inspiration

Stay at the Table, the Chips Will Come

While accepting the first award of the night this past Monday—and the first Primetime Emmy of his career—Henry Winkler quoted something he was once told by a friend in Hollywood:

“If you sit at the table long enough, the chips will come to you.”

I’ve never been much of a poker player myself, but I still liked this phrase. It’s both simple and complicated.

On the one hand, it’s saying that all you have to do is stay in the game and patience will pay off. But on the other hand, anyone who’s played or watched poker before knows that “staying in the game” isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes luck and risk, sometimes the blind and irresponsible kind, to save your spot at that table, and not every game guarantees the luck will eventually turn your way.

Sometimes it takes game after game, risk after risk, trip after trip to that table before those chips start to come your way. And even then, you’re always at the risk of losing what you won, right after you won it.

Looking up at the teleprompter, Henry Winkler said in regards to his speech, “I only have 37 seconds, but I wrote this 43 years ago.”

That’s a lot of games. A lot of lost hands. A lot of waiting and losing. A lot of unrewarded risk. And yet…

“If you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you,” he said, “and tonight I got to clear the table.

Risk, patience, and perseverance will pay off.

Sometimes it might not be in the way you think/hope it will, and sometimes it will take way longer than you might like. But don’t let that scare or discourage you.

Stay at the table. Keep playing the game. Because those chips are most certainly coming your way.

Also, it should be noted that my very first thought after hearing Henry Winkler share this anecdote was of a kitchen table and tortilla chips…

I think the phrase works either way though, if you think about it.

It’s Not Time to Worry Yet

If you’re anything like me, you’re a worrier. And not just your average worrier.

A professional worrier.

But who could blame us?

There’s the past, the present, the future, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of variations of those three that feature the what if’s, the could be’s and the should have been’s.

Plus, our problems aren’t the only ones to worry about. There are our family’s problems, our friends’ problems, the problems of the person we happen to come into contact with at the grocery store, and the problems of fictional characters that make us wonder if we can relate…which spiral into a set of entirely new problems.

Worrying is great.

I mean, not really, but it disguises itself as a hobby sometimes.

And while I imagine people like us will constantly find ourselves worrying (and worrying about worrying) it’s important to remember that it’s not always necessary.

(I know, easier said than done, but hear me out.)

I recently read To Kill a Mockingbird and Atticus Finch, one of the main characters, had a signature phrase that really resonated with me. He repeated this phrase multiple times throughout the book, often to calm the worries of his children, Jem and Scout.

“It’s not time to worry yet,” he would say, and even though it wasn’t an answer, it was enough. Because as much as worrying likes to pretend it offers you a path to a solution, oftentimes it does little more than guide you towards further destruction.

Worrying adds to chaos, it doesn’t end it. It doesn’t give us control, it steals it. And as easy and fun (?) as it is to worry, it’s important to remember that it really doesn’t help.

So the next time you find yourself consumed by panic, remind yourself, it’s not time to worry yet.

When it comes to the what if’s, it’s not time to worry yet.

When it comes to the could be’s, it’s not time to worry yet.

And when it comes to the should have been’s, there’s no point in worrying now.

A Few Challenges for My Birthday (Update!)

Remember a month ago when I wanted to start my 28th year off with a bang, so I decided to set a bunch of 30 Day Challenges for myself, causing most everyone (including myself) to worry that I’d gone too far and might possibly start my 28th year off feeling like a failure?

Well, I have great news: I actually did it! I checked off every single item on every single challenge, and I come to you today, newly 28, feeling like a freaking badass.

To be honest, I loved the challenges. I loved having something new to challenge myself with every day, even though some days it felt like a little too much of a challenge. And though it would have been easy to fall behind, I always took time out of my day to sit down, open my notebook and write, draw, and journal my way through each challenge I did that day.

One of the most important things I learned throughout the process is to let the challenges challenge me but not own me. There have been so many times in the past when I’ve tried to do similar 30 Day challenges and I started off strong, but then fell so far behind that I gave up. I was so determined to follow the challenges exactly to the letter that it wasn’t motivating me as much as it was discouraging me. So, for these past 30 days, I made sure to work the challenges into my life, rather than completely alter my life and turn the challenges into work.

Here are a few highlights:

Happiness Challenge


Do you collect anything?

Come to think of it, I collect a lot of things. I’m very sentimental to begin with, so I don’t like to throw things away and I often upcycle them into new DIY projects. In terms of consistent collecting however, I would say: postcards, sand, t-shirts, ticket stubs, and old cameras.


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What is something you wish you were good at?

Singing. I love singing so much, especially in my car. I think it’s such a freeing feeling and I can understand why people who are talented singers fight so hard to make it their career. 


 

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What is your favorite quote or a quote that means a lot to you?

I’m a big lover of quotes and words in general. I love the way people can spin them in a way that can change your perspective on things. If I were to choose a quote that sticks out in my mind it would be this one from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said , people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It’s a good reminder that you don’t have to say the perfect thing or do the perfect thing all the time. As long as you lead with kindness and love, that is what will leave a lasting impression.


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Why did you start blogging and what is the origin behind your blog’s name?

I started blogging mostly because I had no other choice. I’d always loved writing and then when I went to Australia I started a travel blog where I mostly just rambled my way through my study abroad term. Once I got back, I missed writing and posting blogs, so I started a new blog, only this time it would be about anything and everything that came to mind. As for my blog name, it’s pretty simple, as it’s just my name minus the hard to pronounce part of my last name:

KimberleeKoehn


FitBit Challenge

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If you ever find yourself looking for a challenge, I’d recommend any of these. (You can find blank copies of all of the challenges on my original blog post here)

Overall, I think the challenges served exactly the purpose I hoped they would, as I feel both accomplished and excited about the year to come. I also got to know a little more about myself (and my lack of ability to draw a dog, the result of which I didn’t include here, for everyone’s sake) which I think is important. It’s always good to check in with who the heck you are every once in a while. And as of now, I’m really liking that person.

31 Good Things that Happened in August

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) Hope the miniature horse paid a visit

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2) This boy made sure his dad knew he loved him

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3) This girl posted notes on bridges to help prevent suicide

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4) This Gilmore Girls fan got proposed to in Stars Hollow

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5) This family made an impossible choice that turned their late baby girl into a superhero

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6) This list of incredible cat pictures was created

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7) This little boy saved his grandmother’s life

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8) This father showed up when his sons needed him—and in a dress no less.

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9) This boy tried to help wash the car

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10) These artists and writers came together to share their rejections

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11) This couple got engaged

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12) This dad came home

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13) Camilla Cabello gave some great news to her younger self

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14) This list of mesmerizing things was made

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15) This couple poked fun at a new security camera the girl’s dad installed on his front porch

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16) These people united over their problematic last names

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17) This little girl got adopted

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18) Arnold Schwarzenegger gave some kindhearted advice to a fan

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19) The NYPD surprised this boy for his birthday

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20) This dog wanted to swing

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21) Alanis Morisette modernized her classic song “Ironic”

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22) This man spread an important message

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23) This dog saw itself on TV

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24) This waitress gave a customer a name tag

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25) This YouTuber made a video about what rappers would be like as school teachers

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26) This UPS driver gave a hilarious reason as to why he couldn’t deliver a package

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27) This little guy learned to walk with his crutches

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28) After seeing students getting bullied over dirty clothes, this school installed a free laundromat

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29) Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds geeked out when they heard Taylor Swift sing her song that features their daughter’s voice in the intro

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30) This on duty police officer breastfed a malnourished baby

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31) And finally, this:

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what September brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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200 Day Time Capsule Blog #2

Greetings, past selves, we’ve once again made it to the future!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this post, which talks about the first time capsule blog I did, and if you’re interested, join in on the fun below!

This is the second time capsule blog, and I’m happy to report that it is still just as exciting. The minute I received my email I was desperate to know what was on past Kim’s mind.

Let’s dive right in.

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1) What day is it?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Sunday July 9th, 2017

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Friday February 9th, 2018

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2) What’s the weather like outside?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): HOT. AS. HELL. Well, at least it was earlier. It’s actually not bad now. There’s a nice breeze happening and I’m here for it.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): It’s about 50 degrees outside right now, but it’s going to get up to 80 degrees later because apparently we’re not having a winter this year.

Note for past Kim: You do realize you live in Southern California, right? Is “no winter” really a new concept for you or…?

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3) What did you do today?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Taught the elementary class at church, went to Quiznos with my mom, then spent the entirety of the afternoon battling the swarm of ants that have taken over our house. #ant-pocalypse2017

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Since it’s only 7:00 am, I haven’t done much yet. However, after work I’m going over to a friend’s house for a game night and hopefully watching opening ceremonies! I’ve got my Team USA hat on already!

Note for past Kim: Great news from the future, those friends you went to visit get engaged and it’s extremely exciting and adorable!

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4) What’s your favorite song right now?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Thunder by Imagine Dragons

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Sober by James Arthur

Note for past Kim: Still waiting for the day when we don’t love both of this songs, to be honest. We’re still rocking out to both. 

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5) What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): I think The Broadway Melody, though if we really want to get into the meat of my television/movie watching ways, LET’S TALK ABOUT GAME OF THRONES. How did Season 7 end? How are we doing with the way it ended? Oh my gosh I’m overwhelmed by all the questions I have.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Note for past Kim: Ah, yes. The baby stages of both your MoviePass using adventures, and your see at least one movie in theaters per month goal for 2018. There are so many good movies on the horizons for you, girl. Seriously, you make some great cinematic choices that get your brain stirring in all kinds of directions.

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6) Who did you text last and what did you say?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): A text to Natalee & Rachel in our Roomie text string, in regards to #ant-pocalypse: “they were slowing down pretty good earlier, we found some minor survivors, but applied the appropriate force. I’d hold off on calling for now. Let’s see how the next couple days go.” Follow up question: how DID the next couple days go? Did we win the war of the ants? Did we have to call the Terminix guys and let them take our money?

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): To my roommate Rachel:

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Shout out to my fellow This is Us fans who know what’s up.

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7) What is your biggest goal right now?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Publish a book

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): Take steps forward in my career, wherever those steps may be. I mean YES, I want to publish a book, but I’m trying to focus my thoughts on just finding my place in the writing world. Hopefully I’m still working hard to do that!

Note for past Kim: You are definitely still doing that! In fact,you recently published a guest post on a Sammiches & Psych Meds and your blog just passed 400 followers! Woohoo! 

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8) What are you most excited about?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): At this exact moment, this time capsule blog, but in general I’m excited about the possibility of getting a book out there in the world, I’m excited (and nervous) about my brother leaving for college, and I’m excited about all of the possibilities the future holds if I work hard enough!

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): THE OLYMPICS. Like I said, I already have my Team USA hat on. I will now spend the next few weeks almost completely cutoff from society. #sorrynotsorry. Note: how did we do?!

Note for past Kim: We did pretty good! As usual the Olympics were full of inspiration and magic and yes, you essentially did nothing besides work, eat, and watch NBC. One particular highlight that comes to mind is a night when you were panic stirring together ingredients for banana bread, afraid you might miss a minute of the US Women’s Hockey team’s gold medal match. You stuck that recipe in the oven, then proceeded to run and scream around the living room with your roommates, watching the team win the gold just as the smell of banana bread came drifting in from the kitchen. It was fun. 🙂

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9) What are you most worried about?

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): Not accomplishing anything I want to. Being sad, alone, and covered in left over ice cream. The ants coming back. The Dodgers never winning a World Series in my lifetime.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): It’s hard to really pin it down into words, but I think I’d say I’m most worried that I’m not accomplishing enough or that I’m not going in the direction I should be. Or something along those lines. For the most part I think I could sum up most of my worries to being in my 20’s though. It may be fun and all, but it’s borderline terrifying.

Note for past Kim: Honestly, same, girl. But don’t worry, we’re figuring it out. It might be slower than we might like, but we’re figuring it out. 

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10) Tell yourself a really bad joke.

My answer from time capsule #1 (7/9/17): You know you still like the “outstanding invoice” joke from your book. Just admit it.

My answer from time capsule #2 (2/9/18): This is not so much a joke as it is a pickup line I heard during an interview the other day that made me laugh. “My parents always told me to follow my dreams…so do you mind if I follow you home?”

Note for past Kim: I’m not going to lie, that one still made me smile. Though this time around I also got a little bit of a creepy vibe… 

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Call me crazy but this is incredibly cool. It’s so interesting to see how my thoughts have shifted since the first time capsule and to think about how they’ve changed again as I sit here reading through them. It’s also weirdly soothing to talk to my past self in the third person. I highly recommend it.

Speaking of, if you would like to jump on the time capsule blog bandwagon, here’s how:

1) Go to FutureMe.org

2) Fill in your email address & put “200 Day Time Capsule Blog” (or whatever you want) as the subject line.

3) Copy and paste the questions below into “Your Letter”

  • What day is it?
  • What’s the weather like outside?
  • What did you do today?
  • What’s your favorite song right now?
  • What’s the most recent movie you’ve seen?
  • Who did you last text and what did you say?
  • What is your biggest goal right now?
  • What are you most excited about?
  • What are you most worried about?
  • Tell yourself a really bad joke.

4) Answer each question

5) Set your “Deliver on” date to 200 days from now, so: March 19th, 2019

6) Click “Send to the Future!”

Note: It will ask you to verify your email before it “officially” sends, so after you click “Send to the Future!” go to your email and click the verification link to make sure your letter officially enters the internet machine!

Note #2: After you click that link, it will take you to a page that tries to get you to donate money. You do not have to donate money. If you want to, you can, I’m sure the lovely people at FutureMe would appreciate your generosity, but otherwise you can just close the window. 

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Come March (of next year!!), we’ll check in on how we’re doing, which I hope is fabulous!

Until then, have a wonderful day and I’ll see you in the future!


 

Check out the previous 200 Day Time Capsule Blog here.

A Bummer of a Step in the Right Direction

A few weeks ago I applied to a job that sounded like it would be the perfect fit for me. Not only was the company one that I’d volunteered for in the past, but the job itself was one I believed I was completely qualified for and could offer a lot to.

It had been a while since I applied to a job. And even though my current job was not unsatisfying—I have both friendly coworkers, generous bosses and a healthy work environment as a whole—I’ve long dreamed about finding a new home. Somewhere that I can grow and learn and be challenged in new and exciting ways.

Patience was all it was supposed to take. Patience and hard work and determination. And after years of feeling as if I’d done just that, I found this job opportunity and hit apply.

A week later, I got an email asking to set up a phone interview. My stomach turned and turned, wondering if perhaps this was actually it. Maybe this was what I’d been patient for. Maybe this was what I’d been working towards.

The night before the interview, I warned my roommates I would be going into work late the next morning, asking them to send their thoughts and prayers, and not to judge if they heard me pacing back and forth on the phone.

After the interview, I went to work as usual. I pulled into my parking spot and clocked in at the time clock and sat behind my desk. My stomach was no longer in knots, and my confidence was through the roof. I nailed that, I thought, and instantly my mind began to picture me in a new parking spot and behind a new desk.

In the days that followed, my confidence waned. It wasn’t that anything had changed; I still believed I’d given a good interview, and even if it wasn’t perfect, it was honest and a good representation of who I was and what I can do.

Prideful thoughts told me they’d be crazy not to hire me, that there wasn’t a chance they’d interviewed a candidate as good as me. But realistic thoughts countered back with humbling doses of doubt.

What if they don’t hire me? I began to worry. What if this is just another blip on the failure radar? What if in a few weeks, this will be nothing more than a jaunt of unrewarded risk?

Tears flooded my eyes as I sat at my desk. What if this wasn’t it? Could I really continue being patient? And if this seemingly perfect opportunity wasn’t going to work out, then what was I even being patient for?

Over the next few days I felt nauseous with worry. I checked my email obsessively, hoping the next refresh would prove my doubts wrong. But nothing came.

Then, in a seemingly ordinary moment, when neither acceptance nor rejection was particularly weighing on my mind, I felt a sudden feeling of peace. It wasn’t a confidence that things were going to go my way, and it wasn’t a guarantee that I wouldn’t be crushed if they didn’t, but rather a reassurance that whatever happened was exactly what was supposed to happen.

So often I’m someone who’s making plans, setting goals and checking items off lists to ensure that I’m setting myself up for a happy and successful future. I’m always trying to do more, to be more and I assure myself that eventually what I do will lead me where I need to go.

But therein lies the problem.

So often I forget that I’m part of a plan much bigger than me. That what I’m working towards, even on the most mundane of days, and what I’m being patient for, even when it seems hopeless, is something greater than I could ever imagine.

Almost exactly a week after my phone interview, I received an email that the company had decided to go in a “different direction”. And even with that feeling of peace sitting in the back of my mind, I was still bummed. It was still a no, and now that it was a real no rather than one fabricated in my head, it stung—bad. So I took that day and I let all the sad and the disappointed move through me. Rather than go out with my friends, I stayed home and watched a sad movie and let myself be bummed.

As it turned out, this wasn’t it. But even though it felt like a step I didn’t get to take, it was actually a step forward in a new direction. A step towards something else.

So even as I drive to work today and park in my same parking spot and clock in at the same time clock and sit behind my same desk, I can take a deep breath knowing that right now, I’m exactly where I need to be. And that as the days go by and I keep moving forward, my patience will pay off, and where I end up will be far greater than any place I could have ever imagined.

A Few Challenges for My Birthday

As of yesterday, my 28th birthday is officially one month away!

This is both alarming and exciting. I’m not necessarily intimidated by the prospect of being 28, but then again it’s like, woah, I’m going to be 28?! You know?

Anyways, in order to welcome in age 28, I’ve decided to do a few challenges.

I did some deep diving in the Pinterest universe—and made it out alive, so 28 is already looking good—and I’ve found a few that look both fun and doable. Plus, they’re lists, which if you know anything about me, you know I love the hell out of some lists.

Some people might say giving yourself a hefty amount of tasks to check off in the month before your birthday would be stressful, but I have never been one of those people. Thus, let the lists commence!

I got one for exercise:

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I got one for drawing—which should really be a challenge since I don’t/can’t draw, but hey, maybe 28 year old me draws. Who knows?

30 Day Drawing Challenge

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I got this one that will give me something to write about each day

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And this one for happiness, because it just seems like a logical way to welcome in another year of life.

30 Day Happiness Challenge

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Is this a bad idea? Will these challenges end up stressing me out more than building me up? Have I made a grave mistake by committing to them on the internet rather than just keeping them to myself?

Maybe.

But all I can do is my best. The whole point is to get 28 started with a bang.

Not bangs though, I don’t think I (or my sister) could do those again.

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31 Good Things that Happened in July

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) After being trapped in a flooded cave for three weeks, all 12 boys and their coach were rescued.

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2) This dog got a brain freeze

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3) This man had a BBQ open to all

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4) Maya walked on her own

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5) This bear had a spa day

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6) These T-Rexs raced

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7) This woman got more than she bargained for after making a purchase at the Goodwill

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8) This fox was rescued and reunited with its mother

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9) Buzzfeed gathered this collection of happy moments people shared with strangers

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10) These cities were built entirely out of Legos

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11) Jennifer Garner read to her dog

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12) This person made hilarious use of an odd gift they were given

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13) This police officer joined the lip sync craze

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14) Starbucks announced its plans to open their first Signing Store in the US

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15) This family endured a lot of hardship to experience a joy they never expected

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16) This girl explained dog breeds

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17) Lin Manuel Miranda announced that he’s releasing a book of all of his encouraging tweets (which I LOVE!)

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18) This woman received a generous gift on her flight home

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19) This dog was rescued

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20) This letter was written to Demi Lovato

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21) And these Demi Lovato fans got together for an impromptu concert after her beach performance was cancelled

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22) This guy turned his book collection into art

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23) This water park was designed to be wheel chair friendly

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24) These golden retrievers got together to break a record

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25) The Rock gave his longtime stunt double a surprise

View this post on Instagram

SURPRISE! I love handing over keys🔑🎁 I love you brother and enjoy your new truck! Over the course of my career, my stunt double (and cousin) Tanoai Reed @samoanstuntman has broken multiple bones, severed tendons, torn ligaments & just been an overall dominating bad ass achieving several “Stuntman of the Year” honors. All done with one goal in mind – deliver the best movie possible to the world. I had this custom pick up truck delivered just in time to surprise him (he’s still recovering from a stunt injury) while we give what he thought was going to be an interview about our careers together. As you’ll see the moment I put my hands on my hips, that’s the drivers cue to pull away and reveal the big surprise. Not only does Tanoai represent our family and my career with relentless commitment and passion. He also represents an entire Hollywood stunt community that is truly the backbone of our business. Love you uso and thank you for the blood, sweat, tears and years. We’re just getting started. Enjoy your new truck! #LetsRoll 🤟🏾

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

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26) This man’s tweet saved 26 girls from human trafficking

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27) After walking 20 miles to work because his car broke down, this man got an amazing surprise from his boss.

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28) This town threw an ice cream party for a boy who finished his last radiation treatment

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29) Wonder Woman paid a visit to this hospital

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30) These kids returned a wallet

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31) And finally, to celebrate National Avocado Day, Netflix turned Queer Eye’s Fab Five into the Fabocados

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what August brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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I’m Still Trying to Land My Own Jump

The other day I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across a video of a skateboarder trying to land a super complicated trick. Massively complicated for someone like me. Impossible, really. But for this guy, it was something he knew he could do eventually. It was something he could work towards little by little.

The caption of the video described the trick as a “triple set with a massive laser flip,” which undoubtedly means…something.

The video fades in on the guy, Christian Flores, standing on his skateboard, his voice coming through the speakers saying, “Everyone has their own project that they’re doing mostly for themselves, you know?” He’s standing next to a double door entrance of a medical building, on a small patch of cement that leads down three small sets of stairs. The camera is pointed straight at the building and Christian is in the far left corner of the frame. With a quick pump of the leg, he rolls towards the edge of the stairs and comes to a quick stop so he can look down at the jump he’s going to make, visualizing every movement required in landing the trick successfully. He then goes off camera to give himself more room to pick up speed, before soaring back into frame and hurling himself into the air. When he lands, the board is upside down under his feet and he rolls on his back across the asphalt. It looks like it hurts, like maybe he should be broken in more ways than one, but he pops right up, grabs his board and runs back up the stairs.

For the next few minutes, the video shows a montage of what should have been (at least I think) the last day of Christian’s life. He skids and slides and crashes and rolls and booms and bangs and oww and how much milk did this kid drink that his bones are not in a pile right now?

The caption of the video states that throughout the trying process—which took over two years—Christian did endure a few broken ribs, but that’s a laughable amount of damage compared to what should have happened. If I tried a trick like this, I think the acting doctor would end up laughing, but in more of a, “great news, you didn’t break this rib!” type of way. But as much as I’d like to go on and on about how broken this guy should be, how beaten down and discouraged and exhausted, there comes a time when you have to respect that the guy just knew how to fall. Being a skateboarder, he was used to it. And being a good skateboarder, he didn’t let it bother him. With each crash he popped right back up and ran up the stairs. Again. And again. And again.

Not being a skateboarder myself, it’s hard to understand how he kept getting up. But I suppose his wanting to land that trick (regardless of the consequences that came with it) is just a physical representation of any of us being knocked down en route to accomplishing something we’re passionate about.

There are clips of him rolling around in obvious pain, tears rolling down his face, and anger radiating out of his bones. There are countless moments when you almost want him to stop, for fear he really might hurt himself. But there’s no stopping him. He keeps getting up.

The funny part about the whole thing is that it’s just a trick. All of this falling and nearly dying and hours of frustration, it’s all for a silly skateboarding trick. But then again, is that really all it is?

Like any muscle, perseverance takes time to build up and make strong. We’re not born with blind determination, we have to work for it. We have to want it. And so even though this want of his may have seemed like small potatoes to someone trying to start their own company or run a marathon or write a book, the drive to do any and all of these starts in the same place. Who knows where his determination could take him after this trick? Who knows what his mind would set itself on next? What counts is that he knows he can get himself anywhere he needs to be, because he knows he’s willing to put himself through hell to get there.

At about the four minute mark, we see him propel himself into the air for what seems to be the hundredth time. He floats up off the stairs and his feet leave the board. His arms go up in the air to keep his balance and his eyes focus down on where he needs to land—which he does. With both feet cleanly on the board, he rolls down the asphalt for a few dozen feet, then comes to a stop, throws his skateboard and shirt into the air, and walks over to hug his friends.

As the video closes, Christian says he is proud to have accomplished his goal and happy that it is done, but even so, he is already looking for something bigger. My response to this was a solid two minutes of letting my jaw hang open, and then I wrote this blog. It’s just a short, silly blog, nothing more. But then again, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s part of something bigger.

17 Things that Have Inspired Me (So Far) this Year

During List-cember—a series of list based posts I do in December—last year, I posted this blog that listed 25 things that inspired me in 2017. After writing that list, I made a mental note to be even more vigilant of saving and sharing inspiring things I find, both because I got a positive response from others appreciating that list, and because I personally love both making and reading those kinds of lists.

So, in the spirit of keeping those lists alive, and since we’re a little over halfway through this year, I thought I’d share some of the things that have inspired me thus far. Because there’s never a wrong time to share something that ignited a spark in you, right? (Cliché but still very true note: If I’m wrong, I don’t want to be right.)

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1) This:

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2) This encouragement to push through the awkwardness:Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 6.49.47 PM

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3) This post, which reminded me that engagement photos (and love in general) can be anything you want them to be. 

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4) The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli

I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here

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5) Queer Eye

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Every episode of both seasons made me cry happy tears. It is honestly one of the best shows out there right now.

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6) The statement attached to this picture, which as someone who normally hates getting their picture taken, reminded me that there’s more to a picture than looking good, sometimes it’s just about capturing and appreciating the feeling of good.

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7) Lauren Graham’s Book, In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It.

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The whole damn thing.

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8) This quote used to commemorate Opening Day, which I took as a reminder that “high quality” and “wealthy” are words that you can define for yourself. Also, I just plain agree with Humphrey on this.

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9) This video

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10) This tough truth

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11) Kristin Johns

She is probably the most genuine person on YouTube. She is consistently positive but not to the point where it’s dishonest, and she never fails to make me smile.

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12) You’re Not that Great (But Neither is Everyone Else) by Elan Gale

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A few of my favorite lines include:

  • “‘Everything happening for a reason’ is about how the world affects you. ‘What can I learn from this?’ is about how you affect you.”
  • “Try to remember feelings are not facts.”
  • “Never forget: you’re probably going to fail anyway, so you might as well go for gold.”

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13) This tweet series by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Which he just recently announced is being turned into a book!!

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Must. Have.

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14) This post by Allison A.

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15) Which inspired me to write my own (which you can read here)

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16) “You Say” by Lauren Daigle

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours

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17) “The whole mad swirl of everything that was to come began then.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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Here’s to another six months of inspiration! I’ve come to find it’s always out there 🙂