two months in, two months away.

I have been wanting to blog for quite a while but haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and really write. Last time I wrote, life was upside down and I didn’t know what direction I was going or what way was up. I know life is life and bad things happen, it’s natural and well, it’s just life. Nothing I can do to change or control that. It doesn’t make life things any less tough. And as life does, it kept going, and kept us on our toes.

In May….after I sold my house & while I began packing up my house and life to move to Bozeman for my new adventure…our family got some more unexpected and tough news. My mom was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. CANCER. AGAIN. BREAST CANCER, AGAIN. We had literally just lost Di a few weeks before we learned about my mom. Yes, it’s stage one. Yes, she caught it VERY early. But it’s still cancer and it’s still very scary…especially when we just lost Di to it, my mom’s sister no less.

I was shocked and terrified when she told me and immediately thought better of moving…even though it was all under way. I couldn’t imagine leaving her and my dad here to deal with it all without supporting them. It felt extremely selfish to me. I was her kid and I needed to be here for her….to support her….and let her know she wasn’t alone. The idea of potentially losing my mom, my person, right after losing such a hugely important person in my life, Di, was absolutely terrifying to me….and still is.

I felt like God was really putting our faith to the test this year. In my life, school was a HUGE unknown for the early part of 2018, then we lost Di suddenly, and now my mom has to fight breast cancer. I struggled if I could stay strong through all life was throwing at me but I made a decision to anchor myself in my faith. I knew that I would ONLY make it through the move, changing my career, and not get so bogged down with worry about my mom by putting my faith and trust in God. I could only control what I could and that is my response to all the change at my feet. I chose to move, to start a new path, and I had to choose to trust God in those choices and those things I had no say in, like my mom now having to fight breast cancer.

Fast forward some time….my mom & dad helped me move to Bozeman (which I absolutely love by the way…more on that later) and I’m SO thankful they were able to come and help me. I think it was good for all of us honestly…helped take our minds off everything my mom was going to face. When she got home, she began her treatment process. She had surgery on August 13th and while it was deemed successful…all cancer gone…it did move to one lymph node and was about 4 times bigger than originally believed on the ultrasound. And that is where we are at right now. We don’t know what will come next…originally it was just going to be radiation but now we have heard it may be a form of chemo too. It shocked all of us it was that big and that it was in a lymph node…but because my mom’s faith is so strong and well my mom is so strong, we know it will be ok. She will be OK because God will make sure of it (not putting words in his mouth or his promises of course, just my ideas 🙂 )

I have told a few people that God and I have made a deal. I know I’m probably not supposed to be making deals with God but I like to think he smiles down on me and obliges my need to make deals every now and again. To be completely honest, 2018 has really sucked. Parts have been incredibly fantastic and amazing and I try really hard to hold onto those but so much of this year has sucked. And in being even more honest, I can’t imagine losing my mom. Yes, I do know one day it will happen, but I’m not ready for that yet. She is my person. She helps me see the good in these terrible situations that we have dealt with this year and in times passed. She holds our family together. She supports me in all my crazy dreams…like changing my career and moving to Montana. She has shown me how to be strong in life’s tough times. I can only hope to be half as strong as she is. I wouldn’t survive this life without her and so I have made a deal with God that I’m not ready for her to leave us yet and I like to think He knows this already. I like to believe that He smiles kindly on my poor worried heart and reminds me His plan is awesome and no matter what happens, He’s got this. He’s got us. He’s got me. And He’s going to make sure we’re all ok.

Without being terribly preachy, I have to share that without my faith, I would be in some hole in the fetal position with everything that’s happened this year. I hate change (ironic) but He has made me strong. He made my mom so incredibly strong and I’m finally seeing and experiencing that for myself. I know without a doubt, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am in this moment without my faith and my belief in God. I can pick specific moments where I can see how He worked in and through others to make life OK for me and for our family. And so I know He will continue to do that for my mom and all of us.

I also want to take a moment and say that my mom gave me permission to write about this. It’s something I have been wanting to do for a while but putting it into words made it so real and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to deal with it all yet. Another EXTREMELY important piece of this is self-care. My mom is the one who found her lump….the mammogram she had a month earlier didn’t even detect it…she found it and started having it monitored right away. Unfortunately that was in February and she wasn’t diagnosed until May, but that is another story for another day. The important point is that she was doing her monthly self-check and felt it and if she hadn’t, who knows when it would have shown up and how far it may have progressed by then. It’s an extremely important lesson for me and for anyone who reads this. Don’t wait…be an advocate for yourself and your health…you know your body best…and while I did my own self-exams often, I have done it regularly twice a month…just for good measure. Also, if you know my mom, she is reminding me 🙂

I write all this to share her story…our story…my story. We believe it’s important to share our stories and experiences because they may help someone else out there reading this in ways we don’t know.

I want to thank our family and friends who have reached out, sent their prayers & well wishes, and who have been such a strong support system for us always and especially in 2018. I know my mom appreciates it and I do as well…more than we can say. God blessed us with some great people in our lives and we love you all so much.

All my love…
K

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shedding the old

on this final Friday in October, I feel a strong desire to speak my truth. I feel it’s important to shed the final layer of the old by being honest with the world. It’s scary to be this honest on such a format but I hope by my sharing I can help someone else. Most may see my life as wonderful….I travel often, I have amazing friends, family who loves and takes care of me, yet I always found myself looking and searching for something more. I was never content with my life and never content with myself.I wasn’t striving to have a picture perfect life but I wanted to feel happier than I felt. Unknowingly, I had been fighting severe anxiety for a very long time which caused much of the discontentment. I couldn’t turn my brain off. I couldn’t make the racing thoughts stop. And at times, the anxiety paralyzed me 100%. A lot of the time, I didn’t even know what was happening as I didn’t know what I was dealing with. My anxiety peaked it’s ugly head a few years ago and I literally spiraled out of control. I couldn’t get out of the awful cycle (not to mention, a heartbreak was thrown in there that made it much worse). I would avoid social activities and just go home and sit by myself, get mad at myself for feeling this way and then just cry. I was so consumed by my own hate self talk that I was ruining my own life and my relationships with those I cherish most. I was paralyzed and no matter what fun thing I was doing or cool place I went, it didn’t stop. Nothing I did helped. Even when I learned I had anxiety I still did not know how to fight it or cope with it. No matter what I did, the “I’m not good enough” thoughts and worry about every little choice and decision just would not stop.

Over the last few months, my self discovery lead me to really take control of the anxiety. I accepted what I had been fighting for years and decided I did not want to waste any more of my life. I went to counseling, worked with a life coach, and even went to an energy healer. I took up running, started praying….even did a prayer challenge, began openly talking about my challenges with others. I was able to let go of the past and the matters of the heart and in the process of all this, grew to love myself. I came to understand that I’m the only one who can change and truly the only one I can always count on, so I should be kinder to myself. Just because I have anxiety, does not mean I’m not a good person or a contributing member to those I cherish most. I realized that hiding it and being ashamed was not benefiting me at all. It was making it worse. Since starting these things, the self love has grown tremendously. Loving myself has been the biggest contributing factor to beating the anxiety. I see hope for myself for the future and I’m enjoying the little things about my day…and honestly, I feel like the Katie before all this took me under.
Perhaps I’m making this sound more dramatic than it is or it may be challenging for you to identify with this, but let me just say, it’s no joke. Granted, I haven’t suffered the way many others have or to the same extents that some have but it still was very real for me. And if you haven’t dealt with this debilitating way of life, then you count yourself very blessed. I believe we all deal with things like this at one point or another in our lives because of situations or circumstances but talking about it and owning it makes me feel less alone and more proud of myself for all I’ve learned and grown into. Not to mention, I feel a release of the shame and embarrassment I had felt for so long. The old is gone and the new is here to stay. And I’m grateful, so very grateful. As I end my long novel, I encourage you to be kind to others, be loving to yourself, and enjoy every moment no matter what.
a big thank you to my family and friends who unknowingly helped me along the way.

 

friday humor

let me tell you a little story….it's a story that is mostly humorous and comical… filled with a touch of disappointment and a "WTF" thrown in there a few times.

it's a story of Katie's dating life or lack there of. I don't like dating, I don't like feeling the pressure to be the perfect version of myself when I know good and well that no one is really 100% of the time that way. and because of who I am, I choose to put even more pressure on myself. Dating is supposed to be fun and light and exciting and casual and I look at it like I have one shot at going on one date with one guy in order for him to be "the one". It's insane!!! Part of it is my own fault and part of it is the way the dating world works and my experience, or lack there of in relationships. It's comical to me when I hear about other friends going on dates and how they look at it and honestly, it just terrifies me. I would rather be friends with someone first and let it grow into more…that's what I prefer but that can't happen if I'm going on dates.

After many a year NOT dating and my broken heart finally truly on the mend, I decided it was finally time to try this again. (I'm serious, this is like a once a year, every few years deal for me). Yes, have been on all the dating apps with little to no success but about over a year ago I matched with this guy on Tinder and he seemed really sweet and nice and we started chatting on there and then started texting. At this particular time, I was not really wanting to go on dates or date anyone, just to talk to someone to distract me from my unrequited love (I know it's dramatic but what else do you say when you love someone and they don't love you back?) So I wasn't really in a place for actual dating…too scary I wasn't ready to give up on my heart. We continue to talk for a few months and I finally get up the nerve to actually meet this guy. He was patient and I think I was hoping I would piss off the other one enough that he would realize his true feelings for me. And let me just be frank, life doesn't work like that….that is in the world of fairy tales where the girl ends up with the boy….not. real. life. and p.s. me doing that did not make him jealous. AT ALL. alas, I digress…back to my story.

This guy was kind enough to come to my neck of the woods and we met a sports bar I've never been to so we could watch the Carolina basketball game. (I'm a big fan) I was super nervous but kind of excited! I felt like I knew him pretty well so I would be more at ease. I arrived first and I saw him driving to find a parking spot and when he saw me got super excited and was waving so big. I remember rolling my eyes and thinking "oh lord here we go". I waited for him at the front door and he asked for a hug and so I hugged him and as we were walking inside, he held the door and it made me feel uncomfortable (why I have NO idea) but it did and so being me, I said "Oh you don't have to do that!" Ugh I'm such an idiot sometimes. We had to wait a bit for a table and so we sat on this small bench and then he tried to touch my thigh right above my knee and I said "oh that's a little too much too fast". I think it made him feel uncomfortable but I met him less than 5 minutes before!!! Again, I do NOT move fast. AT ALL. Not going to apologize for it either anymore. We eventually sit and talk and hang out and eat and drink and he shared very interesting things….talked a lot about his daughter (I get it) and about his ex-wife which I found rather odd. And how she was a virgin on their wedding night (COOL. THAT doesn't make me feel uncomfortable or weird or anything……….) And honestly, I was thinking about the other guy and was comparing the two pretty much the whole time. I never really relaxed and didn't feel like I was myself but in all honesty, I realized I wasn't ready. I wasn't over things and I didn't want to be unfair to this nice guy. I feigned illness so I could go home…and yes that is bad but it had been 3 hours and I was mentally exhausted. He walked me to my car and planted a kiss. WHICH by the way, I had mentioned multiple times while we were eating that I like and need to take things slow. Sorry but to me, that is not slow and you clearly didn't hear me when I said SLOW. I said goodbye and got the hell out of there.

Now I know that slow is different to each person so I respect that and I knew very well and good I was comparing in my mind the whole time and this guy simply did not live up to what, in my mind, is my standard. Regardless if things didn't work out with the other guy, doesn't matter, he set a standard and will continue to be my standard….good or bad as that may be. And I'm ok with that, especially now.

After our date, I blew the guy off for a few days and decided I needed to be honest with him. I told him that I really liked him (maybe a stretch) but I was just NOT in a place to be dating. I was getting over someone still and my heart was not ready or willing to move on. And he accused me of lying and not be truthful but in fact it was the honest truth. We went back and forth a few times and he finally got I was telling the truth. I still wasn't ready to be dating and his intenseness with me freaked me out some so I know that was part of it too.

Alas, we continued to talk off and on from April last year until now. Nothing too serious or deep but he always seemed to reach out when it was like I was getting too wrapped up in the past with the past. It was comical because I felt like God was giving me a sign. I tried to listen and be really open to going out with him again and giving him a real chance. I felt he deserved it after kind of stringing him along even though I wasn't being too forward or saying how much I liked him or wanted him. Just felt he deserved another chance. Oh and he drunk texted me one night…something really inappropriate…it was funny but definitely made me feel uneasy. Oh and he's 40ish so that makes it even more comical and slightly, WTF, you're 40.

FINALLY I got up the nerve and we decided to meet up….last Friday to be exact. Originally we were going to meet on Wednesday and I was FREAKING out. FREAKING out. I was so nervous and I felt I was because he continued to say how much he liked me and was so into it. And I knew I was putting too much pressure on this date and myself but I couldn't stop myself. It wasn't fun and casual anymore, I was back to looking at it as I get one chance, one guy, one shot. And I had been sick the week before so I postponed until Friday and there would be alcohol involved so it would be easier for both of us. I panicked about it all day and talked to way too many people about but I knew I had to go no matter what. I needed all questions answered and to really see what this guy was all about. I ended up messaging him about my nerves because I felt it would help and it really did. He told me no pressure and that we would be friends regardless and he was nervous too so I felt like "Ok I can do this." I psyched myself out and I was going to do it.

As I walk up to him, I said a little prayer…asked God to be with me, help me be open, really give him a chance, and to be myself. We said hi and hugged and here apparently is where it goes south. I was nervous so I said something silly- "Oh it's casual Friday?!" I was in a dress. I felt over dressed compared to him and plus I was just trying to break the ice. I wasn't intending to be critical of his outfit (although he was wearing a winter fedora so I was internally critiquing that…who wouldn't? It was 1000 degrees outside). I remembered he likes to open doors so I let him this time without saying anything rude and we were seated. We kind of talked about my nerves and there were many lauls in the conversation so in order to keep it going, I asked a lot of questions. I didn't want to feel uncomfortable so I just kept up with the questions. He chugged his beers and whenever I did talk (p.s. he did not ask me ONE question about myself. not. one.) he stared everywhere except my face. My hands, my arms, my chest (mostly there) and never once looked at my face when I was talking or sharing a story. He didn't seem interested in what I had to say or getting to know me at all. Cool. His staring made me feel incredibly uncomfortable and I was trying to ignore it and just chalk it up to nerves. Now remember, I told him earlier that day how nervous I was and that I needed to take things slow, I kept saying it and was being up front and honest. Don't think there is anything wrong with that….I was being true to myself. And what does he do? Awkwardly reaches across the table and tries to grab my hand. Which then I literally snatched it back so fast I didn't even realize I did it. CLEARLY did not want him holding my hand let alone touching me. It was not because he repulsed me (although on some level he totally did) but it was about the fact that he completely ignored and disrespected me in my requests for things to go slow. SLOW. and again, while hand-holding is not slow though awkward when you're sitting across from one another, it's fast enough to me. at least with him. SO there was that. And soon enough it was time to go and he made a comment about how he would "pick up the tab since I'm going to buy dinner in a few". GEE. THANKS SO MUCH. That bothered me too but again, I was trying to do this whole thing in a different space and different mindset than before. I was still not feeling comfortable with physical stuff but hey, it's been one time. Give me a flipping break PARTICULARLY with my lack of experience.

He asks me to walk with him to his car so we did and asked him not to make any moves because I didn't want to be taken off guard again and I was trying to get him to respect what I had asked and said so many times before. He awkwardly gave me a hug and we said goodbye.

I left feeling relieved and proud of myself for going….and as the night went on I knew it wasn't right. If I really liked him, I would have been more willing to let him hold my hand or kissing me or if it was right, he would have respected me more. So I was proud I went but needed to tell him I didn't want to move forward in a relationship. I put it off and really didn't hear from him much so I thought maybe he wasn't feeling me either. I was kind of cold. :O

I talked with Jason and he helped me with what to say and so Tuesday I got up the nerve to text him finally. I said exactly what Jason told me to and felt good about it…..I was kind but was honest and was allowed to not feel it. He responded with "I figured as much. 14 months is a really long time to go in between meetings. And I wasn't feeling the same as I did last year anyways." Ok. I can respect that….it kind of stung because I was MORE myself this time so I did feel a tinge of rejection but let's be honest, I didn't spend that much time with him nor did I spend that much emotion on him so he didn't deserve me to be upset. I replied and said "OK. Well I'm glad then I guess you feel the same. We both need to be honest with ourselves and each other. So I guess we won't be friends then either?" To which he replied….and it's too long to go into on here…but he replied. A big. Long. Rant and what I'm calling a text attack about how terrible I basically am. He reiterated he wasn't feeling it and that he was super offended about my comment about his outfit (thus why I said that above) and went into all the reasons he dressed that way….I don't care! I didn't care then! I said it because I was nervous!!!! (other than the winter fedora). And that he could tell I wasn't into him so he bailed and didn't care and that we couldn't be friends because he was just saying that because he was hoping for something romantic to come from it and that's what he gets for being positive and hopeful about it turning into a relationship and plus he needs to clear his mind and focus on the positive things in his life, and honestly, I'm not one of them. END. (also he blocked me on FB…again, how old are you?!)

speechless. it left me in tears if I'm being honest. It felt like a verbal attack. written attack I guess but I felt attacked. I chose not to respond because he didn't deserve to hear from me again but OMG & WTF. I had been honest and upfront with where I was at and what I needed the ENTIRE TIME. I did not lie and I did not lead him on so if he thought I was just joking with him, I was not. I was as honest as I could possibly be. And it all became more about his unnecessary text attack…he doesn't really know me or what I meant by all that or anything about me because he never took the TIME to ask me questions. It became highly evident he cared about having sex and getting some then he did about me. I was mad at myself for believing he was a good guy and made me really question, what is wrong with me?! I shared all this with way too many people but I felt like I needed support. I needed backing. I needed someone to say I was right and he was just being a complete ass for no reason other than he was upset and disappointed.

I have to be honest, this whole thing threw me. It made me question everything and everyone and it was so small and trivial. It was one date. No big deal. But why could he not have said something else and just been cordial about it? Fine if you didn't feel it, great. Makes it easier in a way. But no. He attacked my character and who I am and that is what hurt. I am still trying to process through it and let it go….it's in the past and it really is a good lesson more than anything.

So. Here I am. Still pretty much in the same place. BUT that is OK. I still have a standard. I did not give him anything (literally, Thank you God) and he doesn't know anything about me obviously. I was true to myself, I let myself be open and that is really all that matters. I am and will remain proud of myself for that. I just can't let myself wait another 3 years to go on another date…..even though I am scared about it….I gotta keep doing it. No matter what. God guided me to this situation for a reason and while I have an idea what it is, I know he has something even better in mind for me 🙂

Thanks for reading….I hope you laughed and cringed and well, someone out there may relate.

Cheers to this life….it's pretty great

all my love,

K

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.

Fall of Change

My last blog was from December 2012?!?!? How did that even happen?? I do so well for a little bit and then before I know it’s been almost a year since I last blogged. But maybe that’s good because that means I’m in a better place where I don’t feel sad or the need to blog. 

Quite a bit has happened in life since December…as it should be…but most of what’s happened was from April on. 

I have turned 23, went to Kiawah a couple times, went home twice, had a couple more deaths in our family (not directly affecting me but my brothers and nephews and nieces), searched for and got a dog, moved apartments and in effect, decided to stay in Charlotte, and quit my job. A lot of life has happened and some of it was easy and some was hard to go through but I did and feel stronger for it. 

I guess the biggest decisions I made were to stay in Charlotte and quit my job. Both were not easy but I feel confident in my decisions. I am not ready to go home yet and really felt my time here was not done. I want to enjoy my life here and want to be happy and I think changing jobs will be the start of that. I am scared about leaving one of the only stable things in my life here but I know it’s for the best. The drive, work load, and lack of growth opportunities just made it too unbearable. It’s probably the biggest risk I’ve taken in my life so I just hope it pays off. It’ll be hard to be unemployed for a while but I’m trying to be patient and rely on God to carry me through it. 

I also bought a dog-Lilly, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. She is now 10 months old and is a really great dog. She is really well trained for a puppy and Jason and I have had little trouble adjusting to her and her to us. I really love having her because she brings me a lot of joy especially when I was feeling down and out about work. It’s something I have to be responsible for so I don’t just worry about myself all the time. I can still do things and live my life but now I have a responsibility, which is a good life change. 

Life with Lilly and Sass are going nicely. I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life and as always, Jason is as patient as ever. And his patience is something I’m always going to be grateful for, no matter what. I know I am not the easiest person to deal with and emotional outbursts are never warranted and always dramatic but somehow, we’re still friends through it. People don’t give him enough credit sometimes because it’s not always noticed, but I notice and appreciate more than not. 

And while I hate change with a burning passion, I truly believe that the changes I’m making are going to be for my benefit and long-term happiness. 

And now I’m going to dive into this fall of change…

Katie