trust.

Trust. Trust. Trust. Trust.

Trust in myself? No. Trust in others? Not really. Trust in God? That’s the one!

As cliche as it may sound, when I say trust over and over again it gives me peace. I can breathe again. And I have decided that the only way I’m making it through all the change is to trust in God. This year has really been anything but easy for me and yet, I’m still here and that is ONLY because of God. ONLY because of Him. And so I will simply trust.

Some may wonder why I’m jetting off to Montana of all places? Am I running away from something here? Am I running to something there? I have come to fully realize and believe with my own eyes, running away from something or running to the next big thing does not solve things and it does not bring happiness. It simply does not and I have experienced how it does not. I ran away to college….that didn’t fix things…ran back home…that didn’t bring the happiness I was looking for either. So while a few months ago, I thought I was running away again, I looked deep down and saw I’m not running away or running to the next big thing this time. So what am I doing you may wonder? Well I’m more than happy to share that with you.

A little background…over the last couple of years, I have tried to live by “be where your feet are”. Being present in the moment, not constantly on my phone scrolling through my insta feeds or facebook newsfeed (even though I’m totally guilty of that still…I said “have tried”)…but for big moments or moments with those I cherish most, I have tried to be right where I am, just as I am. And I have found tremendous peace with trying to approach life that way. I have ALWAYS struggled with being too excited about the next big thing or doing something exciting and fun to forget something bad that happened. Always forgetting the present moment. And after all, the present is all we ever have. So when I ran away to North Carolina for college and ran back home, I wasn’t being AS present in those places and times in my life. I was wishing my life away or too stuck in the past.

I have always wanted to keep this being where I am at the forefront as I move on to my next adventure. However, I thought I was running away from different things here and going to Montana would save me. I believed it would fix things I’ve done wrong and give me this happiness I’ve been desperately trying to find in my adult life. And as I was listening to my favorite chapter of Uninvited, I heard God loud and clear. Going to Montana was not going to save me or be the miracle fix I was looking for. I have to be willing to change how I think and see things. I have to get rid of these old patterns of thinking and beliefs and if I change that? THAT has the potential to change things for me. Looking to God. Trusting God. THAT will fix things. That will give me the space to find who I really am and what I’m really made of. And those things? That’s what I want. To find who I really am and learning to love and be happy with who I am. I don’t expect the state of Montana, the graduate school program, or even the new career to fill a void, bring me happiness, or fix what I’ve left behind. No. I don’t want those things to bring me happiness, I want ME to bring me happiness. I want to know God, know Him deeply, and TRUST that NO MATTER WHAT life throws my way…good or bad…that He is going to take care of me and use me for His purpose for my life and those I have the opportunity to meet and hopefully touch. It just so happens, I’m picking a different state to do that in. So now you know.

I am looking forward to what is to come but that is up to God. I trust Him with everything I am and so while there is fear and trepidation, I trust He has it under control. I know who I want to be and how I want to be that and I can only trust He will give me opportunities to make that happen.

Trust. Trust. Trust. Trust.

 

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a farewell

I like the beginnings and ends of events/circumstances/relationships/etc because it gives me the opportunity to reflect on what happened and start the next step fresh and with a clean slate. and today marks the end of what I planned my whole life around.

as I reflect on my almost 4 years working at Assembly Solutions (my parents’ company, what I thought I would be doing for the rest of my life) it has it’s good and not so good memories. Bottom line, I wanted to make this a better place to be. I wanted to make things better, more efficient, better for everyone who worked here, that is what I wanted my “legacy” to be one day far down the road. I’m smart, both book & people smart, I like to think I have a knack like my dad does…not near as developed as him…but a knack that could grow and flourish. And I wanted to use that smartness to work with everyone here and make Assembly Solutions as good if not better than my parents had. I wanted to make my mom and dad proud that they started this business almost 40 years ago (well the first one anyways) and that with all the ups and downs it’s had, that I could stay and make it better and more successful. It wasn’t about how much money it could make…for me, it was about the relationships I would form and the lives I could change by making the work place good for those who came here every day because they played one of the biggest roles in the success. It ALWAYS remained my intent..no matter what anyone would say or argue with me…that was my intention.

But reality? Reality was different. I had an attitude. I was rude and short and disrespectful and insubordinate. People thought I knew better than everyone else. I was never trying to think I knew better than everyone or anyone else because I know I didn’t know better. I was providing ideas & suggestions from what I observed. The end. And why did I provide that? Because I wanted to make this place better for those who worked here. AND I was trying to survive my own job which was incredibly overwhelming. I take responsibility for when I was incredibly stressed out and took it out on other people and I know I did not handle those situations right all the time, but I also don’t feel like anyone gave me grace in what I had to do. I had a big job to do and a HUGE learning curve to learn with little to no guidance. And I was expected to be better and more put together than everyone else and why? Because of my last name.

Being the owner’s daughter came with a huge burden for my personal identity. I could never just be Katie and prove what I could do or even what I did do, it didn’t matter. I could and would never be Katie. I would always be Katie Franklin, the owner’s daughter. And never being able to be just Katie, well that boxed me into a corner and I felt trapped. Over a year ago, I knew I would never be able to get out of the corner or trap. I would be stuck there for a very long time, maybe forever, and that feeling, that was suffocating. I didn’t expect or demand respect but I thought the work I had done and the way I was able to do my job would help me earn respect, but I knew that no one’s opinions of me would ever change. I would still always be the spoiled and entitled daughter, which while I may be spoiled, I always made sure to do my job and put the company. But all I ever wanted was to just. be. Katie. And being JUST Katie, she wanted to make a difference.

I never dreamed in my 28 years that I would one day, soon, leave Assembly Solutions. The company my parent’s built. I expected and believed I would be here forever. I would run this company and grow it even more than my mom and dad did. I wanted to make them proud. I LOVE sharing what they do and what they have done because my grandparents also built something together and so this business feels like it’s in my blood. It is incredibly hard for me to walk away from here even though I know it is what is best for my mental and emotional health. My heart is still in this place, I think it always will be. And you wonder why? Because my parents built this. They spent so much of their lives AND during my childhood trying to build something that would sustain and that allowed me to have the life I have lived so far. I am so proud of them and I am so proud that I had the opportunity to work here and I wish it worked out differently than it has. I do. I wish SO badly it was different. But it is not different and this is reality.

so today as I leave and know that everything I worked for and did up until this point, well, it is over. And I am sad about it, I feel like I have been mourning for a week. It is not easy for me to give this up knowing it is what I worked toward my whole life. But what keeps me feeling at peace is that I am heading on a totally new path. I’m kind of scared, but excited scared. I’m choosing my own future for myself and no one else is even slightly a factor in this decision. I’ve grown tremendously in the 4 years I’ve worked and lived here. Grown SO much and I believe I know who I am and what I’m made of and for that I’m forever grateful. And I believe that I will take what I learned about myself here and use that for good in my next path. God led me to this moment and so no matter what, I have to trust that He’s got all this covered and I’m going to be just fine. He wouldn’t bring me to this if I couldn’t handle it. It’s time & no matter how far away I go, I’m grateful. Always.

closing out twenty seventeen

2017. what a year. a year of growth, changes, adventures, heartache, the starts of things, the end of things, also a lot of the same things too. what a year.

I like to recap and think back on my years. particularly this year. this year I have taken steps in a real way to change things for myself. change how I interact with others, change how I talk to myself, change how I see myself, and even go so far as to start the steps to change my career.

I had the privilege to travel in every month except March & July. I got to go to 3 new states…all in the Northwest…got to see lots of friends and make some really wonderful memories. I let go of a lot that I’ve been carrying around for a very long time and mourned some people no longer apart of my journey.

The length of time we have to live out full years has been on my mind recently. I have had the opportunity to see the majority of 27 years…..27 years of learning, adventures, forming relationships…27 years to live. And I was reflecting how I’ve wasted a lot of them….wasted them being upset and worrying about what’s coming next or upset with myself instead of enjoying each moment I get to live. Life’s too short to be upset with others, upset with yourself, or not living life how you want.

During this year it was brought to my attention (more than once) about self talk. My self talk, in full disclosure, is pretty damn terrible. I would NEVER talk to other people the way I talk to myself. I am so hard on myself about nearly everything. It’s loud and it’s negative and nothing silences it. I struggle with not letting it get to me and I’ve had to face it a lot more this year in different ways. For some reason this year I have felt very unworthy of anything good. I’ve allowed the thoughts and actions of others define my worth. I HAVE allowed it. And so by realizing that I am the one allowing, I get more upset with myself. And the nasty cycle of negative self talk became more frequent and more detrimental honestly. How am I supposed to form relationships with others or find myself being open to dating or a real and true romantic relationships if I talk to myself that way? I can’t expect someone else to respect me or care about me when I don’t feel that way about myself. I have spent PLENTY of my years in this space of awful self talk and I am making a promise to myself here & now to change that. Change how I talk to myself and stop others’ opinions of me define how I see myself. Those are conscious choices and choices I need to make if I want to continue down the path I want to be on.

Truth be told I have not done a very good job of being open with others this year. I think it’s partly due to this head space I’ve been living in & the other part is me trying to be different and better (which I guess I could attribute to the head space). Regardless, I’ve become much more closed off and keeping my thoughts & feelings to myself. I’ve been doing a lot of internal evaluating and reflecting and there have been changes that have come with doing those things. I haven’t wanted to share and share and share the ways I used to. Sharing can lend to pity & misunderstanding & sometimes, unhelpful opinions. I do not want pity for sure & sometimes the more I share, the more misunderstood and alone I’ve felt so if I don’t share, I can’t be misunderstood right? Sure, in theory. On top of that, I allow others’ opinions to make my decisions. I gave that decision making power away and I needed to take it back. It has been challenging to have to honestly look inside and ask myself what I want. But I believe within this new approach, I’ve become more selfish and definitely have pushed people away. It is not my intent in anyway but I believe it’s become the reality. I have become content with myself enough that I don’t need other people like I did and instead of being a friend to others, I’ve become selfish and incredibly closed off. Plus I know that so much of what I always communicated with to others I have to deal with and move past on my own. Another piece to this is that in all honesty, I haven’t wanted to let people in. When I’ve let people in in the past, it’s caused pain and hurt. So in many ways I have been scared to open that door again. But I am who I am and I don’t need to hide things I’ve felt shame about anymore. Those who love me most don’t and won’t care and that’s what I have been trying to hold onto in the struggle of this opening up business.

As I’m writing all this out I realize it’s confusing. It’s confusing because they almost seem conflicting ideas. I want to be more internal so I don’t rely on other opinions but I also talk super negatively to myself and allow others’ feelings about me define myself? It doesn’t make sense in many ways but it also makes a lot of sense. I believe there is a fine line between opening up and letting others in and remaining true to yourself and making choices that are best for you. Oh and sticking to those decisions and allowing yourself some grace and a little love. In the end, you only have yourself so if you don’t speak kindly to yourself or love yourself, how miserable a life are you going to have? Well a little advice as someone who has been there for a long time, it can lead to the the most miserable life. Love yourself, seriously. Haven’t mastered it yet but working my way there.

Back to my original thought of LIVING life, living life includes being open to letting others in. Sharing stories of success, failures, annoyances, joys, challenges, triumphs is what makes life doable. It makes it worth it when you share and you celebrate with your closest people or you are having a tough day and you need an ear and someone to tell you it’s going to be OK. And loving yourself is part of your job description.  THAT is what living life is about. We’re all in this together and I forgot that in the midst of my journey this year.

SO as I do….I want to thank those who have remained present and there for me when you may have felt that I shut you out. I want to apologize to those where I put all my “worth” eggs. That’s a huge responsibility to feel you have and an unfair one at that. I love and value those so much but it’s not fair at all. For those I pushed away and seemed so self involved, I am sorry. It was truly never my intent. There was a lot of work that had to be done this year and I did the best I could. But I never meant to push away or hurt anyone.

Life is tough you know? We face so many awful and debilitating situations and circumstances and it’s clear to me it’s not going to get any better. But I am starting with loving who I am, giving myself and others much more grace, deserved grace. We have to stick together. Sticking together, relying & loving on one another other makes all the other crap doable, livable, survivable, and OKAY. It’s not necessary to walk through the tough stuff alone and I see that now.

in terms of my plans you may wonder? I’m working on it. I’m doing the things that need to be done to determine where my next steps in 2018 will lead me. Not to sound so vague, but in truth, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know where I’m going to land. I want to go to school in the fall…I want to move somewhere amazingly beautiful where I can continue to grow into this new version of myself. I want to get this master’s degree and maybe even my doctorate some day. I want that accomplishment. And THEN, I want to help people. I want to make a difference. THOSE things have not wavered. I feel called and driven in that and so I’m doing what I need to do now to make that happen. God has a plan you know? God will guide and place me where I need to be and when I need to be there. It’s been challenging but it’s going to be worth it when I am where I know I need to be. Portland? Utah? Colorado? Wisconsin? California? Arizona? STL? Where will I go? I have no idea. But God does and so I’m ok with not knowing today.

2017, what a year. these are without a doubt the biggest takeaways and things I want to share mostly to remind myself and hope to bring a little light and peace to someone else’s life. We aren’t alone and shouldn’t have to walk this journey by ourselves. Give people a chance. I have a feeling it will be worth it when I can change how I look at things.

2018: I’m ready for whatever God has in store for me.

 

gray is okay

in honoring myself by being honest, I say- this week has been a challenge for me. The fear of the future and the unknown has started to paralyze me again. I had been fairly successful in maintaining perspective and looking at everything in front of me one step at a time. but as things go, the big picture became double wide in my view again and it caused my anxiety to rear its ugly head.

the thing about my anxiety is that it comes in phases and waves. for the last 6 months or so, it was like a hurricane. it was relentless…never giving me a break or room to breathe. It became so severe that it inhibited me from making any decision. I was paralyzed in fear of all the unknowns. I couldn’t even make a decision about what to do for my lunch! It was debilitating to say the least. I think a lot of that happened because I was truly facing myself and learning how to be at peace with myself…ya know look at and accept the bad/negative stuff no one ever wants to face. Together with facing myself, I was trying to let go of a past hurt (a huge undertaking) on top of realizing that what I thought was going to be my future was not making me happy. I was miserable and I was making everyone around me miserable (unintentionally I may add).

I am the person who needs affirmation from others on decisions, on reminding me who I am, lifting me up when I’m down, along with being a verbal processor. But when it came to all the above, I decided I needed to deal with it all on my own. I needed to face myself with myself and no one else, I had to be the one to let go of the past and not talk about it to anyone else, and the whole future part was just too terrifying to even talk about out loud. So not talking about any of that to others brought on another huge change. And when I did share, I felt guilty because I was miserable, probably being slightly annoying as it was the same stuff over and over again, and being a selfish friend. So I found myself sitting in my own misery and depression, not taking steps, realizing things I did not want to deal with, and all alone. It was dark and lonely and necessary. And let’s just say the anxiety was a flowin.

Now that I feel myself on the other side of that darkness, I recognize it was my season. This was my season for change. This was my season for me to sit with myself and find what I’m made of and if those in my life couldn’t see and accept that, then that is on them. I can only do what I can do and control how I communicate and what I say and if that is not accepted, it’s not my fault. That’s another piece of this….I was learning to love myself and be kinder to myself. I couldn’t be responsible for EVERYTHING that was going on around me. That is just not fair to myself and I finally saw that.

As I continue to walk through this transition season, it’s not all perfect and figured out and ya know, that’s OK. These changes can’t happen overnight but I’m taking steps in the right direction. I can finally decide again. I am cutting people out of my life that no longer fit into what is beneficial and healthy for me, I’m taking the steps to follow my dreams of what I see and feel I want to do with my life and most importantly, I’m being kinder to myself. Now that the fear isn’t paralyzing me anymore doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to have moments or that the anxiety doesn’t rear its ugly head. Anxiety is something I’m always going to face and have in my life. And I’m OK with that. Nothing is going to “fix” it or make it go away. It doesn’t make it bad or me a failure of a person. It’s part of me and I’m finally at peace with that.

So back to this week….the bigger picture became too much for me to deal with again. Was I really supposed to be doing this? Could I get into grad school? How was I going to do on the GRE? Where am I supposed to be going for grad school? Will I make wrong choice and end up miserable?????

I talked with my dear dear friend who gets the feelings I’ve been having and can give me a different perspective. She told me that since we are black & white thinkers—things are either one way or another, there is no gray….that can lead us to be paralyzed in decision making. We see choices as right or wrong instead of choices leading us down one path or another. There is no perfect decision because we will never know the unknowns. We can only do what we can do and make the best decision in the moment and that no matter what, it will turn out OK. All decisions will have bumps in the road….nothing will be easy but if we choose a path that doesn’t get us to where we want to go, doesn’t mean we failed. We just took a different route. I struggle a lot with failure as well & her sharing all this with me gave me a perspective I don’t have most days. It clicked….no decision is perfect….any decision will be right for where you are meant to be….and that gray is OK. Being in the gray world is OK. It was empowering for me to hear and accept that. All we can do or concern ourselves with is what is right in front of our faces. And when it comes to my future, I can only do what I can do now and the best I can and trust that everything will work out how it’s supposed to and that if things don’t go as I want, I’m not a failure.

This season has been anything but easy. I’ve really fought off a lot of inner demons that have held me back for a long time. Worrying so much about what was or what could have been inhibited me greatly.  This week has reminded me it’s ok not to have it all figured out and setbacks and moments are perfectly normal and acceptable. It’s also reminded me how far I’ve come and that alone is encouraging and empowering. Me alone recognizing that my anxiety is heightened is a step. I’m shedding so much of who I was and turning into who I want to become and that is amazing and wonderful and makes me feel that joy I have been missing for so long.

I want to take a moment and thank all of the people in my life who have gone through this with me whether they knew it or not. For the kind words, the understanding, the love they showed me. I will never forget that or how knowing I had you in my corner during those darkest days saved me. Life is not meant to be lived alone and I’m blessed to have some pretty amazing people in my life.

I’m shedding the old Katie and no matter what happens, I still firmly believe, it all happens for a reason, even the “bad”. Gray is good. Gray is life.

 

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.