thoughts

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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MY FAVORITE PHOTOS OF 2018

Hello my dear readers,

We are well into 2019 (can you guys believe it is almost February already?!?!), but I thought it would be fun to go back in time a little bit. While I hate being in pictures, I really love being behind the camera.

Photos are a perfect way to capture a moment and trigger memories, and so here are some of my top picks (top pics hehe) for you guys to enjoy.

A fun fact: None of these images are photoshopped. They are all very real, and they prove how amazing our world is. (And even in the mundane things, there is true beauty.)


USHUAIA, ARGENTINA

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Ushuaia, Argentina, is one of my favorite places in the world. Known as the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia’s hikes during summertime are unrivaled, in my opinion. This picture was taken on a four-hour hike to Lago Esmeralda, and it has become one of my favorite memories while abroad.

(February 2018)


PATAGONIA, ARGENTINA

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This picture is of my friend group, collectively known as Roach Fam (this should be a blog post of its own, honestly). We were on a trip to Patagonia, Argentina, specifically visiting Los Glaciares National Park. Why is it purple, you may ask? This is an ice cave.

(March 2018)


FAYETTE COUNTY, TENNESSEE

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An abandoned barn on a random piece of Tennessee property? This is my kind of place. When I took this photo, I was wearing shorts and flip flops, and I was pretty scared that a giant poppa snake would jump up and bite off my kneecaps. Maybe I’d see a ghost pop out of the dusky woods. The only thing that happened: An amazing photo.

(June 2018)


WILLISTON, TENNESSEE

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One of my best friends got engaged! We decided to have a photo shoot in the small town of Williston, Tennessee. It was amazing being able to celebrate my friend’s engagement, especially since it was one of the last times I saw her before I went back to California for college.

(August 2018)


ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO

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My one-of-a-kind father loves to stretch out his condor arms. This is an incredible shot at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. My dad and I love to travel and visit random national parks across the nation, and this was one of my favorite memories of my year. Here we were, in the middle of the desert, when a summer thunderstorm crossed over us.

(August 2018)


COLLIERVILLE, TENNESSEE

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Here is my family over my Christmas break in December. This photo is blurry, but I really like it because we were all super happy to be together. 🙂

(December 2018)


CALABASAS, CALIFORNIA

DSC_1685.jpgThis is sort of a cheat picture, since it was taken in January 2019. However, I love this photo because it features Miss Givenchy, who, as I am writing this post, wants to wring my neck. I happened to see a plane while we were taking this photo, and so I was quite distracted. I also like this photo because of the green background due to winter rains (and you can barely tell a wildfire swept through only two months before).

(January 2019)


2018 –> 2019

Now it’s time to move on to 2019 photos. The new year is here, and it is up to us to make the most of the time we have. I hope you all can reflect on your photos and find the beauty in wherever you are. If you aren’t big into photography, there are other methods in which to capture your favorite memories, so make sure to remember them. 🙂

Until next time,

-K.

thoughts

19 RESOLUTIONS FOR 2019

Hello, my dear and wonderful readers!

2019 is upon us, and if you’re like me, you probably have some resolutions up your sleeve. While every day is a perfect start to aim for a new goal, New Year’s Day is always a nice reminder to freshen things up a bit!

I hope you all have been thinking of some resolutions of your own, but I thought I would share 19 of my personal resolutions for this defining year! And remember–everything is what you make it.


1. More water

I’m addicted to Diet Coke, so this doesn’t really need more explaining, other than the fact that I need to incorporate more water into my diet. Maybe some of you rely on coffee to get you through the day, and while an occasional cup of joe or gallon of Diet Coke is permissible, I plan on setting certain days as water-only days. (We’ll see how this goes.)

2. Track Tuesday

Some friends and I have recently implemented “Track Tuesday” into our weekly schedule. This simply means that we take one night out of the week to exercise, whether that be jogging (for me and Miss Givenchy) or weightlifting (for the chicos). It’s probably better to exercise more than once a week, but for now, this is a good starting point.

3. Speak my mind

Recently I read a news article entitled “Are you a people pleaser?” My answer would be an emphatic yes. I let others control me in so many aspects, and sometimes I never reveal what I’m truly thinking. Enough of that! It’s important to say what you think, or people will always take advantage of you.

4. Learn to go for it

We’re put in certain situations for a reason. 2018 taught me to remember that you’re in charge of your own life, and 2019 will be the year of going for it. What do I mean by this? I’m simply saying that we only have a set time on this Earth, and we waste so much time, whether that be playing video games, spending hours and hours on the phone (see #5), or, something relatable to all of humankind, worrying.

Therefore, I say that we spend our time going for it. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Channel your discomfort into new passions, new memories, and new discoveries.

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Memphis Zoo (December 2018) Attempting to skate: I am terrible, but one day I won’t have to hold onto the wall the entire time. 😉

5. Less time on phone

A few days ago, I checked the “screen time” on my iPhone and almost threw the thing at the wall. I spent seven hours on that thing in the span of 24 hours, which is absolutely unacceptable. There are so many other things I could have done with that seven hours: Hanging out with family and friends, working on new books, planning trips, making money. Instead, I was watching pointless videos, reading nonsense facts online, and lying around with nothing to show for it.

It’s time to spend less time on all technology, because the physical world around us is too amazing to forget.

6. Read more books

In today’s society, we are constantly pounded by information. It seems as if everywhere we go, an excess of knowledge is available at our fingertips. While this has its positives, there are also some negatives to this sort of reliance on technology, especially considering #5.

Therefore, I will challenge myself to read more novels in this upcoming year. Books are great methods to relieve stress and relax, and it is a great way to entertain your brain. When I am overwhelmed by the world around me, books are a source of escape. Therefore, it is time to read as much as possible!

7. Don’t be so cryptic

Some of you may have no idea what I am writing about on this, but I bet some of you can relate. Simply put, I am pretty cryptic. I am not the biggest fan of people knowing where I am or what I am doing, and I have gained quite the reputation as “Kryptic Katie.”

In 2019 I will work on being more open with people. It is important that we remember our loved ones do truly care about us, and it is important to keep them in the loop.

8. Go to church more, pray more

Prayer is a beautiful, wonderful thing, and I urge all of you to try it out. I have been slacking on this front, but I truly believe in the power of belief and faith, and so I want to pray more this year.

9. Spend more time with those I love

It is time to be bittersweet: Time is passing by, and we’re growing older, each and every one of us. It is time to realize this, because when we let our days go with no thought for the future, we can sometimes forget how important the present is–and to treasure each moment.

Therefore, we need to spend more time with the people we love, even when it feels mundane or boring or annoying, because there will be a day when we won’t see them again.

Rejoice in the relationships you have, even in the low points. And in 2019 we should work on spending more time with the people we love.

10. Write a novel that matters

Writers, listen up!

This is the year we need to actually write something–and something that matters! What does this mean? Doesn’t everything we write matter? Well, if I’m being completely honest, I find a difference between some of my novels. For example, a romance like Mystic Mississippi does not have the same value as one of my magical realism books.

Different genres exist for different purposes, but I want to write something that has symbolism, magic, and value for my readers. This will be the year when I write something out of my comfort zone, but something that needs to be written.

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Malibu, California (December 2018)

11. Extend the olive branch

I have spent so much time thinking of outcomes and possibilities and what-ifs instead of actually pursuing what matters (#4, anyone?). However, I have also learned that it is imperative to be kind and good-hearted to both the people I meet and the people I know.

I’m sick of losing relationships, or not even getting a chance to develop these relationships, because I haven’t extended the olive branch. I make mistakes, and I want forgiveness. I don’t want to hide away in my transgressions, but instead to find growth and develop as a person.

Olive branch, even when I am stubborn.

12. Dress up more

Well, this is going to be an interesting resolution. My entire life, I have been a fan of super casual clothing. In summertime, I am in t-shirts; in winter, I am in t-shirts covered with sweaters. However, going to college has taught me that there is value in dressing up, even if it’s just a little better than normal.

While dressing up doesn’t define a person, it can matter in the realm of relationships. Our identities are personified in so many aspects, and the way we dress ourselves can present certain characteristics before we even say a word. Therefore, I have decided I want to banish the t-shirts (even if just for a few days per week) in favor of a more stylish look.

13. Learn to cook better

This is a huge one. I am so sick and tired of eating microwaveable meals at college, and when I come home and have access to a kitchen, I’m always making pasta or sandwiches. Therefore, I want to expand my cooking abilities.

14. Wear glasses more

This may seem a little random, but it is! I have terrible vision and rely on contacts for 99% of my waking life. However, I want to wear my glasses more because, well, it is just a change, I suppose. Plus, my friends refer to my alter ego as “Glasses Katie.” Pretty ridiculous, I know.

15. Learn the ukulele

In December 2018, so only a month ago, a few friends introduced me to both the guitar and the ukulele. They love to play, and since I am always around them, I found myself strumming the ukulele one night. My friend Even taught me some chords on the “uke,” while my friend Matt worked with me on guitar.

Christmas break rolled around, and I found myself missing the ukulele, and missing it a lot. So I did a quick search on Amazon, bought one for $30, and have been playing non-stop since. My fingers are calloused, my family annoyed with my endless songs, and my brain on fire.

The ukulele is such a peaceful, happy instrument, and it is so much fun to play. I totally recommend for you guys to check it out, even if you aren’t the biggest fans of music. It’s very easy to learn, and I hope to develop my abilities this year.

16. Clean more

This should be on everyone’s resolutions list, if we’re being quite honest. While I am all for individuality, cleanliness is a must. It isn’t the most fun thing to keep up with, and I’m guilty of being a slob, but it’s time to grow up and keep a clean work space and living arrangement.

17. Exfoliate the skin

Okay, here is a slightly more comedic point on this resolutions list. Recently I got a facial at the spa (now that experience should be a blog post) and was told to exfoliate my skin more. Time to live up to that tip.

And for those of you who have never had a facial… Get one done this year. It is an interesting experience, to say the least.

18. Talk about things that matter

So often we get caught up in the mundane life that what really matters is swept under the rug. We lose sight of the people we love, and our own feelings are ignored. This is why we have to be intentional to discuss things–and the things that matter most to us.

In 2019 I hope to be both myself and open to new conversations. I want to hash out my opinions and listen to others’, without fear or annoyance or pre-judgments. But this also means that I hope others will respect my own thoughts, and be open to talking about these issues as well.

19. Remember to do what I love

It is no secret that writing is my passion, and it’s my favorite thing in the world. (And I’m sure this is true for a lot of you who are reading this blog.) However, we must remember to make time for our passions. We must be intentional, we cannot cave into boredom or laziness, and we must remember who we are in the process.

People and circumstance will always wear on us, just like eroding winds carving out chunks of canyon. But this doesn’t mean it can’t create something beautiful, and we must use our experiences to further what sets our souls on fire. At college, I lose sight of my writing, because there are so many other things to do. But we cannot always think like this, or we can lose our contentment and drive.

Do what you love in this year. It’s worth it.


YOUR RESOLUTIONS.

Now it’s up to you: What do you want to resolve of yourself in this upcoming year? Already a week of January has flown by, and the year will follow shortly. Make sure to think of your own list, and stick to it, because if we don’t make the first step, we sure aren’t going to make the entire journey.

Until next time,

-K.

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It’s your year.