I guess this is growing up.

Things I don’t have time for now that I work so much:

  • Cleaning my apartment
  • Responding to texts
  • Taking lunch breaks
  • Managing my personal finances, social media accounts, and writing for my blog on company time (note: this one is a major bummer)
  • Reading BuzzFeed articles
  • General creeping on social media
  • Blow drying my hair
  • Morning showers

Things I still have time for:

  • Planning surprise birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and general Maid of Honor wedding planning
  • Making tons of lists so I don’t forget to do shit
  • Watching at least 3 to 4 episodes of Orange is the New Black every night
  • Wine

Mmm… wine….

Happy birthday, kcincleveland!

It has been officially one year since my first blog post on kcincleveland.com (!!!!!) Happy birthday to my beautiful creation! What started off as an experimental place to share my thoughts and cope with growing up has turned into so, so much more. And I love it, and I love you for reading it.

I always used writing as an outlet when I was young, and for a long period of time life just got in the way, and I lost that outlet. I felt like I was constantly turning every situation I found myself in into a negative, and that just exacerbated how shitty I felt things were going. I was supposed to be this happy, in love, successful post-grad and, despite how lucky and privileged I knew I’d been, I wasn’t feeling like that. I’ve done a lot of things since then to re-frame the way I approach and reflect on situations, and it’s helped me accept myself and my life for what it is (read: beautiful, awesome, amazing, etc.). My favorite quote from rereading the word document I rambled on over a year ago as motivation to start my blog: “I’m being entitled if I think I’m above car trouble, health and boy issues.”

An exercise I tried before actually starting kcincleveland (which I would recommend everyone do every now and then) was making a bulleted list, and isolating what I really want out of life. Looking back now, I have accomplished a lot of the points I wanted to, but there are also some that I forgot about in the last year. Things like not using my phone as a crutch, not swearing as much (though I don’t know if I can ever help that), and using “I” and “me” less in conversations.


After all the reflecting I’ve done today, and the steps I’ve been taking toward being the person I want to be, I want to share with you a lesson I’m still continuously learning. In a time when you can’t open Facebook without seeing another engagement or baby announcement, you can’t go through life worrying about what other people are doing or what they think about what you’re doing. You can’t compare the behind-the-scenes of your life to someone else’s highlight reel.

That shit you see all over social media and what movies and your TV feed you—that’s not real life. You know what real life is because you live it every day. And so does everyone else, just not in the same way you do. There are tough days and there are amazing days. And half the time you don’t realize how good the really great days actually were until they’re over and done… that’s just how it goes. No one ever said things wouldn’t royally suck sometimes. Learn to adjust your expectations, but don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Most importantly, stop feeling like you have to use someone else’s misfortune as a frame of reference for how fortunate you are. Just stop worrying about what everyone else is doing all together. Do you. And be awesome at it. Cuz no one else can.

xoxox

I don’t like making waves

The universe doesn’t just hand you opportunities… it only presents them to you. It’s up to you to recognize an opportunity when it comes around, and to seize it. Either that, or let it pass by and regret what could have been. Either that, or stay stuck.

We never like to admit when we feel stuck. It’s not a feeling to be proud of. And even if we don’t verbalize it, when a person is stuck everyone can see it — they wear it on them like a badge.

Personally, I don’t like making waves. I prefer making that steady, rolling water that you float and bob atop on a warm summer day. That constant and calming free-float. You know what I mean. You have to recover from waves. Once a wave hits, there’s that chance you can’t go back to the way things were. When you’re just floating, it’s comfortable. It’s dependable. It’s consistent.

Then I think, if you always do what you’ve always done, then you always get what you’ve always gotten. I’ve heard this statement in one form or another more times in the last week than I ever have before. When the universe presents an opportunity, then attempts to send all these signs… well then, it might be time to admit…

That maybe it’s time

To make some waves.

Broken

I always assumed since I started writing again, that some sort of heartbreak or major shitty life event would somehow give me all of this inspiration… that somehow, I would be able to use words to get through it, and be better for it. The truth is, I’m feeling pretty empty and uninspired. I feel broken. They say when it rains it pours, and I am in the eye of the storm.

It’s an astounding feeling when someone tells you they don’t want to love you anymore. It changes the way you view the world. It’s even more hurtful when it comes at a point in your life when (you think) you need this person the most. With this month comes a lot of change in my life. A few weeks ago, my biggest concern was moving out of the apartment I have been in for the past three years and into a place of my own. Now, between that, doing it without the person I care about most by my side, paired with a best friend who’s family is hurting and a world that has so many fucked up things happen daily, it seems so stupid how worked up I got over just the mere thought of moving out.

You try to do best by the people you love and care about. Sometimes, it isn’t enough. Sometimes, it’s too much. While I can take comfort in knowing I won’t feel like this forever, right now this empty feeling is all that matters. It expands in my chest, in the pit of my stomach, in my breathing. The only part of me that isn’t empty is my thoughts, but that’s the only part I actually wish was. This feeling deep inside of me clings to the hope that it can still work out; and this other, much more prominent feeling can’t even face the idea of ever letting anyone this close to make me feel this hurt again.

What I’ve learned most from this experience is that my mind and my body are more in tune than I ever imagined. The mental and emotional distress caused by this situation brings physical pain to me. And I appreciate that interconnectedness. As twisted as it sounds, that means I’m still a fucking human. I can use one to help the other, and maybe I can be whole again someday.

Change scares the hell out of me

I think a part of it has to do with how I was raised, and part just how I’m wired. It’s like, any slight deviation from the norm causes this bubble to fester in my chest, and for the life of me I can’t seem to catch my breath.

This is the one thing that I dislike about myself.

I’m always one to say, “If you’re not happy with something, then change it.” For some reason, I am unable to change this fatal flaw so easily. I mean, I can face my fears when backed into a corner, and I usually find myself in a better situation than I was in before (go figure). But if I had it my way, nothing would ever change and I would never progress. Wow. What a scary thought. I guess that’s not entirely true. I’m a realist, so there comes a point when I recognize change is inevitable, though I still have my reservations.

This sudden self-awareness arises from a major change looming in my own horizon: I started an apartment search, after staying in my college apartment with the same roommate for three years. My current apartment is beautiful, affordable, spacious, comfortable. That word—comfortable. That has defined me my whole life. I fall into this comfort zone and if that zone is threatened in any way, stress and anxiety take over.

My roommate and I resigned year after year because it was the most convenient option either of us had, even after college ended. It turns out it’s not so convenient for her anymore, so I looked at a few places. I found one, actually, and already have a deposit down on it (my apartment search lasted 16 days because I’m a fucking boss). What was the first thing I did after signing the deposit check? Got in my car, called my mom, and cried my damn eyes out like a little pansy. Not because I thought I had made the wrong decision, but because I’m out of my element. Even after getting the validation from multiple sources regarding my decision later that day—what I thought I needed—I still wanted to burst out in tears at any moment.

They say anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future; it comes from trying to control it. It’s time to take a step back, have faith that everything will work out exactly the way it’s supposed to, and dive in. Worry is a misuse of imagination.

You’re allowed to let change and the future scare you, but you can’t let that fear dictate your decisions. You can’t let that fear prevent you from going for it. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you plan, it could be amazing. Without making changes, we would not be able to grow.

And anyway, in the words of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”