A Rough Start

“It’s not just about living forever, Jackie. The trick is still living with yourself forever.”- Captain Teague in At World’s End

Many things are already happening in 2019.

Although I had an amazing Christmas vacation, I made a goal to write on this blog daily and didn’t write once! I got sick on the 1st while travelling back to Colorado, I accomplished a big goal on the 2nd that allowed me to map out my entire year, and today I woke up sicker than ever and had to call in sick to work. I stayed in bed until 2:30 pm today, got up to unpack, clean my room, shower, make a grocery list, and schedule appointments, only to crawl back in bed dozens of tissues later. I believe in omens, so getting this sick the first day of the year makes me a little anxious.

I had a heart to heart with “the universe” (how I refer to “God”) on my long drive back to my little room in this snow buried state. I summoned all my energy and emotion to manifest certain things in the coming year. I have spent a lot of energy just being grateful for the previous year and every wonderful thing I experienced and learned, for all the ways I grew as a person, for the people I met, for the relationships I developed, and for the strength to get through the really rocky roads. This time, I just asked for things. I set out certain priorities and vocally established what I felt I needed to be successful and happy in the coming year. I then followed up with things I really wanted and felt would make this year truly great.

I have so much hope and faith in 2019, but if I’ve learned anything from this past year, it’s that expectations are detrimental and useless. I accomplished almost none of the goals I specifically wrote for 2018, but did so many greater things! It was a wild, unpredictable, uncontrollable roller coaster. Nothing that happened could have been anticipated. So this year, I’m going to write some very broad and unspecific goals for 2019. I just want some framework, a foundation, a sketch of a map. I just want to know the general direction of where I’m going. All I need is a heading. I’ll figure things out as I go. I have not written out my goals yet, but I plan to tonight and as soon as they are carefully written, I might just share them with you!

Kaitlyn’s Christmas Wolf

“This is either madness, or brilliance.” -Will Turner “It’s remarkable how often those two traits coincide.” – Captain Jack Sparrow in The Curse of the Black Pearl

There really is a pirates quote for everything, isn’t there?

I believe I have mentioned that I will be taking a 10 day vacation to Idaho to see my family and get a break from my life completely. I have debated whether or not to write throughout my Christmas break because of how busy we always are baking, eating, giving, loving, and overall having a great time. But I love to write and I don’t want to get out of the habit, so I have decided to continue writing daily for the entire trip.

It’s very likely that I’ll skip a day or two, but I want to put it out there now that my goal is to write every day, even Christmas Eve. They say if you write it down there’s a 40% increased chance of it happening. It’s unlikely that the schedule is going to be so packed that I can’t spare a little time, even first thing in the morning if I have to. Expect a lot of poetry, because I likely won’t have the time to think of stories or life lessons, etc. every day.

As for today, I am going to provide you will a short poem about a wolf I drew as a Christmas gift for my cousin today, as if it were alive.

Kaitlyn’s Christmas Wolf

silver eyes pierce through the swarm

striking my heart

fur camouflaged in a snowy storm

like painted art

smiling so gently, small, and wise

contrasting softness

vague familiarity we strove to identify

as winter’s goddess

The Greatest, Hardest, Wildest Year

“Did anyone see that? Because I will not be doing it again.” – Captain Jack Sparrow in On Stranger Tides

I am already thinking about 2019 New Year’s resolutions. I’m getting emotional thinking back on the year that I’ve had, as crazy as it’s been. There were so many ups and downs; it was wildest year in my life. There’s been love and heartbreak, happiness and depression, success and failure, friendship, and adventure with new experiences right and left. Just sitting here thinking about it is making my stomach turn with anxiety from such a cluster of emotions. Through everything, I’ve learned so much about myself. I am proud to say that I am closing the year in such a good state of mind. I am strong. I have strayed so far away from myself this year, but I’ve also come back to who I truly am. I’ve made so many poor decisions, but I’ve also made really great ones. I have proven to myself that I can do hard things, because this was mentally and physically the hardest year of my life. However, it has also been one of the greatest. Here is my list of 2018’s top 10 highlights:

  1. Turned 20 in Disneyland
  2. Backpacked 25 miles through the Frying Pan Wilderness and over the continental divide for five days
  3. First kiss…
  4. Went paragliding over beautiful Colorado mountains
  5. Road-tripped with a friend to go Skydiving
  6. Made an awesome best friend
  7. Completed my first year of college successfully
  8. Career goals vacillated between a CEO of a non-profit farm sanctuary and veterinarian, to being a wildlife biologist, and then realizing my intense love and passion for writing and deciding to be a writer
  9. Started a daily blog
  10. Watched Andrea Bocelli perform and it changed my life.

The year is still not over. I have a ten day trip planned just to go home and be with my amazing family, which includes Nikki, my soulmate puppy dog. I am going to soak up every ounce of good energy I can to prepare for next year. At this point, I feel like I have my life mostly together, at least as far as I can control. I am mentally in the best place I’ve been all year. I’m going to enter the new year with love, happiness, and peace in my heart and soul. I’m going to end this year and enter the new year with my family, surrounded with people I know love me more than life, and who I love just as much in return. I’m ending this year and entering the new year with my heart full. I am proud of myself and what I went through and the strength I had through the hardest times. Even when things got rocky for a while, I picked myself back up and returned to a place true to myself. I feel so successful, even despite all the failures, because I learned so much from them!

In 2018, I accomplished above and beyond the goals I set that January. I also fell short in many areas, so I plan to be completely realistic with my 2019 goals. If there’s one lesson I learned this year, it’s that life is totally unpredictable. There is no way to anticipate what may happen. So, my main goal is just to be spiritual. I want to be strong minded, to stay true to myself, no matter what happens. Next year has the potential to be a disaster, but it could also be a year of monstrous success. I want to be mentally prepared for either one, because I believe whichever direction this year swings can be an opportunity for unprecedented growth if I am in a place to make smart decisions for myself.

In 2019, I expect less panic attacks, less tears, less sorrow, less weakness. I expect more strength, more optimism, more faith in myself, more love, more kindness, more compassion. I expect to be resilient when I’m knocked down. I expect to keep hiking no matter how steep it gets. I expect to avoid giving up at all costs. I foresee 2019 being another difficult one, but I can do it, and I want to do it well. I owe that to myself.

The Enigma of the Human Experience

“You didn’t beat me, you ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight I would kill you.” ~ Will Turner
“Well that’s not much incentive for me to fight fair, now is it?” ~ Captain Jack Sparrow

I took a decision in my hands and held it like a small sphere. I watched it turn within the glass, wondering which direction I would take. I considered myself in the future, looking back on the choice I made and went down the two roads that led from my two options. How would they have altered my life? Which decision would I be more proud of? The power I held, being in complete control of which path I went down, was both wonderful and overwhelming. One one hand, I could choose the path of desire, of temporary pleasure. On another, I could choose guaranteed clear-mindedness. In fact, I came to realize which path was clearly the better decision. It became obvious which one would lead to happiness. But the idea of being rebellious, dangerous, and mixing two opposite states of mind together was so tempting, it sounded so delicious.

Now I greet two parts of my brain. The rational one, and the impulsive one. Both are arguing, more with each other than with me. I’m just watching. I listen to both arguments. Both have very good points, but the impulsive one appeals to me, seeming more fun. Unfortunately, the rational one is making much more sense long term.

Luckily, I have a superpower. I can solve this debate, if I choose to use it. I have the power of rationalization. Not very impressive, right? Yes, I can always depend on this power to lead me down a bad road, but it’s pretty handy in tricky situations. I can persuade myself into believing the wrong choice is the right one under the specific circumstances. If I can’t disguise it completely, I can give it a twist so that it is at the very least acceptable, excusable, forgivable, understandable, etc.

This time, it’s a bit harder. I’ve been hanging out with my rational brain a bit more lately, and we’re becoming really close. She’s getting a little louder, and I am recognizing her voice first. The annoying thing about her, though, is that it’s impossible for her to be anything but right. I simply can’t argue with her without my impulsive brain. Even if I use my superpower on her in fruitless attempt to prove her wrong, the knowledge of her rightness is always buried within me. I know she’s always fighting for me, on my side, so every time I exercise my superpower, it’s akin to betrayal. Betraying rational brain is betraying myself.

I’m an adult and I know right from wrong. Adults always act like “right” and “wrong” are incredibly complex codes that need be deciphered, but its usually very clear. The difficulty lies with choosing the right, and sacrificing what benefits, however temporary and/or toxic in their rewards, may precede a “wrong” decision. In this way, the human experience is maddeningly enigmatic.

Again I make a blog post that leads on and drops off without solution, but I never claimed to know anything. I’ll admit it now to save everyone time, I have no credibility when it comes to life advice. I have no idea what I’m doing. Truth be told, I suspect that the solutions to problems I write about here are in between the lines. Per the point of this post, I usually know very well what the solution is, but am unwilling to face it. So if I must offer you some advice concluding today’s post, it would be to make the right decision, even when its hard, because based on my experience, its often easier in the long run. The hardest part of a right decision, is making it.

Jack Frost

Fallen snow reminds me of your eyes

Icy, cold, unkind, but lovely

The dropping temperature like your embrace

A desperate search for escape

Your voice akin to howling winter winds

Inverting ears avoiding

Etched in my memory with ink dipped glass

Unrid of your wretched laugh

Walking Through a Winter Portrait

“No one said anything about cold”- Ragetti in At World’s End

Hating the cold, I donned coat, gloves, and boots to go for a walk in the glacial mountains of Colorado. I put in my headphones and began to kick up
powdery clouds of nearly weightless snowflakes. I made footprints in crunchy snow along a rushing river of metallic silver. My small frame wound through brittle branches on dead trees, cutting into the muted blue sky above me. The cold temperature sunk into my clothes, nibbling on my nose, toes, and fingertips. 

I saw ice growing on everything like moss in a rain forest. Patches of white snow rested on evergreen trees, big and small. Water was crystallized on the surface of water biding rocks. I stepped carefully, observing the world as though it were a impressionistic painting of a winter scene. Paintings often portray the world in a romantic light, colors saturated and contrast exaggerated, magic incorporated through colors naturally foreign to the environment. There seemed to be a thin, hued veil, tinted blue and thrown over the entire landscape. I drew closer and farther away, noting how appearances changed at different angles, how the light hit things differently as I rose or lowered my body. I squinted at the heaps of snow and rough surface of the low icy river, turning their reflected light into white orbs with my eyes. I noted my changing perception as I drew face to face with the bark on a sleeping, barren tree as opposed to a dozen feet away. I was drawn toward trees still grasping their green pigment, toward berries of red like frozen drops of blood against the snow covered earth. 

It’s easy to prove that nature is alive, and it speaks. As I walked through winter’s portrait, I felt the colors filter through my fingers. I could feel my heart listening to the slumber of the trees, shrubs, and flowers and translating it’s language into emotions. I could understand and communicate if I felt inclined to truly listen. Tapping into the mood of the life around me, I felt enveloped in its calmness. Everything was sleeping, except for the river. The river fought against the sedating cold, as did I. It’s edges had surrendered to the battle and nearly halted at a molecular level. I watched the river, so tempted to throw off my clothes and take a swim, but my knowledge of its deadly icy torture dissuaded me. 

I could have tread on forever, absorbing everything I felt, touched, heard, and saw. But the path cut off to thick, tall shrubbery with rigid, sharp branches. I was forced to turn around and end my enchanted walk. Slowly and mindfully, I exited the painting. Respectfully, I said goodbye through my feet and promised return, more for my own consolation than that of the mountain. 

Good Morning Dreams

I apologize for not writing last night. I thought I’d post twice today to make up for it. I know its already 1:00 in the afternoon, but I woke up only half an hour ago from a sleep of many dreams. I forgive myself in sleeping through this Sunday afternoon, with it being the first weekend off of school.  I deserve the rest. I wrote this poem upon waking up, bathing my face in a mask of sea algae. I hope you like it!  

My name is written in clouds

The warming sun reaches for me

Wing flapping birds cry hello

Sunshine makes trees dance

The wakening world watches

My body tucked within blankets

Snugly wrapped in dreams

Adventure tapping at my brow

Tempting me to rise and breathe

The clarity of morning air

A meditation to ease my mind

Would send me surfing a wave

Of walking purpose and desire

To follow a shaped future

But today I want none of it

Today I wish to cradle myself

In that halfway world of imagination

Between reality and death

Where dreams carry my soul away

Leaving my body behind to rest

In the softest cocoon

Lined in waves of spiraling dreams

In no need to be awake

To soar, experience, travel

I’d rather have the impossible