Courageous Questions

I’ve always prided myself on my curiosity. I incessantly google everything. I explore new places. I read all the time. I ask very intentional questions of people (I literally own a book with the title 4000 QUESTIONS TO GET TO KNOW ANYONE AND EVERYONE).

That means I’m curious, right?

I always thought it did, but I’ve been noticing a pattern in my life recently. I rarely ask questions that pose risk to me. I will ask everyone questions about themselves and their experiences, but I don’t ask questions that pertain to me or my dreams. I struggle to ask people I admire how they got to where they did. In my writing, I usually only write things that I have an answer to. I usually don’t write about parts of my life if I’m still in the middle of the process. I try to convince myself and others that I have the process figured out (and even if I don’t that I CAN figure it out without anyone’s help).

I guess I have this idea in my brain that I have to have all the answers; which means I can’t have any questions.

But admitting that I don’t have (and don’t have to!) have all the answers takes vulnerability, courage, and a willingness to give up control.

I like to control the narrative. If I don’t control it, the questions I ask could lead me to places out of my depth and out of my skill level. But places like that aren’t bad. In fact, they’re usually only dangerous to my ego. If I keep trying to control my narrative and if I don’t take any risks for the sake of curiosity, my narrative remains extremely narrow.

Next time we see each other, let’s ask each other courageous questions!

Now, excuse me while I go google how to cultivate curiosity.

xoxo,

Kat

Courageous Questions

Dreams I Thought I Wanted

Last Wednesday, I came to the end of a two and a half year stint working in TV development. That’s not a long time in the scheme of things, but it felt like the end of something a lot bigger than that. I’ve wanted to work in the industry since I was 12. I’ve spent over a decade working towards this and it feels like a lifetime is ending. When I got my first job in the industry, I thought it should feel like the beginning of the life I always dreamed of – even if I was working an entry level assistant job, I was excited to pay my dues. But I struggled so much with it. I constantly questioned why I was working there. I loved the people I was working with, but didn’t love the actual work I was doing. (Side Note: I am very grateful for the past two years because I did learn a lot… So to my former coworkers reading this… I love you.)

That lack of passion was killing me. I had this idea in my head that I had to be in TV and I had to love it because I had put so much time, effort, and money into getting to this place. I felt like I had to stick with it because I owed it to myself, my parents, my professors, and to everyone who had ever heard me say I wanted to make TV.

When I see that in writing, it sounds laughable.

There was a moment last week when I had to decide whether or not to take another job in the industry. The practical part of me was screaming “DO IT!!! That’s money and you have bills to pay. Also, remember the last time you didn’t have a job? You just sat around for a month and a half eating ice cream and watching Gilmore Girls.” But the part of my soul that is more in tune with my dreams whispered, “It’s okay to say no to this… Do what you’re longing to do.”

And when I listened to that whisper in my soul, I felt a sense of freedom. Not an “everything is going to be sunshine and roses” freedom. But a peace about my decision.

It’s been almost a week of this new adventure and I’m still grappling with what my life is if I’m not working in TV. I’m trying not to beat myself up about the fact that I binged Stranger Things and a whole season of Friends this weekend while dog sitting for a friend. I’m trying not to be overwhelmed by how I’m going to pay my bills. I’m trying to give myself space to dream about what’s next.

And I think a huge part of what’s next is writing consistently.

Whenever I tell someone I’m a writer, I always have this twinge of guilt because I don’t ever write as much as I want to. And I’m working on having grace for that, because I know I don’t have to be perfect.

But I’m also done with accepting shitty excuses from myself. If I want to be a writer, I have to actually write. Which is why I’m going to be putting up a blog post every day for the month of September. I have no idea what I’m going to write about, but I’m sure you’ll get the unfiltered and slightly terrifying thoughts that go through my brain on the daily. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Here’s to a new season of dreaming and exploring and not having to have it all together.

XOXO

Kat

Dreams I Thought I Wanted

Naked in the Desert

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I’m sitting on my balcony, crying over a green juice and the faithfulness of God.

Don’t worry, I’m not normally this emotional over some cold-pressed broccoli and kale, but I’ve spent the last 21 days drinking only water and the occasional herbal tea.

Before you think I’m completely crazy, let me explain.

Three weeks ago in San Diego, I made a decision with the Lord. I was going to venture into the wilderness with Him. I wanted to pursue Him whole-heartedly and to build a foundation on which I could grow a deep relationship with Him. I don’t know that everyone needs to go to these measures to build that foundation; but I knew I needed to put aside the things that were distracting me from Him: food, social media, and entertainment.

And thus began the hardest three weeks I can remember.

From the beginning, I was plagued with doubts about whether or not I could even do this. Last time I tried to fast, I made it two days and then peaced out and ate a cheeseburger (side note: that’s super unhealthy… never fast for two days and then jump right in with a cheeseburger!).

My body was cleansing itself from toxins and I was miserable, and then I was bored by the taste of water, and then I began having vivid food dreams, and on and on it went. I was weak and wasn’t hanging out with many people, going to bed early and trying to pray and read my Bible in every moment when I would normally be eating or watching TV or hanging out with people.

But it was rough. Even with the support and prayers of the few people who knew what was going on, I still felt alone and afraid.

I felt naked in the desert.

There’s one morning in particular that I remember feeling this way. I was sure that I couldn’t do this another moment (much less another week!). But as I was crying, something broke and I began to share my heart in prayer. Things that I’ve closed the door on long ago, things that I’d forgotten about, dreams that I’d become disillusioned by. And as I stood there in my desert, open and vulnerable before my Creator, something changed. After that I began to crave time with Him. Prayer wasn’t something I just checked off my list, but I actually woke up wanting to talk to Him. That real relationship I had set out to find was beginning to form.

Don’t be fooled though. There were many days when I was hangry and didn’t feel the presence of God and had to force myself to open my Bible (there were also days that I didn’t open it at all). But there’s something beautiful and powerful in trusting God’s heart and intentions towards you even when your emotions and circumstances tell you differently.

I’m not telling you about this season to show off how spiritual I am or how much self control I have. I know myself well enough to know that I absolutely do not have the self control needed to make it through the last three weeks. But I’m telling you this to remind you that seeking God is a choice. I had to wake up every day and choose God. To choose to rely on His strength and on His grace to get me through that moment, that hour, that day, those weeks.

As my season in the wilderness has come to an end, I’ve had a new set of doubts. What if beginning to eat again undoes everything that I learned in this season? What if I just drift right back into my old habits and comforts?

I laid in bed for two hours this morning, afraid to get up and drink juice.

One of the beautiful things about this season in the wilderness is that it does have an ending. And I’m reminded that God isn’t only allowed to speak in the desert. He doesn’t stop working in my life just because I start eating again. But it is still my choice. I must choose to make Him a priority in my life, even when everything else is clamoring for my attention.

And to be honest, there will always be other things striving for first place. In seasons of plenty it’s easy to just focus on our own pleasure; and in seasons of scarcity it’s tempting to forget God in the midst of our pain.

So, no matter what this next season holds, whether wilderness or garden, let’s choose to turn to our Father. Because there is no taste in the world that can compare to His presence.

Naked in the Desert

Floating on Air

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It’s rare that something leaves me speechless, only able to only communicate in fragments of emotion and memory.

Singing the chorus of LIVING ON A PRAYER with twenty other people sandwiched in a small airplane.

The flip-flop of my stomach as I slid toward the door.

An overload of sensory triggers as I looked out at the expanse of earth at which I was about to throw myself.

I hadn’t allowed my brain to think about it until it was too late and kneeling at the edge of a plane wasn’t the moment to start.

Suddenly, I was in the air and my fear was gone. It was simultaneously the most peaceful and most exhilarating minute of my life. I spread my arms wide, embraced the wind into my lungs and the sun into my eyes, and allowed myself to feel alive.

When I arrived safely on the ground, I finally let my brain go. Whirring and spitting, it tried to understand why I’d willingly thrown myself from a plane.

But I asked it to step back. I didn’t need it to be logical right now, because my heart had decided that embracing life is always worth a little risk.

Floating on Air

10 Non-Resolutions You Should’ve Made This Year (and still can!)

Originally posted on Thought Catalog (http://tcat.tc/1peGTm8)

1. Get off of your phone.

At risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m going to say it – turn your phone on silent. There is so much science to prove that being more “connected” with the world makes you less connected with yourself and it also makes you more lonely. So turn off the cellular device and utilize whatever skills you have, whether that is going on a hike, writing a poem with actual ink on actual paper, or just drinking a cup of coffee. Do it without the distraction of instagram notifications.

2. Give your soul some space to breathe.

This year, I’ve been learning how to make space for myself. I’ve realized that I need time to figure out how I feel about things and that both time and space are vital to my well being. For me, this has translated into not doing things (whether that is shopping, social media, eating, dating… etc) out of boredom. We all have methods of coping with (read: hiding from) our emotions and it is important to recognize and minimize those habits so that we give our souls space to breathe and process the world around us.

3. Ask for what you want.

I’ve never been good at asking for what I want. I tend to walk through the doors that open for me and either accept it or complain about it until something better comes along. But this year, I realized that it was time to express my needs and desires and actually ask for what I want – whether that was in romantic relationships, friendships, professional opportunities, or just from myself. You may be the person who knows what they want and pursues it relentlessly – and if you are, i admire you – but I think we all could benefit from evaluating what we want and asking for it without hesitation or embarrassment.
4. Say yes or no when YOU want to.

This comes down to setting boundaries. I used to say yes to everyone, all the time. But I began to wonder what life would be like if I were less busy and actually had the balls to say no to people. Maybe I’d be more productive in things I was legitimately excited about, instead of being worried about tons of obligations. I’ve found that saying no to what I need to allows me to say yes to the things that I want to.

5. Go ahead and let people love you.

If I’m being honest with you all, I’d say that I don’t know how to let people love me. Like many of those around me, I tell the truth that fits the perception I want people to have of me. But I don’t let the whole truth. And if someone doesn’t know the whole truth, they aren’t able to love all of me. And that’s a shame, because there are so many facets of my inner world (and yours too!) that people can and should have the opportunity to love. So instead of running away from vulnerability, let’s take the rest of this year to intentionally make connections and let people love us!

6. Learn something new.

I graduated from college almost two years ago and was so excited to never be graded on anything again. But last year, I realize how restless I’d become. I needed to branch out, so I’m learning as many new things as possible. Now, hear me out, I’m not saying we have to STICK TO the things we try or that we have to reach pro status at any of them; but I think it’s important to learn new things, even if it’s just learning ABOUT something. So far this year, I’ve tried learning German, how to freestyle rap, how to cook beets and kale so I’d actually want to eat them, about the political climate of Nicaragua, how to dougie, and all about the Zika virus. I think that being curious makes life much more fulfilling.
7. Enjoy the colorful moments.

Colorful moments are everywhere; whether it is late night cake and tea with a friend, flirting with the cute guy in the waiting room of your therapist’s office, or enjoying the flowers in your neighborhood. It’s super important to take a step back to enjoy the little moments that make your life worth living. Yes, structure and goals and success are important, but what are outlines if you’re not able to color in them?

8. Find adventure.

Adventure has been one of my keywords this year. I’m taking an archery class, skydiving, and taking a trip to Nicaragua this year. But what I’ve found about adventure is that it happens in the small moments. Adventure is born out of bravery and bravery is born out of fear. So look around at the things that you’re afraid of and choose to do them anyway. That is adventure.

9. Speak who you are.

Last year was the time when I realized that I wanted to be a writer, and this year is about me owning up to that realization. Unless you are literally the bravest and most honest person that ever existed, I think we all have that thing that we want to be but are afraid to admit it. I’ve straight up ignored people who’ve asked me what I want to do, but how bad would it be to say that I’m a writer? I think my brain makes it scarier than it actually would be. So let’s all own up to our dreams and speak out who we really are.

10. Be WEIRD.

I’ve been obsessed with being liked and with fitting in for most of my life. I didn’t want to be made fun of, I wanted to have friends, and I didn’t want to be the center of any controversy. But the more I learn about myself, the more I realize that I’m totally weird. But you know what? WE’RE ALL WEIRDOS! So why not let our freak flags fly? Why not be obsessed with musicals or coding or Avatar or whatever we want to be obsessed with? Let’s let ourselves be weird because that’s the way we find the weirdos who are just like us!

10 Non-Resolutions You Should’ve Made This Year (and still can!)

If I Were Able

If I were able, I would put the universe in my pocket

and bring it out when I need to remember

that I am part of something bigger than I know.

If time allowed, I would get lost in the empty space

between my thumbs as I hitchhike from galaxy to galaxy.

If it didn’t slip between my fingers,

I would scoop out the stardust and toss it asunder

so I could dance amidst moonlight and constellations.

If my eyes would let me, I would stare in wonder at the treasures

that swirled around me like my most perfect dreams.

If words existed, I would name the stars

for the way they make my eyes sparkle

and I’d share those names with you every time I saw you.

If you would let me, I would take you with me to every corner

of every universe so you don’t have to feel alone.

If I were able, I would hold the universe within my pocket

to help you see that this moment is just your beginning.

k.k. // If I Were Able

If I Were Able