Archive

Posts Tagged ‘change’

Choices, lessons and grace.

November 25, 2010 1 comment

I can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving again. WhenI think about the year since last Thanksgiving…whoa. Really?

Last Thanksgiving I was on the verge of a major move across the country. I was breathless with new possibilities and ready to take on the world.

Oh, that Katie. That sweet, naive, ambitious, optimistic, dreamy Katie.

And how things have changed since then. Last year I was thankful for family. For choices. For making known what I wanted (thought I wanted, I suppose. I don’t know anymore.) and having the courage to go after it.

It was a truly interesting year — a life-changing, dream-transforming year.

So here’s what I’m thankful for this year.

I’m thankful, as always for my incredible set of parents. I’ve thrown quite a few little curve balls at them in the last year, and most recently in the last two weeks, and they’ve never let me down. Even when I thought they would laugh, they never did. They never scoffed at my grandiose and far-reaching dreams. No matter how far into the various corners of the world they reached. They accepted what I have wanted to do thus far and have gone with it quite nicely.

I’m thankful I have a sister who tells me what I need to hear, even when it hurts like hell.

I’m more than thankful I have friends who listen to me bitch and moan and whine. I don’t deserve their listening ears, but they’re always there for me nonetheless.

I’m thankful for new experiences — good and bad. This year was completely and utterly transformative, and I can’t believe I am where I am today. It’s not where I expected to be, but it’s not entirely bad.

And I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: I’m so thankful I moved to Boston. That city, it changed me, as trite as it sounds. It’s a part of me now, and I’m terrified I’ll forget those four months.

I’m thankful for all the little things: learning the T and memorizing the stops I needed to get to my little apartment on Shepherd Ave. I’m thankful for my flower job and for working for sweet Betsy. I’m thankful Steve became my friend and taught me how important it is to give–even when I think I have nothing. Because until I’m in Steve’s position I always have something. I’m thankful for all the wonderful people I was able to meet — people who taught me how to look at the world in different colors, to find the beauty in the mundane.

I’m thankful I found a home in a new part of the country other than West Texas.

But this year I’m most thankful for learning lessons. It’s been one of the hardest years of my life, but boy, have I had to grow the hell up. And I love that. I love that I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’ve finally realized that coming back to Lubbock wasn’t a failure.

Not going to Boston would have been the failure. Simply taking the leap and making it in the city for a few months was the success. And it taught me I can take big chances and dream big dreams and come out the other side partly unscathed.

So this year, I guess instead of “Peace, faith, courage and possibility,” my words are these: “Lessons, choices, opportunities. Grace.”

And still peace. Always peace.

And this year is so different from last year. Last year I had a clear idea of where I was going and where I wanted to be. Last year I was a dreamer and bit more innocent. Now my ideas are foggy and unsure. But I think that’s ok. I’m looking forward to figuring it all out and finding a new place to land.

Advertisements

Life gave me a kick in the pants this week.

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

This week I had not one, but two, people tell me something that bothered me horribly.

“Katie, you’re never happy. What’s going on?”

“Katie, you weren’t happy in Lubbock so you moved to Boston. Then you moved back to Lubbock after Boston, and you’re unhappy again. When are you ever going to be happy?”

Um…

Ok.

Apparently, it’s time for a little self-reflection.

And here’s what I came up with.

I’m not unhappy — in any way, shape or form. I’m frustrated, and that feels like a huge difference to me.

I’m frustrated and deeply disappointed in myself. When I moved to Boston, I had all the optimism in the world. I was going to go up there, kick some Yankee butt and ingrain myself in that life. I was going to find an awesome job in the publishing industry, and basically, start over.

So I did that. In January 2010 I hopped on a plane with my cat and a suitcase and a hell of a lot of dreams and left the hometown I was born and raised in. 

Four months later, I was back. Granted, I am back for a great job, a real job, (and that’s more than some people can say) but still. I’m back.

No matter what anyone says to me, no matter how many people tell me I “made it in Boston,” I don’t feel like I did. I feel like I gave up. Like I threw away my dreams of the last few years because things got a little hard. It feels like I turned my back on the girl I was in January and ignored her pleas to stay. To power through and keep trying and pushing and hoping and wishing.

I’m so disappointed in myself, it’s hard to explain. I hate living with this much regret. I hate that, as my sister phrased it, “I’m drowning in self-pity.” It’s true and when she said that to me it was like the universe slapped me in the face and told me to get the hell over it.

But. And here’s the part where everyone reading this realizes that I’m really not a total downer. My mindset is turning around.

I am where I am, and regardless of how I wish it were different, it’s not going to change for a while. And you know what? I’m thinking that may be OK for now.

I’m realizing more and more how where I am right now is not bad. It’s finally hit me that living with such a sh*tload of regret and disappointment backlogged in my brain and my heart is essentially crippling my life. It’s not healthy, and even more than that, it’s not going to get me back to where I want to be. The only thing that will get me back on track is more of that optimism I talked about earlier. And sheer will. And you know I have that.

But the way I see it, I had two choices back in May/June when I was offered this job. Both choices would have given me different experiences, new people to meet and various life lessons to learn.

Neither choice was bad. Neither choice was clearly the better choice.

Because I chose to take this job, I’m going to end up somewhere different than if I had stayed in Boston. While that’s a hard truth to swallow, I have to believe it. And I’m not going to end up somewhere bad. It’s just going to be much different than I originally thought it would be.

But isn’t that sort of the beauty of life and the power of making your own choices? You never know what’s around the next corner, and I love that.

So long story short, I’m sorry everyone. I’m sorry for imposing my frustration on all of you, as I know it hasn’t made me a fun person to be around. Know that I’m trying; know that I’m attempting to turn all this negativity into peace — into optimisim and hope and dreams for my future. It’ll happen. I’m not going to be drowning anymore.

So thank you, Universe. And thanks to my friends and sister who aren’t afraid to be honest and call it like it is.

I just hate that I have to wait for my next adventure, haha.

My watch is still set to Eastern standard time.

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s been four months and one day since I moved back to my little spot in Texas.

That means my time back in Texas has officially exceeded my time in Boston by one day.

And I don’t like it. Not one bit.

I miss you, Boston. And it’s not technically you; it’s the dream of you. It’s the joy of living, of trying something different. That’s what I wanted. This is why I drive myself every single second of every single day. So I don’t think. So I don’t feel you. So I don’t have to love you; so I don’t have to know how much you broke my heart.

Before today Boston still felt close — it still felt like something I’d lived recently. But now I’m realizing exactly how quickly that time is running away from me. Yesterday, I could look back and say, “One month ago exactly, I was doing this.” Or, “three months ago I was on my way to NYC for Valentine’s Day.” Somehow, now that I’ve been back longer than I lived there, it feels different. I felt like in some way my time here mirrored my Boston time, and maybe when next four months are up I could get the hell out again. And I feel like I can’t say those things anymore because then I’m truly living in the past and not paying attention to my life in front of me.

When I looked back at my move to Boston, I always smile when I think about that day: January 10, 2010. I thought it was the first day of the rest of my life; the day when my life would change. And it did. But I thought the next time I’d be in Texas I’d be a bonafide city girl, ready to swing through Midland for my best friend’s wedding, dazzle my friends and family with my newfound confidence and then resume my fabulous life in Beantown.

I woke up that January morning with a stomachache: Fear, uncertainty and excitement were at war within me, and I couldn’t decide which to let win.

I remember touching down on the runway at Logan and leaning past the man next to me to get a glimpse of my new city. I sighed, not really sure what to think.

There are so many things that made me happy in Boston, and so many things that were hurting me while I was there.

Those months in Boston stretched me further than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve talked about it before, in this post, about how much Boston tested me. Back at home, I could see the changes in myself. And that was important to me. My time in Boston wasn’t about having grand adventures (although those were wonderful); it was about growing up. Changing. Living. Figuring out what i want and what and want to do in life. Boston is still so much a part of me, it’s scary. Almost everything I experience here reminds me of life in Boston. Something. A song puts me back at a night in a bar in Fenway. A particular smell has me walking through the Common on a sunny day, just getting off work from my flower shop. And flowers — that job was rough and at times I despised it, but now I always stop and “smell the roses.” Or since roses aren’t technically fragrant, the freesia. My favorite.

But now. Now I’m in Lubbock. Now I have a job I’m grateful for, friends and co-workers I love, my family close by and an apartment all to myself. In the last four months, I don’t see any growth on my part. And that makes me sad.

What I’m figuring out is that I cut my grand adventure short way too early. I let go of living and let my fear bring me back here. Maybe Lubbock is the right place for me for the time being, but it’s not going to fulfill me for long.There’s nothing that drives me; nothing that moves me; nothing that really makes me question anything I believe. It doesn’t’ stretch me.

I went into my move naively; I didn’t see the future as something to think about. All I knew was that I wanted out and I wanted out now. Maybe I should have thought about it more; maybe I shouldn’t have been so “brave.” I should have had the foresight to realize problems would happen and I’d have to deal with them.

But, I didn’t. And I’m back in Lubbock. Things aren’t so bad, but it sucks to be so disappointed in myself.

Glory days.

August 29, 2010 1 comment

Last night I needed a night out more than anything. I needed to nurse a cold beer; I needed loud music to drown out my ever-thinking mind; I needed to be around good friends.

But an hour into being at the bar, I was disgusted. Not by my friends by any means, but by the crowds in the place. The town I live in, like I’ve said before, is filled with people who are essentially cut from the same cloth. It’s a college town; there’s sorority girls and frat daddies all over the place. And I cannot stand it.

I left last night because I got sick of having to deal with this.

Lately I’ve been reading travelogues, which are amazing books. One of my favorite things about these books is the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I love learning about new types of people, new cultures, new traditions.

It makes me hunger for something different.

I want real people in my life. I need to, at some point, get away from the college lifestyle and move in a path that will bring me toward interacting with people who have had actual life experiences.

I know in a lot of ways I’m categorizing everyone I saw at the bar last night, and that’s not fair. But in some ways what I’m saying is true, so I’m not going to feel too bad.

Last night also made me miss Boston. (Whoa, what? Like I never say that.) What I loved most about that place (Let’s say, in the top 5 of things I loved.), was the fact that new people were around every single corner. Whether it was a quick conversation on the subway with a med student, or stopping to listen to a street performer, or an artist who became my closest friend, I was always hungering for that next encounter.  I love different perspectives and opinions and lifestyles.

Some people want to eat their way around the world. Others want to participate in adrenaline-filled activities or see how far they can travel by land rather than by air. I, on the other hand, when I travel, want to glean as much as I can from whichever culture I choose.

One of my favorite books I read this summer was “Tales of a Female Nomad,” by Rita Gelman Goldman. After a divorce, and in her mid-40s (I think), she moved to Mexico where she lived in a Zapotec village for a number of months. From there she’s spent the last 10 years or so moving around the world, and making sure that she connects with the people she lives with in every part of the world she visits. She lived with a royal family in Bali, and hiked in the highlands of Indonesia where she lived in a teeny-tiny village. Rather than getting the quick, “postcard view” of the places she visits, she stays long enough to get an idea of how they live: what activities their days are made up of, or how they grieve, how they celebrate, how they play.

It’s a beautiful thing, and I loved her book. And although I don’t really want to take it as far as she did and be a “present-day nomad,” I do want to learn from people the way she did. That’s why I want to travel.

Boston let me get a taste of that feeling. The city gave me the chance to, like I said earlier, meet tons of different types of people. I miss that.

And that, right there, brings me to my next thought: The glory days.

Since I started my new job, I’ve had lots and lots of time to read gazillions (OK, slight exaggeration) of travel blogs. There are people out there my age traveling around and around the world, and I love reading their blogs.

One blogger–I can’t remember who it is, but I’ll link it as soon as I find it again–wrote a post about the glory days. He likened this to that old man who always talked about “that one football game, back in 1950 where he made the winning touchdown.” And this man never moves past this point: He spends the rest of forever telling this story, and that’s essentially the highlight of his life.

What I loved about this post was that it made me realize how moving to Boston was my glory moment, and it made me sick because I am so much like that old man. In my life right now that move to Boston is the biggest thing I’ve done.

I miss it. You all know this. And I insert it into every conversation with new people: I make sure they know I moved there, that I was scared, but that I did it. Those days I spent living in Boston were my glory days.

The blogger also touched on the importance of not letting that one experience become the only moment worth being glorious in your life.

And I get it. It infused me with determination. Determination to move past a situation, a decision I made I’m unhappy with. It’s made me start planning and thinking about concrete steps I can take to ensure I have more moments and experiences I can classify as my glory days–instead of just one four-month block.

I want enough experiences to fill a book. You all know that when I get in a new place I can write and write and write. My blog took off in Boston, and I’m searching for the next place I can let my words explode. It’ll be wonderful.

So, here’s to the glory days. And here’s to real people. I’m coming for those times.

Thanks for reading. I haven’t written this long of a post since I moved, and I have to tell you, it feels amazing.

The times, they are a changin’.

Remember when…

August 15, 2010 2 comments

Oh, hey! Hi. Hi.

Remember the glorious days when I used to write incessantly and then post it on Facebook so that everyone and their mom saw it?

Yeah. Those were good days. I miss them. A lot. I love writing. I gotta get back to that.

But I feel as though, in Lubbock, I’m frozen when it comes to putting my thoughts on paper. I’m so focused on not thinking about where I am, and trying to figure out where in the heck I’m actually going, that I forget to actually live day to day. It kind of sucks.

Argh.

I’m tired, so unbelievably TIRED, about constantly writing about freakin’ places I miss. Before I moved I wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of Lubbock and never, ever look back.

And then I moved. And I loved Boston, truly. But the entire time I was there I wrote about how much I missed Texas.

Now I’m back, and all I can think is that I miss Boston more than I’ve ever missed anything in the world.

My biggest problem is feeling as though I stunted my growth. When I came back from Boston I felt like a new girl. I’d faced new things and learned to stand up to problems and people and speak up for myself. I finally learned how to be confident and bold — to a point. Here, nothing really challenges me outside of work. I’ve settled back into my old life so quickly and so easily it feels like it’s swallowed me up completely.

It’s like I’m chasing this constant feeling of peace. I’m always trying to find that place where my heart actually feels still in some ways possible. My sister and my mom say I need church. But I don’t know. I think I need adventure.

I need to nurse this restless feeling and let it take me where it wants to.

What I’ve been looking into lately allows me to choose an unconventional lifestyle; a life spent stretching myself to my furthest limits and actually trying some new things out.

I want to write about actual adventures.

Half of what I loved most about living in Boston was that things constantly seemed to happen to me that made life exciting. Brilliant. Unpredictable.

A man prayed over me in Starbucks.

Steve brought me coffee every single day at that flower shop of mine.

I stumbled upon forgotten gardens on my walks.

I learned from Betsy.

I unfortunately was the victim of an Internet scam. Looking back now it’s funny, but I’m pretty sure that was the demise of my Boston experience.

I danced my heart out to unconventional bands.

I let my heart be broken a little bit by the diversity of people living in one place. Truly.

The point is, you have to have experiences to write. They always say authors write what they know, and right now, in a city where very little is happening to me, there’s not much for me to write about. And I don’t have time to be imaginative. (I mean, really? It’d take a shitload of imagination to spice up this place.)

I don’t want to moan about missing Boston anymore.

Yet, I’m not going to whine about living and working here and wanting to be out again.

All I can do is move forward. That’s a scary thought. In some ways it feels like I failed by coming back, so striking out for a second time is infinitely more scary. But hey, time will tell.

Things really aren’t so bad here.

Maybe I need to search a little deeper for those interesting moments.

But I don’t think anything will compare to getting prayed over by a man in Starbucks. We’ll see.

Dear Mimi.

June 22, 2010 1 comment

It’s been a year since you left us peacefully, and still my heart hurts.

The day I got the phone call, I knew. I saw my dad’s number on caller ID and saw what time it was (8:26 a.m., June 22, 2009 ) and wanted to ignore the call. I wanted to do anything to avoid the news. When hit by the news I lay still, waiting for the waves of pain. But they didn’t come then, Mimi. I got up and worked out, let my boyfriend know and went to class. I went to work that evening and pretended I was OK. I joked with my coworkers and ignored the roaring sound in my head. I found a poem I wanted to read at your funeral.

I thought that would make it all OK.

Now a year later, I pray you’re still here. I still carry the angel wings a family member gave me the day of your funeral, and I have to believe that you, my beautiful grandmother, are my angel.

You looked after me when I was a child, and I know that you have to still be looking over my shoulder today, whispering softly that you love me.

I hope you know how much I miss you. I hope you know that, even though I gave the world and my family a different reason for it, I read the poem at your funeral as an apology to you.

An apology for not loving you the way that you loved me: unconditionally. The disease terrified me, Mimi. I was so young and didn’t know how to handle what was happening to your body and your previously sharp mind.

If I could re-do those years (for my sake, selfishly—I would never want you to go through that again) I would smile and blow you a kiss when you looked me at me.

I would hold your hand when we visited.

I wouldn’t focus on the TV instead of you.

I hope you know I miss you. What I remember most about you is cuddling on your lap on the nights I slept over and your and Papa’s house. I felt so safe there. You let me snuggle with you and I loved being wrapped in your arms while Papa told me an Angelina story. I never let anyone else hold me that way when I was young.

I have to make those few memories I have of you strong, because I can’t bear to think of you in any other way.

Mimi, you were the epitome of true beauty. Every person I’ve met who knew you said you were a beautiful person, inside and out. You had the uncanny ability to make other people feel special and you had the most radiant smile. I love looking at old photographs of you. I love my baby pictures and seeing myself wrapped up in your arms.

When I see something beautiful it always me think of you. Maybe you’re part of it—maybe now you’re in the wind, making the trees blow gently. Maybe you’re in the soft rain that patters on my window in Boston, or in the way the sun dapples the grass. On sunny days I stare at the sky and wonder if you’re in the clouds, watching over me. When I feel the wind rushing past my face in West Texas I pretend you’re in the air, giving me a kiss on my cheek as you race by.

When something happens to me, good or bad, I always think of you. Maybe it’s because you stopped knowing me when I was young and immature, sweet Mimi. I want you to know me and be proud of me now. That sounds so selfish, but it’s absolutely true.   

I’m always thinking of you, sweet Mimi.

Just remember.

June 17, 2010 2 comments

So, as I suspected it might be, my time away from my blog was short-lived.

I thought that by ending my blog I could just live my life, instead of narrating it for those I love. Which, if you think about it, is a little pointless considering I talk to most of my friends quite frequently.

My reason for deciding to begin writing on this thing is simple: I had a jolt. I saw something that moved me earlier, and my fingers ached to be at my computer, typing madly enough to get my thoughts down before they left my brain.

I had to wait an hour or so, but here I am. Back.

And that’s my problem these days. I’m back. Back in the place I used to hate, and striving to make it better than last time. I’m enjoying my job and I’m spending time with friends I missed so dearly the last two months.

Do you remember this day? The day where I saw a bumper sticker that made me smile and made me list stupid things about myself? It made me re-evaluate why I wanted to move to Boston and made me…not question…but think very hard about what I wanted to do come January 2010.

Well today, I saw that same damn bumper sticker. I was stopped at a light, listening to music, looked up and at the car in front of me. And what do you think I saw? It was the same car. The same bumper sticker with the same message that always makes me tear up a little.

It made me smile because it was another one of those small little signs that I needed. I needed to see that and read it and remind myself what makes me me.

One of my favorite bloggers, Her, wrote a post recently that makes me cry. I go back and read it frequently, because she and her husband seem to feel the same way that I do about our 20s: We all feel a little lost sometimes and unsure of what the next move is. What the correct move should be. It’s never easy, and we’re all finding that there’s never a clear-cut yes or no answer. I think we’re figuring out that sometimes it’s better to take a leap of faith and jump–and then figure out things once you land.

That’s what I’ve done in my life. I moved to Boston. I moved back to take a great job.

Now? Now I’m making plans to leap again. Not anytime soon; not for another year. But it’s going to happen again. I like being the adventurous girl; the one with the spirit and the guts and the passion and the drive.

And I’m going to continue reminding myself one thing:

It’s OK to feel lost in life. I just have to keep in mind I’m the girl with the damn wanderlust.