beating myself up and was giving myself zero grace. I felt like a failure at everything….my job, my friendships, my hobby, and then I felt like I was failing myself because I kept telling myself I was failing. Does that even make sense? No, probably not. But I was talking so much self doubt & worthlessness into my head that it was impacting everything happening around me. It was ugly and not fair to myself.

You see, I hold myself to this extremely high standard. For most of my life, I didn’t take risks or chances or make terrible decisions because I was afraid of the disappointment that would follow. I had a lot of examples of how NOT to be and I refused to make decisions that would put me in that category. I was so afraid of making those types of decisions that I didn’t live my life and do what I wanted….I was living for someone else or someone elses entirely. Then one day I decided to live my life for me and so I made a decision for me. It was a selfish decision on many levels but for the first time in my life, it was a decision that I was happy about and was for me. But because of taking that chance and making one of those decisions that would lump me in the category I forever wanted to avoid, I find myself long after, still beating myself up. Months and months later, and I’m still beating myself up. I’m telling myself how terrible I am and that God is punishing me for making that choice and that I’m getting what I deserved all along. And those terrible, awful thoughts just keep getting stronger and they’ve become the truth. And because of that, I have less self-worth and self-esteem than I did before (which I didn’t think was possible). I hate that the lies and that severe negativity has overcome my brain and that I genuinely think all those terrible things about myself. I am not allowing myself to be happy and be content and be confident and say, “yeah, I struggled through some of that but I came out on the other side stronger, happier, and a better person”. I feel like I’m never going to get to that place that I’m never going to be able to make it out of the tunnel….that all hope is lost.

I’ve been trying my hardest to embrace the journey and give my mind a break and give myself some grace but giving myself grace is something I’ve always struggled with. I owe myself to feel that grace and to feel good about the decision I made and don’t wish ill and bad things upon myself for making those decisions. Because I feel like every time I turn around, the bad things I feel about myself regarding this choice, are haunting me and that I’ll never be happy. And that is not a way to live, at all.

I’m posting this because I want to hold myself accountable to give myself the grace and happiness I deserve. Life will be ok and God is not punishing me…He’s teaching me lessons and skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I want to be happy and living my life the way I deserve to and not how the lies in my head tell me. God has blessed me with so much and instead of beating myself up about it, I will embrace, accept it, and keep going.

Death of a game player.

this post is truly inspiring and really gave me yet another “AH yes…so much truth in these words.” You should read.

HANNAH BRENCHER

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It was two summers ago. 2013.

I would have told you, in a nonchalant tone of voice, that I was “keeping my options open.”

He and I, we weren’t official. We weren’t much of anything at all besides a few dinners and a person to report back to at the end of the night. I knew that if we talked about it then the consensus would be mutual: This won’t go too far. And it’s okay if there are other people you talk to at night.

He was sweet though. Schooled me in enchilada-eating competitions. Took my hand at the movies. Sang (out of pitch and out of tune) right along side me in the car.

You could have thought the world of him. You could have told me he was certainly “it” but my conclusions were certain and drawn already: I knew I wasn’t going to date him long-term.

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true

it’s been a while….5 months actually. and you know, it’s been pretty nice not feeling like I need to draft about 12,000 of these a day to keep in ‘drafts’ to reference when I’m feeling down and out. I feel good. I’m in a good place. FINALLY. I suppose I really have been since one December day.

I’ve learned a lot since my tenure of writing all the things I was feeling those months ago. I’ve learned that it’s hard to lose people. I HATE it. Hate it more than anything. Whether it’s by my choice or the other person’s. I just hate it. And when I don’t have closure or know what to do to move forward, I sit on it. And I stew and think and think and think about what I did, what I should have done, and mostly, how to move on. while I’ve gained a lot of life experience, I’ve lost too much in the process.

I lost one of my very best friends….sometimes it’s almost like she actually died because that’s how I feel and that’s how I’ve had to grieve her. We haven’t talked since a day or so after my last post and she won’t return my texts emails or calls. And since I have no closure about what happened between us, I’ve treated it like a death that needs mourning. It’s heartbreaking. But, I’ve finally gotten myself to a place where I’m at peace with it. I know I’ll never have closure and so I have accepted it, mourned it, and continue on living my life. And that’s been probably the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn in life. People will leave, they will disappoint, and you will be hurt by those you think will never ever do that to you. But that can’t stop you from living your life, being who you are and not apologizing for it.

I’ve also come to a place of peace with whatever my life holds. It’s not going to go as I plan it and I’m finally getting to a place of peace about that too. God laughs at plans, so they say, and I’m expecting nothing less with my “plans”. I finally have the faith and reassurance that He has a good one for me and I’ll appreciate it even more when it all comes to light. I am just not on the same path as most of my friends or what is considered “normal”. Sometimes it’s hard to be OK with and clearly has taken me a long time to get to that place, but I have. And I’m ready for it. I’m ready for whatever He gives to me.

life is a funny thing….and instead of dreading it and waiting for the next bad thing to happen, or the next person to leave, I’m just going to be content and be myself. And while that will disappoint people at times and I’ll fall short, I’m not going to change who I am to make someone else happy.

2015 is going to be a good year for me…it already has been, and I’m going to make damn sure it stays that way. And the first step is staying true to myself.

have I made a difference yet?

It’s hard muddling through the struggles of being a 20 something. There are so many more variables and what-if’s I feel like in my 20s then there were ever before. Yes, being a teen was filled with much angst but I had a sort of life path to follow…I would graduate high school, go to college, and graduate college. What comes next? Honestly, it didn’t matter….22 seemed so far away at that point. 

I feel like I know more of who I am and who I want to be, but getting there seems to be the problem. I want to be a good listener, a loyal friend and ally, someone who doesn’t care quite as much, a strong & independent woman, and a little less sensitive to others. There are people in my life that I need to shed, risks I want to take, places I want to see…the list goes on.

I’ve realized as “real life” continues on, how I’ve outgrown certain people while they may or may not have outgrown me and others that I want to keep close that have outgrown me. It’s hard to come to this realization but even harder to do something about it. I don’t want to chop them off, but other then taking a strong approach, I don’t know how else to do it. This is where I mean I struggle with the how of being who I want. I’m not quite to the point where I can easily cut people out of my life.

Risks are a part of living and I am not known for taking them. I want to do things I’ve never done before and was too afraid of getting hurt or being disappointed. Life is for the living and if I always am afraid, I’ll never be able to enjoy my life. This is about any kind of risk…eating by myself, putting myself out there to make new friends, wanting alone time, putting myself out there for love. All of these are risks & some I’ve conquered and some I have not. I have learned to value my alone time and that has been beyond refreshing for me, in all honesty. I recenter and refocus my mind and don’t need someone else to do it? It’s a rather empowering feeling…I must say. The love aspect, however, struggling with that one still. I’m better then I was because I’m much more proud of who I am but I’m not 100% there yet. It’s very hard to consciously know you will probably get hurt, but again, if I’m not willing to risk it, how will I ever know what or who is out there? Stay tuned on that one….hoping for a good ending there.

AH. Traveling. My number one thing. I want to travel to as many places as I can. I am blessed to have friends who live in all different places and I need to experience them! Some I have been to before, others I have not. The world is such a wonderful place (well sort of) with a vast amount of cultures and I want to be able to see them! I have been very fortunate to see a handful of places already but there are endless more to see. Traveling is a part of who I want to be. I want to be free to travel and that is a goal I am actively working on. 

You’re supposed to have it together by the time you’re 24, right?? HA. That’s funny. I always thought so but I’m quickly learning that there is a strong chance I will never have it fully together. As I get older, I will become more of the person I am supposed to be and may have a few more things figured out. I have more figured out now then I did when I started this blog 4 years ago. I listen to criticisms with an open ear, mind, and heart; I like to think I’m less sensitive but I know I have more to work on that, I try not to be as selfish, and I try to give everyone a chance. And I like to believe that I’ve made a difference to at least one friend out there…it may be the smallest thing, but that’s always been my goal, is to make a difference. 

Cheers to you and your life’s journey…

Katie 

A “life is so fragile and quick” kind of letter.

words directly from my heart today…this couldn’t have come at a better time. enjoy.

HANNAH BRENCHER

Hannah_Brencher072

I used to think I would live a really short life.

I mean, I used to spend so much time wondering about funerals, and eulogies, and people slipping through my fingers when I was younger that I wondered if I’d die young. I couldn’t picture the white of my own wedding day. I never envisioned the texture of my children’s hair. I guess I wondered if that mean’t I would live a shorter life.  If some tragedy would happen to me. If I’d be here one day and gone the next.

I know that’s morbid. It’s not the way to start a letter but the news told me yesterday that life was fragile. And a funeral told me last week that time is kind of like scratch-off tickets: you win sometimes but most of the time you’re just gambling.

My mind winds back to you and I, sitting in the…

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