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, 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.
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.
FAYETTE COUNTY, TENNESSEE
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.
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.
ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO
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.
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. 🙂
This 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).
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.