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.”
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.
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. 😉
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… 🙂
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 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!
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! ❤
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.
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.
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.
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:
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, I 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. ❤
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:
Writing writing WRITING
Talking to people/good convo
BK breakfasts ❤
Watching movies ❤ ❤ ❤
Music/playing piano/singing to myself
Falling asleep at night ❤ (that time before I fall asleep gives me some of my best story ideas lol)
Driving with blasting music
Fighting with Gen (my sister) but then making up like 2937373 seconds later
Trying new things
Seeing people smile
The smell of fall candles/fall time
The emerald green landscape in TN
Fluff (guinea pig)
My new fluffy slippers
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.
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,
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!
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.
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.
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. ❤
I’m sure you’re reading this and laughing. You’re probably thinking, “What the heck were you thinking?” and the truth is that I’m thinking the same thing. Right now it’s nearly nine o’clock (bedtime’s calling soon) and I’m jamming to a sad song called “Older” by Sasha Sloan. I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike me all day for this blog post, and you came to mind.
The past few weeks have been really interesting. I’ve been searching through old memories for answers as to who I’m becoming, as if I’ll get the answers that way. Today alone I saw three people I haven’t seen in years, people who watched me grow up and looked at me with the same shock in their eyes. It’s something we all say, over and over again, hoping that the truth will sink in, though it probably never will: Time’s flying, and time’s flying fast.
You probably know that, considering you’re reading this at a different time and in a different place. You’ll probably read this letter and think, “I thought time was flying then? But look at it now!” And I can’t disagree with you, because I’ll never understand how some years feel like snails are running the show, and others like we’re going faster than the speed of light. But you’ve always known the truth: You’re not in control, and that’s okay.
I wonder who you’ll be like. I pray you are kind-hearted and humble. Maybe you’ll stumble now and then, but you’ll be strong and won’t wallow in the past. You will treat everyone with respect and dignity, and you’ll write so much that your wrists fall off your hands (okay, I’m going to actually hope that your wrists are still intact). You will never lose your sense of wonder at the world, and you’ll make sure to travel as much as you can. I hope you go to the places you’ve loved before, and that you stare at the scenery and give thanks for the moments you had there: Rossville, Tennessee; Parkersburg, West Virginia; Malibu, California; Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Columbus, Mississippi.
But I hope more that you take care of the people you love. When I think of you, I see resilience. I think of where you’ve been, and then I think: Wow, I wonder where else you’ll go, and the people you will meet there.
The truth is that I don’t know you, but you know me. But I’ll meet you soon enough, because you’ll be here before we both know it. 🙂
Hope all is going well in your nook of the world. As for me, I’m passing through Meridian, Mississippi, on my way home from a little weekend on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. My face is tomato red, but maybe the weird sunburn will fade into a nice tan (I can only hope on this one lol). And though I’m excited to head home, this past weekend provided a few reflections I’d like to share with you all.
There is something about the ocean(s). Maybe it’s the mystery of the endless blue, and what swims within it. The tides shift and change, and yet waves keep pushing to the shore, revealing one man’s trash and another man’s treasure. (Okay, I couldn’t resist with that line.) In a world that operates in black and white, the sea reminds us of Earth’s last unexplored unknowns. And though many of you probably live near a coast or have been to the ocean many times in your life, there are still so many people out there who have not seen the ocean and may never get the chance.
But the magic allure of the ocean does not end.
As always I pray that this won’t be a rambling post. It is my wish that you guys gain something from these “reflection” posts. If you like to think a lot about the world around you, then maybe these reflection posts provide a fresh perspective for you. ❤
1. YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING
This may seem like a ridiculous observation, but it is very true: Though we may think we are the masters of our own universes, there are some things out of our control. I’ve probably harped on this in the past, but it’s a mantra I need to keep at the forefront of my mind.
As I’m getting older, I find a sense of confusion as to what is going to happen in these next few years. There are things I want to accomplish, but I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do it. Obviously mistakes will be made, and growth will be a huge factor as to how the invisible future clears up.
Though I am quite the believer in going with the flow, I do tense up when I consider the fact that there are so many unknowns out there: What will life be like in fifteen years? Will we have gone to Mars yet? Is it possible that extraterrestrial life exists? Are my friends going to live near me when I’m older? Will I have to move away? Am I really going to go buy another Diet Coke before the day’s over?
The answer to all of these questions is quite simple: Who knows? It’s hard to swallow the truth, and it burns sometimes, when things don’t pan out the way we expect them to. Yeah, if I could go back in time, I’d change some things. I’d probably change a lot of things, but then I’d be inevitably screwing up some other component to my life in the meantime.
It’s hard to recognize that we can’t control everything. It’s so hard, but it’s a reality to be remembered.
2. TIME DOES NOT MAKE SENSE (and probably never will)
As each ocean wave slams against the shore, another second has passed.
Though I hate to consider the power of time, there is an incredible resilience that belongs to it. Without time we are humans left to wander the world without proper direction. If it weren’t for time, then we’d lose a huge chunk of how important certain acts are.
Now, more than ever before, I have felt that time is flying by without any concern for me. But guess what? That’s not for me to control (see #1). Since I’m the “queen” of my universe, so to speak, I feel that the world owes me something. But it doesn’t. I want what I want, and that’s because of my selfish nature. But this desire creates stagnancy in growth, along with a lack of appreciation for what’s to come.
It’s okay to be scared for what’s to come. It’s okay to miss what used to be, but remembering that life stops for no one. Time’s a selfish thing too, and it does not discriminate against anyone.
When I lived abroad in Argentina, I had a countdown of the days until I would return to the United States. My little notebook was filled with scratch marks from each day, as I wanted nothing more than to hop on a plane back home.
What’s wrong with this ideology?
Many things. For one, it’s never a good idea to wish away your moments, when some people are not as fortunate as us when it comes to how long we get on this planet. Secondly, my negative attitude caused me even more heartache. Thirdly, if I hadn’t gone to Argentina, I would have missed out on certain things that are quite defining in my young adult years: These people, memories, and experiences would not have prepared me for appreciation of who I am today.
We must remember to give thanks for each day, especially when we really will never know when it will be our last.
3. BE APPRECIATIVE
To continue off #2, it is crucial to have appreciation for what has been given to you. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you’re going… You have been given gifts, skills, and a life that is yours to live. You have a purpose that no one else has, and it is up to you on whether or not you’ll live with a spirit of thankfulness.
When I was a young chiquitita (a young kid hehe), my dad took me to Burger King for a morning croissant. I love croissants, and he was surprising me with the treat before a long day at school. Though I was used to my dad buying me things, I was also used to taking what was given and chomping away.
But that morning stands out in my brain for one particular reason. He handed me my food like normal, and I said, “Thank you.”
His big blue eyes widened and he stared at me, mouth agape. “What?”
“Thank you,” I repeated, taking a big bite of the bread.
“You don’t know how much that means, Katie,” he said, and my heart about burst.
My dad taught me something hugely important that morning. What was even better than that sweet croissant on my tongue was the knowledge that came with taking a moment to thank the person who gave it to me. My dad was doing something to show he cared for me, and a simple “thank you” was the least I could say to him in response. From that moment forward, I learned the importance of those two words.
Just saying thank you, however, is not going to cut it. Though I am a writer and emphasize the weight of words, sometimes I have to tap myself on the shoulder and say, “Words are just words.” What really matters is the intention behind what we say, and the spirit of appreciation is tightly linked to this.
We have one world, one life, and one opportunity to spread positive energy. One way to do this is through humility and remembering our blessings.
Well, I think about covers it for now. After you’ve read this, you’re probably sick and tired of my random tidbits, so please share your own! I’m interested in to seeing what you guys think when you look at something as powerful as the ocean. Does it scare you? Does it inspire you? Are you like me, and grow super philosophical? Or are you just hoping you won’t get a really bad sunburn?
(ALWAYS PUT ON SUNSCREEN!!!)
Thank you, my beautiful readers. You inspire me every day. ❤
Writing has not been that enjoyable lately. Though this blog has been a crucial outlet for me in the past year (and I have no intentions of giving it up), my love of novel writing has come to a screeching halt.
The good news: This blog isn’t going anywhere. One of my favorite things to do is plan these biweekly posts. What’s even more fun: Checking up on your own posts and going through our interactions. I will never get over how many international connections are established through this platform, and that is a beautiful thing.
The bad news: I’m not sure when I’m going to be publishing again. Though I’m very invested in my future as a writer, I have been struggling with the entire process lately. I am more than halfway done with a novel, Church Boy, that I was planning on releasing in June; however, I have lost all interest in the project, and nothing else has captured my attention in the meantime.
Now for some more details on this situation….
I have been addicted to writing books since I was fifteen. As of now I’ve written nineteen completed manuscripts, hashed out many partial ones, and lived to tell the tale. I attribute this to my love of storytelling, and for a while the only way I knew how to tell stories was through novels.
For a while, I assumed I would pick up an agent like magic, strike out rich, and never worry about anything else. This is wishful thinking, but I believe that hard work paves the road for success. While that is true in many areas, there are so many hard-working writers out there who never get “discovered.”
Books are the core to my life. However, my core has expanded recently. (Okay, this is just a weird sentence, and I apologize.) Relationships, school, and everyday stress have left me fatigued in normal life. The hours I once spent hammering out books are now devoted to other interests and activities. Maybe I knew this instinctually as a teenager, that life would come about and leave me with less time to pursue this passion of writing, but I’ve found that I have fewer and fewer stories I want to tell as I grow older.
HOPE FOR FUTURE.
The quality of the stories I want to tell needs to improve, and I’m not denying that. I’ve admitted to myself that I want my writing to reflect my outlook on the world, and I’m not content to be associated with the writing I’ve been producing lately.
In the past, my outlook was very much centered around how many books I could write, and how many stories I could share with you all in a given setting. Though this taught me how to write effectively, my brain craves a new story that will fulfill what I want to share with you guys, and what I’ve put out in the past few years is not quite up to par.
I’m hopeful that my motivated spirit will return. The truth is that I’ve swallowed a lot of ideas in the past few years, and I know my mind has been chewing through all of it for a while now. That being said, I know the coming years will be some of the hardest of my life, and that’s okay too.
But for now I must be willing to challenge my writing in a personal setting before I return to the self-publishing world.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR NEW BOOK, CHURCH BOY
As I’ve posted on this blog a few times, Church Boy is almost done. However, I realized in writing this book that I’m not happy with the story. I’m sick of that feeling of drudgery I get when working on this manuscript, and I have decided to toss it in the slush pile for now.
Who knows if I will finish it. Maybe I’ll come back to it at some point, but for now I want to focus on other matters in my life, and this book is not one of them.
Well, that’s what’s been on my heart lately. This blog is not going anywhere, and the twice weekly posts will continue as normal. I have been surprised at how much I’ve been liking poetry lately, as I once hated it. Also I’ve been rediscovering my love of reading, which is important too.
Thank you guys so much for listening to these rambling posts! More positive energy to come, I promise. ❤ ❤ ❤
A blog post from yours truly! Thank you so much for reading this and supporting my blog, as you guys are such a joy in my life. It means so much to see views from all over the world. ❤
Today’s post is going back to my roots, when I shared my thoughts on certain books and movies I’d recently read and watched. Thanks to Goodreads, I’m able to easily remember the latest books I’ve read (considering I would not remember otherwise), and I really recommend this website/app to those who enjoy books. Goodreads is a way to keep track of what you’ve read and what you want to read in a user-friendly model.
So let’s jump in already!
1. THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion
A romantic comedy set in modern-day Australia, The Rosie Project is an easy, enjoyable read for those who enjoy the genre. When Don Tillman, an analytical professor who isn’t the best in social situations, creates the Wife Project in order to find the perfect match, his world is tilted upside down with the introduction of Rosie Jarman, the opposite of what he’s looking for.
The Rosie Project has a unique point-of-view that cements the story. While rom-coms are hard to pull off in the realm of originality, Simsion’s Tillman is such a well-written and believable character that the book really revolves around his social awkwardness. These awkward encounters further promote the book’s comedic moments.
However, the book is rather predictable. Boy meets girl, and they fall for each other, get engaged, etc. As a romance writer myself, I’m just as guilty of satisfying what the reader wants (a promise of happily-ever-after, right?), but this book seemed to drop off at the last fifty pages or so. The first two hundred pages, I was really unsure what would happen for Don and Rosie, and I think Simsion got caught up in just getting the book done rather than tying the plot together at the end.
That being said, it was enjoyable, and a good weekend read during endless Tennessee thunderstorms.
Rating: ♥♥♥ (out of a possible five)
2. REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier
A classic that defined the mystery genre for decades, Rebecca is Daphne du Maurier’s legacy. It’s a spell-binding story that was groundbreaking in its day for its dark themes. When Maxim de Winter brings his new wife, the second Mrs. de Winter, to his grand estate, Manderley, secrets of his first wife’s mysterious death are brought to life.
You may recognize Rebecca by its perfect opening line: Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Supposedly there was an incredible Hitchcock adaptation of the book (though I would disagree, as I only got through five minutes of it), but the book is pretty incredible. It centers on the shy Mrs. de Winter, who learns to push back against Manderley’s evil housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, who is obsessed with Rebecca, even after her death. Slowly, Mrs. de Winter discovers the truth behind Rebecca’s death, and I refuse to spoil this. You’ll have to read for yourself to figure it out.
Rebecca relies on suspense, and du Maurier is a pro at this. She knows how to hook you into the plot, despite its faults, and leave you curious as to what will happen until the very end. Du Maurier is incredible at description, and Manderley is the perfect backdrop for her creepy tale. While these elements grounded me in the story, I do believe that reading this book in 2019 is very different than reading it in the 1930s, when it was published. Mrs. de Winter is a let-down character, a weak woman who suddenly becomes strong at the end of the novel, and her husband, Max, is overly brooding and boring. The shift of the novel that changes how readers perceive the de Winters is a bit unbelievable and anti-climactic in comparison to the discovery of Rebecca’s death.
I still recommend this book to those who like twisted suspense stories.
3. ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT by Stephen King
Stephen King is arguably one of modern American literature’s best writers. The unarguable king of horror, King has been a withstanding symbol in writing for decades now, and he remains as popular now as he was when he first came onto the scene. On Writing remains one of the my favorite memoirs, in my opinion, though it also acts as a manual for aspiring writers.
The book is split into two perspectives. King gives a peek into his childhood that inspired his writing that would eventually propel him into legendary status. The other perspective is his professional guidance on the writing front, in which he gives awesome tips that I am using now. (One of my personal favorites: Get rid of superfluous adverbs, such as, I was walking quickly.)
The way King writes is gold. He says things simply and magically, and this is really hard to pull off. However, I don’t think of King as a cocky writer; instead, he wrote this book as a response to a traumatic car accident that left him almost dead. And he knew he wanted to pass on his tips to future generations of writers, and this is quite admirable, in my opinion.
You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy On Writing. It has enough material to showcase how King went from a struggling teacher to one of the most successful writers known today.
4. THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas
The most controversial book on this list (and I will explain more later), The Hate U Give is the debut novel of young adult writer Angie Thomas, a native of my second-favorite state, Mississippi. Thomas is an honest, natural storyteller, and The Hate U Give radiates as a result.
For those of you who are not familiar with the idea of police brutality in the United States, Thomas offers her opinion on the subject through this fictional portrayal of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, who witnesses the murder of her friend when they are pulled over for speeding. The book is unafraid to be itself, and I appreciate this.
While I expected the novel to be very politically charged, I was happy to realize it wasn’t as much as I thought it was going to be. (While I do not want to go on a rant, I enjoy books that are not political. To be honest, I would not have read this book unless it hadn’t been required for a creative writing class.) However, Thomas does a good job of showing a society she sees as flawed while respecting others’ viewpoints on the issue.
That being said, the story itself was not my favorite. I’m not a fan of young adult fiction or teenage characters, and I haven’t ever been. I’ve always been a person to read adult fiction, as I like adult perspectives. Therefore, this story, though serious in nature, was not as interesting to me. You don’t have to agree with my opinion, but I hate love triangles and petty teen drama, and I did not understand why I was reading this book in a college classroom.
The book is important, and I won’t argue that. But it’s not my favorite.
5. SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES: AND OTHER LESSONS FROM THE CREMATORY by Caitlin Doughty
A total shift from young adult and romance, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is a book I’d NEVER thought I would A) read, or B) enjoy. However, Doughty is an incredibly interesting person and writer, and this shines through her memoir/informational guide on funeral homes.
What in the world? you are probably asking. I asked the same thing before I dived into this book.
Caitlin Doughty is a mortician who specializes in cremation, and she is unabashed in her approach to the United States’s funeral home practices. She offers historical background, witty opinion, and clever stories that inform her readers on the misconceptions of mortuary work. Now this book is not for people who are uncomfortable around death, as the entire book revolves around it. What I love is Doughty’s direct and honest perspective, and it’s a unique career path she chose.
Read this book if you’re curious as to what morticians do. Hey, maybe I liked it so much because it wasn’t required for class or written for teenagers. Sue me.
So, if we’re being honest, the past books I’ve read are… In, my opinion, average. Though I am a very critical person, I do know a great book when I’ve read one, and I’m hoping to be impressed soon!
What are some of the books you guys have read recently? Do you have any recommendations for me? I love when you tell me what you enjoy, as you are exposing me to authors, novels, and genres with which I would not otherwise know. 🙂