clairity

Exposure

I find that I write when my mind is unclear. My attention slipping from reality and rediscovering the dark tender areas that ache with memory. Exposing raw unsettling feeling.

Unable to identify the cause of these waves, I search for clues. Digging deep into myself, scouring my intuition for answers. I have learned the hard way that leaving decisions making to my heart and mind is impulsive and irrational. Causing emotional rather than intellectual problem solving.

I feel as if my hesitations and fears stem from ghosts that lurk in my past. Dog lays heavy over my hopes and dreams. Starving for clarity. I’m losing my identity. Wandering thoughts between spiteful decisions, lost passions, and the need to prove myself. My focus should be on goals, happiness, and striving for success. I should be doing these for me rather than in hopes that I can prove myself to someone.

What am I trying to prove and why? Is this an attempt for closure? Am I settling? Am I truly happy or just striving to make myself into someone Unrecognizable? My heart and mind are screaming. My soul is searching. My body still. I’m listening… waiting. Waiting for the answer to be revealed. Waiting for the fog to lift from my eyes. Waiting for the exposure of my truths.

Trust in myself is fragile. I’m afraid of repeating history, making the wrong decision, letting myself fall in love. I’m writing for resolve. I’m writing without edit. Writing from corners of myself that are mute. Advocating to release this inner voice, breaking the chains or insecurity and allow whatever my life is to be, be.

Forgiveness

Confession

I like to think that I’m a good person. I was raised by a loving and supportive family. I have the most incredible friends a girl could ask for. And my boyfriend, he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m living a pretty spectacular life these days. But when I take time to reflect on how I got to this point, I reflect on the few years of chaos in my life that I don’t like to talk about.

I’ve talked about my divorce, I’ve talked about my failed relationship that I jumped right into afterwards. I never talked about who I hurt along the way. I’ve always been self absorbed in my own trauma. I lived my own life and didn’t recognize or frankly didn’t care at the path of terror I was leaving in my path. We all have that one chapter that we don’t want to read out loud, this is mine.

When my marriage ended, I got into a relationship with a guy who spoke poorly of his relationship with his wife. It was so nice to have a man telling me that he wanted me, that he loved me, and would take care of me. I had a lack of those needs in my marriage and with a broken soul after a debilitating divorce, I would have jumped at any man who promised me the world. I contributed to this man’s divorce. The first time we decided to end the affair was when she found out that he was having a relationship with me. I wrote her a letter. In that letter I spilled my heart. I apologized profusely, and at the time although it hurt, I meant it. But I also lied about a lot of things in the first letter to protect the man that I had unintentionally fallen in love with. It’s wasn’t the genuine letter that I had hoped for. After a few months had passed and I felt more stable, I reached out the this man and wished him well. I told him about the healing process that I had gone through. He responded and the spark with almost immediately rekindled.

This time, his tone had changed. He said his marriage was failing, regardless of not speaking to me. He had issues in his marriage that he believed were beyond repair, but he took his time getting out of the marriage. After I found out that he had plans to celebrate his first wedding anniversary at an all-inclusive resort that he claims he knew nothing about, I was done. Heartbroken that the man who had chosen me when I felt the most unloved, wasn’t going to choose me. This time I was angry. I wrote another letter. Fuelled with spite and fire. I had learned things about his relationship with his wife that made me hate his wife. They made me angry and I didn’t think she deserved the man that had been so kind and loving towards me. I truly believe that SHE was the monster, not him. This letter that I wrote spilled all the honesty that I left out of the first one along with every little detail of the time her husband and I spent together. If I couldn’t have him, I damn well didn’t want her to have him either.

Another couple months had passed before I started making connections that he was thinking about me again. They had separated and he moved out of the house. Whatever hold this man had over my heart was toxic and potent. After on long evening of FaceTime confessions that he had me believe that he was sorry for hurting me. That he didn’t care about her and that he realized the time he took leaving his marriage was unfair to the relationship he wanted with me. He made the four hour drive just to take me on a date and the feelings rushed back. A few weeks later, his wife text me. She wanted to talk, but I only allowed text. I had to go to work and I feared that I would word vomit too much information or even worse, that I would cry. I told her that I was seeing someone and to never contact me again. The person I was seeing was her still current husband and she obliged and I never heard from her again.

I respected the first few months of keeping our relationship discrete. After it continued to be imperative that I was a secret, I got angry. We finally had the opportunity to be together without strings attached. Their marriage was over. He loved me, I loved him. It was finally my time to have him to myself. I never got that opportunity. We constantly argued over the level of publicity our relationship could have. Then we started arguing about everything. Season basketball tickets trumped my time visiting and being introduced to coworkers as just a friend was how we spent our last few days together. My feelings were hurt, I was grabbing at straws trying to maintain my dignity and salvage a relationship that I had waited so long to come to fruition. It took one drunken night out to realize that I was not the girl for him and his sights were set on his coworker. As much as he initially denied it, I couldn’t fight the feeling that there was something there. I pushed the topic and we lashed out at each other. The relationship was toxic and he felt I wasn’t letting him be independently after getting out of a marriage. I removed myself and began really working on the placed within myself that I didn’t like. It was then I began my journey to independent happiness, rather than filling a void. It was also then that he began dating his coworker.

It’s been a year since all of this happened and I put in the effort to take care of my heart. I find comfort and peace in the here and now. I don’t stress over the details even though I am still a relentless planner. I struggle with things that are beyond my control but I have learned better coping skills. The hot headed girl still remains but has cooled off tremendously. I attribute a lot of my growth to the man who ruined my heart and the wife whose marriage I helped end. I believe that all of this happened for a reason, regardless of how guilty I feel.

What I learned from him was that I deserve to be loved in a way much better than what my husband gave me. I also deserved much better than what he could give me. I learned to manage my finances and pulled myself out of a mountain of debt. And most importantly I learned to trust my gut, because my intuition might not always be 100% accurate but it knows when something is not right.

What I learned from her is that friends are important. That relationship drama is not for the world to know, but it better kept between spouses. I also learned that maintaining your health through nutrition and workouts regardless of your life’s situations is crucial in self care.

I learned about the Tone It Up program when I began creeping on his wife. She was apart of this fabulous community. Now, I am NOT a workout selfie kind of girl. I am not a hash tag queen and the only time I take picture of food is when my boyfriend makes a bangin meal, and that’s because I want to brag on his amazingness, not because anyone cares what I eat. I started following along with this nutrition program. I started seeing people’s results and thought that if I could get the recipes that it would work for me. I needed to do something to maintain my health but I never wanted to join this community because it was her territory.

About 6 months after everything ended, I had genuine chest pain. I woke up for work. My boyfriend laying peacefully at my side. I went to the bathroom and almost fell. I was drenched in sweat and nauseous. When I crawled back onto the bed, the palpitations in my chest were strong and irregular. There was pressure at the center of my sternum and it wouldn’t resolve regardless of the relaxation techniques that I had been using. After three days or irregularity and discomfort I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with a mild heart arrhythmia that is affected when your health is poor. Inadequate nutrition, lack of sleep, not enough cardiovascular conditioning, all could cause my heart to slip into this arrhythmia.

The first step that I took to caring for myself better was to increase my workouts. I had a regular heart rhythm on my three month check up and I was happy, however, blood testing showed that my electrolytes were all low. My Potassium was 3.4 and my Magnesium 1.6. I was slightly dehydrated and was warned that I could slip back into this uncomfortable heart rhythm at any time. I needed to get my nutrition in check and I thought of the Tone It Up program. I’m hesitant to begin this program because of the unhealthy way in which I discovered the program. I feel like I took so much away from this TIU girl, that I don’t need to impose on her workout/ health regimen as well. I tried a few other options first, but with my schedule and my inability to cook like an adult, Tone It Up turned out to be the best option.

SO, this is my way of getting everything off of my check. I had an affair with a TIU girl’s husband and then started the program. My body couldn’t handle my unhealthy habits anymore and neither can my heart or soul. I’m letting go of the guilt. I’m thanking these two for all they have taught me about life and how to be a better person. And I am apologizing with my whole heart for all the pain and heartache that I contributed to ending your relationship. I have worked so hard over the past year to maintain my health, work on my mind set and find peace with what has happened/ what I had caused. This is my final part of letting go and moving forward. This is my confession.

Lifestyle

“You’re going into work?”

Night shift, graveyard shift, the dark side, I’ve referenced all of these when talking about my work schedule. Working overnight requires sleeping during the day. It’s not a hard concept to grasp however it seems an impossible to comprehend for those who don’t work this over night schedule.

Here’s a look at my schedule for the next few days. On Tuesday I will get home from work around 8am, change out of my scrubs and do a few things around the house before getting in a workout class at 9:30am. Once I’m home and settled I’m usually in bed by 11am and sleep until 4:45pm. I’ll grab some food, play with my dog and get ready for work. I’m out of the house no later than 6:15pm for the start of my shift at 7pm. Does that sound like a crazy day? To me, it’s completely normal. It’s the balance between working long shifts and maintaining a lifestyle. I bet if I flip flopped the am/pm you would agree it’s a long day but completely manageable.

What about Wednesday? On Wednesday’s I choose to switch it up. I go straight to bed after working overnight and then wake up at 3:30pm for a 4:30pm workout before heading into another shift. The alternating workout times permit my sleep schedule to balance out. Again for me, this is life.

It’s fascinating to my fellow gym goers. I’m asked daily if I either worked the night prior or am heading into work later that night. Regardless of my answer or how many times they hear it, they are always shocked. Some even question my sanity. I’ve been told to go home and lectured on taking better care of myself. I’ve been asked “as a nurse don’t you know better”?

My answer to all of you who find I difficult to recognize that 12 hours is the same regardless of where the sun is in the sky. I am a night shift, graveyard shift, dark side working nurse. I stay up late or wake up early to get my workouts in. I do this for my health. Exercise is as important as eating properly, adequate water intake, and enough hours of sleep. Life is about balance. It’s about doing what makes you happy while maintaining your health. No, I do not work an ideal schedule. Yes, there are days when I am tired. I will not let my work schedule define my life and dictate what I can and can’t do. There are days I sleep little and days I sleep too much. It’s a balancing act that I choose to maintain just as you choose your job and extra curricular activities, I do mine.

Neither one is right. Neither way is better nor more difficult than the other. So next time I finish a workout and say, “time for bed” at 11am or “I have to run and get to work” I ask you to rationalize the time in hours rather than sunlight, to refrain from judgement, and give me the same casual send off that you would any other regular day shift, daylight working person would receive.

romance

Romance Today

It doesn’t matter if you consult Webster, Wikipedia, or Urban Dictionary, the definition for hopeless romantic is similar. I proudly consider myself a hopeless romantic, in my opinion my heart is my biggest attribute as well as my most dangerous flaw. I love flowers and believe chivalry is far from dead. I’ve read every novel Nicholas Sparks has written. My idea of the perfect date is complex and a secret that no man has yet to achieve although some have come close. All of this is the movie definition of romance yet romance has significantly changed over the years. Yes, my boyfriend pays for most dinners (I’m too stubborn to let him pay for everything). Yes, he walks on the outside of the sidewalk and he always opens the car door. Romance today is so much more than those old school chivalrous gestures. 

Life is messy, complicated, and so far from a fairytale that we’ve adopted our own variations of the definition. In my opinion It’s found in the simplicities of life. Grand gestures are nice but not abundant and can’t sustain a true relationship. Romance has to be acknowledged and appreciated or it will go unnoticed. Romance today is simply being together with honesty and intention. 

Romance today is knowing the passcode to each other’s smart phone. It’s taking candid pictures of each other and selfies all over town to document your hundredth ice cream date or just the fact that you’re blessed to spend another day together. Long gone are the days of walking on a gentleman’s jacket over a mud puddle. Romance today is following her as she runs full speed ahead and slides into that mud puddle. Romance today is less about make up, hairspray, and fancy dresses. The best moments are with messy hair, wearing glasses and wearing his t-shirt while drinking morning coffee. 

Relationship roles deviated from the stay at home mom and working father into a variety of potential possibilities. Romance is learning their dreams; embracing them and encouraging them to be achieved. Romance is found in the quiet moments where the deepest secrets are exposed. Today it seems that everyone has baggage. Everyone comes with scars, maybe even wounds in different stages of healing. These pains are part of our identity and shape us as individuals. When someone can love you while your damage is displayed is a love that many search for and never find. Romance today is accepting the imperfections and enjoying the chaos. 

Romance today is falling asleep on the couch intertwined in each other’s arms. It’s killing the bugs in my apartment that are too high for me to reach. It’s starting my car and clearing the snow in the winter.  Romance is singing at the top of our lungs on a road trip. It’s holding back my hair and rubbing your back when we’ve had too much to drink. It’s coming home from a long day of work to a beer or a glass of wine, a foot rub, and a genuine inquiry for the details of the day. It’s encouraging rest and relaxation when stress becomes overwhelming. Romance is standing together to confront whatever life presents. At the end of the day it’s about receiving that goodnight kiss, phone call or text that reassures you that you’re the last thought in their mind before they drift into dreams. I may be a hopeless romantic that obsesses over movie scenes but I’d gladly trade those movie moments for what I call romance today. 

Love yourself

Changes Made Happiness Earned

Don’t believe everything you see. Every picture that is posted, every word that comes out of someone’s mouth, every written article is subject to what the author wants the reader or viewer to believe. It works. I’m no marketing major, but I believe that’s how things work. We are all guilty of this act. We want people to believe we have our shit together. We want the world to see our happiness and we hide our struggles. I’m guilty of this act. At first glance these photos look pretty similar. It’s a picture of me at the beach. Same sunglasses, toes in the sand, laughing with a big smile on my face. In the moment that these pictures were captured, I was happy. I was enjoying life and embracing my travels. What makes these pictures different?

The photo on the left was taken at the end of April. My toes were in the Pacific Ocean at Haystack Rock. It was freezing that day but this East coaster wasn’t going to cross the country and not put her toes in the water. My hair was long, my chest and stomach were flat. What is invisible to the eye is my façade. My smile is hiding the depression. I had built up emotions with no outlet. I was loved and supported through my divorce and then dropped by that same person who build me up. For the first time I was standing alone and frankly, it scared the hell out of me. The photo on the right was taken just a few weeks ago. This time my toes were in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape May. There was not a cloud in the sky, the water was refreshing, and I was ecstatic to travel to both coastal oceans within the same year.  My hair is short and I’m about 10 pounds heavier. Unlike the picture on the left, my smile lasted throughout the entire day not just in the moment the picture was taken.

In the months that passed between these two pictures my life completely changed.  Right before the picture on the left was taken I knew that I didn’t like who I was. I needed to make changes. I needed a healthier mindset and I needed to learn how to truly be independent and not rely on a man as a safety net to feel valued and appreciated. I began embracing who I am and loving myself. Over time and with unbreakable commitment to my mental health I started to see changed. I started to view people differently. When situations arose that would typically send me over the edge into a fire of emotions, I began noticing my reactions begin to soften. Retreat, rethink, respond has become a repetitive phrase I tell myself when difficult days arise. It has not been easy. There are still days where I get anxious, I get angry, and I even cry. There are days I want to quit. Days that I want to let the hate and pain of the world engulf me in sorrow, take over my spirit and break me down. Days where I give into the role of victim and feel sorry for myself.

What has inspired me recently is that in the past two weeks the people who know me the best have started noticing the changes in me that I’ve been working so hard to achieve over the last few months. The first instance was from my mother, the very day that the picture on the right was taken. She hugged me and told me that she was proud of the person that I’ve become. It made me happy, but she’s also my mom. I know she’s always going to love me and support throughout my life. When I met with my therapist a few days later I was surprised to hear her reiterate my mother’s words back to me. As my therapist, she knows every little detail about the past two years that I’ve been seeing her. At the end of our session she said she was proud of me for doing the work. She said that “there were plenty of people who sit right where you are desperate for a change to get through hard times, but never put in the effort.” She looked at me and said, “but you, you have persevered. You have taken my homework, my advice, and done the work and I can see that you are not the same women who walked into my office scared and weak two years ago.” I began to tear up. To hear that support from two women I admire most, my mom and my therapist, utter those words of support and recognition of my efforts solidified the feelings that I had within myself.

About a week ago I was blindsided by a very unwelcome part of my past. My best friends were the ones that I turned to first. I talked through the situation, how I wanted to handle it, and how to continue moving forward . It was through these discussions that my best friends of 10 years saw my progress. After our conversations had ended regarding the topic, I received one of the best messages from my friends. “I’m proud of you. Just so you know. A lot of people like to talk about ‘oh I’ve changed, I’ve grown’ but idk how many people really do. YOU have. I’m just so happy”. Reading the messages from my friends, hearing the words of support and pride from my therapist, as well as the love and encouragement from my mother all validated my hard work. These people who know my life, my story, my heart, and my soul better than anyone on this planet, these people who have loved me at my worst, have walked through hell with me, and continue to stand alongside me while I’m out of the storm are the ones who recognize the work that I’ve done. It’s so rewarding to say that the girl in the picture on the left doesn’t exist anymore. Last night my best friend’s husband said, “that Kait (the picture on the left) didn’t know how she was going to get out of bed in the morning. I really like the Kait that’s sitting here now.” I simply smiled at him and said, “I love this Kait too”.

I am no longer the person I was just 4 months ago let alone 6 months to a year ago. I am stronger, I am healthier, I am happier. I love my life. I love my family, my friends, my therapist. I am reaping the benefits of a positive mindset. I will continue to persevere through the difficult days, through the highs and lows, through the unexpected twists and turns of life. I will stay on my journey to happiness because it’s working! I saw the progress first, now my friends and family, and soon the rest of the world. There is no more façade to maintain. I can say I love this Kait, the picture on the right, and whole heartedly mean it!

Love yourself

Workout Wednesday

I have never described myself as athletic. I’m not a health and fitness guru and if I’m frank, I think the fitness culture today is slightly absurd. But in honor of #workoutwednesday and the fact that I tired a new gym this morning, I thought I’d tell you a little about my fitness journey. I’m not anti-workout and I think support groups of any kind are uplifting, however, I’m just not feeling it when it comes to the fitness world. In the winter I was in a mall that had a name brand active wear store. I walked in and was greeted by the sales associate. She told me with so much excitement in her voice that their new leggings were on the front table and today they were on sale, discounted at $99. I laughed in her face said “ok thanks” and turned around and walked out. I don’t understand why something you sweat in has to cost so much damn money. I buy my workout clothes, that I believe are still cute, from Target and Old Navy when they go on sale and are under $10. I call that workout winning. Maybe it’s because I’m not “athletic” that I am unable to manage the perfect post workout picture. That’s not really my thing in the first place. I don’t feel the need to post my daily workouts, my bloated belly vs. my flat tummy day comparisons nor do I have someone follow me around to take my picture 24/7. Seriously girls, how do you do it and do you get annoyed asking people to take your picture all the time?! The only workout posts that you’ll find on any of my accounts have been posted in the attempts to win free stuff through the gyms I go to or in this case, for this post. My struggle with the fitness world started long before wearing trendy work out gear and posting to Instagram was the thing to do.

I was always playing outside and in the dirt when I was little. When I was old enough to start organized sports I made some choices that did not work out for me. When I was younger I played YMCA soccer for one year until I got kicked in the shins. I played club basketball throughout elementary school and when it came to try out for the actual team for the intermediate school I chose swimming instead. Turns out I was pretty damn good at it too. I began swimming competitively year round finishing off my senior year as one of the Captains of our varsity team.  By that description alone you can tell I was never a gym rat. I hated being hot and sweaty because when you’re swimming you just dump your water bottle on yourself and keep going. Although you are sweating it’s almost unnoticeable. The stress of nursing school throughout college kept me skinny and in the summers I was a lifeguard so again, swimming. Now that I’ve been out of college for 5 years I’ve had to change my lifestyle and I’m still struggling to find my routine.

Being money conscious I tried the Jillian Michaels work out videos. “6 Week Six Pack”,  yes I got this! Nope. No I don’t got it. In my opinion the people who can do Beachbody are included in this category. Folks, you are my heroes! Being motivated to workout at home is something I’ve never been able to accomplish. I’d feel good, start working out, it would start burning, I’d start sweating (which I still hated at the time) and I’d pause that video, get a drink, take a break, and then get back at it. Eventually I learned the videos routines. When I knew a move I hated was coming up I’d choose that time to have my water break but this time I wouldn’t pause the video. I’d find myself cheering Jillian on saying things like, “you got this Jillian” and “Push through it girl”. These are all things I should have been saying to myself.  I work well with someone telling me what to do and coaching me through the moves, when there’s an option to pause, mute, or just turn off that mean trainer, well I took that easy out every single time. My life bounced around for a while and I continued to maintain my lack of workout routine. My metabolism was still excellent and when it started to slow, what I like to call my “divorce diet” had me dropping pounds without doing a thing!

Just a little over a year ago I was ready to really focus on taking care of myself. The best way I knew to get rid of all these unwanted emotions was to swim. I revisited the idea of gyms with pools and remembered but then remembered the old people. I looked into options and heard about a new gym that had recently opened that was more of a trend gym. I check it out and in July of 2016 I joined Orangetheory Fitness. It was challenging, the coaches were nice and motivating some of which I have become good friends with. I had to sign up in advance for class and was held accountable by being charged for a class if I was a no show. It was one hour of ass kicking that was exactly what I need. Well I’m crazy enough that over a year later I still go regularly. I thought this was a good start to learning how to workout while in the adult world. I would love to still be swimming but lets be honest, trying to do laps in a pool where you’re avoiding the old people doing the dead man’s float is next to impossible. Adult competitive swim teams don’t exist (If you’re reading this and I’m wrong please message me).  When I go to these classes my goal is to try not to die. I could care less about the other people in the class, especially on the treadmill. I look straight ahead and focus.  I consider this workout my “home base” because it’s the first workout that is not swimming that I can tolerate doing.

Throughout the year I have gone through swings of motivation to add to my workout routine. These swings come for multiple reasons but its mainly due to my love of Luciano’s Pizza and Beer.  I added The Barre Code to my workout regimen and it ended up being the right kind of addition to my routine.  It’s a different pace, different workout, but still challenging. What I learned most from The Barre Code is that I am not flexible at all! Walking into a room full of mirrors and trying to focus on nothing but yourself is really challenging when you can see everyone in the room from every angle. I must say, damn, some of those girls can lift their legs high! I thought that Orangetheory had me in pretty good shape until I started shaking through the warm ups of my first Barre Code class. I still go every so often to switch it up a little but it never fails I always feel like the graceless ballerina in the room.

I’ve been on vacation from work so this morning I tried out a new place I had stumbled upon through social media avenues. It’s a pilates class on resistance based machines and the studio is called IM =X. These machines are unlike anything I’ve ever done before. At first I thought it was fun. I was pulling myself along, pushing myself up and down, gliding back and forth on the carriage, but then we started jumping. Laying on your back on a carriage that slides while jumping off a platform sounds fun. But for a girl who easy gets motion sick, I was turning green! Thankfully you’re looking at the ceiling so the only person who saw my color change was the trainer. She smiled and said, “the movement is definitely something to get used to.” All I could respond was, “I’ll say”.  With that sarcasm we both started laughing. I don’t mean the soft inside voice fake laugh to appease one another. I mean the all out loud, stop what you’re doing, belly laugh. She had watched me struggle throughout the class to get the loops in the right foot, boards in the right holes, and attach and reattach the correct springs. It was my first class so all of those struggles were expected from both of us and will smooth out over time. However, the fact that I managed to make myself motion sick on the machine was something neither one of us could control laughing over. When the rest of the room went silent she simply stated it was my first class and there were small chuckles with the collaborative “been there” census from the rest of the group. Will I be adding this to my workout routine? The answer is I’m just not sure yet. I have a week to trial the classes and see if I figure out how to be more coordinated on the machines! Regardless, today was another step on my journey and another effort made for making myself a healthier person, in addition to getting in a good laugh.

My goal is to continue to be my unathletic self but also keep going. I’ve already come a long way from being the girl who doesn’t like to sweat during a workout to being drenched at Orangetheory. I will continue to try new things, explore new options, and keep my progress to myself. Loving my body is something that only I need to focus on and care about, it doesn’t depend on how many “likes” my pictures get because of how many filters I use. For me it’s about how my clothes fit, how I feel being in my clothes, doing something active that keeps me healthy but is also something that I enjoy, finding people who are there with me to burn, grow, laugh and sweat alongside me. It’s about enjoying the foods I like to eat and living a life of balance. There are so many studios out there and different places to try, this is just the beginning of my journey as it’s only been a year that I’ve consistently exercised since I graduated high school. Swimming will always be my first love and pizza will be my second, followed by donuts, tacos, and beer but you get the picture! Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and have fun doing whatever keeps your mind happy and your body healthy! By all means if that includes wearing expensive athletic wear and posting selfies, in the words of a former dance teacher, “you do you boo boo”!

Uncategorized

First Date

The alarm is for the dog, no longer audible to my own ears, I rely on the cool nose nudges and patter of little paws to joust me out of bed. One o’clock. I haven’t slept long, I blankly stare at the clock and calculate four. Four hours of sleep. The desire to be awake is absent as lethargy refuses to escape my muscles. “Switch day”, I mumble to myself and in a tantrum toss myself backwards disappearing into the sea of bedding. Thoughts of regret flood my mind, too tired hold them at bay. Night shift is killing me. Sleep has become a novelty rather than necessity. Was today his only day off?… Abruptly I rise and replay my thoughts now aware of their meaning. “Today is not only switch day, but his only day off!” I say to my dog as he cocks his head and stares in a manner that indicates he understands. The comfort of my bed no longer pleases me, I am panicked. “Shit!” Clothes dance through the air accumulating in a pile of chaos. After multiple attempts, I dawn the only outfit I deem appropriate for the day and look in the mirror. Brushing sponges with colored powders against my skin will never be enough to hide exhaustion but it will have to suffice. Ten minutes remain until departure. I use them to care for the dog, acquire my daily necessities, and take one more moment to glance in the mirror. Inhale. Exhale. “Wish me luck”, my attempt at lacing my voice with hope has failed. With a sigh my dog flops onto the couch as I secure the lock on the door. 

I back into a space in the garage downtown. The extra time spent parking could provide beneficial in the event of a necessary quick escape. I’m tired, my contacts burn my corneas. I blink rapidly to clear the fog. My stomach churns. “I should have tried to eat,” I think to myself. One city block separates him and I, a distance which seems endless. Inhaling the fresh air I walk. The city buzzes with men in suits and women in pencil skirts all scurrying through the crossways. In my Chacos and cut offs, I stand out. The faces of those around me blur as I search for him. I see him in the distance, or who I believe to be him. His features clear as he continues forward. The palpitations in my chest quicken. He’s within ear shot but I am mute. I question his distance from where I stand as he appears to be miles away. The moment lingers. He’s speaking to me but I can’t hear him, I’m somehow responding but unaware of my words. The only audible sound is the blood pulsing through my veins. He’s close now. Close enough to touch. His blue eyes pierce mine and he smiles. “Are you ready to go?” Without breaking his gaze I smile and repeat, “Ready”. He turns to walk but pauses briefly. I inhale sharply as he takes my hand. And so begins our first date.

Love yourself

100% Human

Most girls are said to be made up of sugar, spice, and everything nice.  Lately I think my personal break down consists of coffee, sass, and a little bad ass with maybe a shot of insanity.  When you’re young, you don’t know who you really are or what you’re made of. The stigmas of the world that categorize us into stereotypes define who we are as individuals. For the most part, we accept these labels for fact and carry them around in our mental luggage as more imperfections to divulge or strive to hide. We are constantly told how we can improve ourselves. The health/ fitness world seems to be the worst. As a nurse I’m all for health promotion and preventative measures, but where are the health and fitness organizations that focus first and primarily on mental health and loving yourself? There’s a reason that there is a quote that says “Change your mindset, change your life”. Because it has value!

It sounds silly to have  a tally of how many days I can say that I’ve been happy, but I’m a planner, I like lists, and I like keeping track of things so I have a page in my bullet journal entitle Mood. I am almost at 2 full months of happy days! This doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been low points or that I haven’t had to deal with difficult days. My life didn’t change. There is nothing profound that struck me out of nowhere. I still have the same job, same friends, same family. What changed is how I think about each day.

The month of July has tested my mental patience. During this month just two short years ago my world was knocked from its axis. Two years ago I lost faith in a man who was to be my forever and was introduced to a man who would support me through some of my darkest days. Now within two years, neither one of those men are in my life by no other choice than my own. Remembering the dynamic of July 2015 brings a wave of emotions that I have not yet grasped how to handle. Each “anniversary” gets easier, the memory weaker, the feelings less intense. As I believe time does heal all wounds, I also believe the strength of my mindset empowers me to overcome dark emotions associated with memories from this month. The thoughts don’t disappear that quickly, however, this month I choose to focus on the happiness and opportunity that has been granted to me by these men both entering and exiting my life. I was able to change my mindset from dwelling over the pain to embracing the possibilities and being excited for my future. There is no more gaping wound in my chest, no sleep is lost over anxiety or fear.

I am 100% female, 100% human, and 100% Kaitlyn. Being authentic and not getting caught up in trends is where I’m dedicating my attention. If something or someone hinders my success to being fully happy, I say a little funeral for it and let it go. I have down days, I have days where I can’t let things go that easily. I have days where I’m stuck in a funk and let my emotions get the best of me, but at the end of the day I love myself. I embrace whatever silly stereotypes that are attached to me. I wear my labels proudly and the ones that I’ve had attached to me that aren’t true, I embrace those too because no one knows me better than me. I know what I’m made of, I know who I am, I love who I am, and I know what I can handle. Going through this month has only proven to me that my mental health is becoming stronger a little more ever day.

Continue to be 100% human, push yourself, fuck up, fall down, get up, be weird, sing loud, dance often, work hard, achieve your goals, speak your truth, and never let anyone into your headspace that makes you feel there’s something wrong with who you are!

Love yourself

Freedom

No one else is me and I am not you. She will be her and he will be him, but that is not me. Thankful to be whole heartedly, individually, everything that is me.

Not cut from the same mold, I don’t follow a trend. I don’t want to be anything like them. I strive for vibrancy and fulfillment from life. Loving people and blessings granted away from the spotlight.

I sleep in peace knowing I have been true to myself. I did not give in. Oh, the self love I have. Freedom.

Love yourself

Dear future boyfriend,

Dear future boyfriend,

I don’t know who you are. I maybe unaware of your presence in my life or you may not yet have made your grand entrance. I can tell you that I’m eager to experience your love. The butterflies of the first dates, the anticipation of being in your presence, anxiety waiting for a first kiss. The hopeless romantic in me longs for our beginning but until our moment arrives I will daydream of the person you will be..

You speak kindly. Respect that my trust must be earned and progress slowly with me. Be patient, honest, and genuine. No favors are being done by hiding your truths or making adaptations, show me who you are. I want to know the intricacies of your mind. What feeds your soul and captures your heart? Celebrate the small joys and accomplishments of life. Cherish the moments that pass by so quickly and always express yourself freely. 

I hope that you are ambitious. Eager for new life experiences. Be open-minded to our differences and embrace the changes associated with new love. As the rhythm of our lives ebb and flow, know that I am ready for the challenge. Loyalty is a priority. Don’t simply speak of your feelings but show me. I don’t ask for a stage production but for the small moments found in each day. Simply chivalrous gestures are more than enough.

What’s your favorite color, season, holiday? How do you drink your coffee? What’s your favorite food? Do you like to read? You must love dogs. Will you dance with me in the kitchen to my forever changing favorite song? The words I speak will not be lost but remembered and respected. Your thoughtfulness will be overwhelming but a blessing.

What is it that you do for a living? I hope it’s a passion of yours. No, I don’t want to know your salary.  I hope you have aspirations for your future and goals for your life. I want you to be stable and able to take care of yourself. I prefer your time and attention over the girth of your wallet. Be the guy who will play outside, crawling through woods and exploring rivers. The man who will explore the world by day and dine in the city at dusk.

Admire my appearance but fall in love with my mind as beauty fades over time. There is beauty in learning the human wiring of ones brain. Strengths, weaknesses, fears, flaws, embrace mine as I will yours. Accept my past for who I was, appreciate what I’ve gone through, but don’t let it affect our future as it’s made me who I am. Most importanly, I hope the anticipation of our connection is reciprocated.

When I’m with you I will feel home, safe, accepted, and comfortable. You will be all I have imagined and more than I deserve. A calming realization that our paths crossed with intention will ease the anxiety from the wait. My heart will be chaos and my mind will be clear. I know that you are out there. See me, for here I stand.

Until our paths cross,

♥Kaitlyn