personal

You Keep Following Your Dreams & I’ll Keep Following Mine

In August of 2016, me, my sister, and my best friend Allison (except I spell it Alleeson because of a whole Kimberlee double-e solidarity thing) went to dinner at Islands. As we sat laboring over which hamburger to choose from the menu, Alleeson put her hands on the table and took a deep breath.

“I have news,” she said.

I put my menu down and looked across the table at her, trying to gage whether this was good news or bad news based on the tone of her voice.

“I got a job.”

“That’s great!” I said, relieved.

“It’s for a news station in Oregon.”

Not even a month later, she was moving into a house 12 hours away and I was both heartbroken for me and unfathomably excited for her. She was nervous, I could tell. But she was also excited and curious and determined to give herself the big break she’d been waiting for.

In November of that year, I was able to visit her. She took me on a tour around her studio and showed me where they filmed the show and the things she was in charge of. I even got to watch a live taping of the evening show and witness her talent in action.

Back home, I was trying to catch some of the fire Alleeson had left behind. I was in awe of her bravery and her ability to just go for it. She made it look easy, even though I know almost no part of it was. She made me want to fight the battles that had long been easier to stay out of.

As the months went on, even though we were now hundreds of miles apart, I noticed how we still managed to mirror each other. Since we both come from creative backgrounds, we are constantly looking to do more, make more, be more, and so we both have our ups filled with confidence and our downs filled with doubt.

One night, as we were both lamenting over where we were and where we wanted to be, we made a pact. We decided that since the paths to our ultimate dreams were somewhat blurry, the best first step would be to hone in the destination.

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In the last year, I’ve seen Alleeson dive even deeper into her work. Putting in day after day, constantly pushing herself and trying new things, trying to be more. And yesterday, just as I was getting home from work, I got a message.

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She called me and I screamed into the phone. I tried to tell her how proud I was, how excited I was, how much she deserved it. Because she did. She does. She took that big risk; she’s put in all that work. She’s carving that path towards her dream no matter what anyone has to say about it.

It would be easy to be jealous, but that would be a waste of time. Instead, I’m going to take this as a reminder of what we set out to. What we intend to do, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes.

So as I celebrate this huge step she’s made, I’m going to take a few more of my own. For we started this together and always planned to kick ass side by side from there.

Congratulations Alleeson! (And good luck at the 2018 Regional Emmy’s!) Keep following your dream and I’ll keep following mine, and may we continue to follow each other’s fire.

2018 Goals Check-in

Can you believe we’re already 3 months into this year? I seriously can’t get over how fast everything is moving! And with the end of March officially marking the end of the first quarter of the year, it’s time to check in on how I’m doing with the goals I set for 2018.

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1) Do a handstand in yoga

Progress: 33.33%

So I have to admit, I haven’t been doing great at going to yoga. I started strong at the beginning of the year, but that petered out fast. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy yoga, I just didn’t particularly care for the class I was going to and haven’t been that motivated to find a new one. HOWEVER, I have been doing some at-home yoga using Yoga Girl’s program and have been very diligent about going to the gym. Thus, I am getting stronger, which was the ultimate plan in working myself up to do a handstand. Stay tuned!

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2) Take a kickboxing class

Progress: 0%

I have not got around to signing up for a kickboxing class. However, I’ve done a bunch of research on where I can take them. In doing so I found a bunch of promotional deals on sites like Groupon, as well as a number of gyms and classes near me that offer a free class for beginners. So I will definitely be taking advantage of those opportunities in the near future.

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3) Visit (at least) 20 museums in Los Angeles

Progress: 1/20 (5%)

This was another one that had a great start but has been in a solid lull since then. However, I’m not too worried as I love museums and I think it will take just getting back to one for me to fall into a rhythm and go consistently. As of now, I’ve only gone to is The Getty, but I’ll keep a running list in case you’re interested!

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4) Get CPR certified

Progress: 0%

This one is on hold until the fall because my aunt offered to take me with her when she gets re-certified before the coming school year. That being said, please hold all emergencies until September.

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5) Shoot (at least) 1 roll of film per month

Progress: 3/12 (25%)

It’s funny, I never realized just how long it had been since I photographed with my film camera or how out of practice I was until I shot my first roll. At the beginning of this year, I was feeling pretty confident and decided to ignore my instincts to re-read the directions on how to work my camera, and I moved through the roll of film pretty quickly, thinking, “I still got it!” This overconfidence however, came back to bite me when I finished the roll, tried to unload the film—while STILL not looking at the directions—and ultimately ruined the film all together. Since then however, I’ve got my groove back (and I’ve read the directions) and am currently on target.

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6) Complete the 104 things to Photograph book

Progress: 10/104 (9.62%)

I made a spreadsheet to track this (which surprises no one) but I’m actually not 100% sure where I’m at, as I haven’t developed the film I’ve shot over the last few months. There might be some surprises that can apply to the book, we’ll see!

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7) Visit the sea glass beach in Fort Bragg, CA

Progress: 0%

I haven’t had any time to do research on this one, so no progress yet.

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8) Go to the dentist

Progress: 0%

I’m going to make myself an appointment today. I (probably) promise!

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9) Watch 20 documentaries on Netflix

Progress: 4/20 (20%)

Before starting this goal I was a little nervous I wouldn’t find documentaries I liked or enjoyed and instead would feel like I was back in school trying not to fall asleep during an educational video. To my pleasant surprise however, I’ve found that documentaries come in a variety of flavors, at least one of which everyone is bound to like. Here are the ones I’ve watched so far:

  1. Happy
  2. The Mortified Guide
  3. The Mortified Sessions
  4. Minimalism

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10) Perfect an omelet

Progress: 0%

For this one, I’ve both received tips and invitations for in-person lessons from friends, but the biggest thing holding me back is getting a good pan. So, once I find some extra room in my budget to grab one, I will take everyone up on their advice/help/etc.

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11) See (at least) one movie in theaters per month

Progress: 3/12 (25%)

If you read my January & February favorites, I mentioned MoviePass, which has essentially been the key for keeping up with this goal. After seeing two movies in January for a total of only $10, I quickly convinced my sister and my roommate, Rachel, to sign up and I hope we take wild advantage of it for the rest of the year. Also, in case your curious, I’ll keep a running tally of the movies I see, so far that includes:

  1. I, Tonya
  2. Call Me By Your Name
  3. Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  4. 50 Shades Freed
  5. Red Sparrow
  6. I Can Only Imagine

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12) Read 20 books off the Time’s 100 List

Progress: 2/20 (10%)

I fell a little off track on this goal after getting sucked into a couple books (Into the Wild & Into Thin Air, both of which I’d highly recommend!) by Jon Krakauer at the beginning of this year. In addition, once I was ready to start checking books off the list, I realized I either had to ask if people I knew had these books, or start working a second job to start buying them all. Luckily, my roommate Rachel discovered something MAGICAL, a.k.a the digital library. It works exactly like a physical library: you check out books and get them for 21 days. However, with the digital option now available, you can rent the books and have them sent directly to your Kindle! What a time to be alive, people! If you are in the LA area, you can check it out here, or if you’re not, I’d recommend researching whether your local library has an online database. It’s a real game changer.

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13) Pay off credit card

Progress: 6.40%

So the whole point of this goal was to pay off my current credit card so I can open up a new one. Specifically one that gains your airline miles because flights are ridiculously expensive. That being said, the start of this year brought a lot of reasons for me to use my current credit card, so I fell a little behind. Good news is, I caught back up and am now in the green in terms of repayment, so hopefully I can keep trucking along throughout the year.

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14) See 3 WRLA’s – COMPLETED!

Progress: 3/3 (100%)

While on a trip to Seattle and Canada this past month, I was unexpectedly able to complete this goal, seeing the World’s Largest Cowboy Hat & Boots in Seattle, WA, the World’s Largest Paper Airplane in Mukilteo, WA, and the World’s Largest Tin Solider in New Westminster, BC, Canada!

 

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15) Volunteer (at least) 5 times

Progress: 0/5 (0%)

I admit it, I’m totally slacking on this one and I need to get on it.

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16) Donate Blood

Progress: 0%

The day I started this progress report my church announced it is holding a blood drive at the end of this month. So, while I’m still slightly terrified, I feel like that’s kind of a sign to suck it up and go for it. Stay tuned for the next update to see if 1) I chickened out, 2) I went for it and passed out or 3) I went for it and handled it like a champ. #3 seems farfetched at this point, but you never know.

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17) Do the 1 second/day video challenge

Progress: 95/365 (26.03%)

This has actually been more fun than I expected. While it is a little stressful to find something unique to record every day—especially when I forget and it’s already 11pm—I ’ve been very pleased with the results so far. My favorite part is knowing I’m the only person that knows what all the clips relate to, as some of them come off pretty obscure. When I watch them back however, they all awaken a specific memory from that particular day.  On March 1st, the 60th day of the year, I compiled all the clips I had so far in order to see what my first “minute” of the year looked like.

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When we add that all together, my total progress is about 15%. So I’ve got a little ground to make up, but it looks like a lot of it will be covered by the end of this month!  If you set goals this year, I hope things are going well for you, and if you didn’t, it’s never too late to start! 🙂

Hot Guy March Madness

I consider myself to be a huge sports fan. There is almost no sport I can’t get into. Take Basketball for example, while isn’t necessarily my favorite sport, I can get behind it, especially during the craziness of March Madness.

This year, as I prepared for the start of the NCAA tournament, I came across a bracket.

This was not your average bracket, however. There were no rankings or underdogs or Cinderella stories. There weren’t even any basketball teams. This bracket was made entirely of hot guys pitted against each other to win an entirely different prize: the honor of hottest hot guy.

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All credit for this bracket goes to Matt Bellassi (who you can find here). He created the bracket for his podcast, with the sole purpose of deciding who among the men would have the grand honor of winning his heart. After coming across this bracket on Twitter, I immediately printed it out for my roommates and I to complete. You know, for bonding/research purposes.

Once we all got home from work, we sat at the dining room table like middle school kids doing their homework, and hunched over our assignment. While initially enthusiastic and giggly, soon the three of us became pensive and quiet.

This. Was. SERIOUS.

There were so many factors to consider. So many things to analyze and overanalyze. I mean, once you eliminated someone, they were gone, out of your life, 100% not going to be your soulmate. The pressure was practically unbearable!

At one point I eliminated someone because of a bad mustache incident a few years back, and then put someone else through because of a good mustache in recent years. One matchup was determined by my assumption that one guy would be more apt to “go outside with me,” while another we all determined was a no because, “his shadow would be scarily tall.”

In many ways it felt as if the men were all standing around us waving and smiling, anxious to win their next matchup and secretly hopeful to be awarded the top honor. Meanwhile, me, Natalee and Rachel were the modern day Simon, Paula and Randy, sitting behind our desks and listening looking close for just the right voice face.

In the end, the men who took home the top honor in our house were Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Hemsworth, and Rami Malek. We’ve sent word to their publicists and expect an embarrassing display of roses/candy/etc. to arrive from all three any day now.

Once we were all finished with our brackets, we discovered that while we each believed we had filled our brackets out correctly, we didn’t actually follow the directions put in place by Matt Bellassi. With further research I came to find there were questions that were meant to be associated with each round in order to help you make your decisions.

They were as follows:

Round 1: Who would conquer a bear to save me?

Round 2: Who would win in a mud wrestling fight against the other?

Round 3: Who can bake the moistest cake?

Round 4: Who can carve a ham with their hands tied behind their back?

Round 5: Who can crack a walnut with their butt?

I’d like to say that should I have filled out the bracket this way I would have stood by my man and still ended the day as Kimberlee Gyllenhaal, but I really don’t know the walnut cracking capacity of his butt or how it could match up to that of the other men on this list. But I suppose that’s just something you have to accept when you marry someone. As the old saying goes, it’s the size of their heart, not the strength of their butt cheeks.

We Are All Complex Characters

In a world bustling with digital content, especially sitcoms and dramas available on both mainstream television and a number of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc., it’s safe to say we’ve been introduced to a wide variety of characters in recent years. Some we can relate to, some we can’t; some we love, some we hate. Regardless, we feel like we get a sense of who these characters are, and depending on how long we binge their show on the couch, we sometimes even forget they’re not actually a part of our lives.

I have this problem constantly. When I watch a show I get completely attached to the characters and I talk about them as if they’re my friends or family rather than fictional characters created for entertainment purposes. It’s even worse when I read books.

One thing, perhaps, that makes these characters so real, is a show or book’s ability to give us a nearly 360-degree view of who they are and why they are the way that they are. We can sympathize with decisions they make because we know what’s going on in every facet of their life. And we can root for them because we know the inner workings of their hopes and dreams.

In real life, it’s often hard to remember that we and the people around us are just as three dimensional as fictional characters. We are what they are based on! We, like them,  are all complex and constantly changing and adapting, sometimes to seemingly unbelievable circumstances. We all have individual whys that define who we are and what we do, even if not everyone will be able to see them, or if we are never able to fully identify them within ourselves.

As we go through our day-to-day lives, we will often come into contact with people who rub us the wrong way. And while it’s important to stand up for ourselves and stand firm in what we believe in, I also think it’s important to remember that we don’t know anyone’s “whole story.” We don’t have the 360-degree view. We don’t know how their morning went or how their yesterday treated them and they are equally as ignorant to our lives. So before we jump to conclusions, it couldn’t hurt to give them a little patience.

The truth is, we are all complex characters plodding through our own unique, sometimes over dramatic sitcoms. Some episodes will be good, some will be bad. And just like any multi-season series, you can’t start in the middle and assume you know everything. You have to appreciate that just like you, they’ve probably gone through a lot to get where they are and still have a long road to get where they’re going, and we could all use a little help along the way.

28 Good Things that Happened in February

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) This dog took a detour

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2) This girl discovered the wonder of books

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3) This couple took some incredible engagement pictures in Bolivia’s Salt Flats

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4) This pig got creative

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5) These choir students joined together to sing the national anthem.

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6) This boy brought his valentine flowers

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7) This spiderman put on a show

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8) This woman found a miracle

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9) The Winter Olympics!

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10) Mr. T discovered curling—and gave all the athletes some encouraging words.

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11) And this family caught their own share of Olympic inspiration

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12) This couple proposed to each other at the exact same time

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13) This professor said hello

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14) Jamie Dornan from 50 Shades and James Corden made an incredible collaboration

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15) This man learned to use a cellphone

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16) This man drew honest portraits of his family

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17) This woman had fun with her trainer

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18) This student wrote a letter to his teacher after her dog, Charlie, died

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19) This family rapped together

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20) Drake bought everyone’s groceries

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21) David Harbour (a.k.a Chief Hopper on Stranger Things) danced with penguins

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22) Tiffany Haddish met Oprah

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23) Olympic favorite Adam Rippon, showed what it’s like to a be a good teammate

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24) Shaun White got to watch fans react to his gold medal winning run

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25) This 4 year old boy donated his bone marrow to save his twin brothers.

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26) This baby was comforted by one of his mommy’s shirts

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27) After living in 24 different foster homes throughout his life, this man was finally adopted. 

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28) Will Smith sang La Bamba

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

I can’t wait to see what March brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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33 Harmless Things I Hate

Playing off the list I recently made of things that make me happy, my mind started swirling with things that do quite the opposite. It was nothing too intense or traumatic, it was just things that irk me. The things, to put it lightly, I’d just rather not come into contact with in my day to day life. For example:

  1. Spoilers (i.e movie endings, sports results, etc.)
  2. Unwarranted rudeness
  3. Hidden pickles in hamburgers
  4. Chewing noises
  5. Lack of decision making
  6. Decision making
  7. People who don’t use their blinkers
  8. People who walk slow
  9. Clothes tags
  10. Nuts in chocolate
  11. When lotion dries out and hardens
  12. Crooked or off-center picture frames
  13. Online articles that promise you lists but give long paragraphs or glitchy slideshows
  14. People who cheat-merge on the freeway (a.k.a wait way longer than they should to merge and then cut you off)
  15. Dictionary definitions that tell you nothing (for example: if you looked up “protagonist” and it told you something like “the opposite of an antagonist”)
  16. Autocorrects that make no sense (I’m looking at you “haga”)
  17. A dirty kitchen
  18. Static
  19. When socks slip off inside your shoes
  20. Being unable to think of anything else to say to someone besides a vague comment about the weather
  21. Car commercials that trick you into thinking they’re advertising something else
  22. Car commercials in general
  23. Wind
  24. The fact that it never seems to get any easier to wake up for work on time
  25. Finally mustering up the energy to go to the doctor, only to feel 100% fine when you get there
  26. Stores with too many scents
  27. My sensitive stomach that gets motion sickness from EVERYTHING
  28. People who say “you look tired.”
  29. TV episodes (especially season finales) that end with “to be continued”
  30. Getting sunburned in the ONE spot you managed to miss
  31. Tea
  32. Loose fitting shoes
  33. Inconsistency (for example: when the first edition of this post was 34 items long, but this one is only 33…smirking-face_1f60f)

Time Capsule Blog Update!

So, we’ve made it. We are officially in the future!

If you remember a few months back—actually I just checked it was in JULY!­—I made a time capsule blog, a blog-sule, if you will, using FutureMe.Org. I gave myself 10 questions to answer and then I sent them off into the universe, promising I would review and re-answer the questions the day before the Olympics started. (Note: The letter didn’t end up arriving until this morning at 2:15, so technically I have to answer them the day of the Olympics, but we won’t worry about the technicalities)

Let’s see what my answers were!

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1) What day is it?

My answer then: Sunday July 9th, 2017

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2) What’s the weather like outside?

My answer then: 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.

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3) What did you do today?

My answer then: Taught in 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

Note for past Kim: OH MY GOSH, ANT-POCALYPSE. I remember that day so clearly now. Don’t worry, your efforts paid off! 

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4) What’s your favorite song right now?

My answer then: Thunder by Imagine Dragons

Note to past Kim: This song will probably always hold a special place in your heart because it helped you run 1000 miles last year!

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

My answer then: 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.

Note for past Kim: No spoilers to anyone who is behind on Game of Thrones but, past Kim, it was EMOTIONAL! And now we have to wait almost two years for another season and it’s awful. Also, my favorite part about this question is knowing that after watching Broadway Melody, I watched about 70 more movies before the end of the year in order to accomplish my goal see every film that ever won best picture. Those last two months of the year were HECTIC. Procrastination at its finest. 

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

My answer then: 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?

Note for past Kim: The next couple days went well. After we all had minor panic attacks when the ants returned, we called an ant guy who was an actual, real live superhero and he knocked them out completely. So yes, we did win the war of the ants, but yes, we did fork out some cash to win it.

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7) What is your biggest goal right now?

My answer then: Publish a book

Note to past: In many ways this is a long shot, but the way I see it, even if a book isn’t in the cards, working hard and putting yourself out there is going to pay out to something. So just keep dribbling!

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8) What are you most excited about?

My answer then: 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!

Note to past Kim: see above. winking-face_1f609

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9) What are you most worried about?

My answer then: 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.

Note to past Kim: Wow, I was feeling pretty down/snarky that day. Don’t fret, past Kim, good things are coming your way! And while the Dodgers still haven’t won a World Series, they did make it to Game 7, and you actually got to go to Game 6!! Bet you never saw THAT coming, did you?! 

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10) Tell yourself a really bad joke.

My answer then: You know you still like the “outstanding invoice” joke from your book. Just admit it.

Note to past Kim: You’re right, I do still love that joke, though only a few people have heard it, since “my book” is not really a thing yet. Maybe one day everyone will hear it. Like I said, keep dribbling!

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Okay now I don’t know about you, but I absolutely loved that. I felt like I was having a great conversation with past me, checking in on where she was then and where I am now, so we can now move forward into what’s coming next. In fact, I think I might just make this a thing. For now I think I’ll stick to the same questions, just to keep things consistent, and then I’ll check in about every 200 days. We’ll call it the 200 Day Time Capsule! You are welcome to join me! If you missed the first time capsule blog, try this next one!

Here’s how it works:

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: August 28th, 2018

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 August, we’ll check in on how we’re doing, which I hope is fabulous!

If you did participate in the first time capsule blog, I’d love to hear your results! And if you have any suggestions for future questions, I’d love to hear those as well. If you can’t tell, I’m minorly nerding out about all of this, so any and all suggestions are welcome.

I hope you have a wonderful day and I’ll see you in the future!

Sometimes Friendship is Gummy Bears

About 3-4 years ago I was going through a period of my life when I genuinely believed I didn’t have very many (see: enough) friends. I considered myself a master of acquaintances, succeeding in keeping most people at arm’s length to ensure that a) I wouldn’t get hurt and b) I wouldn’t disappoint anyone. Some days I told myself I was satisfied, other days I wasn’t so convinced.

Combined with shyness and bouts of social anxiety, I struggled knowing what kind of friend I should be. I read articles and watched how other friendships worked, and though I wasn’t necessarily dissatisfied with my relationships, I constantly worried that other people were. I thought I was too boring, I thought I was too quiet. I was too this or not enough that and I drove myself crazy, making notes on what I could improve on or what I should do differently.

In time, I came to realize that these fears were all linked to the insecurities I felt as a person, rather than the weaknesses I had as a friend. I’m not saying I am or have ever been a perfect friend, however, in not accepting and loving the person I was, I was doing a disservice to both myself and to anyone I tried to start a friendship with.

These days, I consider myself very lucky to have an amazing group of friends. And while I would still consider myself a guarded person, I have a much easier time opening that door because I’m proud of the person I’m introducing on the other side. In light of this however, I still find myself having those doubtful days. With a constant stream of articles, quizzes and social media anecdotes that define what friendship should look like or feel like or sound like, sometimes I’m still left wondering if I’m a good enough/entertaining enough/honest enough/etc. friend.

For example, the other day I read an article that was titled something like, “You Can’t Consider Yourself Best Friends with Someone Unless…” and it went on to list a number of conversations and experiences the author considered defining for a friendship. I clicked on the article in hopes of finding relatable experiences I could share with my friends, however, as I read through it I didn’t recognize myself in a single thing. Does this mean all my friendships are fake? Of course not! Does it mean that we live in a world where friendships are as unique as we are and should be understood accordingly? I’d like to think so!

The way I see it, friendship is what you make it. There is no definable timeline, there are no parameters and there are no “you’re not actually friends unless…” Friendship can be big, it can be small, and it can be shown with words and actions alike.

About a week ago, after having a terrible day and coming home on the verge of tears, my roommate, Rachel, presented me with a small packet of gummy bears. It was the last packet leftover from my sister’s birthday—which featured a taco piñata full of mini alcohol and candy—thus making it precious cargo.

“I just want your day to be better,” she said as she handed them to me. And it genuinely was!

I know it sounds silly and small, but in that moment it made me feel loved and understood, which is really what friendship is all about. It’s not about being a specific this or that or talking about this or experiencing that. Sometimes it’s just someone willing to give up their gummy bears. And when you can find people like that, you stop worrying about whether you have “enough” friends, because having even one friend like that is a far greater gift.

The Dream About Space (Among Other Things)

If you’ll recall from this post a couple years ago, I tend to have weird dreams. I also like to evaluate those dreams using DreamMoods.com so I can pretend I’m not concerned by the subject matter. That being said, I want to take you on a journey through a dream I had about a month ago, which may or may not be one of my strangest dreams ever.

Let us begin.

So the dream starts off with me sitting at a table with my sister, Natalee, my cousin, Cory, a girl named Brooke (whom I’ve never met or seen in my life) and a middle aged man who is not only a stranger as well, but also nameless.

The meeting is just like any other meeting—save for the fact that it revolves around our upcoming trip to space. As in OUTER space. Why are we going to outer space, you ask? Because our family friends just moved there and have invited us to visit, obviously. And when I get an invitation to space, I take it—and apparently invite strangers to come along.

Now, seeing as we’re going to space it is obvious why we would need to hold a meeting. No, not because of the whole earth to space transition—because apparently that’snot a big dealand “I’ve done this many times.” No, the key reason for the meeting is that we are going to be using a different “portal” than usual to get there, and I wanted everyone to know ahead of time.

At this news, Cory and Natalee nod. This is no big deal for them. They just need the when and the where and they will be ready to…you know…portal it up. Brooke on the other hand is NOT DOWN. I get it. I mean, we all have a portal that works best for us, am I right? In the end, Brooke and the nameless dude bail, leaving Natalee, Cory and I in the conference room, where we crawl through a tiny hole that leads to space. (Feel free to give me a call, NASA, I remember what the conference room looked like.)

Once in space, we float through our friends’ new digs, which is mostly a glass sphere with round buttons all over the inside. While I wasn’t visibly upset in the dream, upon waking up I realized that of the six people that belong to the family in real life, only three of them were in my dream. The other three people in attendance were 100% strangers, however, dream-me didn’t seem to notice. #alarming

After getting all of the, “hey, yeah, we’re in space, cool floating pod, do you like it better than your two-story earth house?” type small talk out of the way, we decide to do what anyone would do the first day they were in space: play board games. (Because who needs gravity to hold the pieces to the board?!)

The next morning I wake up leaning diagonally into a wall, yawning and stretching like it was the best night of my life. I then tell my sister I would like to go to church. Naturally she gives me the lowdown, explaining, “lol Kim, you can’t do that, we’re in space,” to which I reply with a crawl back through the hole in the wall, because #portalsarelife.

Once I’m back on earth, I start walking. The portal dropped me off about two miles from my church (in my actual, real life neighborhood) so I take the same route I do every Sunday. Once I’m about a half of a mile away however, I’m stopped. Is it because there’s a roadblock? Is there an earthquake? Am I hit by a car?

No.

I stop—and I mean, come to a DEAD HALT—because there is guy putting on a reptile show for kids. A REPTILE GUY. And do you know what I do next? I hold a snake. Do you know what I do after? I GO BACK TO SPACE.

I can’t even tell you where the portal was this time. From what I can tell, dream-me may or may not have the ability to teleport on command. To make matters worse, when I get back to space and my sister asks me how church was and I say, “oh, I actually didn’t make it,” she says what no one should ever have to say, “Kim, did you get stopped by the reptile guy AGAIN?”

I wish I could tell you I was able to figure this one out. But even after I broke down certain parts I was arguably more confused than when I started.

For example, outer space supposedly signifies “boundless creativity” which, okay, cool, I would consider myself a creative person.

To dream that a stranger is pretending to be someone you know (i.e. when the family I know in real life was not quite the family I found in space) suggests that the person you know is not who you thought they were. So I’m boundlessly creative, but my friends are imposters…okay…

To see or play board games signifies “progress in life.” Now, I could argue my in-dream life is making much more progress than my actual life, seeing as I can teleport on a dime between earth and space and everything. But if we’re only talking about real life, I suppose recognizing my boundless creativity and my imposter friends would be considered forward progress so, okay, I’m still with you.

To see a reptile in your dream symbolizes your basic urges, instincts and suppressed desires. Ummm…yeah, okay, I think this is a safe place to officially draw the line. Let’s just call it a (REALLY) weird dream, okay?

34 Things that Make Me Happy

While reading Lily Collins’ book, Unfiltered, I fell in love with a chapter where she listed things that maker her happy. She made sure to be specific, which I thought was important because it made the list unique to her, and I can only assume made her smile while she was writing it. After reading through her list, I was immediately inspired to make my own. So, here are 34 things that make me happy:

  1. Writing (figured I’d start with an obvious one)
  2. Night driving with loud music
  3. John Cusack movies
  4. Laughing at commercials that shouldn’t be funny
  5. Macaroni & cheese
  6. Watching sports (on TV or in person, both ones I know and new ones I can obsessively ask questions about so I can learn the rules)
  7. Converse shoes
  8. Chocolate milk
  9. Watching awards shows and crying when people achieve their dreams
  10. Getting even one Jeopardy question right
  11. Houseplants (especially those that don’t die right after I buy/plant them)
  12. Fishing
  13. Harry Potter
  14. Finding the perfect gift
  15. Collecting ticket stubs, programs, menus, or any other souvenir I can get when I go somewhere new
  16. Proving myself (and others) wrong
  17. Listening to podcasts when I get ready in the morning
  18. Saying words that end in “-sts” (a.k.a lists, casts, etc. I just love that noise!)
  19. Ice cream in waffle cones
  20. When waiters bring you mints with your bill
  21. A clean house
  22. Making people laugh
  23. Dangly earrings
  24. Excel spreadsheets
  25. Going to church
  26. The Olympics
  27. Trying every single new flavor of Oreo
  28. Crossword puzzles
  29. Dancing at weddings
  30. Requesting Whitney Houston’s, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” at weddings
  31. A good playlist
  32. Big cozy jackets
  33. Finding weird places to stop/things to look at on road trips (i.e. WLRA’s)
  34. Ending this list on my lucky number (17) multiplied by 2. (a.k.a nerdy math-ish things)