Feb 102015

Dang, 2015. You sure are throwin’ me for a loop. You aren’t turning out at all as I thought you would. Luckily, we have plenty of time to get this thing in check, get this thing in gear, get this thing warmed up (I’m f-ing freezing, San Diego!) and get this thing going, please.

You know when you’re really looking forward to something so much that it feels like it will never ever actually get here?  It’s been a little over 3 years since the day I walked out of my old apartment for the last time. I never could have imagined all that would happen for me over the next few years. I never could have imagined what would happen over the last year or even the last month. It is surreal how it all happens. When I moved back to San Diego, I had these beautiful dreams of walking back into town and finding a place just like my old one. Instead, I found myself couch surfing for weeks until I finally surrendered myself to a roommate situation that was able to redeem itself only by being less than a block from the beach. I ended up living there until a few weeks ago, several months after I was ready to move out. There were days that I honestly thought I was doomed to live in that house forever. Twelve days after one of those doomy days, I was signing a new lease and picking up the keys to my own place. I thought it would never happen but here I am. It never feels the way you think it would, does it? I love my new little corner of the world. I knew it was right the moment I saw it. Unfortunately, it takes some time to get settled in. Everything is so disorganized. My normal routine is non-existent. I don’t have a place for each thing or a thing for each place. There isn’t enough space for my clothes. There is too much clothes for my space. Half the time I don’t even know where to sit. The disorganization somehow trickles into the rest of life and I can’t seem to shake it. I like organization and routine. I like every thing in its place. I like lots of places to sit.

So while I sit on the floor waiting for my new furniture, I’ll drink my anti-anxiety-tea and wonder what is happening. Did you forget already, 2015? I told you what we wanted.

We wanted to be open and free. Curled in a ball under the covers is certainly not what I had in mind. I don’t really associate my freedom with thick socks and layers of sweaters and feeling chained to my warm cozy bed. OOF. Why does each winter always seem longer than the one before? I know what you’re thinking. I live in San Diego. I’m not allowed to complain about winter. I say…yes, I AM. I’m allowed to complain about winter.  A model is allowed to have an ugly day.  A skinny girl is allowed to feel bad about her body. It is cold. It is dark. It is winter. It makes me sad and somber and I want it gone. A few more weeks until daylight savings. I’m giving you a pass until then, 2015.

And what about that connected, excited, romantic part, 2015? I can almost hear the heavens laughing at me from here. I was stood up a few weeks ago. Hows that for connection and romance? I was pretty pissed at first. Did you forgot your manners too, 2015? He didn’t even apologize but thought it appropriate to ask me out twice after that. I almost said yes the second time. I wanted to. Then I decided that being bored or lonely isn’t a good enough reason to lower my standards. It certainly isn’t a reason to accept an invitation to dinner from a guy that stood me up without good cause. Maybe you think he should get another chance. Maybe this is why I’m still single. Maybe you think my standards are too high. But right now I think that if ignoring him means my standards are too high then I prefer to be alone.  I wonder if the guy that I want will ever actually be the guy that I actually like. And I wonder if the guy that I like will never be the guy that I need.  Do people just pick one of those things and forget about all the rest? Is it ever easy and simple and mutual? Maybe people settle more than they actually find the type of person they’ve been looking for.  How do you go about finding this person and protecting yourself from assholes at the same time? How do you know when you’re being the asshole versus when you’re just putting your own needs first? And how do you know when you’re putting yourself first or putting up a wall? I am missing something here. Something about the world around me. Something about myself.  I want to know the answers to these questions. For the love of love 2015, we’re totally blowing this one.

And remember when we wanted to feel infinite? Like we could go on forever and be anything and do anything and have anything and everything we wanted and that our time and life was limitless and couldn’t be measured by any person or any thing? I want to learn so much and do it all. It doesn’t feel infinite. It feels like too much. Every minute I spend on one topic is a minute I can’t spend on another. I can’t read a book on money unless I’m not reading a book on relationships. I can’t read a book on health unless I’m not reading a book about money. I can’t write a blog here  if I’m writing a match.com profile over there. So what’s a girl to do? How can I ever expect to have more than one thing at a time? How can anyone? We make time for the things that are important, but what if they are all so important to you that your heart cries and aches when you feel like you aren’t doing enough but don’t know how you can possibly do any more? My solution for this is usually to:

a. Do nothing. See “curled in a ball under covers” above.

b. Cry. Sometimes all I need is a really good cry but I’ll be too stubborn to cry hard enough to even make it count. Other times, I’ll be in the most inconvenient of places and have to the urge to let it all out. That girl walking down the pier with mascara running out from underneath her sunglasses? Yeah, probably me. That other girl sulking and lost in front of the empty bin where the organic baby spinach is supposed to be? Me again. The other one sobbing uncontrollably in the car next to you at the stop light? Yes, that was me too. 

As you can see, “a” is clearly the better option of two terrible options.

What if I’m one of the weak ones? When I did social work, I had a teen girl that was in foster care because she found her drug addicted mother dead in a cardboard box in her front yard. I worked with another girl who was put into a group home and was molested by one of the staff members there. I had another kid who was one of the best looking, most charming young men I’ve ever met in my entire life and his past was worse than A Child Called It.  I know one person’s life problems can’t be related or compared to another person’s. But seriously, what if I’m one of the weak ones? My life is blessed but still I can’t seem to move forward.  I can’t calm down my ego or stop drinking or lose the extra pounds I’m carrying around or be as successful and rich as I want to be, as fast as I want? I need an option “c” here.

C. Grow up and get the fuck over it, Katey. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t have it all. 

So, 2015. You’re nothing like I thought you would be…yet. I think you’re doing the right thing, though. What better way to start the year than with a big huge bitch slap? It’s not you, 2015. It’s me. I guess I was the one who forgot, huh? I won’t be doing that again. Even through this odd, uncomfortable, nowhere-to-sit beginning of the year, I’ve always felt like the universe had my back.  I have faith, hope and love that we’re gonna pull this thing together, 2015. It sounds like a much better plan.

 February 10, 2015
Jan 012015

It’s time to say goodbye again already.

Goodbye 2014. You were a beautiful year. I knew you would be.

I didn’t go out last night. Not a single sip of alcohol passed these lips. If 2014 was beautiful then no hangover on the first day of 2015 is fucking gorgeous. Isn’t it such a backwards way of doing things? People are so hyped on resolutions and having a clean slate on January 1st. Why do we always choose to start with a hangover? I can have a hangover on any day. It’s nice to start my new year in a way that actually sets the tone for the kind of year I’d like to have. I like not making a huge deal of the new year. This is no clean slate or reset after all. No do-overs, no erasing the past. No major difference between any other two consecutive days. The last day of one year and the first day of the next year. There is no benefit in pretending that life and time isn’t just one long continuous …thing.

The end of the year always brings mixed feelings for me. Part of me loves the christmas season. The other part of me feels so completely lonely and empty leading up to the holidays that it physically hurts. I sleep late, binge watch Netflix, and consume everything in sight to try and fill some void that I can’t even define. I start to get sucked into the resolution bullshit. Instead of focusing on all the amazing things that happened, I get stuck thinking about all that could and should have happened for me. I thought it would be the year I found love. It wasn’t. I thought it would be the year I got back into shape. It wasn’t. I thought I would get my own place and travel again. I didn’t. I thought it would be the year I wrote a book and paid off my debt. It kind of was. It also kind of wasn’t. I spend the days thinking about all that wasn’t or didn’t, wishing the time away until I go back east to see my family. Because I know a hug from my family will be just what I need. I also know that it will fly by in a blur and the sooner it is over, the sooner I get to sit alone and be quiet and think about my life and write. This is the time that makes all that hurting go away. This is the time I get to write about it all. This is the time I get to think about all the good that has happened this year.  I think about how I imagined this year was going to be like compared to how it really turned out. I think about where I was and who I was on December 31, 2013. I go back and forth between feeling complete awe, complete pain, and complete gratitude. This time is the best time for me.

So what even happened in 2014?

I wrote my 100th post. I was fired. I went to the beach - a lot. I watched my sister get married. I was hired. I read a lot of books. I watched a lot of sunsets. I had a lot of fun. I made a bunch of mistakes. I made lot of good decisions, too.

According to my last new year’s post, I was hoping to spend the year feeling grateful, lusty, free, calm, strong, connected, abundant, fearless. I think I lived that most of the time. At the very least I was living them more by the end of the year than I was at the beginning.

Now I want to feel this: Open. Free. Connected. Excited. Romantic. Infinite.

The words are funny. Some are the same. Plus one year. Just a little more grown up. All quite doable.

I don’t have too much more to say. I have a feeling that 2015 will be a great year. Why wouldn’t it be? They really do keep getting better. I have so many plans. I’ll do more of the things I want to do more of, and less of the things I want to do less of. Can it get more simple than that? More writing, more reading, more sunsets, more new things, more movement, more nutrition, more family, more life.

I still just want more of this beautiful life. I don’t think that will ever change.

 January 1, 2015
Dec 222014

Finally. someone understands. I swear R.M. Drake reads my diary at night.

She was never crazy. She just didn’t want her heart to settle in a cage.   -R.M Drake

OK…I don’t really keep a diary. This blog is my diary. But:photo-2

Maybe we feel empty because we leave pieces of ourselves in  everything we used to love. -R.M. Drake

Wow. Then:

And she always had a way with her brokenness. She would take her pieces and make them beautiful.  – R.M. Drake

Most of all:

Listen, I am not someone who is easy to love. I am not someone who is to be taken lightly and most of all, I am not someone to burn. For I am the fire, my soul is on fire and everything I live to touch becomes one with the fire…and without regret, I will devour and I will leave nothing behind. -R.M. Drake

Because really:

For sometimes, knowing nothing lasts forever, is the only way we can learn to fall in love with all the moments and all the people that are meant to take our breath away. – R.M. Drake

I mean, really. Are you kidding me? I love all of these words so much. There is something so special about reading something that someone else wrote and feeling like they wrote it directly to you. It is a tiny bit of proof that we are connected. We are all having the same struggles and thoughts and feelings. And really, what does a person want more than to be understood? Or to feel that they are not alone? Knowing that another person–stranger or not–understands how you feel and can put it into words is an odd comfort to me in this very strange, (sometimes) lonely world. So thank you to this beautiful poet for making the lonely just a little bit less. I only hope to do this for someone one day.

 December 22, 2014
Nov 272014

The Thanksgiving Post remains my most popular post to date. I don’t really know why. I was still pretty new to this blogger-writing-in-public thing. The words and thanks were genuine but I still had no idea what I was doing.

I love Thanksgiving. I am lonely and I am a little bit sad today, though. A typical Thanksgiving will not be happening for me. I am 3,000 miles away from my family and best friends. My love still hasn’t arrived and each passing day leaves me feeling more single than the day before. I had invitations. One to go to Mexico with couples. The other to have Friendsgiving with a group that included one of my actual friends and a bunch of people I feel extremely “meh” about and would have led to me getting drunk before dinner just to make conversations bearable. I really hope they aren’t reading this. I turned both invitations down because “doing things that I don’t want to do” and “spending time with people that I don’t like” were both on my list of things to stop doing this year. I don’t know how much I’ve stuck by that but if I do both of those right now I think it counts as progress.

So, yes. I’ll spend my Thanksgiving alone and yeah, I’ll probably spend most of it feeling lonely and a little bit sad. It’s fine though. Do you know why it’s fine? It means I have people to miss. It means that I can identify loneliness and not be afraid of it. It means that sad doesn’t scare me because I know happy is right on the other side. It’s also fine because I have such an incredible list of things in my life that I am so very thankful for and all of those things outweigh the sad and lonely by a billion times.

I’m thankful for my writing. I am thankful that sometimes I read something I wrote and it feels so perfect and true for me that I can’t believe I wrote it or that it somehow came from my soul to my mind to my brain to my fingers to the screen because I love the words so much. I’m also thankful for the times I write a bunch of garbage and get to delete it. Or the times I second guess my words but know they need to be free so I hit publish no matter how insecure I feel about it. The feelings, the experience, the vulnerability. I hate the word vulnerability. Ugh. I’m not thankful for that word. I wish there was a different word for it. I wish I could write more. How do such heavy words make you feel so much lighter?  Does that even make sense? I hope so. Or even better, I hope you believe the words I write immediately and don’t have to second guess them like I do. Do all writers do this?  I’m thankful for my mother. I know you’re thinking that she doesn’t fit in this “thank.” But my mother is a writer, too. So if I got any tiny part of my writing from her then she definitely belongs here.

I’m thankful for my mother again. My father, too. I love them so much. If you look at all of us together, you’ll see that I’m just like my father. I look like him. I think like him. I probably even talk like him most of the time. But I’m more like my mother than anyone would think. Even more than she would ever think. She will probably hate to read this. I catch myself sitting like her. I drink like her. Every once in a while I’ll smoke a cigarette and I just know that I look the way she used to when she smoked cigarettes. She quit smoking on her 40th birthday. I remember it well. I was 13. I wanted her to quit so badly. Now every time I smoke I think about how I probably look like my mother smoking it. Isn’t that hilarious? I hope if I ever have kids, I become even more like my mom because she is a really good mom. I think one of the greatest parts of life is realizing that your parents are just people. When you realize they’ve influenced you in the craziest ways–ways you’ll never be able to comprehend or remember or process–and that most of the time they weren’t doing any of it on purpose. They’re just like you, doing the best they can. They’ve always done the best they could with all the love they had. I’ve been blessed with amazing parents. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. I have close friends with parents who were nearly nonexistent or have passed away. This realization is probably much harder for them. But when you accept that your parents are in your life to be your greatest teachers and begin to understand you chose them for that very reason, the resistance against them fades. They become partners of your life, not parents of your life and everything gets much, much easier. I am so incredibly thankful for my parents.

I’m thankful that I work for someone who actually gets it. Someone who gets what I’ve been fighting against because he fought it too and won. I’m thankful I can work for someone that talks to me like I’m an actual person and not just an employee. I’m thankful I work for someone who calls my quirks and idiosyncrasies “the Katey-ness of Katey” instead of calling them something else that would make me want to hold back my Katey-ness in the future. I’m thankful I work for someone who made more money in one day than I’ve made in the last five years because it proves that you can help people and still make money and still be nice and generous and full of more and more ideas about how to help more and more people. I’m thankful I get to work right next to someone that I look up to and have admired for years and so I get to see that he can be insecure and unsure and stubborn and a person just like anyone else. I’m thankful that before I left work yesterday I told my boss I was thankful to be working for him and he looked like nobody had ever said that to him before so I think he knew I really meant it. Because after the last few years of my life, I really meant it.

I’m thankful I’ve been back in San Diego for more than a year now and I love it just as much as the day I got back. I started laughing today because a little less than a year ago, my ex-boyfriend was in town and he had this great idea to go to a bar we used to frequent when we were dating. I always had a crush on one of the bartenders there and he happened to be at the bar that night. That bartender gave me a hug and said “hi, gorgeous” the way he always did after he’d had a couple of drinks as long as he was single at the time. He asked me how my Thanksgiving was and I told him I’d spent Thanksgiving at the bar with the owner because I’m a Thanksgiving orphan. Later that night we were talking at a table and had some shots and a really quick, innocent kiss. I ended up leaving without saying goodbye and woke up to a Facebook message from Bartender wondering where I went and several angry voicemails and texts from my ex-boyfriend wondering why would I kiss Bartender? Why would I do that? Bartender hasn’t hugged me or called me “gorgeous” since that night and my ex-boyfriend de-friended me on Facebook and doesn’t talk to me anymore. Is it okay to be thankful for all of it? To be thankful it happened at all, or happened almost a year ago, and to be thankful it all made me laugh today? I’m sure most of you don’t have a clue what it has to do with being back in San Diego. I’m not sure I know either. But none of it would have happened if I had never moved back to San Diego and I seriously needed that laugh at myself on a sad and lonely day like today. I still go to that bar and I still love the bar and love Bartender and even love my ex-boyfriend and am thankful that time heals all wounds and can make us giggle about situations that once made us feel like the only solution was to curl up into a ball and die.

I’m thankful for this earth. I’ve watched Overview at least 6 times and it always makes me cry like a freaking baby. I have a pretty strong belief that there are other places in this universe to live. I chose Earth. So did you. Life here is hard. Life here is also extremely beautiful. Today is November 27th and it was sunny and 84 degrees where I live. I went to the beach and got sun on my face. There are palm trees here and there is snow over there. Every sunset I see makes me feel like I got punched in the gut and then sometimes there is a rainbow that makes me feel like nothing happening on this earth even matters. I’ve seen parts of this earth that make me wonder if I am even awake or alive or if it’s all just fake. That isn’t a joke. I’ve looked at a view that changed everything I thought I knew about myself and my life. Anything with that power is something to be very, very thankful for.

I’m thankful for my face. I have a post draft titled “My Fucking Face.” It is a rant about a conversation I had recently about…well, my fucking face. I have a nice looking face. It has probably helped me get jobs. It has probably helped me get discounts and free drinks and better tips. It has probably helped me in ways I will never know or understand. You know what it’s never helped me get? A partner that loves me as much as I love him. This face has never gotten me the look that you see between two people that really, truly love one another. I’m trying to be patient and OK with this part of my life. It’s never helped me believe that a guy is actually interested in who I am or what I have to offer.  Because the good nice guys are too afraid to talk to a girl with a face like this. Because the other nice guys that aren’t afraid of the face are just begging for a pretty girl to walk all over them or help feed their ego. And the guys who aren’t afraid to talk to a face like mine? Well, they’re usually fucking assholes. Part of me feels ridiculous for writing this. Poor me with the pretty face. WTF. If you’re beautiful you probably know where I’m coming from. If you don’t think you’re beautiful then you probably stopped reading two minutes ago. I live at the beach and see mostly-naked people all the time. People with some of the most beautiful bodies you’ve ever seen up close in real life. I look at them and wonder if the way I feel about my face is the way they feel about their bodies. Because I love my face but sometimes I really hate my body. Sometimes I don’t even feel that great about my face. Do they ever hate their perfect bodies? I don’t know.  I do know that this world can make everyone feel ugly but everyone deserves to feel beautiful and my face helps me do that. So I am thankful for it.

I’m thankful for turning 30. I don’t know if other people feel different when they turn 30. I started to feel different right away. I try not to think about age too much but we live in a society obsessed with that stupid number. I had a seriously complicated relationship with my twenties, so I was more than happy to make a big deal out of this special number birthday. The big deal comes from a lot of different things. It comes from the people I love that didn’t make it to 30 and the incredible amount of bullshit that one must live through for 30 years in a row so they can turn 30 and how much can actually happen in that amount of time and how much will happen in the next 30 years if I survive those, and how many times I probably should have/could have died during the past 30 years and how my parents have been married to each other for more years than I’ve even been alive and that when my mother was my age she already had three children and then consider the fact that I even exist on this planet in this space and time and that I am really just a small insignificant speck of dust in the universe and what the hell am I even doing here?  Right? And then consider the natural disaster and beautiful series of events leading up to my 30th birthday…how could I not feel something about all of this? I’m thankful I turned 30 this year. Something tells me I’m going to be really thankful to turn anything from now on.

I’m just…so very thankful.

 November 27, 2014
Nov 182014

photoI’ve loved Cheryl Strayed for a very long time. I love Dear Sugar and my favorite mother f-ing mug is more or less attached to my hand.

I’m rereading Tiny Beautiful Things right now. It is one of those books that you can read over and over because every time it feels a little different and will mean something else and something more. Last time, I felt this. Right now, it feels like this:

“She’d have to find a way within herself to not only escape the shit, but to transcend it, and if she wasn’t able to do that, then her whole life would be shit, forever and ever and ever…She had to do more than hold on. She had to reach. She had to want it more than she’d ever wanted anything…Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal…but the healing–the genuine healing, the actual real deal down-on-your-knees-in-the-mud change–is entirely and absolutely up to you.”

Holy shit. If that isn’t the last few years of my life then I don’t know what is. I think I love Cheryl Strayed right now more than any other stranger I’ve ever loved. I hope that one day I can write the way she does. The way that makes tears stream down your face when you’re reading it but you don’t even know why you’re crying or maybe you don’t even realize you’re crying until tears start to drip onto the page. The way that kind of makes you feel like you can’t breathe at all but are breathing everything in all at once at the same time.

Yeah. Tiny Beautiful Things. I’m pretty sure these are what life is made of.

 November 18, 2014
Nov 052014
Once upon a time.

Wednesday. Humpday. That is definitely what today was. I had zero energy or enthusiasm for anything.  I forced myself to get up with my alarm so I would work out. I felt like I was dragging ass the whole time and probably should’ve just used the time to get some more sleep. Everything seemed twice as hard as it should have been and I didn’t smile nearly enough. I don’t know if it’s the time […]

 November 5, 2014
Sep 222014
September Love Letter

Aaahhhh. September. I love you so. September is my favorite month. The weather is always perfect, the crowds are gone and there are birthdays galore (New Year’s babies for sure). I’m also lucky enough to live in San Diego where September doesn’t mean the beginning of the end of summer. Days are definitely getting shorter but there isn’t any looming feeling about winter letting my depression gene bust out of its cage. Summer weather is […]

 September 22, 2014
Sep 122014

then, she began to breathe, and live, and every moment took her to a place where goodbyes were hard to come by. she was in love, but not in love with someone or something, she was in love with her life. and for the first time, in a long time, everything was inspiring. -r.m. drake

 September 12, 2014
Aug 132014

Wow, how did that happen? Six weeks gone, just like that. I’m having the best summer ever. I can’t remember a better summer. Maybe the summer after I graduated high school. I was 18. I was young and beautiful with long blonde hair. I had an amazing job working with some of my best friends. I was making more money than any teenager could dream of. I was headed to my dream college, so excited […]

 August 13, 2014
Jun 232014

I had a weird day. The days just get weird after the day that matters. After the day that matters comes several very difficult days of hilarious fun and confusion and anxiety. Everything you would expect those days to be. I want to say that these days were completely major and life changing. They were life changing but I wouldn’t go so far to say that they were major. No, I don’t want to give those […]

 June 23, 2014