Baby Steps

Once upon a time I read an article on habit formation that talked about establishing a flossing habit by just flossing one tooth a day.

I laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of this concept.

Of course the author answered my silently uttered, “what is the point?!” by of course citing a bunch of behavioral change theory. Or maybe I’m confusing my MPH classes with my blog reading. OH WELL!

Basically it’s the idea of building upon small wins. <—can’t tke credit for that concept either thank you Danielle/Marie/Hillary/Leo/Ramit/Derek/Tonya/Sarah/Kris/Gabby/Lindsay/I can’t remember who said it so yes I just listed all my mentors. If you floss just one tooth a day every day for a week, you’re building your capacity + your belief in your ability to do it. To be honest, I still think its super silly but guess what I started doing this year? And guess what actually worked?

Yea, I have a flossing habit now. So what?

Well I decided to be super ambitious and extrapolate this baby steps mentality to a bigger project: getting my Master’s paper published. I’m embarrassed to admit that its been almost a year since I submitted it and I basically haven’t looked at the damn thing since. Frankly, there’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in the paper and it was written at a pivotal time when I was coming out of the darkness of the previous months and into the newness of being a Master’s grad. In other words, there’s a whole myriad of reasons why I never want to look at that paper again.

But getting it published is something I want, both for me and the field. Its good work and despite whatever emotions surround the experience of writing it, I’m proud of the work.

So this week I committed to spending just 10 minutes a day on it. On Monday, all I did was read through it to get myself reconnected to the work. During that time I started to get anxious and tense because omgthere’ssomuchtodo! And I remembered how much effort the damn thing took and now that I’ve waited its, admittedly, going to be harder to go back in and make edits because there’s another year’s worth of research that I have to go through. My antural instinct is normally to plow through projects. I give 100%: to work or to play but never to a happy medium of both..

I’m starting to recognize this is a problematic pattern for me. I alternate between weeks of insane productivity and weeks of utter and complete laziness. Because when I’m in a project, I’m in it. Until I get bored and take a break and a week later, I’m still taking a break.

And so just like with flossing, I’ve said no more. Baby steps from here on out, with this project and so many others. Next week, I’ll do 15 minutes per day. 20 the week after that. It isn’t much, and my ego is having a shitfest with it, but its more than I did before. And the little results (like realizing how badly the amazing citrus that is in season gets stuck in your teeth <—ew) do feel like wins and are totally worth celebrating. Plus I have something new + tangible everyday to share with the beau.

As I look at my life I see so many areas where this pattern has been toxic for me. I get paralyzed by all the things I need to do and then just stay stuck because there’s literally no way to do them all right now. Thankfully this year I have an amazing accountability buddy (shout-out to Danielle!) who’s not only there to push me but also to remind me that its ok to take a break. That if all I accomplished on Monday was re-reading my paper, then that’s a successful day. Because those 10 minutes are about more than just doing the work (or even building confidence). They’re reconnecting me and rebuilding my relationship to the project. And that’s what is going to get the damn thing done.

I don’t believe in the go-go-go push it mentality. I believe in working with ease. But sometimes ease = distraction for me and that’s not work either. So baby steps is, in essence, my way of finding a balance in how I can be productive with ease. On day s when I want to do more, and its coming from a genuine place of being inspired and enjoying the work rather than fear at it being too much, I will. But on days when I don’t want to do anything, at least I’ll have 10 minutes to say that I accomplished something worth celebrating. And most likely feel a helluva lot better about the work than before.

So here’s to trying something different and actually getting results,. And being held accountable. Since, you know, I just told ya’ll that I plan on getting this paper published. *gulp* W

What’s one big goal you want to accomplish this year and how can you break it down into #babysteps?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

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New York, You’re my Home

Well folks, in the continuing whirlwind of my life…I moved to NYC this week!

WHAT?!

Long story short, due to budget cuts my contract ended about a month earlier than expected or desired (by anyone, my team or myself). The higherups had been waffling between an end date in December and one in January and, despite the fact that I was pulling awesome numbers and everyone loved me <–sorry not sorry I’m bragging because its true! they had to let me go.

Three months ago this would have fueled a complete and total meltdown. This time, I hustled. No seriously. I found out last Tuesday and decided right then and there that my trip home for Christmas would actually be my move to the city. *gulp* Everything sped up drastically. All those things I thought I had weeks to do–farewells to friends, final appointments with my physical therapists and my treatment team, last Zumba classes and support groups, crossing stuff off my Baltimore Bucket List, etc–got done in a matter of days. Or were scheduled for my return trip in a few weeks to a) pick up the increasing number of things I forgot (the perils of packing super quickly) and b) actually get in some of those “last time” things.

In a matter of days I went through the grief process- shock/denial/anger, sorrow, acceptance, and excitement. Even though it was last minute, it was still mostly on my terms. I left Baltimore feeling overwhelmed with love and appreciation. I left at the end of the year and the school semester (for my Zumba classes), rather than at an awkward mid-point. Because most of ‘my people’ had left already, the list of people I really absolutely needed to see was rather small. And my last two days were spent killing it at work, the staff Holiday party, and packing with one of my best friends. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Through it all, I did my best to take the time to really savor and enjoy it. I didn’t really have a choice! I was overwhelmed and stressed but I also focused on the moments of beauty and all the things I could be grateful for. And then I stuffed my car to the hilt and partook in that everyone’s-gotta-do-it-once experiencing of driving hundreds of miles with (almost) all of your belongings to start anew somewhere else.

And now…here I am. Finding my way around this giant city. We’re still living out of boxes, although this weekend’s Ikea trip should solve that thank-you-storage-solutions. I’ve already found a tailor, a support group, and a new friend!  Not bad considering I’ve only really been in town for 3 days! Honestly though, I’m still waiting for it to truly and deeply sink in that I’m here. Kate (the new friend) told me to have patience. So that’s what I’m going to do…along with letting myself revel in every bit of joy over this experience (seriously, if you see me I probably have the biggest , goofiest grin on my face).

There’s still a lot of unknowns but at least we’ve settled on a location for now. The beau is working steadily and I’m making my way, one day at a time.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

 

Our Next Big Adventure

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Fuzzy but look how effing cute it is!

Well folks, it’s official. The beau and I are officially the latest residents of NYC (though I’m not living there yet)!  I’m beyond obsessed with our adorable studio. I mean, we have a fireplace and a spiral staircase. No dishwasher or laundry *gulps* but right now, I don’t care (I love it)!

The beau is moving in immediately and I’ll follow as soon as my work here is done (date still TBD). Right now I’m in the process of finding new doctors and a new gym to teach at. But mostly I’m in complete and utter awe that this dream, the one we never dared think possible…this impossible, beautiful dream…is coming true.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I keep hearing “New York State of Mind” on the radio. All the time…like it was just release. And you can bet your behind that I sing along at the top of my lungs, each and every time.

There’s still so much up in the air…I’ve got to figure out the move, establish myself with new healthcare providers, find a new gym to teach at and so forth. Luckily, I already have my eye on a nearby yoga studio (and a mindfulness group). #priorities 😉

In addition to that, we’re still recovering, financially and otherwise, from the brutal months of job hunting. For now though I’m excited and grateful and a million other invigorating emotions because guys…it’s my favorite city. And I really can’t wait to show it to you.

Yoga/beauty/dreams coming true,

Kait xo

Wednesday Revelations: The Big One

Life update that is! The one I’ve been needing to do for a couple of weeks now. Hold on folks, its about to get crazy. 😉

I realize that I’ve hinted at a lot of things over the past couple of months. I’ve had to tell this story over and over again, in various forms, to different people who I spoke with at different points in it. I literally have friends who don’t know what city I’m in right now. So this post is as much for my in-person friends as it is for the rest of my lovely readers.

First of all, let me clarify – I’m in Baltimore! I’m here until at least the end of the year, maybe longer.

The beau and I moved into a new apartment in the city in June. Our plan was to stay through summer and if we didn’t have jobs, pack up and head home to CT to bunk with family. However, come the end of July we both had a number of job prospects. And so the pattern continued. We’d be ready to call our management company and start looking for new tenants…a job prospect would pop up…we’d decide to stay for “just one more month”…and the job would fall through.

It was utterly exhausting. And soul crushing at times. Every time I had to prep myself to leave a city I was finally starting to feel comfortable in, only to have my heart broken. Rinse and repeat.

The beau eventually got a couple of side jobs and I picked up an amazing babysitting gig. I wish I could show you the babies because they are utterly adorable and perfect and my phone is filled with photos of them. But alas, I read an article a while back about face recognition stuff so I’m paranoid to post said photos. Moving on…

The side jobs floated us. We both kept busy enough and though the money wasn’t great, it was better than relying entirely on our rapidly dwindling savings. But come September, we agreed for good that we’d give it one more month. Because this decision was purely financial, it had significantly more weight than our previous ones. I began the full grieving process that came along with saying goodbye. I needed closure because more and more Baltimore was feeling like the home I so wished it were during my MPH year. I had community—my support group, the handful of friends still in the area, and my second family that I babysat for.

Then, towards the end of September, the beau found out about a dream job opportunity in NYC, our dream city In a matter of weeks he applied, had two interviews, received an offer and accepted. We were moving to NYC. We decided he would move up first and I would follow at the end of October. As we began working our way through his bucket list, I found myself struggling more and more. Quite frankly it didn’t feel fair that I had to give up what little I had down here. I almost lost it during every Zumba class I taught as I looked at my students and was overwhelmed with a combination of pride and sadness. The beau and I talked a lot during these weeks as we made the most of what we thought was our last bit of time in Baltimore.

But alas, things couldn’t be that simple. Our plan to move up together fell through. On the same day, a good friend in Baltimore offered me the one thing I needed the most: time. And so the beau packed up his stuff, we did a farewell bar crawl, and the day after Columbus Day he set off on his next big adventure.

Within an hour of saying goodbye to him I had a job.

Seriously, I couldn’t write a story this good. Movie rights are available for the top bidder. 😉 So I relished my last few days of complete freedom, spent an amazing afternoon with the kiddos at the children’s museum, and began packing up for my fourth move in a a year and a half.

On the second day of my job (aka two Tuesdays ago), I received the sad call from one of my besties. The beau came down at the end of the week to help me move to my new home on Saturday and on Sunday we made the drive to NYC so I could catch a bus from there to RI where the services were taking place. Monday evening I flew back and the rest of last week was a flurry of work, doctor’s appointments, unpacking, and other obligations. I was running on adrenaline and lots of caffeine.

In between all of this I started physical therapy for a sprained ankle, said goodbye to friend after friend as they moved to new cities for jobs, and was showing the apartment and selling our furniture.

And that brings us to now. I’m loving my new position and can see myself working for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for a long time. I’m in my third beautiful apartment in Baltimore and getting to know another neighborhood. My roomie has a cuddly kitty and our downstairs neighbor has a super friendly dog that I have permission to visit whenever. My ankle is doing slightly better and I’m meeting new people. Oh and my days have purpose – to help cure cancer.

In other words, things are looking up.

I’m terrified to make any definite plans, given how great that worked over the past few months. So for now I’m focusing on being grateful for the gifts I’ve been given, especially being able to stay with someone as I readjust to the loss of my biggest support person. The nightmare called job hunting showed me more of what I want out of my life. And if I learned nothing else, I know I’m resilient in ways I didn’t think were possible. There were many times this summer when I wanted to just give up. Quite frankly, some weeks I did. I would sit and watch hours of Netflix and just avoid everything because the pain was overwhelming. But eventually I’d put the pieces back together

And that’s all we really can do, isn’t it? Get back up, take what lessons we can, and create a better reality the next time.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

That crazy whirlwind called life…

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Little Gunpowder Falls

As I’m sure you can guess from my lack of posts and the title, the past few weeks have been out of control!

Plans have been made, created, cemented, changed, altered, and fallen to pieces. My heart has broken wide open as I said farewell to more loved ones who moved away to follow their dreams. My hopes have been dashed and almost promptly rebuilt.

My arms grew weary of holding on and my heart was heavy with fear and uncertainty and doubt.

Then suddenly this week things began swinging upwards. Answers trickled in, solutions to keep me afloat and get me involved in causes and with organizations I care about and could see myself being a part of for years to come.

None of this is permanent. Its all temporary solutions to deeper problems. But the important part is, I’m being provided for in a million tiny ways…by friends opening their homes, a partner who supports me from near and far, and new streams of income that will cover my expenses and then some.

I feel like I should have known it would be something spectacular like this. I have a friend who moved 4 times during the summer and right when one stay was finishing she would find another place to housesit or sublet or whatever. But it was always dramatic and down-to-the-wire.

Seriously, we need to start a reality tv show! True Life: Hopkins Grads sounds like a good title, dontcha think??

Anywho, the good news is that its not time for me to say goodbye to Baltimore just yet. I get to keep on teaching Zumba and cuddling “my” baby <–Note: not actually mine but rather the little one I babysit a few times per week who I’m obsessed with because he’s a little piece of cuddly heaven and being part of the communities down here I finally feel I belong to.

Its exciting and scary. But then again, the next step always is.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Wednesday Revelations: Ariel, Belle, and…Me?

Apparently my writing muse is back because I’ve been going it at it like a champ. #punintended

Seriously, my journal is filling up, so is the notebook I carry with me for ideas, quotes, and connections. And this is the third week in a row that I’ve posted more than once. I’m not 100% sure what is happening, but I love it. Writing, for me, is so therapeutic. Its, as Dan Shapiro said, how I navigate my world, especially my victories and struggles.

One particularly poignant struggle lately has been about figuring out where I fit in this crazy world. As I continue to work on getting back to myself, and battling deep loneliness + regret, I’ve started to see two common themes that may remind you of the very Disney princesses I reference in the title.

  1. I never quite feel like I belong. There’s always something that seems to hold me back from being part of the group, whether its my belief that veganism is not the answer for everyone, my unwillingness to give everything else up for my studies or acting or environmentalism, or my desire to take my work as a sex educator beyond doing Passion Parties and into the realms of cancer survivorship, LGBTQ rights, sexual violence prevention and response, and advocacy around of all these issues and more.
  2. I often feel there’s something bigger out there waiting to be realized by me. I can feel myself on the brink again here, teetering between fear and acceptance of something I can only call my destiny, of leaving my mark in this world by making it a better place through prevention and promotion, education and healing, promise, and hope.

To put it into Disney terms I want to be part of that world and I’ve got so much more than they’ve got planned. Yes, that just happened. No, I’m not sorry about it. And come on, you know I had to! 😉

As I look back on my life I can see these two themes running over and over again. I know this is common among entrepreneurs and healers and empaths, but, you guessed it, I don’t feel that I fit into those labels as well. I want to, so very desperately, but I don’t.

Which, of course, leaves just me.

Please don’t get me wrong…I have wonderful friends and readers and clients. My life is full of love. It took quite some time for me to be able to own that fact after my experiences in grad school, but I can now proudly say that I know its true. But, despite all of this, I often still find myself feeling on the outside, buddies with everyone but true friends with few. A recent Hopkins gathering reminded me of this and reopened old wounds I thought I had dealt with. Although I didn’t completely revert into a quieter, shadowier, more self-deprecating version of myself, I could feel her coming out of me. My inner child, who took such a beating over the course of the last year, wanted nothing more than to curl up into a corner and hide…from the potential for judgment and the reminder that I’m not like them and I blew my chance to be with them.

This all leads me to a new book I’m reading: Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. Or rather, a book I’m rereading because I sped through the first round and now I’m taking it one topic at a time, furiously taking notes and working on actually implementing the principles. Anyway, one of the principles talks about well-intentioned family and friends as being one of our greatest adversaries. Why? Because they see us, and want to keep us, consciously or not, as we are. Steven encourages us to let them go because new friends, ones who will be among our greatest aids, the people who we 100% need will show up.

Perhaps, this message is telling me to forget about trying to fit in. That the people who I constantly feel I have to prove myself to (clue: just about everyone except for a handful of dear loved ones!), are not the ones I should be spending time worrying about. That, upon “giving them up,” a new tribe will come into my life, accepting me as I am and encouraging me to be the best version of myself.

Because, at the end of the day, that’s who I want to surround myself with, is it not? Or is that just my ego talking, trying to protect me by keeping me separate? Its been hard for me to tell lately, as one of the more unfortunate results from this past year’s journey is that I no longer have a strong sense of whether my ego or my Inner Pilot Light is speaking…probably definitely because getting quiet and tapping into the latter became so much harder + scarier.

SO this revelation is far from complete…although it has inspired me to rewatch two of my absolute favorite Disney movies.

Have you ever struggled with feeling lonely and/or not fitting in?

Yoga/beauty/crazy-sexy-life,

Kait xo

Being Provided For

Apparently my writing muse has returned. I started journaling again per my doctor’s orders and now I’m writing left and write…in my journal, in the notebook I’ve taken to carry with me everywhere to write down new ideas, newsletters for Passion by Kait , and blog posts for here.

*whew* it feels delicious.

Anyway on a recent trip to DC, amidst business passengers tourists and average Joes and Janes, I took the time to reflect on all the ways I’ve been provides for in this tough time of transition.

A partner who loves me despite the fact that some days I’m utterly and completely apathetic, and others high on life, and other sobbing with dread and hopelessness.

Friends who nourish my soul…and my fangirling. They provide the perfect balance of support and silliness, inspiration and escape.

Unexpected income, from new clients, last minute parties, selling clothes at the consignment shop, and just finding change on the ground, a gentle reminder that the Universe or God or whatever name you give it is, in fact, listening and watching over me.

Late night revelations about my business, new colleagues who offer guidance and help, scholarships to conferences and training, and and increased number of job opportunities that say the numbers are starting to work in my favor.

A newfound sense of purpose and focus and motivation.

Cooler temps that make the days bearable, and keep the AC off!

All of these things are gentle reminders that I am not alone and that this too will pass, all in good, cosmic time.

This summer has not been easy, but amidst the moments of chaos and fear and doubt there have also been utterly beautiful moments of connection, caring, hope, and love.

And those are what I hope o remember. That this isn’t anything like I imagined things would be, but it’s better…because its reminding me to surrender, offer my struggles and my hopes to a higher power, and keep on keeping on…one day, cover letter, and meal at a time.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Thoughts on Endings

My brain is a mess of bittersweet, pride and exhaustion  After what I can say was most intense year of my life, I’m done.  The past week has been a whirlwind of celebrations, answering “What’s next,” and emotions ranging from joy to jealousy.  I’m at once so exuberant to have made it through and devastated that I’m starting yet another round of goodbyes and until next times.

The thing they don’t tell you about this program is how much the end hurts.  Yes the ability to breathe, catch up on blogs, enjoy the sunshine, and just be is wonderful.  But underneath it all is an extreme sense of loss.  I haven’t broken down yet but I feel it coming on and I’m wondering who will incite it.  I said my first farewell “until next time” yesterday, to someone I’ve known but a few months but who has forever changed me.  And I’m sad to see her go and hopeful our paths will cross again and believing they will if it is meant to be.

People come into our lives for so many different reasons.  Some stay, some go, all impact us for better or worse.

The fact is, this program is like no other.  What we’ve seen and experienced…its impossible to understand from the outside.  The beau has confirmed this, and so have countless other partners and parents and friends and loved ones who have been around for the full year, who have seen the devastation and the exhilaration but who could not fully empathize with it.

As we prepare for a new class to enter, I’ve been thinking a lot about do’s and don’ts.  Of advice I would give and whether it would mean anything.  We’re told to start the work early and make the most of every moment.  But we aren’t told to hold these new friends, our battle buddies, close because in a few short months we’ll scatter to all parts of the world itself.  And though technology makes it easy to stay in touch nothing will be the same as the engulfing hugs, the late night talks, the city wanderings, the progressive dinners & potlucks, the continual discovery of something new and surprising.

Yet it is these very heartbreaking reasons that undoubtedly fueled the pure joy we experienced at commencement when as a class we stood up and roared, letting the applause and the gratitude and the pride fill us up and tumble out our open mouths and raised arms.  It was these that encouraged us to cheer and hoot and holler for nearly 200 of our classmates as they walked across the commencement stage.  It was these that drove us to make every moment count during the after parties.  Differences were put aside, hurts were forgotten and for one day, at least, we simply enjoyed.

For some, this ending has left us feeling a bit lost and disconnected, unsure where to go from here.  For others it has opened opportunities they never dreamed would be come a reality.  Many of us are trying to find the balance between feeling happy for friends and jealous that it is not our turn; finding grace in moments of doubt and insecurity without raining on others’ parades.

Yet at the end of it all, what we’ll take away, are the memories and the changes and growth we’ve undergone thanks largely to the people around us.  And at reunions and in random texts and group facebook messages we’ll periodically reminisce about the “good old days [that] weren’t always good.”  We’ll whisper about “that time” and “remember when you taught me x” and let the late nights and stress be a little less important.

At the end of the day I don’t regret this decision.  I have regrets from this year, no doubt, but I would not have stayed stuck in my former role if given the choice to go back and do it all again.  So as this year has officially come to a close, I’m focusing on the now and the memories.  On returning to a state of gratitude for everything that it has given me rather than that which it took away.  On finding compassion for myself and the fact that despite working and blogging and cooking and living and a new diagnosis and the subsequent biweekly treatment…I got through it.  I didn’t land on top, a fact which I’m admittedly still struggling with, but I didn’t give up either; rather, I did for a bit but found the strength to not just carry on but seek the help I needed, both medically and from friends. 

And it is that message I can pass along to the next cohort: to get through, stay true to yourself, and realize that all you can do is your best, no one else’s.  It’s a lesson I’m still trying to incorporate with the help of understanding friends and well-timed blog posts.  And it’s the most important lesson, I believe, I was meant to learn this year.

MPH Class of 2013…it truly has been transformative. 

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Reproduced with permission from Kunal Narang.

Yoga/beauty/new beginnings,

Kait xo

Next Steps/Getting Excited

Oh hey there…

I still exist, believe it or not.  Its just for the past month my life has been a whirlwind of awful illnesses, capstone papers and presentations, finals, job hunting, apartment hunting, and trying to celebrate without losing my mind.

But the end is near…which is exciting and scary all at the same time.

Wasn’t it just a year ago that I was living with my momma, grabbing stockpiled goodies out of boxes in the basement, driving around New England visiting friends, and spending my days sleeping, working out, eating, watching whole series of television, and working my biz?

Didn’t I just say goodbye to all my friends up in New England?  Now I have to go through the same process again except with what feel like my battle buddies?  So many of us have been through physical, emotional and mental hell and back this year…and no one can really understand except others who’ve gone through it.  Kind of like mental illness…no one quite understands the small triumphs or the minor road bumps that turn into full blown crises except those who’ve been through it.

And didn’t I just do this damn sobbing, crying, anxiety-ridden because MD rental laws are designed to make you crazy?  I’m sorry, but I need more than 24 hours to decide on an apartment.  I felt HUGE pressure last year to make a choice when, in fact, I had time, and I’m trying to remember that this year when I start to freak out because certain management companies are pressuring me with phone calls and e-mails to decide. right. now.

There are apartments, we will have a place to live, and it just matters how much it fits into my idea of “good” (aka modern, bright and sunny, and downtown). 

Yet here I am…steeling myself to make another move (Please Universe let this be a place of healing and connection for me, not riddled with inner demons and loneliness)…to say many many goodbyes…and to take some time to breathe and reconnect with the essence of myself…the part of me I’ve lost touch with so much this year.

I’m excited to meditate.  To get back in the kitchen for hours on end.  To spend my days job hunting and doing consulting work and writing about sex and teaching ZumbaTo, yes, watch far too much TV.  To read books about food and sex and fantastical worlds and business and leadership.  To finish those trainings I bought before school.  To build my business to new heights, into something that makes a lasting impact in the world.  To coupon slightly maniacally.  To test recipes for Lindsay’s next book.  And yes, to blog all about it.

Part of me is ashamed to not have a job…it eats at me in a way that I’m actually embarrassed about.  I know most of my classmates are in a similar boat, yet more and more are getting something and I keep getting rejection redirection after rejection redirection after rejection redirection.  I know good is waiting for me but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting impatient.  Part of this, of course, is the fact that according to the government I should be making over six figures annually in order to have a “low loan burden.”

#workingonit

But though I’m sad and scared, I’m also letting myself feel a bit excited and hopeful.  For all the reasons above and more.  Because I survived.  Because in the fall I was in a daze of symptoms and barely getting through each day and the spring has been about rising up from that and recovering, a process much more healing but equally difficult + draining (albeit in different ways).  Because I balanced running two businesses and interning and doing classes pretty damn well this year.  Because even though I lost parts of myself, I began to find them again.  Slowly but surely, the only way I can.

So the end is basically here…and I’ve got a summer to job hunt and teach Zumba (3 times a week right now) and rest and LIVE.  To meditate in the morning and cross train in the afternoon and spend my evenings teaching, volunteering, and learning.  To explore Baltimore in new ways (and hopefully on foot).  To (re)connect with those of us staying in the area.  To keep on keeping on…relearning to live in the moment and be okay with just being.

I’ll keep you informed as I go…

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

25

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In this my 24th year I commit to…

giving it my all.
developing my daily meditation practice.
being committed to myself 100% of the time, regardless of what that 100% means.
earning my MPH with pride and success.
being loved + giving love.
opening myself up
growth. spirit. love. change. amaze.

This post isn’t meant to be a scorecard.

In fact, its just the opposite: an honoring of the past 365 days of growth, hardship, triumph, fear, and joy.

I thought 23 was hard… my body betrayed me and left me breathless, pained, and confused.

Yet I found the light.  I said yes to myself, I cleansed, and I rose out of the ashes.

24 began full of promise.  Hopkins, Baltimore, newness.

One final hurrah with my best friends followed by two glorious months of sleeping, working out, cooking, travelling, and savouring every moment I had with the ones I loved.

I moved, the power went out, classes started, everything changed.  Having anything remotely close to a regular schedule just didn’t happen, not with 8 week terms during which time you spent 2 weeks basically living at school doing for mid-terms and finals.  As I write this I realize that part of the reason this year challenged me so was this very lack of a steady schedule.  Everytime I started to feel comfortable, everything changed.

Tangent: Thank the Universe that’s almost over.  As much as I am terrified for what’s next, I am looking forward to life settling down a bit.  Which, of course, is ironic since I despise the word settle and all it connotes.

24 ended up being just as difficult as 23 but in a completely different manner.  My injuries weren’t physical this year, although my symptoms certainly manifested themselves that way.  Instead, I dealt with an uprising of my Gremlins who had been silenced for so long.  <–Think of yourself on Easter when you can have that thing you’ve been denying yourself.  I did so much self-work during my 23rd year that I started 24 feeling grounded and sure and on top of the world.

As I look ahead to 25, I can’t say quite the same.  I can’t say I’m totally ungrounded as the last few weeks have seen me coming back into myself and living with so much more self-awareness than I have in a long time.  But there are so many questions and my road to recovery is still in its early stages and I’m dealing with the guilt over hiding my truth for so much of this year.  More often than not, I didn’t let myself feel…good, bad, or indifferent.  Instead I isolated and ignored and numbed.

What, then, is my overarching theme for 25?  Hope + trust.

Both are emotions I’ve started to feel again after months of experiencing the exact opposite.  As graduation comes closer, the bank account balance declines, and the question marks stack up, I’ll need these two emotional heroes to buoy me and guide me through.

Selfishly, I can’t help but hope that this year will be a bit easier physically.  But I’m excited as it brings with it the newness of a graduate degree, a new career, and a new way of defining myself as a professional.  I’ve no clue what’s next but I’ve got the love and support of people near and far and the confidence that I will make it through.

Yoga/beauty/birthdays

Kait xo