Reflection – 2016 Year End

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Earlier this year, I decided my word for 2016 would be “Present”, as in being actively present in life and all parts of it. The good and the bad. As a result, I believe 2016 has felt like one of the longest and most intense years of my life. If this year were a cocktail, I’d call it Crazy Mary. Yes, that is a Pearl Jam song.

“One night thunder cracked. Mercy backed outside her windowsill.
Dreamed I was flying high above the trees over the hills.
Looked down into the house of Mary.
Bare bulb on Newspaper covered walls. And Mary rising up above it all.
Oh… Oh… Oh…
Next morning on the way into town saw some skid marks and followed them around.
Over the curve, through the fields, into the house of Mary.
That what you fear the most could meet you halfway.”

That last line strikes a true chord in me. “That what you fear the most could meet you halfway.” Whether you are terrified of success or failure, love or heartbreak, what you know for sure and what you know nothing about at all; whatever it is, it could meet you halfway. That’s  both a frightening and reassuring statement to consider. It’s like saying whatever happens, it’s going to hurt eventually because it matters… but if you are willing to go for it, if you’re willing to really put yourself out there (balls to the wall), then it could meet you halfway. Isn’t that better than never having it? Never knowing? Living the same day over and over again like a bad Justin Bieber song….for the love, someone change the station!!

Oh wait, it’s you, you have to change the station if you want to experience something new. You may not like it, it could even be worse, but it will be different. Change is good. Change is always good because we learn from it and knowedge is infinite.

I learned a lot this year…. some things I had to learn more than once. That’s just me. I’m very thorough you see. I don’t make the same mistake twice, I like to make it three or four times JUST to be sure ! (As the saying goes…) I’m also very stubborn and I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

With that said… let’s re-cap the 2016 Bucket List

1.) Go to Prom – Check!

Not only did my prom date kick ass, but Salt-N-Peppa were there to help us dance the night away in the proper decade! This was an awesome night and proves some of the best nights are worth the wait.
salt-n-peppa

 

2.) Road trip in a convertible – Check!

We were so excited about cruising around in the convertible that I never actually took any pictures of the car itself. Note: It was a Ford Mustang and a fabulous addition to this road trip!

3.) Go on tour with Pearl Jam – Check!

What better excuse for a road trip than to follow Pearl Jam around for a week? Alright, alright… so I know that doesn’t classify as actually going on tour with Pearl Jam …but just let me have this one, because it’s probably as close as I’ll ever get!

From Miami to Tampa with 2 of my favorite girls and my favorite band.

These shows were E P I C as always. I love you Pearl Jam! I love you Eddie! #yourbiggestfan

4.) Complete a half-marathon – Check!

kat.halfmarathon

Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon, 2 hours and 38 minutes. I am very proud of this accomplishment and I’m even contemplating a full marathon in the future. I said contemplating… don’t get all excited just yet.

5.)  Go somewhere in Alaska I’ve never been – Check!

Homer, Alaska. Beautiful waters, great halibut fishing and good times all around.


 

6.) Find a rainbow Eucalyptus tree – Check!

Maui, Hawaii


 

While we were in Maui, I also checked off:

#7: Travel the road to Hana and #8: Visit a new island.

My friend drove the road to Hana for us and I have to say it wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. However, if you are easily car sick, this is not the drive for you. With that said, it’s a fine ride with the appropriate dose of Dramamine and the right people. That is until you pass Hana of course, and then you are basically SOL in a rented SUV. The previous twists and turns makes what lies after Hana look adorable. We turned around a mile or so away from the Seven Sacred Falls. Some things just belong on a post card! Here’s a bit of what we did see…


9.) Publish first novel – Epic fail. I did not do this for many reasons. Did I finish the book? Yes, I did. I just haven’t figured out if that’s how I want to end. I’m just not done. I don’t know if I ever will be as what’s in this book is all a very intricately weaved web of days gone by and days not yet had. More to come…

I didn’t really have a number 10 this year. I was just going to fly by the seat of my pants and see where things took me. Here’s how that has worked out:

  • Started backpack initiative for keeping the homeless warm. Donations have been received to date for this project and distribution is in the works with a local charity.
  • Set out to lose an additional 10 lbs, only 25 to go! Yes, I gained quite a bit of weight this year but I’ve also never felt healthier or happier. You win some, you lose some. Not always in pounds.
  • Brought my sister to Alaska for the first time! It was so much fun to introduce her to my beautiful world. I love her so much and so glad she got to see where I call home.
  • Fell in love. ❤ He’s like Christmas morning. Every time I see him, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life.
  • Let go of toxic relationships. If people in your life are consistently handing you the scissors, cut the chord.

So that’s where I am in Living Out Loud. Where are you? Do tell.

It’s been a great year! I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds.

xoxo

❤ Kat

Rainbows and Unicorns

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Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns…. so “they” say.

One of the major items on my bucket list this year was to find a rainbow eucalyptus tree. Also known as “Mindanao gum” trees, these beauties can be found in most tropical or subtropical areas, including the beautiful paradise where I was so lucky to find them, known as Maui, Hawaii. These trees grow over 200 ft tall and have all different shapes and styles.The colors change with the season just like leaves do in the fall or a girl’s mood from month to month. At first glance, it looks like they have been painted, but when you approach them closely, you can actually see the colors are revealed by the bark breaking off. The thinner the bark, the brighter the colors seem to be.

If you find yourself in Maui on the road to Hana, you can’t help but see these just after mile marker 7. Take my advice and don’t do this in your flip flops…. you’ll go through an entire container of baby wipes trying to get the mud off your feet. Satisfaction mud, bucket list mud, but still…. mud. (http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/nature-blows-my-mind-rainbow-covered-eucalyptus-deglupta-trees.html)

 

I didn’t find any unicorns, but that’s only because they are extinct. See for yourself:http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/a37608/unicorns-are-real-fossils/

If Good Housekeeping says it’s true, you bet your matching cermaic bowls it is. Turns out they weren’t the shiny, magical type of creatures we had imagined….Elasmotherium was an extinct genus of giant rhinoceros native to Asia during the Pliocene through Pleistocene eras. Colour printed illustration by Heinrich Harder from Tiere der Urwelt Animals of the Prehistoric World, 1916 Hamburg. Heinrich Harder (1858-1935) was a German landscape artist and book illustrator. These images come from a series of prehistoric creature cards published by the Reichardt Cocoa company in 1908. Natural historian Wilhelm Bolsche wrote the descriptive text.

Well, you can’t have everything.

I very much enjoyed my trip to Maui even without the unicorns. There was plenty of other magical things to see. Waterfalls, sunsets, beautiful fish under water and even the Garden of Eden.

Even if you aren’t chasing rainbows and unicorns, make the most of out the adventures life sends to you. There is beauty in every mile.

xoxo

❤ Kat

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: