Are we there yet?

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When I was a married woman, my life seemed to fit into this perfectly wrapped box. It was a package deal. All inclusive. The corners of that box were dented and rough along the edges, but the contents never changed. I knew exactly what was expected of me, day after day. 

The list: Get married ✔️, Finish college ✔️, Establish a career ✔️, settle down somewhere ✔️, buy a house (negative), have kids (negative). 

That didn’t all work out exactly as described in the package I purchased. After all, I was just 19 and the whole package was only $50, limo included. “What did you expect..”they say. “It’s Vegas!” Biggest gamble and lesson of my life by far. However, I can honestly say I’ve  never been more grateful for such a disappointment.

No, the white picket fence dream was never mine. It was never meant for me, and that’s ok. I know that now. I’ve known that for a while.

Today, I have the best friends you could ask for, a beautiful, warm home to live in, a car that still runs efficiently after 10 years, 2 college degrees ( and the loans to prove it). I’m even blessed somehow with an amazing man who treats me like some form of an endangered species! ❤

 I have a great career, one that I’m proud of and one that I could actually retire from. Yes, it’s exhausting but that’s because I actually care about what I do. I’ve traveled some, I’ve grown some. In all calculated aspects, I am pretty damn happy! Anyone who knows me at all knows that I have fought like hell to get here. Everything I have, I have built for myself, from myself.

So why do I feel so lost here by myself? Where am I going? Am I there yet…?

That’s the funny thing about once you get everything you THOUGHT you ever wanted. You are all packed up in the car and you’re just sitting behind the steering wheel with absolutely no other destination. You didn’t actually plan to get this far!  You just thought having all of the parts would make the journey complete. 

” If I could just get this one job….” 

” If I can just ace this last class…”

” If I could just find a place that feels like home…”

” If I made just a little more money…”

” If I found the perfect guy..”

Now what? 

Where the hell am I going and will I even know when I finally get there? These are the questions I ponder. These are the things I don’t say out loud. These are my first world problems. Is everything perfect in my life? Not even close! But then again, that’s what makes it mine.

Truthfully, it’s not really about where you end up is it? It’s more about the journey itself. Who we meet, who we become, what we learn along the way, the way we DO better once we KNOW better.

 I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m enjoying the sound of things not meant for me lost in the wind. I’m pleased with my present company, and excited for wherever we end up. I’m actually happily incomplete. 

So the next time you think to yourself; ” If I could just lose weight…” ” If I could just have a baby..” ” If I could just do more… be more..”. Imagine you have it. You have all of it. Now what? 

None of it will make you anymore complete because most things we think that we need are only souvenirs, or small pieces to the big never ending map of life. Some pieces are huge! Friends, family, heartache, love, loss; everything else,we could live without and end up on the same journey, just a little less distracted by all the What Ifs…

Xoxo 

Starving

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It’s 4am in my Seattle hotel room, overlooking downtown and Elliot Bay. 

The city is actually quite still. Minus 2 pedestrians on opposite blocks and one lonely car making it’s way through the rare absence of traffic. There are no longer flashing blue lights from the oversized plasma TV’s across from me or balconies full of people. Just the same dim and reassuring light in every other space. 

My black boots are slumped over in the corner, sad and silently mocking me. I sigh at the thought of wearing them around the city yesterday and almost falling twice. These used to be my favorite walking boots with just the right amount of heel. I’ve walked hundreds of miles in them, but it seems they are terribly worn out from my last few trips and so am I. Everything eventually falls apart.

You never really know what kind of shape you are in until you get outside of the gym. Walking 4 or 5 blocks up and down hills causes a swift realization that yes, you did actually gain 25 lbs last year. That actually happened. Several tight corners that I remember sliding through the last time I was here, I could now feel my hips touching. “Excuse me, excuse my huge ass please.”

 The good news is that I lost 6 lbs this month so far. The bad news is that yesterday I had 3 steak tacos, BBQ pork chop on a stick, crab Rangoon, divinity cookies, an entire bottle of wine, one beer (not light beer) and a value size bag of munchies, minus the pretzels. I can’t tell you today I’ll do better, because I’ve got plans. Plans to eat. It is a mini-break after all. Go on, judge me. 

I actually did buy some ambrosia apples and cherries as well, I didn’t mention those bc that’s healthy! That’s also about $25 here at the Pike Place market. $25 on fruit?! Yes, because I live in Alaska where every piece of fruit tastes like cardboard soaked in a different flavor of Capri sun. So whenever I get the chance to actually pluck a cherry from it’s overpriced, organically grown stem or pierce the flesh of a crisp, ripe apple with my teeth, I relish that opportunity. It’s the little things in life. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Alaska. It’s where I lost myself 3 years ago, where I found myself too. It’s where my non-biological family lives, where my roots are stable and where I’ll grow old and die. Still complaining about the produce situation all the way to my grave. Yes, Alaska is my home and my sanctuary.

 Except in January when it’s dark and cold ALL of the time. In January, Alaska is the frozen tundra I need to escape from. Seattle is the perfect city for that escape. It’s just a 3 hour plane ride directly into the middle of a magazine, and lots of last minute deals make it cheap. I don’t have to be real here, anyone with a major credit card and bad habits are more than welcome. 

Escape is necessary. I needed to get away from my routine and all of my stuff or I felt like I was going to just lose it. 

Losing it is a familiar term for most adults. Losing it is when you don’t want to get out of bed, but you don’t want to deal with the consequences of not getting out of bed either. You are irritable, quick to snap, over caffeinated and sleep deprived. You can’t remember where anything is. Your entire life has become so busy trying to fix everyone else’s problem that your “self” is flat out starved. You’re starving to do/eat what you actually want to for just a day, starving to see the sunset instead of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Starving for sleep, for life, for water. Losing it.

The human body is over 50% water. If you take a glass of water half full and leave it in freezing cold temperatures for just a few hours, it becomes solid ice. If you do the same thing in temperatures too hot with high humidity, it slowly evaporates. 

It’s no wonder we are all starving for the same things when we are made up of the same parts.

Embrace your appetite.

Xoxo 

-Kat

For what it’s worth…

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Quote by William Leal by LovelyDayFleur on Etsy:

When is the last time you remember feeling inspired? It is rare and far between for me these days. I’ve been drowning in bad politics, media cocktails, numb interactions, work, routine, petty first world problems. I’ve also been consumed with love, friendships, happiness, memories, the fast pace of it all so fucking familiar… so messy. I haven’t really taken any time to just absorb it. To just sit and breathe it all in. We’re so damn busy trying to catch up that we forget to sit down, shut up and just be still in this life we have created. For some of us, that seems impossible. For others, that is completely uncomfortable because it’s not the life we imagined.

It seems there should always be more. Why am I not where I thought I would be? Why am I not better? How can I be more, do more, live more? Expectations can lead us blindly into the land of never enough. There is no value to anything there because there is no gravity of the present. Even if you sold your very soul in a place like that, you’d get only a fraction of its worth. The sooner you let go of what could have, might have… the less you’ve got to lose. That’s not to say you shouldn’t keep reaching for your goals or working towards your dream, but wake up every once in a while and cherish how far you’ve already come. Respect the years traveled. Time is your most valuable currency.

None of us are living the same story, but the struggle I sense is the same. Maybe we fall in love with life and we start to lose sight of the things that kept us so busy before. The bucket list. The goals. The job. So, we beat ourselves up over it and get back to being focused, responsible, boring adults. Yet, isn’t falling in love with life exactly what we are all after in the first place? Isn’t that the very sparkle in the hopeless romantics eye? The universal language of hope, the endless search and reason. We actively seek it out. We listen to all of the songs, watch the movies and read all of the books. We dream of a world so promising that the poetry and lyrics remain damp on our lips as we sleep. Still, we can’t be bothered with the meticulous beating of our own hearts.

When you wake tomorrow, think of what a beautiful thing it is to be alive. Take a moment not to dread that it is Monday, because you are that much closer to another exciting Friday. Each day is so full of potential. Recognize it. Taste your coffee. Inhale and exhale consciously. Daydream. Wonder. Challenge yourself just because you can, with no end reward or list to check it off from. Maybe your challenge is a day without challenges. Maybe you just show up, do your best and the challenge is allowing that alone to be enough.

All I’m saying is, allow yourself a bit of grace when you have earned it.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything You Need

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You know how we are always on this mission as a society to find out who we really are and who we are supposed to be? Some of us are obsessed with it. We read all the articles, scan all the blogs, complete all 24 days of the 30 day challenges. We fail. We set ourselves up to fail by trying to follow some unrealistic goal to become this perfect robot of an individual. Yet, in trying to be perfect, we actually set ourselves WAY back. Maybe we try to sleep even though we aren’t tired because the perfect person gets 7-8 consecutive hours of sleep each night. We don’t eat when we are hungry because we’ve already reached our daily calorie goal, or we don’t eat at all because we are frustrated and then eat everything in sight! It doesn’t just apply to how we treat our bodies today but also to relationships. ESPECIALLY to relationships! The drama, the forced interactions, the people you don’t even like who you for some reason feel obligated to make unnecessary conversation with. When in reality, they probably don’t want to have the conversation either.

When we were all kids, we probably ate when we were hungry. We napped when we were tired. If someone was impolite or we just simply didn’t like them, we did not have to put up with that person unless they were an adult. When we were little, if it didn’t make us happy or satisfy our needs, we didn’t want it. We had no use for it. Kids are so smart!

As adults, we spend most of our time trying to make others happy instead of ourselves. We spend time on ourselves only trying to fit into the perfect box instead of understanding we don’t belong in any box to begin with. It is an unfortunate pattern I see in myself and in others too often. A pattern of self doubt that infects our quality of life each day. We lay in bed and worry about tomorrow as if it is promised. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Am I enough? Imagine if we used that same energy to make ourselves happy, how that happiness would infect our life with entirely different results!

Turns out… you can learn a lot about yourself by just going for a nice long run…a 13 mile run actually.

kat.halfmarathon

When I first decided to register for this half marathon 6 months ago, I was doing what I always do. I was making  a list of things I have never done and never thought I could do for the year. I like to have goals for the year so I have a road map of where I’m going. The bucket list has been my sense of purpose for quite some time now. I love my list. I have also noticed I am a little co-dependent with the list. Over the last year, I have made the list more flexible. I have removed and added new things. I have allowed myself to edit. I have allowed for things not to get checked off. Honestly, I was really worried this race was going to be one of those things. How could I actually do this?

For those of you who know me or have been following my blog, you might know that when I first started running I could barely run 2 minutes without gasping for air. I still struggle with a steady pace but I enjoy the struggle when it’s over. So I keep doing it.  I trained, I ran my ass off and I am damn proud to have completed this particular race in 2 hours and 38 minutes. That so far is my best. That is not perfect. That is not above average. That is not below average. That is just my best and that is totally enough for me. I now have the satisfaction of checking this off my list and the desire to do it all over again! Crazy, right?!

My first thought when I finished this race was “I didn’t know I could do that”. I didn’t know I could run 13 miles. I didn’t know I could out run the guy behind me. I didn’t know how amazing it would feel to finish it! The feeling of accomplishment among other runners matched with the mutual sense of community and support you feel around each other is the best part of any race. Nothing is forced out there. We are all just trying to do our best. We are all tired at the end. We all wanted to give up at some point but we didn’t. We didn’t give up. For some of us, completing our run every day may just be the one thing we feel like we have control over in our life.

No, I didn’t know I could actually run a half marathon in under my 3 hour goal. I also didn’t know I could graduate college with honors. I didn’t know when I was 16 that I would learn to drive and travel all over the United States. I didn’t know I could survive immeasurable loss and heartache. I didn’t know I could go back one day and stare it in the face. I didn’t know I could grow into what people tell me is an amazing writer. I didn’t know any of it. Sometimes what you don’t know about yourself is everything you need to start the incredible journey of discovery. That’s what life is. It is a journey. There will be set backs. There will be unexpected detours, road blocks and sometimes it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep going. When you reach your destination it will most likely be more than you expected. It will be better. You will be better too for having reached it.

I’m so thankful for what I have learned that I didn’t know before. I’m so proud of the life I have built and the things I have gone through that made the path to get me here. No, I didn’t know any of it was possible. I didn’t have a master plan. I still don’t! I am just winging it. List in hand, all sights forward and living out loud. I hope I see you out there.

xoxo

Keep Going. Everything You Need Will Come To You At The Perfect Time:

Kat On a Hot Tin Roof

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What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof,  I wish I knew.... just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.:

 

Fear.

It is the ultimate barrier between you and everything you have ever wanted. It is the top enabler of invisible limitations and my own personal favorite… procrastination! It fuels doubt and insecurity like a well oiled machine. Fear finds its way into your mind and your heart even when you sleep. It is relentless. That son of a bitch!

My first race of the summer is this Friday. Twilight 12k which is in celebration of the upcoming summer solstice. For those of you who may experience normal sunrise and sunset in the summer time, solstice for Alaska means … YAY FOR MIDNIGHT SUNSETS!!

Evening Glow Sunset - Alaska P.s. simple quest for everyone) Why did Bill die?:

A 12k is about 7.5 miles. The race is at 7:00pm in downtown Anchorage. That all sounded doable about a month ago.

That was a bad idea. I am in NO way ready to run 7.5 friggin miles…. I needed to boost my workouts last week and get some good 5 mile runs in at the very least to feel even close to ready! That was my plan to conquer this weeks goal. That WAS my plan!

So, of course, right on cue…(whenever I have an upcoming goal) I took ill. Yep, so sick to my stomach I slept for 2 days and couldn’t eat anything for the first day at all. No significant illness could be detected. I had no fever or anything like that, I just felt like I had been hit by a truck and then it came back for me a few times… just to make sure I knew where my place was. That place was in the dark and buried under covers on the 2 prettiest days we’ve had so far. I missed a week worth of runs. That’s 20 miles or more.

I do recall being fairly anxious the week before, dizzy when running, forgetting to eat the right things..” Oh wow… did I just have bacon and wine for dinner again? Dammit!”

Even though that fits right into my calorie goal if I do it right, that is not exactly a runners diet. Bacon is awesome! Don’t get me wrong here, I’m fairly confident that bacon with wine is the answer to all the problems in the world. However, I do know better. Eggs, tuna, quinoa, kale, lean protein, whole grain bread and fruit. That’s what I’m supposed to stick to, and most days I have! Except for well…  Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and most Friday nights!

My point is, I am not where I should be for this race. I am not where I wanted to be physically. I didn’t change enough of my habits to get there and in a way I probably made myself sick cutting out the right foods so I could fit in the wrong ones. This did not help me get ready. This did not properly fuel my workouts. My choices were not the best. Getting sick is not the only excuse I have. I have millions of excuses. Good ones too! I won’t list them here. No, I’m not cancelling the run even though if we are being perfectly honest… I want to. I want to throw myself down a flight of stairs instead of climbing set after set to build up my glutes!

Why? Because I am scared. I have never done this before!The most I have ever run in a race is a 5k. Those are simple and over fast, like a good one night stand! In and out, nothing to gain and nothing to lose. These runs are different. These runs require commitment to the distance. A few extra miles have never seemed so long to me. I am scared. I am scared I will fail, I am scared I will be last, and mostly I am scared about what that means for all the other goals I have set for myself. Am I aiming too high? Do I ask too much of myself? Should I set limits? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.

I do know I am running this race Friday the best that I can. I do know I will likely be slower than most people there. I know the weekend after that I’m running 5 miles for breast cancer fundraising. The week after that it’s 13 miles for the Mayor’s Annual Marathon. 13 miles is only half. The fear continues, but so do I.

That’s the important part I guess. Trust me, when I’m at the gym running in front of other people or on a trail, I do not feel like a gazelle when I am doing it. I feel like an obese cabbage patch doll who just ate nachos. (Damn I love nachos..) I DO want to give up, I DO want to stop. The only problem with that is I want to succeed more. I want to finish more than I want to give up.

So think of me this Friday night when you are out with friends or relaxing at home, think of me as I move at turtle pace mile after mile. My thighs are already killing me from the stairs I climbed today and my ass feels like a brick HOUSE. Even so, I’ll be there. No matter how slow I go, I’ll be faster than the couch.

A little more confidence, a little less fear. Day by day. Race by race. I got this… 

xoxo

46 Quotes From Reddit That Will Change Your Life For the Better: Words can move you, make you happier, and motivate you.

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Stranger

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I need to write. I know I need to write…

Thing is…the screen looks bigger and brighter than before and the pages seem longer. I switch to paper and I’m always running out of ink, as if the words were too heavy for every pen in the house. When the ink doesn’t run out, my eyes are next… and I can’t help but sleep. I am so tired.

I need to run. I know I need to run…

Three races in the month of June. THREE, for a total of 25 miles, not including training! I know I need to run more, train more and take more stairs; but the pavement seems harder and the air seems thicker.I can’t ever catch my breath. I am so tired.

I need to be a better person, I want to be a better person…

I need to be a better employee, a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, a better girlfriend, a better best friend, a better acquaintance and the perfect stranger. I need to be so many things to so many people, and yet I am so tired.

Someone recently asked me what the point of running 13 miles instead of just 3 is anyway? I tried to explain it’s good to have a fitness goal, it keeps you focused. Well then, he says, “What is the point of traveling the road to Hana just to see a rainbow tree? I mean you are following Pearl Jam around like a teenager and BLANK says you are writing some book? Please tell me what is the point of all these CRAZY things you do instead of settling down, buying a house and you know… finally focusing on your future? ”

I stood there silent and quite offended. I don’t even know him really. Who the hell is this guy anyway?!

What I wanted to say:

“What is the point of having another child when you can barely make time for the one you already have in the other room? What is the point of that light beer you are drinking instead of water? What is the point of you acting like you know anything about where exactly I should be in life when you stand in this room at a party you decided to host avoiding your guests? Or was it your wife who decided you would host this shindig, since she seems to make most decisions for you these days? Nice sweater by the way. You do realize it’s almost June? Also, what is the point of doing the same thing every single day with the hopes that you’ll die before your well rested pension runs out? What is your point, sir? Please tell me. Tell me how you are living your life to the fullest and tell me more about how I’m doing everything ALL wrong!”

What I actually said:

“Well, to each his own I suppose! Enjoy… (large glass of wine raised in hand as I join the crowd..)”

What I should have said:

“The point of running 13 miles instead of 3 is to prove to yourself that you set your own limits and you are capable of accomplishing ANYTHING you set your mind to.”

“The point of traveling the road to Hana to find a simple rainbow tree is that I can, because I don’t have kids, a house, or some boring future to look forward to. I know that has to drive you absolutely crazy, but I live in the present the best I can, and in the present I want to see something beautiful and rare. I want to see something that has withstood decades of devastation and still sustained growth and beauty. Why wouldn’t you want to see that?”

“Oh, and the point of following a band around a few times a year that I have loved most of my life is to make sure I still have roots. It’s important to remember where you came from and what you’ve been through. There is truly no better way to remember that than a soundtrack you’ve been playing your whole life that just keeps getting better and better.”

“So yes, I am a little different. I have unrealistic goals. I do not act my age. I try really hard every day to make the most out of every second even when it exhausts me. It’s true, I am writing a book and you can’t imagine the immensity of the fuck I do not give about your opinion on what I do and do not write. Keep asking me why, keep drinking your light beer and doing things your way. You do your happy, I’ll do mine. We’ll both be dead soon. Let that sink in!”

xoxo

6/3 Twilight 12 K

6/11 5 mile Women’s Run for Breast Cancer

6/18 Mayor’s Half Marathon

8/22 “Things We Don’t Say Out Loud” – 1st Novel release date

10/8 – Find the Eucalyptus Rainbow Tree in Maui on the Road to Hana

Gatsby Gatsby - cheers to my haters be patient so much more is coming:

 

 

 

Girls in Convertibles

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You know what’s great about convertibles? Having your big sister drive one while you both sing your heart out to TLC, Queen and anything else you can pick up with a shady signal! My big sis is an amazing person! She lets me drag her on most of my adventures without question. We’ve always been that way I think. I’m spoiled!

We recently took a mini girls trip to Miami and Tampa for the sake of oh…. laying on the beach all day, drinking way too much and driving a ridiculously fast car around! Checking another one off the bucket list!

Well, there was also the fact that these guys happened to be on tour…

That would be Pearl Jam, starring the love of my life… Eddie Fucking Vedder. The concerts were amazing! I will say Tampa had more energy than the Miami show but both were epic performances as always. The second one made me cry for a lot of reasons. I used to live in Tampa for quite a while. It was where I had my first apartment, my first relationship, my first real job, my first adult friends,etc. Going back there after so long brought up a lot of emotions I wasn’t prepared to deal with. It’s strange how that happens, don’t you think? I hadn’t thought of what it would be like to be back in one of my many hometowns. I guess I thought all of that had been diluted, or faded out somehow. Well, it hadn’t. Memories are always just where you leave them.

On top of that, Eddie was up there singing John Lennon “Imagine” and one of my all time favorite songs of their own, “Come Back”. Tear Jerkers indeed! After all was said and done, it was a very healing experience. It was nice to gain some closure on this city, as when I left many years ago, I was in a much different place. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to say goodbye to all those memories. The good, the bad, the vague..

People stare at me for a moment too long when I tell them Pearl Jam is my FAVORITE band. Those people are often unbearably boring and love things like…mornings. The confusion is mutual. How can you not love Pearl Jam?! Do you not love air? Do you also dislike rainbows and unicorns?!

Told this guy he would end up in my blog! What’s up Steve!? 🙂

Our time in each city was brief, but we managed to quench our thirst.

My friend and I even faced her fears of the ocean and did a little wave dancing afterwards. Tequila has no fear! Muahahaha!! Love you babe!

Our hotel was THE BUSINESS!!! Thanks to my travel agent Michele Kirsch at Beachwindz travel, we were able to get a great rate at THE place to stay in Miami!! The Clevelander hotel in the heart of South Beach. The location is perfect, there’s a bar on the roof and for all of the night life going on here… the rooms were impressively quiet!

As much fun as that hotel was, the Don Cesar Beach Resort in Tampa was a much more peaceful atmosphere and it was our absolute favorite.

If you ever get the chance to stay here, most definitely try their coconut ale. It’s one of those beers you need to thoroughly taste before you die! I take beer VERY seriously. So do not take that suggestion lightly by any means! Haha.

This is one of many adventures I’ll have this year. I’ll keep it close to my heart always! I hope you are busy planning adventures as well. We haven’t much time for someday you know, chop chop!