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20 RESOLUTIONS FOR 2020

Hi, my dear readers!

It’s that time of the week again… Another post from yours truly! Since we’re headed into the magnificent year 2020 in just two days, I thought it would be amazing to follow up 2019’s resolutions post, which you can check out here.

While we go through some of my dreams for 2020, I want you to consider your own. Maybe jot down a few, say them out loud, or commit them to memory. Do whatever you have to do, but I want you to think of some as well, okay? Thank you!

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Happy New Years from a certain HUGE guinea pig. 🙂

1. Learn to play the guitar

Well, this is actually very similar to one of my 2019 goals of learning to play the ukulele! While I have learned to play my trusty uke, I’m ready to upgrade to a guitar. For those of you who play this instrument, what are some recommendations do you have for a beginner guitar? 🙂

2. Step out of my comfort zone

While I feel as if I have been slowly inching out of my comfort zone since adolescence, I have taken to doing things a little more adventurously than what I would normally do. Therefore, I want 2020 to be a year in which I’m confidently unafraid to do some new things (while still remaining safe and smart LOL). Maybe you guys can relate to this!

3. Listen to music more

Yes, this relates to #1, but I love music so much and I want 2020 to emphasize my love for it a little more. Music gives me a rush, and some of my happiest moments are when I’m alone, windows down, breeze in my face, jamming to songs on the radio. More music in 2020, please!

4. Read more books

This was a resolution in 2019, but I think it’s a good one to continue for 2020. Reading is kind of like #3 in the fact that it gives me a rush, takes me to a new world, and provides a world of possibility unlike anything I will experience in my own waking life. I challenge you to read more as well! Let’s see what journeys we’ll go on through the books we read.

5. Fear less

I’m not fearless. In fact, as a Type A person (and wow, I still wonder if I’m really Type A or not), I’m very structured. I fear things I do not expect, and therefore I stress out about the what-ifs. So in 2020 I want to stay safe and healthy, but I also want to remember to fear less, to stay brave and strong instead of wallowing in the unknown.

6. Early bird habits

Now that I’m back from college I am excited to regain my early bird ways. In 2020 I want to keep this up, which means early bed times and early risings. But this is how I am most effective in my day-to-day existence, so I’m excited to develop my reliance on daylight instead of the dark.

7. Stay off phone

Another repeat from 2019, but this is just as valid. There are moments where I’m pretty good about this resolution, but then I lose it and do terrible once more. 2020 will hopefully bring a less technology reliant Katie Kay. But we’ll see…

8. Eat healthier

Ugh. I am gonna have to go there. This may be the most common resolution of all time, but there is truth in this one. I need to eat healthier. I’m a sucker for fast food, and I am  not the biggest fan of fruits by any means (just ask Miss Givenchy. In 2020 I hope to cut back on the ease of greasy foods for some healthier alternatives. Hopefully this is not just wishful thinking.

9. Keep up with my Spanish (y voy a escribir en el idioma también)

Okay, okay. I know I never write in Spanish on this blog, but it turns out I am actually (somewhat) fluent in this language. There was once a time when I lived in South America and was forced to speak Spanish more than here in the English-dominated United States, and I’m a little afraid I’m going to lose my skills now that I am done with college and pursuing a career that really has nothing to do with my degree. Therefore, I’ve gotta do something to retain this language and not lose it completely. Part of me will always speak Spanish, but I want to keep up my proficiency as best I can!

(Side note: I always say I am going to write a post in Spanish, but I always forget, so maybe that should be another resolution: Spanish posts in 2020!)

10. Stay up-to-date on politics

Without going on a rant (which I could very easily do), I want to say that politics is important. To my fellow Generation Zers, please get out there and do your due diligence by studying our government and voting. And I’m guilty in the sense that while I love nothing more than hopping on YouTube and listening to political pundits for hours at a time, I should do a better job on keeping a firm and open-minded approach to what’s going on both in my country and the world. It’s so easy to stay one-sided in today’s society, but I think the best way to solidify one’s opinions is to gain as much info as possible (even if opposing viewpoints make you want to tear your hair out).

11. Eliminate negative thoughts

This is an impossible resolution.

See what I did there? I immediately began with a negative thought. What about this one:

This is probably an impossible resolution.

Okay, slightly better, but still negative with a slight scent of optimism. Let’s try one more.

This is a possible resolution.

Is there a difference between this one and what I wrote above? Probably not.

This is my resolution.

There we go. It’s my resolution, and I’m sticking with it.

12. Catch more sunsets and sunrises

Oh, here my writer side takes over. Sunsets and sunrises, oh my! There’s something so dreamy about these two points in the day, especially when the sky churns into peachy cream and it’s spring and life seems ready to pop. So judge me if you will, but I do want to catch more sunsets and sunrises, especially since we don’t know how many of those we’ll get in our lives.

13. Exercise

Another basic resolution, but important too. This past year I really slacked off on not exercising, so I’m ready to start jogging at least once a month (LOL) instead of once a literal blue moon.

14. Clean more

While I love cleanliness, I’m also very prone to dropping things around my room. This year I plan on doing less of this and more of putting things where they’re supposed to be. 

15. Listen to dreams

I promise this is not mumbo jumbo. Specifically, I’m talking about listening to bedtime dreams so that I can analyze them (LOL). Do some of you guys find yourself loving dream analysis? Because I do too! Dream analysis is a great way to dig into your psyche, and for writers it’s a pretty neat time to get some inspiration for future material. In 2020 let’s dream–and analyze!

16. Get lost in a forest

Okay, yes, we’re getting into some weird territory on this resolutions post, but I’m serious: I want to get lost in a forest. Maybe not really lost, but there’s something freeing about going into nature and disappearing from the busyness of life for a little while. In 2020 I want to be able to go into some beautiful natural landscapes and let my mind relax.

17. Stop worrying so much

While I wouldn’t normally consider myself a worrier, I do find myself fretting over certain things. For example, I’ll consider something I’ve said and think, “Did that offend the person I was talking to?” Or if I send a text and don’t receive a response, I think: “Did I say something wrong?” This is just a minute example, but I really want to worry less in 2020 over both the little and big things. Chau!

18. Skate better

This is probably the most ridiculous resolution, but here we are. I’m one of the worst skaters in history (both on roller-skates and ice-skates). It is to the point of utter ridiculousness that I lean on my thirteen-year-old sister to support my endeavors in the rink. While I’ve definitely gotten better over the years (to the point where I can manage without falling), you can still find me hugging a wall and getting passed by toddlers. It’s time to skate better. 

19. Less time on YouTube

I’ll admit it: I’m on YouTube way too much. (Miss Givenchy would definitely agree.) Something happens, and I’ll traverse topics from politics to bullfrogs to space-time continuums to opinion pieces on pop music. While I appreciate the availability of information on this video sharing site, I want more time devoted to the real world outside of the tech world. (Of course I write this as I type away on a computer.)

20. Write blog posts that matter

This last one is straight from my heart! You guys mean the world to me, and I want to write things that matter to you. I’ve seen over the years that you guys are the best audience and you support so many different writers and bloggers all over the world, and so I want to produce content that you enjoy and gain meaning from. I mean, why else write? 🙂 Here’s to a fantastic 2020 on this blog–and yours!

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A double rainbow in Tennessee! (December 2019)

THANK YOU!

Thank you guys so much for reading this post and for joining me in another year on this planet. 2020 is upon us, and I wish nothing but the best for all of you, wherever you may be. Remember to spread positivity and kindness in this new season of our lives. ❤

Now that I’ve written this post, it’s time to put the resolutions to action, so I’m going to start right now, even though we’ve got a little bit of 2019 left. 

Until next time,

-K.

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2019 REFLECTION

Hello, my dear readers!

Can you all believe 2019 is coming to a close? It seems like every other month I would write something along the lines of: “How are we already in March? How is it already July? And now 2019 is over?” Well, that’s how time flies, I suppose!

In the spirit of last year’s 2018 Reflection, I decided to follow up with a 2019 Reflection as well. As always, I want to hear about your reflections, so do not be afraid to comment or share your own post with me so I can see what you’ve been up to this year. 🙂

2019 has been a year, that’s for sure, and it’s probably been very different for all of us. For some of you, it has been a year of definition, and you’re seeing more clearly as a result. But I bet for others it’s been a tough one, and you’re hoping 2020 will pave the way for a happier season in your life.

I’m in the middle on this one. 2019 was a year of definition, in the sense that I graduated college, furthered my aviation pursuits, and left California behind. But it was also a year in which I found myself doubting things and questioning why I didn’t do things a certain way.

The good thing for us all is that we have a fresh start to a new year coming up very soon. We can create new resolutions, live our lives more deeply, and accept the mysteries of time. But before we come up with any resolutions for 2019, let’s do a little reflecting…

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Beautiful Hawaii (July 2019)


1. Sometimes we do not know why things happen.

Who goes to college to become a better writer, only to end up majoring in Spanish and then finding out she wants to be a pilot her junior year? Well… Eep. Guilty as charged! This truly relates to the fact that sometimes we do not know why things happen the way they do, but we must learn to accept it and move on. Other times we sit and think, “Why hasn’t such and such thing happened yet? Why are things going the way I want them to?” Well, again, it’s time to accept and move on.

I love symbolism and finding out the hidden meaning in things, but 2019 has taught me that it takes time to fully discover anything. And to the unknown moments… Well, there is beauty in those moments as well, even when we want to know more than we do.


2. Fly your own heading.

Okay, I couldn’t not have an aviation-related topic, right? 🙂

This past year has been the most rewarding year in terms of following a journey that should have been begun years ago (which relates to #1). In April I earned my private pilot license. In August I earned my instrument rating. In October I became a ground instructor, and a week ago my dad and I became commercial drone pilots. (Okay, these may seem cool, but some of them are really easy to get, so I promise you can do it too! More on this to come in future posts, I promise.)

In the next month or so I will complete my commercial pilot certification, which will allow me to (finally) get paid for flying instead of paying to fly. Shortly after this I plan to become a CFI (certified flight instructor), which I am really excited to do! There is so much learning in teaching, and I will be very humbled to be able to train young pilots who want to pursue this route.

As for the past few months, I have flown constantly while maintaining a rigorous course load. Somehow I was able to overpower my initial time goal (in regards to flight hours) and found myself enamored with a certain airport in Paso Robles, California. (It became a running joke that I was always flying from Camarillo, CA, to Paso Robles.) When I wasn’t flying to Paso, I visited other haunts such as Monterey and almost-Sacramento in the north; San Diego to the south; and Sedona, Arizona, to the east. (I promise I will write on this soon!)


3. Cut out what distracts you.

For a while my friend and I were doing great with our limited technology mission. What I mean by this is that we both agreed we were spending too much time on our phones and made it our goal to stay off them. During this period I felt rejuvenated at all the things around me. Suddenly I had so much more time to do things away from the screen.

Unfortunately, I’ve gotten pretty bad at being on my phone again. So while this goal of 2019 really did help me for a while, I’ve been off-kilter with it recently. Therefore, I hope that in 2020 I will continue this mission and stay off my phone more.

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Blurry Los Angeles


4. Listen to your intuition.

Sometimes you have to listen to those unsubtle cues in your brain that are telling you to do something. I hope this doesn’t sound too pseudoscientific, but there is power in the mystery that hangs around us every day, and your intuition can be a powerful tool to help you in certain situations. To be honest, this point has guided me for the past few years now, not just in 2019. However, I still like to reflect on how intuition can certainly shape decisions and outcomes as well.


5. Personality types…

This may be the corniest thing on the list, but it’s something I want to reflect on. When I was in high school, I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. For those of you who aren’t goofballs like me, the MBTI is a personality test that splits you into four major facets: Extraversion/Introversion; Sensing/Intuition; Thinking/Feeling; and Judging/Perceiving.

For years I was an INFP according to this personality test, which means I considered myself a hippie-type who only thought about peace, happiness, and listening to others’ problems (love doctor, anyone?). While this is an extreme stereotype of this personality type, I really did think myself an INFP.

So when I took the test two months ago, I was shook (as the youth say these days) to discover I am actually an INFJ. More on this to come, but I am still reflecting on this personality change.

*Is it actually a personality change, though?* MYSTERY!

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A dork unleashed in the middle of the West (April 2019)


6. Care for others.

This should be an unspoken for us all, but due to our selfish nature we do not realize how important this should be in our lives. Consider Christmas, if you will. Does it feel better when you open a present, or does it feel better when your loved one opens the gift you intentionally made/bought for him/her? When you see his/her eyes light up and a smile flash? Hopefully it is the second option.

2019 has reminded me to care for others. This should be an every year reflection moment for us all… Because this world isn’t just about you. It’s about everyone you know,  and everyone you don’t.


YOUR REFLECTION.

So, my dear readers, now it’s your turn to reflect. What was the best part of your year? What was the worst? What do you want to change for next year? You have a few days to make resolutions, but just know that making a list of resolutions won’t change anything. Instead, your heart has to be in the right place. ❤

Thank you guys so much for joining me on this journey, and I'm excited to hear what you have to share!

Until next time,

-Katie Kay. ❤

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MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Hello, my dear readers!

Long time, no see. I am officially back to the blogging world, and I’m very excited for the new year ahead. I’ve got some ideas that I can’t wait to share here, and at the same time I am just as excited to read what you all have to share with me. ❤

In the meantime, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope that wherever you are in the world, you are happy, safe, and with those you love. It is holidays like these that remind of us of our blessings, and it is so crucial that we do take a moment to thank God for what He has given us.

Some of you probably aren’t the biggest fans of Christmas and the holiday season, but I urge you to consider what the season is all about. While society has made a big deal of the materialistic aspect of gifts, gifts, gifts, there is a deeper point to Christmas and why it applies to all of humanity. So… Without further ado, let’s look at some of the most important takeaways of Christmas.


1. GIFTS ARE TO BE GIVEN

It is no secret that you, me, all of humanity–we like getting gifts. We all want things. Some of us are hoping for a shiny engagement ring this Christmas; others hope for something as simple as a new pair of shoes. But in the midst of all this desire for things, we must remember that gifts are to be given.

Huh? What does this mean? Aren’t you supposed to give gifts so that you get what you want?

Well, not exactly. It is better to give gifts than to receive them. Why? Because you’re doing something for another person. You’re ignoring your own wants to provide the wants of another. And trust me, there’s nothing better than seeing your loved one (or a stranger, I might add) open a gift and smile bigger than Texas.


2. LOVE ON DISPLAY

The holiday season is about love. Without getting too soppy, I’ll say that the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is a good one to listen to. In these weeks of celebration, family is hugely important. Whether your family is blood, or your family is your friends (or maybe a pet LOL), you must be with them. Why do I require it? Because we don’t know how many Christmases we get on this planet, and it’s important that we savor family time while we have the chance.

And this is the perfect time to love on people, even if you want to slap them or disappear due to the family drama. And another thing, we’re not just supposed to love those we know. We’re called to love those we don’t know, and we must be kind to all we meet. That is what I love about the holidays: That, despite the manic tone in the air, there is also a feeling that… Maybe, just maybe… We can slow down and take the time to show kindness to those around us.


3. THE BIRTH OF THE SAVIOR

Some people don’t celebrate Christmas for this reason, but I’ll tell you that to me it is the most important. Christmas, which I like to think of as “More Christ” (Christ + más, which is “more” in Spanish), is the day in which we celebrate the birth of a particularly lovable baby named Jesus Christ, the very baby who would one day grow up and save the world. Sounds like a story, right?

True stories are the best kind.

No one really knows when Christ was born, but we take December 25 as an opportunity to commemorate the birth that would change everything in human history. Some speculate that his birth was actually in the springtime, but I’m going to be tart and say: I don’t really care when he was born. I care that he was born, and that he lives!

This is the true reason for the season, as they say. And even if you don’t believe, I ask you to read Luke 1:1-20 and Matthew 1 & 2:1-11. What does it hurt to read about a baby that was born to be the savior of the world? Even if you don’t think it’s true, you can’t not say it isn’t a compelling story. ❤


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I also like Christmas because of the crazy lights like this pink tree! (Memphis, TN / December 2019)

Merry Christmas, everyone! Again I am so glad to be back on this blog and posting content for you guys. But this is also an opportunity for me to get to know you all better, so keep writing and recommending things to me. I love hearing from you!! ❤

Until next time (which will be soon),

-Katie Kay

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GIVE THANKS

Hello, my dear readers!

I hope all is well with you in your nook of the world. ❤ In the United States it is time to celebrate Thanksgiving, in which it is very important to take a moment and reflect on what you are thankful for. For some of you guys, this may be a day off work; for others it may be the fact that you are at home with family after months of being apart. And for some of you… You’re probably thinking: What in the world even is Thanksgiving, and why does it matter?

That is why I have a few things I want to explicitly state my thanks for! I did this last year as well, but I really do believe it is important to give thanks for all the blessings in this life. Even when we are in our lowest of lows, we must remember that we have things to be thankful for. ❤


1. FAMILY

We all should be thankful for our families, even if we want to strangle them at times. This Thanksgiving I am extremely happy to be back at home with my parents and sister, and it is moments like this when I remember how fortunate I am to be with them. We don’t know how much time we have on this planet, so we must make sure we express our feelings accordingly.


2. FREEDOM

In the United States we are very familiar with the concept of freedom, and it’s something to truly appreciate. Many men and women have died so that we can live with the freedoms this country provides, so I will be eternally grateful for this.


3. FRIENDS

It is also very important to show your gratitude and appreciation for friends, whether you have fifty of them or two. Whatever you do, make sure you tell your friends why you love them and lift them up, even when you want to strangle them. (Please do not strangle your friends.)


4. FLYING

During the Thanksgiving holiday I am thankful for the opportunity to fly home from California to Tennessee. But also on a different level… I am very thankful to be able to fly as it will become my career. Therefore, this is something I am happy to have discovered, and I am thankful for everyone who is helping me achieve my goals!


5. YOU

Thank you so much for reading this blog, and I am thankful for each and every one of you. You guys are amazing, and I hope you know this in your hearts. Now remember to give thanks for these things in your own life, and also consider making a list so you can identify what matters to you.

Give thanks! It is my command for you on this day.

Stay warm and happy!

Until next time,

-Katie Kay ❤

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DREAM — OCTOBER 24, 2019

Hello, my dear readers!

Today’s post is going to be a little different than normal. If you read the title and wondered, “What in the world does this mean?” then you’re in for quite the surprise. Today I’m going to recount a weird dream I had a few days ago.

Hold on, what?

Yes, you read that correctly. We’re diving into a dream I had a few days ago, since I believe there is some interesting information to glean from it, and this blog could do with a unique post that will hopefully fascinate you and challenge your own self along the way. And as my wise Momma J said, “Put it on the blog. See what your readers have to think about this dream.”


THE DREAM.

I am standing in a college auditorium. I have no idea what class this is, or who the professor is, or anything at all (the magic of a dream, I suppose).

But eventually it becomes clear that this class has a guest speaker, who turns out to be an old man lecturing on science. He asks the class a few questions, but no one knows the answers, and suddenly he starts to look very sick. His words are slurred, his eyes glaze over, and then he falls down, hits his head, and dies.

No one does anything. All these college students just stare, uncaring, as if they’d rather be somewhere else to avoid this “embarrassing” situation. Realizing that no one is going to do anything, I jump up  and run to him, screaming that someone needs to call 911. I look up in horror and notice the old man’s wife sits in the back row, her head buried in her hands.

Two friends then appear: One who is studying to be a doctor, and another who is studying to be a nurse. They jump into action and hurry off to find help. Eventually, they return with a group of doctors who pronounce the old man dead and place him in a body bag, but ask if anyone in the room wants to do CPR on him.

My friends and I volunteer, but when I step up to him, there is now a brain on top of the body bag. And yes, I perform CPR on it.

This does nothing (of course), and then we are shooed out of the auditorium, where the college kids are laughing, joking around, and taking pictures of nothing. They’re excited we’re out of class, even if it means an old man is dead.

I get fed up and go back into the auditorium again, where I find my parents. My mom looks at me in horror and says, “Let’s get out of here.”

Then I wake up.


WEIRD.

So very weird indeed, but I thought it would be interesting to hear your perspective on this dream. Obviously we shouldn’t take dreams to be literal perceptions, but it is very interesting to analyze what our brains produce in our sleeping state.

Luckily my dreams have been happier since then, but this one was definitely one to write down. Maybe one day I will come back to it and understand everything, but as for now… I’m mystified!

Anyhow our next post will be a little more normal. (Hopefully!)

And in the meantime, try not to do CPR on any brains out there. 😉

-Katie Kay

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THINKING AHEAD

Hello, my dear readers!

I hope you all are doing well on this beautiful Friday. Here in California we are experiencing the wrath of the mighty Santa Ana winds, so please keep this state in your prayers as we brace for more wildfire threats.

For today’s post I thought it would be interesting to do a “Thoughts” post in which I ramble a little bit. It’s been a while since I’ve shared my thoughts with you all, so I hope you don’t mind if we stray away from poetry.

Before we start with the thoughts, I want to alert you as to some posts you can expect to see in the coming weeks. Sometime soon I will release my short story “Shadow” here on Katie Kay! It is a psychological thriller that I wrote for creative writing class, and I’m pretty excited about it. Additionally, I want to do a November challenge for Thanksgiving. For those of you are unfamiliar with Thanksgiving, just know it is a time for Americans to congregate and eat a bunch of turkey. Okay, really Thanksgiving is a time for family and appreciation. Therefore, I am thinking about what I want to do to spread my appreciation in the month of November via this blog.

All right, so let’s head into the topic for today… 🙂

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In the middle of California, I think (August 2019)


1. THINGS FALL INTO PLACE — SOMETIMES

Why does it seem like some things are meant to be, and others make no sense at all? Well, that’s the mystery of life. And it hurts when things don’t go according to plan, but then that makes the fulfillment of our goals even sweeter.

As my college years come to a close, I’ve found that certain things have most definitely fallen into place, and for that I am very thankful. But when it comes to other things, well… I just scratch my head and wonder: What in the world?

Accepting the reality that things (may) fall into place is important, but it’s not earth-shattering. Instead we must remember that we are in charge of our destinies, which leads me to my next point…


2. HARD WORK PAYS OFF

Man didn’t get to the moon overnight, so why do we think we will blink an eye and things will magically fall into place? (See what I did there?)

I am a believer in hard work. One specific example of this relates to a friend back home. After graduating college in three years, she returned home and spent a month straight studying for the MCAT, the very difficult exam to enter medical school here in the States. She spent eight hours a day dissecting study books while hunting for her first post-college job. (Yes, eight hours. A day. Hug a doctor if you see one.)

The day before the test, she received a phone call asking her to come into a health clinic for a job interview. Not only did she ace the interview in the midst of her final MCAT prep, but she aced the test the next day. And right after the test, she received another phone call. This time: A full-time job offer.

See? Things fell into place, but because of hard work. And the truth is that my friend has always remained humble about her success.


3. WE ARE LIVING STORIES

While we have established the connection between #1 and #2, another random thought that has popped into my mind for this post is the fact that each of us has an incredible story we are living every single day. And there is power in the fact that not one story is the same.

While it is almost sad to consider that we have a beginning, climax, and ending, I find comfort in the fact that we are blessed with time on this planet. Therefore, we should be humbled and respect our time here so that we can live life to the fullest. It may sound cliche, but it’s true: We are living stories, and if we want to write a good one, we have to pursue our passions, live with honesty, and remember to honor those who came before us.


4. HEART & HOME

When I was eighteen-years-old, the only thing I wanted to do was move away from my Southern town. While it made me nervous to move two thousand miles away, I didn’t really mind the idea of hitting the road and getting gone.

Plot twist: It didn’t take long for that same girl to realize, Shoot, I have no idea what I’m doing or why I came out here.

It also didn’t take long for me to realize where my true heart and my true home reside. Not all of you are like this, but I pray that you find your home one day and respect your surroundings. What I really mean is that home isn’t a place; it’s people. 


THANK YOU!

Thank you for reading this post. I hope my rambles have had a positive effect, and you can take a moment for yourself today to reflect on life’s mysteries. Sometimes we underestimate the power of prayer, a few seconds to ourselves, and a chance to breathe.

Take that moment for yourself today. You won’t regret it!

Until next time,

-Katie Kay

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SOME THOUGHTS…

Hello, my dear readers!

It is so good to be back into the normal operations of this blog! As I said on last week’s Friday post, today we’re going to be diving into my heart rather than poetry or writing. While that is the focus of this blog, I do like to give you guys some insight into what I’m thinking every now and then.

Here are five random things on my mind right now, courtesy of my brain. I hope you enjoy, and that you share your own thoughts with me in return! ❤

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Mountaintop model, hmm? Yeah, probably not! (Mauna Loa, Hawaii // July 2019)


1. “ROUND AND ROUND” BY GEOWULF IS STUCK IN MY HEAD

I have been listening to this song by Australian dream pop group Geowulf for the past few weeks now. It’s pretty introspective, and it’s got a good beat. But we writers tend to gravitate toward the words we see and hear, and that’s what makes Geowulf’s song stand out so much in my head. With lines like “I’ve been running, running from myself” Geowulf asks its audience to contemplate what we’re running from.

Check out the song.


2. KINDNESS IS NOT GIVEN BY ALL

A few days ago I ran into someone whom I hadn’t seen in years. This person had once been a good friend of mine, but we eventually grew apart after an unfortunate confrontation. Just for fun, I decided to drop by my old school, where I happened to see her. I exclaimed her name, genuinely excited to see her, but she realized it was me, said a curt hello, and kept walking.

My heart hurt after this rudeness. Yes, we hadn’t left on the best terms, but her blatant disgust with me hasn’t dimmed in the past few years, which is ridiculous. To think that we’d once been good friends, had parted due to a civil confrontation, and moved on with our lives… And yet she was still acting as if we were seventeen.

The thing is that people are not always going to like us. There are jealousies, mistakes, and petty feuds. It’s how friends become enemies, and allies divide into factions. Though I was upset at first with the rudeness, I considered a few things and realized I’d rather share kindness and receive rudeness than share rudeness and receive kindness.

Hopefully one day I will see her again, and she will be more receptive towards me. Time will tell, especially when one lives in a small town.


3. MY BEST FRIEND AND I WILL BE REUNITED IN ONE WEEK!

Though you will be able to read into my summer updates post on Friday, I do want to say that I’m about to head back to school in California for my final semester of college. While I am not excited for classes, I’m definitely pumped at the thought that my best friend, Miss Givenchy, and I will be back at it again in one short week. 🙂

We’ve been separated for four months, and though it doesn’t feel like it has been that long, it is about time to be reunited once more!


4. PRAYING FOR PEOPLE IS PRETTY COOL

All right. Some of you are going to read this and cringe, but I’ve got to be honest with you guys. As a Christian I’m pretty vocal about my faith, and it’s gotten me through so many things. So I’m going to be as honest on this blog as I would be in real life.

This past summer my church started a program that’s pretty cool, and I think it’s something you guys should do in your own lives. The “Who’s Your One?” initiative is a chance for you to pray for one person in particular for an amount of time you choose. It’s pretty simple: Pick someone who needs some prayer, and spend a few minutes out of your day in thought for him or her.

Some of you are irreligious, but I’m telling you: Praying for somebody else is amazing. It’s not about you; it’s about the person you’re praying for, and to put positive energy out there is exactly what this world needs right now! 🙂


5. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, BUT WE MUST BE WILLING TO CORRECT THEM

A few days ago I was flying my airplane. I had to take park it in a very tight spot, and I was alone in pushing it back. Now Cessna 172s are not super easy to navigate (on the ground at least), and I’m a sponge when it comes to strength. So there I was, a noodle of a girl trying every maneuver possible to move this airplane off the taxiway, when I heard a pop! and my heart about burst and popped too.

I looked down and saw I’d broken a piece off the horizontal stabilizer in my attempt to move the airplane. Somehow, despite not having the strength to move my plane, I’d had the strength to break a piece off it.

Not my smartest move, not by a mile.

After finding a mechanic and reporting my error, I took a deep breath and thought to myself: Okay. You found the man responsible for repairs. You’ve offered to pay for it. You’ve done the paperwork. You’ve beat yourself up a bit, and there’s nothing more to do.

Sometimes our mistakes are big ones. Sometimes our mistakes are small ones, though they can feel much bigger in the moment. Whatever it is, we must remember our response to our human error is just as important as what we’ve done. Nobody’s perfect, and everybody should know that by now. 🙂

And guess what? We learn from our mistakes in the process.

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Why not post a random picture like this? (Somewhere in Chile // November 2017)


YOUR THOUGHTS!

Now it’s your turn. What are some things that have been on your mind lately? If you don’t want to share in the comments below, I challenge you to find a piece of paper and jot down five things that you can’t stop thinking about. 🙂

Thank you guys for being part of this blog. It means the world to me! I know I say that all the time, but it’s true.

Until next time,

-K. ❤

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SINS & VIRTUES

Hello, my dear readers!

Thank you for joining me today. This is going to be a simple post, but I just want you guys to know that I am so appreciative you have followed my two-week blogging marathon. Your support over these past few weeks has been incredible, and because of you I haven’t grown weary or tired when working on these collections.

Two weeks ago I began this series, dividing it into the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Now that I am done I can attest to the value of forcing myself to write, even when I didn’t want to. As I mentioned in a previous post, there was one morning where I cranked out a poem despite the fact that I had no interest in doing so except for the fact that I knew you guys were holding me accountable. Then that day turned out to be my highest viewed day ever. (Wow! If that doesn’t apply to diligence, I don’t know what does, right?)

This journey hasn’t been totally easy, but it has been fun. So before we say goodbye completely, I want to go over a few things I’ve learned from this poetry journey.

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SIN VERSUS VIRTUE

Parallels, parallels. The Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues perfectly parallel each other, and this really intrigued me. While some may argue that nothing is ever black and white, I saw a sort of equilibrium in my study, as if these sins and virtues are further proof of Newton’s Third Law of Motion that states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Here is how this is shown, and how I set up my poems:

SIN VIRTUE
Lust Chastity
Gluttony Temperance
Greed Charity
Sloth Diligence
Wrath Patience
Envy Gratitude
Pride Humility

Though I do appreciate a certain gray area when it comes to philosophy, this structured comparison chart made things easy for me to understand. Am I struggling with greed today? Well, let me check my handy dandy chart, and there is the antidote: Charity!

Obviously life is not that simple, but honestly we can aim for it to be. For example, the major thing with which I struggle on this list is probably pride. My pride is an enflamed sore in my side. Poke it, prod it, and it only burns more. But when I put a little bit of a salve on it in the form of humility, the sore begins to slowly sink away.

Okay, that was probably a terrible metaphor, but I know that when I’m getting a big ego, I need to sit down, take a breath, and recognize that there really isn’t anything special about me, because everyone is special and has special, unique talents.


YOUR GREATEST STRUGGLE…

Like I just wrote, I struggle the most with pride. A bunch of polluted air (probably from inhaling all that California pollution, to be honest) gets in my head, and my ego inflates even more.

Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Wow. I’m so ahead of the game. I’m doing this, and that person can’t even do this. Well, know what’s best for me, and what’s best for everyone.”

This thinking can be problematic. Why? Because it puts all the emphasis on me. The me, me, me mentality is an example of negative pronoun usage, whereas positive pronoun usage (the implementation of we, us, ours) involves more than just ourselves. It puts us directly in a relationship mentality, where our connection humbles us a little bit.

When I’m the center of my thoughts, I’ve found that my thoughts swirl around my failings, accomplishments, future, and past. To the point that I’m not only destroying my relationships, but I’m either inflating my ego out of the sky or deflating my ego to the point where I think, “Who would ever want to be friends with me?”

But let’s not forget the antidote to pride…


… CAN BECOME YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH.

If humility is the antidote to pride, then why am I not implementing it more?

One of the best qualities (in my opinion) that a person can have is humility. A specific example I have for you guys is from a chico I met this past summer (and for the sake of this story, we will refer to him as Chico). Now this guy is absolutely incredible. A friendly, motivated young man with endless opportunity, Chico would casually tell me little facts about himself when the conversation headed a certain direction. Not because he was arrogantly telling me that, yes, he’d graduated college by age twenty and was going to be a full-up regional airline pilot at twenty-one… But because he was kindly telling me that if he could do it, anyone could.

This isn’t the kind of thinking most guys at this age have. Not by a mile.

I remember saying, “How in the world did you do all this? That’s amazing! Not many people could have done what you’ve done.”

And he could have said, “Well, it was easy.” Or… “I just did it. I figured out how to use the system to my advantage.”

But he didn’t.

He smiled, and suddenly he didn’t seem as bubbly and talkative as normal. He became almost embarrassed. But what he said has stuck with me: “It isn’t that special, I don’t think. There were so many people who helped me and showed me the right way, the right classes… Anyone could do it, but I was just lucky to have people help me along the way.”

That didn’t stop me from saying: “Um, you were still the one who pulled it all off.”

The smile got a little bit bigger, and this told me a lot about Chico’s character.

Humility goes a long way, even when you don’t realize it. Chico probably has no clue that what he said has stayed with me all this time, but it has, and that’s the kind of power we all have with our words and our actions and our virtues. This is why it is so important to know how you carry yourself and what you say can have lasting impacts you did not know were possible.


STUDY THE SINS AND VIRTUES YOURSELF.

These past two weeks have thrown a lot of my thoughts your way, but now it’s your turn. If you want to dive more into your soul, then whip out a Bible, jot down some notes, and think to yourself: What is my greatest sin? What is my greatest virtue? What does all this even mean?

Isn’t that a great mystery of life anyway? What does this all even mean?

Now think for yourself. It’s your turn. And if you want to share with me, please know that I’ve got two ears ready to listen (or two eyes, ready to read, as we bloggers typically communicate with our written posts LOL). Don’t be afraid to send me your poems or thoughts, and I’ll get right back to you! Our conversations make my day, and I truly mean that. ❤

You guys are amazing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

-K.

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The rewarding environment of nature! (Hilo, Hawaii // July 2019)

 

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20 THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY

Hello, my dear readers!

Today we’re going to do something a little different. I’m going to ask you to pull out a piece of paper or open a fresh document on your computer, because you’re going to jot down some notes.

Sometimes our lives get so distracting. Things happen, and we’re left to wonder: What the heck was that? Obviously these moments can be crucial to our development, but there are other times when we think, Well, that’s not how I wanted that to go… 

Today I want you to write down twenty things that make you happy. These things can be childish, ridiculous, serious, or insert whatever adjective in the dictionary. Write exactly what you think, and do not shy away from what you first write.

The point of this exercise is to remind you of the things that make you happy, so that you can remember to actually do them. Your happiness and everlasting joy must make recurring elements to your life, or you’ll forget what you enjoy doing.

Write ’em down!


MY TWENTY THINGS.

These are twenty things I wrote down on August 20, 2017, when I was about to jump on a plane to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a year. A friend had recently asked me how I found happiness, and so I thought this list would be a fun way to show her my interests. It takes some time, but it is fun to reflect on yourself for a little bit.

Here is my list, unedited:

  1. Writing writing WRITING
  2. Reading
  3. Diet Coke
  4. Jesucristo!!!
  5. Cheese dip
  6. Talking to people/good convo
  7. Traveling/hiking/nature LOL
  8. BK breakfasts ❤
  9. Watching movies ❤ ❤ ❤
  10. Music/playing piano/singing to myself
  11. Falling asleep at night ❤ (that time before I fall asleep gives me some of my best story ideas lol)
  12. Driving with blasting music
  13. Fighting with Gen (my sister) but then making up like 2937373 seconds later
  14. Trying new things
  15. Seeing people smile
  16. The smell of fall candles/fall time
  17. The emerald green landscape in TN
  18. Fluff (guinea pig)
  19. My new fluffy slippers
  20. Dreaming of my future kids (SO CHEESY)

Now that it has been two years since I’ve written this incredibly cheesy list, I smile and think to myself, “Not much has changed.” This is important, because I’ve identified how I can pick myself up after a challenging time.

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Find your place to jot down the twenty things that make you happy (Tennessee // June 2019)


YOUR TWENTY THINGS.

The point of this post is for you to identify your twenty things. The friend who brought this idea to life could not identify twenty things that made her happy. Though she promised me she would write some things down, she could not think of twenty things that brought a smile to her face.

This saddens me, because we all have the ability to find the goodness in others and ourselves. Please take these ten minutes and think on what makes you tick. Some questions to consider are: Who do you want to be around? When do you not feel nervous? When do you feel nervous? When are you the calmest? When are you sure what you’re doing is the right thing? What brings you the most peace?

You can share them in the comments below, and I will enjoy reading them if you do! However, this can be a very private, personal challenge–but I still want you to do it. ❤

Thank you as always for reading, my dear readers. You inspire me in every way.

Until next time,

-K.

P.S. My two-week poetry marathon begins on Monday, July 8. Those two weeks will be strictly poetry devoted to the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues. After those two weeks are up, we will return to normal content. Thank you guys!

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Hiding behind a lamppost (Collierville, TN // June 2019)

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THE VALUE OF A HEART-TO-HEART

Hello, my amazing readers!

Today we are diving into the heart… So be prepared to do some soul searching.

What exactly is a heart-to-heart, you may ask? According to the internet, it is a “candid, intimate, personal conversation.” If you ask me, it’s a chance for you to rip open your emotions with another person who cares for you. It’s also the opportunity for another person to reveal his or her own heart to you.

While some will consider this post to be cringeworthy or over the top, I’m certain some of you will read this and say to yourself, “Why haven’t I been doing this sooner?” Trust me, I was once critical of the infamous heart-to-heart. Not anymore!

So, let’s get into the heart of the matter, and go over three important takeaways of why you should have heart-to-hearts.

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Just two fools stumbling through the streets of Buenos Aires (November 2017)


1. PROVIDES EMOTIONAL EXHALE

Humans are complex, emotional creatures. While some people act as if they have no emotions at all, everyone feels something deep in his or her core. These feelings translate into words like happiness, sadness, anger, etc., but when it comes down to it, the emotions we experience are sometimes impossible to put into words.

Emotions have never come super easy to me. As an INFP personality type, I am well aware of absorbing the emotions of others into my gut. When my family and friends hit a bump in the road, I am a sounding board. While I love to listen and help others as much as I can, my own emotional state is a little more reserved than most. While I can sympathize and empathize with others for ages, my own heart is kept hidden away. When people want to share their feelings in group settings, I’m typically uncomfortable, knowing that there is an expectation that I should open up too. But here’s the thing: I’m not going to open up to anyone unless I truly trust his or her motivations, even if I feel suffocated by the emotion inside my own head.

Something changed about two years ago, on one of my first trips in South America. At this point in time, I was adjusted to life abroad, and I had already formulated some of my greatest friendships. It was at this moment in time that my first true heart-to-heart occurred on an overnight bus trip from Buenos Aires to Córdoba. My best friend, Maggie Givenchy, and I were curled up in the very back of the dark bus, and we were crabbing about like normal. (We love to push each other’s buttons.) We were two twenty-year-olds abroad in a foreign country, and we had a lot to say to each other. Maggie was pursuing a relationship, and I was thinking about pursuing one myself (hahahahahahaha, thank goodness that did not happen). As a result, we were chatterboxes, and we both needed to get some things off our chests.

While Maggie’s memory of this moment may be drastically different than mine (my memory tends to fail me a lot), I will never forget the moment we looked at each other and agreed that we needed to start having heart-to-hearts more often. Maggie was giddy with excitement over her new relationship, and I needed clarity on a chico I was interested in. While the conversation began as an examination of our romantic statuses, it evolved into something else entirely: How were we enjoying life in a new country? Would we have done things differently if we could go back?

But the truth is: If we had kept these feelings and thoughts to ourselves, we would have lost out on being honest with ourselves–and to each other.

Emotional exhale is necessary for every human. We are all pumped with feelings of rage and joy and terror and anxiety, and true friends will want to know your true feelings. When we boil and simmer in our emotions, we tend to end up losing it in the end, and we can hurt the people we love most during these moments of emotional jeopardy. This is a fine line to walk on: We must be willing to open up, but only at the pace our souls desire.


2. STRENGTHENS RELATIONSHIPS

Maggie Givenchy and I are “redonk” individuals. (Redonk is a word I use to describe ridiculous behavior.) While we implemented our usage of “heart-to-hearts” extensively while abroad, we expanded upon this idea when we became roommates our junior year of college. Since we were stuck together every night, we wouldn’t go to bed until we had a Big Poppa Heart-to-Heart, also known as the Late Night Chat (LNC).

At this point, you’re probably like: Who is this girl? Well, hear me out.

At first LNCs/heart-to-hearts may be uncomfortable and weird, but I’m telling you, they will change your life. You’re probably not going to have some grand revelation that tells you to up and move to Jakarta for missions work through a heart-to-heart, but you may just. Talking things through is a huge aspect of self-improvement, but it is also the way in which our relationships grow.

Maggie and I were best friends before our LNCs; however, our friendship strengthened through our nightly conversations. There’s something about lying in the dark, telling your best friend the things on your heart, and listening to her advice (and vice versa). This is a chance for you to rehash your day, the things that are weighing you down, and the things that are lifting you up.

While I have always enjoyed falling asleep (it has always been one of my favorite parts of the day hehe), I always look forward to an LNC with Miss Givenchy. I know that I’m going to hear what’s really going on in her world, and not just the little things either.

You can try this too, and I promise it will change your perspective. It will challenge your perspective too, because you will question things, and sometimes you’re not going to get the answers you want. But that’s the point of diving into your psyche, and into the psyche of someone who means the world to you.

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One time Miss Givenchy asked to push me into a freezing cold waterfall to get over our bickering. While at first I was appalled that she would even consider pushing me in, this marked our first “cleanse” experience to refresh our friendship tensions. This was also the same trip that cemented our first heart-to-heart. Also I am sorry for all these “redonk” terms, but that is how I speak in real life. (Near Córdoba, Argentina // October 2017)


3. HONEST, OPEN COMMUNICATION IS MADE CLEAR

So, if the previous two points didn’t convince you, I’m going to suggest that this point will. Humans rely on relationships. While some individuals are wired to have a hundred friendships, others rely on a few deeply personal relationships. (While I would love to write more on this topic, we’re not going down that rabbit hole today.) But what is the common theme here, the string that ties everything together?

We need contact with others.

It is no secret that most communication is through the non-verbals (some experts say it is 93% of communication, actually, which is crazy). However, a heart-to-heart compiles both nonverbal and verbal cues. Emotion seeps through the skin, and it also plays a part in tone and word choice. A heart-to-heart requires honesty, and when we are honest with others, we’re actually being honest with ourselves too. 

While heart-to-hearts are crucial to understand the friends who need our help, it is also a method of talking to ourselves. If you’re like me and harbor your emotions in the bay of your heart, you don’t open up much to yourself. You keep those feelings locked tight, even if you think about things all the time. But just because you’re thinking about things doesn’t really mean you’re thinking things through.

When I started having heart-to-hearts, I realized what I really wanted. I began to understand why I was acting certain ways and how I should proceed with caution in what I was doing. Nobody likes being in the spotlight unprepared–and especially not when you’re the one putting yourself in that position.


SO WHY HAVE HEART-TO-HEARTS?

When we open our hearts, we are at our rawest point. When we expose ourselves for who we really are, we are at our most vulnerable, and we learn the truth behind our actions, thoughts, and motives. In order to be happy, in order to figure things out, we must be willing to admit our shortcomings. It’s difficult, but it’s necessary, and a real friend will listen, give you advice, and share their situations with you.

However, it is crucial to speak like this when you are confused, hurt, or anxious. You may believe you do not have a person with whom you can talk, but I’m sure there is someone in your life who is willing to listen. I bet you that this person wants to talk to someone too, and this can be an opportunity to tighten your bond in the process.

Here is another consideration for you: You never really know what someone is going through until you ask them how they’re doing. Sometimes this person will say, “Oh, I’m fine; nothing’s going on.” But you may be surprised when the person looks you in the eye, and you’re taken aback, because you’re looking into the soul of a broken human being. This may not happen often, but when it does, you have to be ready to listen. You have to be willing to help another person. And if you don’t, shame on you.

We know when people care for us. They ask us questions, and want to get to know us better; they surprise us with little gifts, or words of affirmation; they smile at us, and our hearts about burst, because we know there is much more than meets the eye.

Do not be afraid to reach out. You never know when you’re making a difference–and you sure don’t know when you’re about to change the course of someone’s life forever.

THANK YOU, my wonderful readers. As always, I look forward to hearing from you. ❤

-K.

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A random palm picture, because why not? (Tempe, AZ // March 2015)