journal

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.

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 Small Collection of Small Thoughts

Sometimes when I’m going about my day I come up with questions and ideas that wouldn’t necessarily work as full blown blog posts but still have a way of distracting me for the better part of the day.

They all start with a “what if” or a “you know what, I’ve never thought of that” and then I (somehow) drive around thinking about them until I get home (without really remembering how) and I do my necessary research so that the thought(s) can leave my brain.

Am I the only one who does this? At what point should I be concerned about my spaced out driving? Also, I wonder what my “spaced out driving” face looks like. I hope I at least have the wherewithal to close my mouth.

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On Thumbs

Have you ever thought about how dirty thumbs are?

I’m not talking dirty in a sexual way, I’m talking dirty in a bacterial type of way.

Think about it. When you were little and had something on your cheek, what’s the first thing your mom would do? Lick her thumb and wipe it off, horrifically embarrassing you in the process, right?

Now think about every time you’ve ever seen a speck of dirt/deodorant/makeup/etc. on your person/counter/car/etc. and needed a quick fix to get it off. What is the first thing you did?

Exactly.

But you want to know the weirdest part? Thumbs never look dirty. Where does it all go?

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On Hogwarts

If magic and Hogwarts are actually real things posing as fiction, and I’m just a muggle living in hopeless ignorance, I’m going to be so pissed.

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On Hair

Did you know that once your hair pokes out of your scalp it dies?

Truth.

Below the skin are blood vessels that feed the hair, helping it grow, but once it pokes out, the cells inside it die. That’s right: DIE.

So basically we spend hours and hours and hours of our life crying in bathrooms and groaning on hot days and envying awards show pictures over something that is long dead.

Remember that time you cut your hair and hated it so you spent days looking in the mirror telling it to grow? Ever wonder why it didn’t? Probably because all it heard was, “DIE FASTER SO I WILL LOVE YOU AGAIN.”

You monster.

Give your hair a break. It’s the only corpse people will ever compliment you on wearing, and that’s pretty special.

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On Lunch

I’m never going to be the kind of person that says, “is it lunch time already?” There is no surprise factor here, I’ve been counting down for five hours.

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On Bob

Do they make rulers with other rulers?

Like was there an original ruler that set the standards for all other rulers and now we’re essentially relying on that to be right until the end of eternity?

What if that ruler was wrong? Or what if at some point in history some guy named Bob was working the ruler assembly line and he purposefully botched one, then used that botched ruler as the new original ruler, thus trolling the entire world until the end of time?!

He’s probably sitting at home, smoking a cigar, watching men and women alike lie to themselves about the length of their extremities, humming the rick roll anthem 24 hours a day.

What a monster.

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On Bruno Mars

Am I ever going to be as comfortable in jeans as Bruno Mars is in silk?

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So if you ever see me driving around looking spacey, these are the kinds of things I’m thinking about.

It’s really hard hitting stuff.

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.

10 Things I Do Incorrectly

Ever since the day we were born, we’ve been taught to do things a certain way—or at least the way our family (and those around us) deem acceptable. Then, as we make our way out into the world and see other people doing things in completely different ways, we have one of two reactions:

  1. We are intrigued and overall impressed, thus we adopt this new method.
  2. We are horrified.

I’m not afraid to admit I have habits that (I guess) might horrify people. Not in a clinical way or one that would warrant an arrest or anything. But some that would definitely provoke a dirty look or at the very least a pity nod and a side glance to someone equally as upset.

Don’t get me wrong, this post is not a promise to change any of them. It’s also not an apology. I’m just pointing them out to let you know that I know, and also to let you know what I know in case you’re wondering if anyone else does what you do, you know?

For example:

1) Tie My Shoes

I was never able to figure out how to work the loop, swoop and pull method, so I’m still rocking the bunny ears. Honestly, I prefer this method. I think it allows a tighter (a.k.a more efficient) tie.

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2) Follow Washing Instructions

As a persistent rule follower this is a little out of character for me, but I get so aggravated that some clothes require this and some require that. I do stick to the basics: colors vs. whites, but when it comes to machine wash vs. hand wash, I’m more than likely to go survival of the fittest on you and cross my fingers you make it out of the washer and drier. If you do, I dub thee worthy of my closet.

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3) I Cut the Crusts off My Sandwiches

I’m sorry but crusts are gross and I will never apologize for this. The only thing I’ll admit is a little weird is that crusts don’t bother me when the bread is toasted. But I feel like that’s because it’s a more consistent texture…or something.

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4) Handwriting

My handwriting is an absolute disaster. It’s a strange combination of cursive, chicken scratch and both lower and upper case letters. It’s a shame too, because I actually love writing and receiving letters. But when I look at the way I write, it’s not a big mystery why I’ve never been able to keep a consistent pen pal.

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5) I’m Right-Handed and Left-Handed

(Not really) speaking of hands, mine are moody. While my right is dominant in most everything in my daily life, I’ve always batted left-handed. As a result, I also golfed left-handed, however, I recently learned that I have a better right-handed golf swing. So basically my body is having a constant identity crisis.

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6) I Hate Peanut Butter & Coffee

I feel as though both of these preferences have been regarded as sins at some point during my life, and while I’d like to apologize (I guess) for being unable to relate/obsess/meme with you, there’s really not a whole lot I can do about this.

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7) Dream

This is one of those things where I know I don’t really have any control over it, but I still feel like I’m doing something wrong. I just have weird dreams. And not the “haha how funny” kind of dreams, I’m talking mouth agape, friends concerned and inquiring about professional opinions type of weird. I’ve written about some of them (which you can read here and here) but they just seem to keep on coming. Just the other night I had a dream about peeling the top layer of skin off of my face. Mind you I had this dream after a relaxing evening of watching a romantic comedy and coloring.

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8) I Occasionally Misuse “Literally”

I understand this is a terrible (literary) crime, especially since I like to consider myself someone with a relatively good handle on the English language. But I can’t help it! Sometimes I find myself in the middle of a story where the punch line feels so unbelievable that the person I’m talking to couldn’t possibly believe how serious I am. So I’ll say, “LITERALLY,” before the big reveal, that way they know I’m not screwing around. And even though it doesn’t make sense, and there are people who would say, “oh yeah, and what would it have been like figuratively,” the way I see it, it’s their choice to be a jerk. All I was trying to do was get them as excited about hearing my story as I was telling it, and I wanted the ending to literally blow their mind. Into a million pieces. Yes, I wanted my story to be so good it murdered them.

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9) Tanning

I understand that I have pale skin. I also understand that tanning is terrible for your skin, which is why I don’t often do it. But can someone explain to me why, when we spend a few hours in the sun, I come home 98% pale, with blotchy sunburns on my knees and a tan line from my FitBit, and my sister comes back a golden brown sun goddess? Something about that just doesn’t seem right.

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10) I Scrunch

This is more of a shrugged acceptance rather than a confident statement, as I don’t know if there is actually a designated “right way.” The other day I was watching a video on YouTube where someone mentioned they “scrunch” their toilet paper rather than “fold” it when they wipe, and there was an uproar among the adjacent parties. Words like “monster” and “animal” were used. Meanwhile, there I am, knowing full well I’ve scrunched my whole life, wondering if I’m some sort of deranged psychopath and don’t even know it? To settle this, please feel free to add your two cents here:

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In the end, some of these things are biological and some could be addressed in a nature vs. nurture argument, but most of these things are just because…me. I don’t want to apologize because I don’t think I should have to change, but I also don’t want to say I don’t want to change because my analytical side likes to weigh the pros and cons of both sides.

Except on crusts that is. You ain’t changin’ my mind on crusts.

This Blog was Written by My Dog

Hello.

Yes, yes I am cute.

And I’m hungry.

I’m always hungry and cute. Always.

Sometimes I feel like people judge me for it, but I can’t help it.

I woke up in a great mood this morning.

Going to bed at a decent hour probably had something to do with that.

My family likes to stay up late and watch TV at an unfathomable volume, and in MY room no less. I guess I have the best TV, but something tells me they’re wasting its potential by watching a bunch of sports and network dramas. Doesn’t anyone watch the Discovery Channel anymore?!

And don’t even get me started on the other dog we got a couple years ago. She’s always up in my business. Always. I love her, though. So much. But stop looking at her. AND DON’T GET THAT CLOSE.  She’s mine.

Anyways.

I was lucky last night because my family got tired early, which meant I could go to bed early. And since I know them (and love them!) really well, I could tell they were getting tired way before my sister, so I snagged the big dog bed and pretended to be asleep before she even knew what hit her.

She was mad. It was funny.

I love her.

The sun was particularly lovely this morning, which immediately made me want to go outside and pee. My sister wanted to play, but it was too early. I just wanted to lay in the grass and look at the bugs that fly around.

She doesn’t like when I don’t want to play. Sometimes she’ll even bite at my legs to try and rile me up. It’s annoying, but I love her. Plus, I know how to get her in trouble. And when she gets in trouble, I usually get some extra pets. I’m clever.

I have a love/hate relationship with summer. It’s a much more social season for me. I tend to meet lots of new people and my family is together more, which makes me happy, but this heat is ruff. I spend most of my time dreaming about the next cold place I’m going to put my body.

Dog Tip: If you’re ever at my house and get really hot, just put your face on the floor in the kitchen or underneath my dad’s reclining chair. Those are the best spots.

Some days my family shares popsicles with me. They take the first lick and then I get the rest and then they get another popsicle for themselves. Sometimes I try to lick that one too, but they say no and kiss my nose.

They’re hilarious.

I like to go hiking too. There is a stream that we cross and my mom lets me off the leash and I run through the water and kick it around and dance. It’s the best thing ever. I love it. I wish we could stay in the water for the whole time, but my mom likes to move on eventually. She wants to get the top of the big hill. Sometimes she even asks me to help her get up the big hill, but it’s a really hard hill and I’m not as young as I used to be, mom. But I love you.

I have a basket of clothes at my house. I love dressing up for special occasions. I have one shirt that is for football. It’s blue, I love it. My family has the same shirt. We match and it makes me happy. I also have one for Halloween. It has stripes and when I wear it my family calls me “rufferee” instead of my name. I love it. One of my favorites is my sweater. I love it. My family lets me put it on when it’s cold outside and they are hanging shiny balls on a tall tree that they bring into the house.

My family’s crazy.

I hope they know how much I love them, though. I think it might even be more than they love me. But I think that’s only because sometimes I bark more than I should at strangers that come to visit and they tell me to stop but I’m too nervous that they are mean strangers instead of nice ones. I hope they forgive me. Not the strangers, my family. The strangers can chase their tail for all I care. I hope they never catch it. My family though, I’d help them catch their tails if they wanted to. They’re the best. Make sure you tell them I said so too, it might get me a treat.

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.

bangs

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.

To the People Who Get My Organs

I’m an organ donor. I’ve got the sticker on my license and everything. And when I die—which hopefully will be in a timely manner, but you never know—I hope my body can piñata it’s way into the hands of people who need it more than I will.

To those people, whether you’re reading this on my blog, or on some kind of high tech floating orb in the mid 2000s, first off, hey! I totally used to be alive and typing this in my living room. Super sorry I’m dead so we can’t meet, but super glad my deadness can provide you with some superior aliveness. But before you take one—or more if it’s a perfect match/buffet type of situation—of my organs, I just wanted to provide you with some you should know’s about said organs that might help you acclimate quicker.

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1) My eyes

I’ve always liked my eyes. I think they’re a good shade of brown—not too, you know, just brown­—and they have kickass vision. If you’re lucky enough to get them in the same shape they’re in right now, expect a lot of people to ask you, “what does that say up there?” because somehow you’ll be able to see it and you won’t know why. But watch out, you’ll also have a tendency to try and read too fast and you’ll mix words up. So just keep it cool and take your time. That is, unless you’re playing Jeopardy at home with your family, then by all means, read the question quicker than everyone else so you can answer first and win a point.

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2) My Lungs

Let me tell you, the three of us have been on quite the journey. When I was in high school, I was convinced I had what I called “baby lungs” that were too weak to function (a.k.a run) when really I was just out of shape and needed to push through the hard part. So if you get one or both of these bad boys, expect some push back should you ever try to strive for any athletic accomplishments. But don’t let them win! They are strong and they are capable of a hell of a lot, you just need to give ‘em time to warm up.

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3) My Liver

My liver and I actually have a very good relationship. We’re like the Gilmore Girls but with less coffee. Sure there are times when we’ve hurt each other, but we worked through it and came out stronger than ever. So just treat my liver like Rory would Lorelai and vice versa, and never shy away from a good pun in times of need.

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4) My Kidneys

I’m not gonna lie, I actually had to look up what kidneys do—which FYI is remove waste and excess water from the blood—so I could feel properly prepared to prep you. Good news is, from what I’ve read, I treat my kidneys like fine wine! I’m an avid water drinker, which is the kidney equivalent of catnip. That being said, you might want to invest in a large—say, 32 ounces or so—reusable water bottle, as these guys are constantly craving that good H20. Straight up.

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5) My Skin

For those of you who might be needing either a skin sweater and/or a quilty like patch job, I have answers, but I also have questions. First off, we burn easily y’all. But then, would that even come into play? From what I’m reading, it really all depends on what kind of trouble the universe has put you in. If you really truly do get a big chunk of this epidermis and it works all Freaky Friday like, expect a lot of goosebumps and the occasional pop up of eczema with no rhyme or reason. Also: FRECKLES. Because when we don’t burn, we freckle like it’s our job. I’m looking down at my arms right now and it’s like the night sky up in here. I hope you get Orion’s Belt, that’s one of my favorites.

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6) My Bones

These guys have been through a lot, but I like to think they like me more than they hate me, so I assume they’ll feel the same about you. They like to crack a lot, but try to think of it as their way of saying “hi” rather than “help.” They like yoga, but they love lying down after long day of work. Also, they love ice cream. Because, you know, calcium. So make sure you get at least a few servings every week.

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7) My Heart

When I say this gal is in the right place, I mean that both literally and figuratively. I was literally born with my heart in the right place—because FYI you can be born with it in the wrong place, I am learning so much right now—and I also often feel the old girl pushing and pulling me to do what’s right. Also, expect a lot of pounding. She tends to get a little worked up when she sees something that she likes or something that makes her nervous. She’ll settle down though. Try chewing through a pack of fruity Mentos and putting on good playlist.

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I’ll admit, it’s a little weird talking about giving you my organs. Especially since they’re so cozy and upbeat on the inside of living me right now. But I have faith they’ll treat you right. And hey, if all else fails, try kettle corn and a John Cusack movie, that usually puts all of us in this body at ease.