27 Things People Who Breathe Can Understand

So as you can see I’m really bad at blogging. I tried the content calendar, I tried jazzing things up with photos, I tried pouring my heart out and it didn’t work. I only just recently figured out why.

I just got back from a staff retreat where we were asked the question “What Drives You?”. The answer was clear to me, but every time I tried to vocalize it, I would run out of breath and my throat would close up.

I never had a fear of public speaking. I was student body president in grade school, public speaking in college was an easy A. I even acted in every play I could get my hands on, and was the leading role my senior year of high school.

Which leads me to the answer. It was always an act. I was aways representing a persona or a cause, but never had to reveal my true self. One word answers have always been my response to how I was doing. I could never talk to anyone about my personal life however uneventful and undramatic it has been so far.

Therapists hate her!

Which brings me back to why I suck at blogging. I just hate talking about myself in general. In this moment, as my fingers strike the keys, I am cringing. I could never keep a diary for more than a week. It doesn’t matter if I have an audience of none, it’s just hard.

I do see some irony or hypocrisy in it since I love hearing other peoples stories. I love just listening, even if I don’t have all the answers. It was my answer to what drives me. I honestly think that without the stories we tell, we would be nothing.

SO ALL THIS MEANS I’m going to try blogging again. I figure if I can’t say it in words, I can try to say it in ink, or pixels, and then maybe I will be more in tune with who I am and all that mushy stuff.

Well what makes this different Kat? 

I don’t know condescending voice in my head. I guess because I’m blogging for me instead of the world. It’s all for my own selfish purpose. I’m not trying to get more traffic to my website by posting things they would like, I’m just making an honest reflection of who I am and if people want to tune in thats fine. This is the space for me to talk about my life, whether I am sitting in bed binge watching Netflix or climbing the Great Wall of China. It’s my website and I can do what I want.

 

 

Fiction Friday: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Woah. So let me start this off by saying I have never finished a book so fast in my life. I finished it in a few hours– I literally couldn’t put it down. I think what really drew me into this book was they way it was written. The book is a compilation of letters written by the main character Charlie. He speaks directly to you, and brings you into the story. These letters describe his first year in High School and the struggles that come with it as well as memories of his Aunt and best friend.

This story really hit close to home and at times I was left with a lump in my throat. You easily become so attached to the characters and I was so eager to know what ill happen next. It at first seems like such a simplistic high school novel, but it has so much depth to it.

The most important message I took away from this book is to not compare yourself with others. It is a recurring theme through the book and I think this quote pretty much sums it all up:

“I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have.”

This is such an important lesson that I wish I was raised with and that more people realized to be true. Growing up I always compared my struggles to what other people were going through, and believed that I didn’t have the right to get upset or complain or cry because other people have it much worse. I think this book helped me realize that we have to be focused on our own lives and well being and to “really be there”. And I’ll leave this review with one last quote that I really enjoyed:

“I would die for you, but I won’t live for you.”

What’s Up Wednesday: Back into Biking

After many attempts at getting the webpage to load, I finally registered for the Five Boro Bike Tour! It has been a really long time since I last did one, and now that I’m home from college I can’t wait to get back into them.

I’m trying to figure out if I can somehow sneak an action cam on my helmet for it. The thing I love most about the bike tour is that the city is yours. I saw parts of the city I wouldn’t normally go to and some of the views were great. It’s also pretty cool for the highways to be shut down. Sounds like a fun project is coming my way.

In other news I did my first voice overs at work today! When I was in grade school I had this crazy dream of one day becoming a voice actress. I loved acting and really wanted to pursue it, but I hated how I looked in front of a camera and on stage so I thought voice acting would be the place for me. Never got any further than that, but I just got a little taste of it with this project I’m doing for work. Nothing fancy, just FAQ videos on how to use our site, but I’ll be sure to link you to it so you can listen to my smooth velvety instructions on how to edit your email preferences.

 

 

 

Fiction Friday: Review of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

OK, so call me crazy for doing a book review of a book that not only turned into a movie that won five Oscars, but also came out in the 60s and was on a lot of people’s reading lists in school. Hey, it is what I am reading and you’ll have to bear with me, I promise I wont spoil anything for you.

So before going on LSD fueled escapades with other notable authors, this guy Ken Kesey took a job with a mental hospital where he got the inspiration for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest. After that came the running from the law and drugs and stuff. So I think he knows what he’s doing when it comes to mental hospitals in the 60s and themes of challenging authority.

So first off, the story is told through the eyes of Chief Bromden who is at a mental hospital where everyone thinks he is mute and deaf. This gives him advantages over the other patients like sitting in on staff meetings letting us know exactly what is going on in the hospital.

In like a hurricane comes McMurphy, who was supposed to be working at a prison farm but was diagnosed with psychopathy for well, doing things, and sees the hospital as a paradise compared to work on the farm. Until he comes head to head with Nurse Ratched, head nurse at the hospital. Nurse Ratched has all the patients and staff around her finger until McMurphy shows up who wants to wage war in the ward for power in the eyes of the patients.

This book is, as expected, different from the movie which gives you more of a reason to read it. You become so involved with the characters that you are instantly glued to the pages. By the end you’ll be questioning who really belongs in the mental institution. Although this came out in the 60s, it’s themes are timeless.

Verdict: READ IT!

 

 

 

What’s Up Wednesday: January 8th, 2014

I thought I might update you guys on what’s new in my life. Currently I am living with my mom in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.

I am doing an internship with idealist.org, a job board for nonprofit organizations that also lets you find internships, volunteer opportunities, events and more. (Yes I found my internship with Idealist on Idealist.) My official title is a “Video Production Intern”. Basically I do everything from organizing and logging videos to shooting, editing, and creating motion graphics, which is exactly what I want to do. My internship was originally supposed to end before Christmas, but they loved me so much they decided to keep me on until March. (I wasn’t emotionally ready to leave them anyway.) In the meantime I am currently looking for a job. During my internship with Idealist I learned that I really love nonprofits so I am currently looking for work in the nonprofit sector. (Yes I am searching on Idealist.)

After this internship, I definitely consider myself more of a videographer than a photographer. More specifically, I see myself doing web video. On the side I hope to do some short form documentary work, but it all depends on if I have the time.

As for grad school the answer is no. Well not anytime soon anyway. Yes I want to further my education, but I still have some soul searching to do before I make a decision as to what I want to study. I don’t want to dish out another couple thousand before I know what I really want. To aid my decisions I’ve been taking some online classes. Currently I am taking CS50: Intro to Computer Science at Harvard University. It’ll probably kick my butt, but I have to try.

As for traveling, I hope to do at least one trip out of the country before the end of the year but it all depends on what jobs pull through. Currently I am looking at South America for my next adventure but we will see what happens. I do need to whip out my backpack some point soon since its gathering dust. Any suggestions?

Fiction Friday: Quadrantids

My breath was steady as the cold air hit my face. She didn’t tell me where we were going, but she seemed to know what she was doing. I was guided only by the faint light of the stars, barely dodging the trees as I tried to catch up to her.

“Slow down!” I shouted after her.

“Hurry up, we’re going to miss it!” She shouted back with excitement.

We soon got to a clearing and she turned to look at me.

“Ok, this is it.”

“What the hell are we doing here?” I said, slightly out of breath.

“Just lie down.”

“Are you kidding me. There is snow everywhere, we are going to be freezing.”

“Don’t be such a wuss.” She said as she sat down.

I reluctantly joined her. I was not prepared for this last minute adventure through the woods and my jeans soon became saturated from the six inches of snow below me .

“Ok, now look up.”

I rested my head on the snow and stared at the sky.

“What do you see?”

“Stars.”

“And how do you feel?”

“Cold.”

“No silly, how do you feel when you look at the stars.”

I had no idea where she was going with this but she was drunk, so I had to humor her. People are normally happy drunks or sad drunks. She was more of a philosophical drunk, usually delving into existentialism.

“I feel insignificant. A tiny speck compared to everything else.” I said, half-heartedly. “What are we waiting for anyway?”

“It’s already started, look closely.” She said, pointing to the sky.

I squinted, trying to figure out what she was talking about. I couldn’t tell if I was hallucinating from being so cold, but it seemed as if the sky was moving.

“What is that?” I asked her.

“The Quadrantids.”

“Quawha?”

“The first meteor shower of the year.”

We both stared silently as the sky began to produce brilliant streaks. I didn’t realize how still everything was until then. The only sound was that of my own heartbeat.

It had been a while since I stopped and stared at what was right in front of me. Last year was easily the worst of my life, and I wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for her. She helped me see the beauty in little things that I would otherwise ignore. Drunk or not.

In that moment I forgot about everything. I forgot about the cold, what I had done before or what I was about to do. Staring at those streaks somehow put me in a trance. As stupid as it sounds, it was as if I was up there with the stars.

“They are all little specks you know.”

“What?” I responded, realizing where I was.

“Grains of dust burning at thousands of degrees. They are all little specks, making their mark.”