thoughts

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.

IMG_2264
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.

DSC_0547
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.

fullsizeoutput_30
A random palm picture, because why not? (Tempe, AZ // March 2015)
Advertisements
updates

CHAU, JUNIOR YEAR!

Hello, my dear readers!

As this post goes live, I’m traveling the American West on my way back home for the summer. It’s going to be a five-day journey, and a lot of miles are going to be put on my poor car, but I’m sure I am having fun.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a college student, and I have just finished my junior year. While this school year was great in certain ways (I became a pilot), it was also pretty tough in others. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate to share my top takeaways from this year and do a little reflecting!

DSC_0121
When you realize school is finally done (Malibu, CA // April 2019)

1. I WENT TO SCHOOL TO STUDY CREATIVE WRITING, AND I’M LEAVING TO BE A PILOT.

While I will one day offer my thoughts on creative writing courses, I am going to stay mum for now in favor of a diplomatic approach. However, I will say that I decided to attend my university for its creative writing program, because I thought it would be a great way to hone my craft.

Needless to say, I had a revelation last fall, and I decided to drop my major to a minor, graduate a semester early (so this December 2019), and get home as soon as possible in order to become a real pilot (a pilot who gets paid hehe).

This year has only reassured my decision. While I enjoy certain aspects of college, I don’t enjoy the fact that I have to take classes that relate nothing to my major or minor. Since all I want to do is fly now, it is hard going to class sometimes and trying to show a lackadaisical interest in Philip Roth or Tobias Wolff (no disrespect, they’re good writers).

Flying is expensive, and I appreciate the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue this career. However, if I could go back in time, I would have decided to pursue an aviation degree instead of following a whimsical dream like becoming a published writer that I can achieve just as easily in Tennessee. (More on this to come, I promise. I just want to make sure I’m graduated before I give my full opinions.)


2. HUMANS ARE WILD.

This year has been tough on the relationship side of things. Some friendships have soured, and other friendships have grown. In the toughest moments, you really discover who has your back, and those who don’t. However, I think this all relates to the amazing biodiversity of humanity, so to speak. We are all so different, and our personalities and ethics are exposed in what we do and how we do it.

But just imagine if everything went right according to plan, or people did exactly what we wanted them to do. Sometimes the hardest things happen so that we can see the truth, and it’s true that the truth can hurt us. But eventually our skin thickens and our hearts figure out what they really want, and that’s a pretty spectacular feeling, to look back and realize you are stronger because of the damage you’ve survived.

IMG_3961.jpeg
A trip to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 2019)

3. SET YOUR GOALS, AND STICK TO THEM.

While I tend to think my generation is comprised of a bunch of lazy, privileged kids (I hope no one considers me like this), there are certain individuals who really inspire me with their tenacity and drive to get things done. These people should inspire us all to set goals and stick to them, so that we can accomplish great things. We shouldn’t strive to be average; we should do everything to the best of our ability, and feast in the positive results from our hard work.

For my writers out there, this can be harder said (or written) than done. We grow sluggish when it comes to our writing, because there are a million other things we could do. Really? This is an excuse I’ve used a hundred times, and it’s a terrible one. Therefore, we’ve got to inspire each other to keep up. Some people should consider finding an accountability partner, someone who will make sure you’re doing what you should be doing. Some people do this when it comes to their faith, but I think some of you guys may benefit if someone else monitors how much you’re writing so that you’re really diving into your craft. (If you’d like me to help, I’m more than glad!)

IMG_6307.jpeg
One goal from my year was seeing John & Martha King, two of aviation’s heroes at the Women in Aviation Conference 2019 (Long Beach, CA // March 2019)

4. DON’T LET OTHERS TEAR YOU DOWN.

There is no doubt that people will disappoint you, but you can’t let them tear you down. You deserve 100% to be heard, respected, and valued for your opinions and beliefs. I’m sure some of you who are reading this are struggling with the inability to use your voice, and this breaks my heart.

In the past few years I’ve had to speak up and stand up for myself in some tough moments. One time was against a terrifically rude American woman in an Argentine airport who slandered my friends for their political beliefs (honestly this would make a great blog post). I’m sure you all have countless experiences like this, and the truth is that we all want to say what we want to say, but sometimes we can’t bear what others have to say.

Therefore, I urge you to be yourself. Don’t tear others down, and don’t let others tear you down. People will come for you, especially if they see you as a threat, but you must be willing to respect others, while respecting yourself at the same time. Though I have always been someone who hates conflict, I do believe in my heart that we must be humble but strong.

And in all you do, be yourself.

IMG_6260.png
Toro y Moi, a music superstar

5. GOODBYES ARE PRETTY AWFUL.

IMG_6547.jpeg
SWEET MISS GIVENCHY!!!! A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN SOUL!

Another thing I’ve learned this year is that goodbyes are pretty awful, but they don’t always have to be. One friend mentioned this to me, and I think it’s pretty good advice: It’s not a goodbye; it’s a see you later. This kind of logic may seem ridiculous, but to me it helps when I go months without seeing my closest friends. Though college has its downs, it has its ups too, and I’ve met some of the best people through my California years.

When we recognize that goodbyes can be see you laters (okay, this is a terrible phrase, I apologize), then we have something to look forward to. A goodbye may seem final and concrete, but it doesn’t have to be. Though relationships change, the truest ones remain no matter the distance or length of separation.

Who knows if this advice is helpful or not, but it seems okay in my mind. 🙂


WE’RE ALL GETTING OLDER.

But that’s okay. Think about all the good things that have happened in your lives. I’m sure you have countless memories that would astound everyone you tell, and that’s an amazing realization. If you’re reading this, you’re blessed with the most magical gift, and that is life.

It’s our choice how we live.

Enough ramblings from me. I’ve got a road to drive down. 🙂

Until next time,

-A SENIOR IN COLLEGE, K.

KG

Uncategorized

BURNOUT

burnout

noun

burn·​out | \ ˈbərn-ˌau̇t \

1: the cessation of operation usually of a jet or rocket engine also : the point at which burnout occurs
2a: exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration  
b: a person suffering from burnout

HELLO, my dear readers.

I hope you are all having an amazing day. Can you believe it is already the middle of February? Wow! There are so many incredible things just around the corner, and I can’t wait to hear your updates and read your blog posts.

Today’s blog post is going to be a little different. This is going to be an “emotions” post, where I update you guys on how I am feeling in life and whatnot. Writing has always been a therapeutic activity for me, as I’m sure it is for you, and I love being able to use this outlet to jot out my thoughts and receive feedback from you guys. Thank you, as always, for your gracious comments and prayers for me. ❤

And without further ado, I’ll just state it simply: I’m on the verge of burnout.

Burnout is a terrible feeling. It’s when things aren’t going your way, and you find that the things that once made you happy aren’t doing you justice anymore. It’s ruthless and powerful.

As humans we experience a wave of emotions. Sometimes we’re propelled into outer space, we’re so happy; others we are in valleys void of water, and droughts bloom in our hearts. Though I think we all hate the droughts while we’re in them, it makes that taste of water that much better. Growth isn’t possible without both highs and lows, and this is something I try to focus on when I’m on the verge of burnout.

So what’s going on? Why am I feeling this way?

I can trace the beginning of it to last week, when my friend group got into a massive argument. While things are better now, this argument exposed a deep fracture in these relationships, and as an INFP I have been really affected by how things are not what I thought they were. I value loyalty and friendship above most things, but not when it destroys my happiness.

These thoughts may seem harsh, but I cannot stand drama. As a person who always takes the middle of the road approach, I’ve found myself on a ledge where no one else is. From being in the middle, I have found myself pulled in two directions, and I’m tired of it. I’m sick of the sting of selfishness. And people are the way they are.

Though I want to find fault in others, I know part of the blame belongs to me for how I handle things. I allow people to walk all over me, because I want to help others in all I can, though this causes pain and hurt in my own walk. We can only carry so much before collapse. I’m sure some of you guys can relate.

As a result of this friend group problem, I have started to analyze the situations around me. There are certain aspects of my life that are absolutely incredible, things I would never change, but there are others that leave seeds of doubt in my brain. I hate wasted time, and I feel as if a lot of it is vanishing before my eyes.

However, I value so many relationships outside of this situation, the people who have listened to me talk nonstop about these frustrations. My family is an integral part of this, and without them I know things would be so much worse. Plus, you guys have also contributed to helping me through this state of anger, and again it means the world to me that you have chosen to listen. 🙂

And to clarify… Flying has given me an outlet to escape my college world. It is the thing that keeps me grounded right now, though the weather has been pretty terrible in Southern California in the past few months. However, the sun always comes out in the end!

If you guys are also going through burnout, just know that eventually it will end, and things will return to normal. However, we have to be willing to do things to relax our frazzled brains. We have to repair ourselves in order to find happiness, and if this means cutting out certain relationships or activities, we must do it to gain ourselves once more.

The truth: Things will change.

Until next time,

-K.

P.S. Life is great. Though I am hurt in some aspects, I am very happy in others! ❤

IMG_4271.jpg
Baby Katie: This pretty much describes how I feel right now. 🙂