What is Anger Teaching YOU?

Do you ever have those days where you are literally spinning out a whirlwind of sh*$-f#@*- sh*$-f#@*- sh*$-f#@*-I want to kill everbody-sh*$?  If you said no, you are a liar!  Okay, that could be slightly overstated… I don’t generally say all that (I just think it)… but you know what I mean.  We’ve all been there; we radiate this foul mood and should probably be wearing a very large warning sign that reads something like “Keep Your Distance for Your Own Safety”.  We rarely have good reason for our upset.  In fact, most of the time we don’t know why or some little things build up or we’re hungry or sick or we have some other ridiculous reason for our squalor.

I am making a considerable effort to be optimistic (quite successfully) as of late, but today… No can do sir.  I am in a terrible mood. I want to punch him in the face(he shall remain unnamed), yell, scream, cry and maayyybbeee do some more punching.  But I won’t do any of those things because they are irrational, unfair and cruel.  I wish I could love him how he wants me to, but I can’t.  I want things he cannot provide and he wants things from me that I cannot, yet he cannot see that (or refuses to… only he will ever know that).  I could continue on blaming him for my anger, but that’s not productive or accurate for that matter.  I need to figure out how to get him out of my life if I want to and if not I need to figure out why he makes me so mad and how to change that.  Something to ponder I suppose.

I do truly believe that our anger is trying to tell us something.  I think I see qualities in him that I myself possess (currently – as I come out of my long phase of depression – yet didn’t always have) which I have trouble accepting and would like to change or already have (fairly recently – between the time we met and now).  I’m also very sick and low energy, which doesn’t exactly make me less irritable (not that it’s a good excuse).  I like to be going full-throttle almost all the time; sitting around, resting or being completely exhausted from a busy morning is not exactly my cup of tea.  Yet these things happen and my loss of control MAKES ME ANGRY (control freak much?!).

Well, I’ll say this much… Acknowledging the contributing factors that have put me in this mood has helped.  Writing a huge long rant about my anger (not for your eyes, much too vulgar) has also helped.  Pondering some of these factors, particularly any of my own character traits, may benefit me in the future (as to produce fewer angry episodes).  Thinking about all this also helped me put the situation into improved perspective; I know what I do and don’t control and can recognize I can’t let the stuff I don’t control get to me.  I have some thinking and resting to do now (hateeee being sick! What? No I swear I’m staying positive *shifty eyes* ).

And I thought I wouldn’t find anything to write about today due to my temper.  Pffffftttt…. Who knew?  Anger can be so beneficial to us.  Anger is good (sometimes)?! Strange concept but true in my experience.  Today it played as my writing inspiration and a tool to encourage self-reflection.

Embrace it, ponder it, and I think you will find it will slowly melt away from you.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day.  My heart goes out to you (happy, angry or however you feel today)!  Keep your chin up.

xx Kate

Make Goals. Measure Them.

goals quote

Inspired by DougDoesLife’s “Find Your Path Series” I have decided to make a list of goals.  I was actually planning to sleep, but apparently doing these exercises wired my body in to some sort of overwhelming excitement, because (despite my exhaustion) I feel like my eyes are pinned open and something similar to adrenaline is pumping through me at a fairly rapid pace.  The reason for the little goals are to eventually get to some of my bigger goals, so here goes…

  • write a blog post daily
  • read for enjoyment daily (whether it be a blog entry of someone else’s, a newspaper, a magazine, a chapter of a novel, etc)
  • do something outside of class for school daily (whether it be checking online, prioritizing, and making to do lists and schedules, writing in the forums, reading a chapter, meeting a professor, tutor or friend for help, etc)
  • do yoga daily (whether it be a round of sun-salutation or an hour long practice)
  • workout/do something active for a minimum of half an hour daily (whether it be a huge long workout at the gym, a short run outside, swimming, hiking, etc)
  • meditate for a minimum of 5 minutes daily 
  • watch something daily (whether it be a 2 second Vine clip, a trashy TV show, a good film, an informative Ted Talk or a documentary)

I guess it would be beneficial for me to know how much time this will take up each day.  It appears as though I will be able to accomplish the workout, yoga, and meditation under an hour each day.  The writing, reading, watching something, and doing something school related could probably be as short as an hour (a short blog post, a short article, a quick Vine or two, and making a list for school) and could range to a lot more than that (hours upon hours).  That will give me some flexibility and allow me to see what works best and when.  I will measure it by recording what I did for each goal in my journal at the end of each day, which will probably add an additional half hour.  So I’m looking at 2.5 hours minimum per day.  Sounds like a lot but I think it’s do able since a lot of the things I already do.  

Some bigger goals/one-time-to-dos:

  • buy a camera (by May 1)
  • see the exchange office (within the next 10 days)
  • see the career office (within the next 10 days)
  • improve my resume (within timeline set out by career office, latest Mar 16)
  • cancel the stupid Visalus cock-up – yes, bitterness at its finest – (by tomorrow at 5 pm)
  • look through summer courses (by Sunday evening)
  • decide on summer courses (within next 12 days)
  • register for summer courses (by March 10)
  • find a Stats tutor/find out about refreshers (within next 10 days)
  • do a budget (by Sunday evening)

I thought I would share my thought process and goals with you here so you can read my journey as I go.  I hope that my sharing my goals, struggles, ideas and coping mechanisms, I can inspire you to be proactive in your own life.  Make some goals, keep track of them, measure them and alter them if needed.  Well… I certainly have a lot to do.  Now that I’m starting to see some sort of direction.. better get to it!

All the best in your endeavours!

xx Kate

 

 

 

Curb the Self Doubt

Dear Lord, when feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and self-doubt creep into my heart, help me to see myself the way you do.

I’m not particularly religious, but I thought this was still an appropriate quote. (Click the picture to see the site it came from)

I was inspired by “Incurably Curious'” blog today … see http://incurablycurious.com/2014/02/17/youre-not-as-bad-as-you-think-you-are/

I feel this self-doubt oozing from every part of my body, slowly poisoning my confidence and self-worth.  I have a messed up relationship that I can’t make up my mind about, school isn’t going well (again), I don’t get particular enjoyment or earnings from either of my jobs, all my groups of friends have seemed to drift away leaving me with one or two here and there but no group where I really feel at home, a series of poor decisions, no car, poor financial management… I could go on a long time.  It seems this is quite normal and the writer asked that people respond with what they do to curb the self doubt.  Naturally, I was quite interested to see how people responded to this.

It turns out, almost everyone seemed to just focus on the positive until things got better.  Focus on what is going well; what is going RIGHT in their lives. So here goes:

  • I have my own place
  • I have a good roommate
  • I have my own adorable cat, Prince
  • I have a great family that I am fairly close to
  • I am in school and will graduate with an HBA
  • I am relatively attractive
  • I am relatively healthy
  • I am working and paying my own way
  • I have good people in my life
  • I have started writing

It’s peculiar… while writing that list I felt the need to add something negative to every single positive statement I made.  For example, I wanted to write “I will probably fail something and not finish for a couple years because I am not focused, want to travel and need to work during school” to the line crediting myself for being in school.  And that’s just it.  I need to keep it simple, ignore those negatives (or acknowledge them and let them pass as an invalid thought/feeling) and focus on the positives.  Things will work out, if I keep telling myself that they will and focus on the positives.  Yet, that is so much easier said than done.  One of these days I’m gonna hit a ball (of negativity) right outta the park and hit a home run (happiness).

Positive. Positive. Positive. Positive. Positiveeeee.

Have a good day everyone!

Namaste… xx Kate

Writing Daily

 

 

Charles de Lint Quote

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Click the picture to visit Oprah’s website and view a few other fantastic writing quotes!

Good morning all.  Just a brief note for today as I wait for my tea to brew so I can go back to bed (I’m quite ill and since this is reading week, I thought I’d try to sleep it off).  I have decided that I am going to post daily.  I’ve decided this for a few reasons: 1) I find that writing keeps me on track and focused; 2) It keeps me in tune with the issues pressing my mind and my heart; 3) My life seems very overwhelming right now so writing helps me simplify it or at least sort through the complexities somewhat; 4) I find my writing keeps me out of trouble (I stopped for a week… and lets face it, there were some very VERY poor choices made); 5) I can’t deny I’d love to improve my writing (practice makes perfect) and gain more followers and likes on here (who knows, maybe some day I’ll have something ridiculously informative or entertaining to share with you all). 

So that settles it.  The daily posts begin.  Subjects will include (but will not be limited to): struggles of growing into womanhood (growing pains), steps toward self improvement(related to my goals, aspirations, dreams and thoughts), perhaps my little Prince might come up (yes I have an adorable cat named Prince), boy troubles and dating, and travel.  Now just as soon as I can figure out how to alter my blog so that I can have a bunch of different categories…. We’ll be up and rolling. Could take a few days.

May you all be happy and healthy today (go away sickness!)

Namaste… xx Kate

Patience Is A Virtue… Or Is It?

Click this picture to see it again with a great article written by Brendan Marshall at Elite Daily.

I must admit, I am not a very patient person.  In most situations, my impatient qualities prove to be to my detriment.  If only I was more patient with myself, I would probably be done school, I may have been a dancer, violin player, drummer, or various other things. I may have had a better resumé or maybe some amazingly joyful job.  Maybe I would have the man of my dreams and an extremely adventurous life.  I’m not going to get caught up with the what ifs… c’est la vie, right?

My mom would always tell me “patience is a virtue” as she struggled to learn patience herself (never very successfully I’m afraid… however she’s certainly come much closer to mastering the art than myself).  For the most part, I totally agree.  I have just watched my best friend “put her time in” at a horribly boring job for three years.  Many of the times I would speak with her she would be frustrated, bored of retail, wanting a better paying job, more authority, more control, etc.  She had gone to school in this field after all.  Yet she always kept a different vision in mind and it’s finally paid off.  I am so proud of her (and maybe a little envious… in the most proud way possible).  Her three years of suffering finally paid off.  The owner bought her ski pass for this year, gave her the responsibility of managing everything and handling the “buys”; she’s traveling around Canada… the world is her Oyster.  She’s an inspiration and a fantastic reminder that patience is a virtue.

Or is it?  I’m writing this as I sit waiting to start working.  Yes that’s right. I was scheduled for 5:30pm, required to be dressed and ready to go for 5:15pm and I am still waiting to start working (it’s currently 6:25pm).  If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a waitress.  I love the people I work with and I like the place I work at.  The food is good, the drinks are cold and it’s cheap.  I’m very frugal, so as a customer this is wonderful news… as an employee it’s another story.  Waiting to start work for a full hour is a royal waste of my time, especially when I only end up walking out with $50 some nights (apparently our customers also like that we’re cheap and like to keep it that way).  And so, I continually ask myself… is patience a virtue (in all cases)?  Is all this patience taking away from my self worth?  Because it sort of feels like it.  Wasting time when I have better things to do and working at a place where I make considerably less money than I’d make at most other restaurants is frustrating, and it makes me wonder if I should reevaluate how patient I really want to be about this.

Then I realize that I am comfortable here.  The girls I work with here have become a bit of a family to me, which is important to me since I don’t have a strong sense of community anywhere else (excluding my real family, of course).  Plus, it gives me enough money to live on while I’m in school since my other job doesn’t quite cut it.  There are some definite benefits to working here, and quite frankly, I can appreciate how lucky I am to have a second job.

I guess what I’m saying is, maybe I’m not degrading my self worth, or wasting my time… maybe there will be some unforeseen pay off in the future for being patient.  Or maybe being patient has a purpose to teach me a lesson or two along the way; to appreciate what I have or to be steady or to be responsible.  I may never know for sure, but for now, I opt to be patient and see the adventure in it.  I will think of it as an opportunity to make use of my time… for blog posts perhaps?

Until next time… Be Patient. 😉

Namaste. xx Kate

Really Living… Bitter and Sweet.

 

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It’s always interesting to look back.  I run into people from high school and realize life is passing me by.  People I went to school with are married, have children, are traveling the world, are done their degrees, they’re teachers, they’re executives, they’re broadway stars.  They are living their dreams.  They are making a life for themselves.  I am proud of them.  I have respect for them.  And, I must say, in the least evil way possible, I am jealous of them.  They are really living.  I thought I’d be off doing something amazing and I know how fully capable I am.  But something has held me back.  I’m not playing the victim here.  There’s nothing wrong with my life, it just doesn’t make me happy.  I can also recognize that I am fully responsible for that, although I’m not going to beat myself up about it. 

But I do wonder… What happened?

Did I lose confidence?  Lose direction?  Am I afraid?  Is it all of those things?  Is it none of those things?  And I don’t know. 

What I do know:

I have no motivation or joy for my degree program, except that I know it will look good on a resume and, hopefully, better my career in the long run.  I have an uncontrollable hunger for travel, despite my lack of legitimate funds (I could go on my student loans easily though).  And I wonder… as irresponsible, reckless and unsophisticated as it would be… should I do it?

Should I buy a nice camera?  Finish my semester (with still two years left of my degree program)?  Save anything I can for the next 2.5 months?  Sublet my place (or not, since my roommate would probably murder me – exaggeration, but you know what I mean)?  And just… go?  Take pictures, write about my experiences, get the tattoo I’ve wanted for years.  It doesn’t seem smart, responsible, logical or wise.  But the more I think about it, the more I feel…  That’s what I want. 

What’s stopping me?  Money?  School?  My apartment?

The thing is, I know I can overcome the money issue by using my loan.  Sure, it’s irresponsible… but isn’t travel a form of education in itself?  Meeting new people.  Learning about the world.  Learning about different cultures.  Seeing things.  Filling my heart.  Getting to know myself better.  In other words, I can overcome the money obstacle if I really want to.  If it’s worth it.  In terms of school, I can put it on hold until I get back, so that can be overcome too.  In terms of my apartment, I can sublet or work something out with my roommate or eat the cost if it comes to that.  So that can be overcome as well.  

So if all my apparently huge obstacles aren’t holding me back, what is?

And I think I might know… guilt and fear.

What if I rack up a ton of debt?  How will I pay it back?  When will I pay it back?  What will my family think?  What if I don’t learn anything when I’m away?  What if I have nothing to show for my travels?  What if I’m just trying to escape?  What if I learn something about myself that I don’t want to know?  What if I want to drop out of school when I get back?  Or change my program?  What will people think of me if I’m still doing my undergrad when I’m almost 30? 

But if I look at all of that guilt and fear, I see only one thing: a girl who is afraid to be who she is.  So what if I’m not taking the recommended path?  So what if I’m not making the smartest decision?  So what if my family gets angry with me?  I know my family well enough to know that they will forgive me and love me no matter what.  

What’s the worst that can happen?

Worst case scenario: I come back to a family who is annoyed with me, afraid for my future and afraid of my debt.  I come back with a lot of money to repay to my student loan, not wanting to do school, with no more direction than I have now… with a wealth of experiences under my belt.  And I realize…  That really doesn’t sound so bad.  I’ve been in that place before without the wealth of experiences and with numerous additional problems… I recovered from it once.  I can do it again.

After considering all this I realize, I need to let go of my guilt and my fear.  I need to embrace my life with open arms.  There is nothing wrong with following your dreams, however reckless or irresponsible it may be.  I have to go because I can no longer ignore the world calling “Kate, come meet me”.

Thanks for listening to my written out word vomit. 

xx Kate

Where is that little girl?

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I used to be that girl who stood out in the crowd; intelligent, artistic, creative, reasonable, logical, ambitious, hardworking, caring, loving, and beautiful, with a set of high moral standards, wonderful friends, self-respect and pride… despite some (possibly unreasonable but definitely inevitable) insecurities.  Then there was this wonderful, wild, whirlwind journey of adolescence.  I became more corrupted and sinful by the second.  Alcohol, drugs, parties, sex, “popularity” (whatever that even means)… they all seemed so innocent.  I was just having fun, just a teenager in my experimental phase, everyone was bound to do it or go through it at some point before adulthood (or so I thought).  

 

I was good at it for awhile; living a double life.  I kept my grades up, stayed near the top of the class, I stayed involved with all my extra-curriculars: multiple sports teams, choir, dance, etc.  I had respect and admiration from my peers, teachers and family.  Now I’m here.  For a long time I had trouble bridging the gap.  But somewhere along the way, I started losing grip.  A very, very long time ago.  I realized I was lost and somehow, I dug deeper.  And deeper.  And deeper.

 

I was blind.  I had no idea how much I was changing, how far I was straying away from myself or, if I did, I was so far in denial that I wouldn’t admit it to myself.  I tried to be the best of both worlds.  The best student and the hardest partier.  The most desired by men and the best friend of every girl.  A person for my peers to talk to, a good friend to everyone, a role model, the most respected, the most accomplished.  I wanted to work lots of hours so I could have the most money to get ahead, to a better life someday and I wanted to be the most generous, so I shared my money (or the things I bought with my money) with all my friends.  The list of contradictory wishes goes on and on.  Somehow, I had all these great dreams and good intentions, yet they presented themselves so poorly.  My goals entirely undermined each other.  I just couldn’t see it. 

 

Early on, without realizing it consciously, I couldn’t handle everything; I couldn’t keep all my ducks in a row with the exceedingly high goals and standards I put out for myself.  So I denied it to myself and put on a good face for everyone(really it was for me).  I took caffeine pills to finish my schoolwork, I lost copious amounts of sleep and made several other poor decisions for my health (physical and mental/emotional).  Once and awhile, someone close to me would protest, but I refused to listen.  I lost a couple of my greatest girlfriends from my stubbornness.  I thought they were just jealous, or they were holding me back because they wanted me to stay close to them and not grow or meet new people or have new experiences (whatever I could come up with).  I thought they were holding me back for their sake or with irrational fears that were ludicrous.  I couldn’t see their wisdom.  I wouldn’t.  My mother tried numerous times to make me see that I had fallen away from myself; off my path.  I don’t know how many times she told me I needed to choose between being “the party girl” and being …(whatever else she called it… a responsible, beautiful human being that I had the potential to be?) “the good girl” (… we’ll call it?).  Every time, my response was… “I can do both”.  Oh how wrong I was. 

 

I have to give myself some credit where credit is due.  I kept up a really good face, for a really, really, admirably long time.  YEARS (almost 10 to be precise).  I had my heart crushed numerous times, each time trying to pretend that I wasn’t hurt.  I tried to give people advice so they could be their happiest; trying to get people to open up to each other when I knew they liked each other, even when I liked one of them.  I completely denied my emotions any validity or importance or respect.  It would always backfire though.  I would get stressed, lonely, overtired, overworked, or sad and I would blow off steam in the worst ways possible.  Generally by getting highly intoxicated to the point where I blacked out.  Which was a fantastic solution (sarcasm, in case you didn’t already notice).  I probably lost more friends over things I did that I don’t remember than things I do.  The number of phone calls that consisted of me sobbing to my girlfriends as they informed me of what I had done the night before is actually a little bit humourous (in hindsight, now that I’m coming to terms with it all).  And then something switched. 

 

I decided that if I kept acting this way, then maybe that was who I was: that maybe I should embrace it.  I made it one big joke.  I treated it like a game at times; a game I had mastered.  I continued to stumble through life.  I stood tall and strong, I smiled and put on a good face.  I was still successful at many things, in the eyes of many people (although I knew I wasn’t living up to my full potential in many ways).  I had trouble focusing at times, I had break downs, or panic attacks or I would lie awake for hours crying.  But no one really saw that. 

 

A friend might see me cry once or twice but generally it was always someone different each time.  This meant that I kept up a good face.  No one really knew I was unhappy.  In fact, I hardly did.  I thought I was just stressed or lonely or it was an isolated incident or it was just because of “this” that happened today or “that” that happened yesterday.  I mean how could I be sad when I have so many good things in my life?  When I had so many wonderful, beautiful (internally… and externally as well) people in my life (even if they walked in and out)? When I had so much going for me?  When I was talented at so many things?

 

But my mother… she saw right through me.  Just how mothers do.  I can only hope that I will know my own daughter so well someday.  She knew something was up, but she couldn’t reach me.  I wouldn’t let her in.  I wasn’t ready to face myself.  Not yet.  So I dug myself deeper.  And deeper.  And deeper.

 

I let my parents watch me in pain and I fell further and further away from myself.  I can only imagine what my future children have in store for me.  Gosh, that’s a scary thought.  But for everything I put them through, no matter how rude or disobedient I was, they never stopped loving me.  They tried to support me as best as they could.  They gave up so much time and energy trying to drive me here and there or fight with me about poor decisions I made.  They tried to get me to see the light and I refused to open the blinds, time after time.  You’d think they were glued shut or something.

 

I went off to university; racked up a ton of debt, barely made it through my first year, found love, couldn’t hold a job, dropped out.  It was like a spiral and I was getting closer and closer to the middle; the poor choices and negative relationship patterns (with work, friends, and boys) became more and more frequent.  I thought I reached rock bottom multiple times.  I leaned on my friends and family like my state had no affect on them whatsoever.  I lost more people close to me along the way because they couldn’t take it and I watched others around me wear thin.  I got to the point where I’d lost almost everything.

 

My family didn’t know how to deal with me anymore so we’d grown miles apart.  I’d lost touch with most of my friends.  I had no phone.  I lived alone.  I was single again.  I couldn’t afford to look after my cat so someone close to me took her in.  I had no money.  I could hardly afford food.  I had enough food to live on, but not enough for a healthy diet.  I had to man up, smarten up and grow up and I knew it. 

 

So I landed a job, just in time.  It was a Godsend.  I decided that I had to make it work.  So I did.  Things started improve slowly.  I excelled in my job.  I had money.  I got another pet.  I paid off my debt.  I mended my relationship with my family.  I moved home.  I mended a couple of my friendships with those that were generous enough to let me back in.  I made new friends.  I got healthier.  I went back to school.  I continued to work.  I moved back out.

 

Then the pressure started coming back and so did my bad habits.  Procrastination.  Unresolved issues from years before.  Actions and feelings of my own that I don’t understand or want to deal with.  The destructive habits never really went away.  There was just a period there where they weren’t really interfering.  But now they are.

 

It’s puzzling really… I have all these opportunities and resources for change, every second, every hour… yet I remain. I have a great skill set, good genes, a good life with wonderful, supportive people in it… yet I remain.  I cling and hold on to my bad habits like they are my lifeline, despite my confidence that these habits don’t serve me well… I know it whole-heartedly.  I know I can do without them because I used to thrive in their absence… yet I remain.  I procrastinate.  I put off schoolwork.  I avoid the people that will protest my behavior (classmates and teachers mainly) or tell friends and family half-truths so they see that I am doing just fine.

 

When I realized that, I realized I need to stop.  I need to stop beating myself up.  I need to stop being so ashamed of my past.  I need to stop being so embarrassed by myself.  I need to stop holding on to my pain.  I need to let it go.  My denial of self, my pain, my guilt, my suffering; no one is benefitting from it.  I need to let go of it all.  

 

I need to respect myself again.  I need to love myself.  I need to realize that I always had good intentions, despite the terrible outcomes of many of them.  I need to let myself be happy, be loved and be me.  Somewhere along the way I lost my pride and self-respect without even realizing it.  My optimism seemed to chip away with it.  But I deserve to have those things despite the mistakes I’ve made and the people I’ve hurt.  I can be all of those things I once was; intelligent, artistic, creative, reasonable, logical, ambitious, hardworking, caring, loving, and beautiful, with a set of high moral standards, wonderful friends, self-respect and pride.  Except this time I can be more confident, experienced, compassionate, curious, open and wise because of everything I have endured.  I think I’ve found that little girl I once was.  I need to love her and nourish her.  She will show me direction, what will bring me happiness and who I am supposed to be.  She will show me… well… me.