The Losing Battle

It’s stumbling. It’s catching your toe on the smallest stone or crack in the sidewalk and suddenly you’re falling — again. Around and around you go, your legs spinning as you desperately attempt to right yourself, to keep from slamming into the ground. You might catch the arm of a friend or manage to pull up before impact, saving yourself the slow motion careening, but the bruises, breaks, and scrapes appear on your hands, you knees; the pink-cheeked embarrassment now one more affliction, one more weight, one more reason to hide.

Whether you crash or are miraculously granted a steady (for the time being) foothold, you’re shaken, you’re rocked to your core. With both feet beneath you, the world still feels slippery, as though you’re no more than a few moments away from ending up back there. It’s constant, overwhelming, never-quite-succeeding attempt after attempt to regain balance, to restore right. It’s a never-ending masquerade ball, it’s spinning and bowing and distracting nearby eyes from tender wounds. It’s a life-long charade, a fight to save face when, some days, you don’t want to try again, you don’t want to fight anymore, you don’t want to lose anymore.

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Reasons I Love Being Kate: Part Four

This is my fourth installment of my “100 Reasons I Love Being Kate”, the last part will be posted next week. You can begin at the beginning with Part OnePart Two, and Part Three if you’d like.

61. I’m an unconventional romantic. I don’t want or expect a prince to save me, but I do believe whole heartedly in the power of love.
62. I started to figure out relatively early on (early high school) that I didn’t actually want to be like everyone else.
63. I love and soothe and communicate as much if not more through touch as I do with written or verbal communication.
64. I have a fascination with Northern Africa and the Middle East, they seem like an imaginary land out of a book.
65. I love to wander. I want to see something new and I want to do so without much of itinerary if we make one at all.
66. I know my limits; I know when enough is enough.
67. I have a secret (not so secret) love for math. Always have, likely always will.
68. — but please god don’t make me take a Biology course. Natural Science and I are not friends.
69. I’m on a quest for more: more experiences, more knowledge, more connections.
70. The overriding desire for my life is to love and be loved in return.
71. Every time my over idealistic side gets it’s ass kicked, I vow to be more reasonable going forward.
72. — and by some small miracle, I manage to do so without losing an ounce of hope. For good and for bad, I suppose.
73. I can be oddly outgoing when need be, despite the wish to be away from people and public places.
74. I do get upset and overwhelmed, but I’m brought back when I realized how much I do have going for me.
75. I feel my best when I’ve just finished a ride and my muscles ache ever so slightly and my hair is wild from the wind.
76. I love a good snuggle.
77. I have such high hopes for all aspects of my life. Sometimes they’re met, other times they are not. But I remain hopeful.
78. I have an incredible imagination and love to let it run away with the rest of my mind from time to time.
79. I have such varied skills and interests there will always be work out there for me.
80. I love my body. It is scarred up and far from perfect; but it’s brought me through quite a bit.

What do you love most about yourself? What do you think someone else would write on your list?

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Autobiograpy

This is an assignment for a creative writing course I’m taking. As a matter of introduction to the course and one another, we were asked to write a short autobiography:

I’m Kate, I am a Junior in the Graphic Design program at the Portland, Oregon campus. I grew up in a house full of books. With both of my parents being avid readers, and my mother being an elementary school teacher, reading was important and highly encouraged. I was constantly nose-deep in a book, sometimes following along with the adventures of my favorite kid-detective, Jennie McGrady; or imagining that I could roll through the Martian colony with Tyce Sanders, a boy who was wheelchair-bound and born on the foreign planet; or dreaming of Tolkien’s magical world.

We never really had any traditional stories, or myths passed around in our family, but stories were always being told. Most of them were relating to myself and/or my two younger sisters. It wasn’t uncommon to hear the laughter-filled recalling of one or another of our shenanigans

“Do you remember that time they fought in the doctors office?” Dad would holler from the living room.
“The time they fought over the paper packet and cut Rachel’s cornea?!” Mom would shout from the kitchen over the sound of the running faucet.
“Yes! Remember how Dr. Black stopped explaining — whatever it was he was in the middle of talking about, and went to get the glow-in-the-dark eye drops so he could survey the damage?”
“Like it was yesterday. At least we were already there; no need for yet another copay.”
“That’s our girl, Rachel “Crash” Borst. Good thing she’s grown out of that stage,” He’d say with a smile, “Mostly.”

The retelling of our childhood was commonplace, they were our personal fables, I suppose. They reminded us of our values and the lessons we had learned the hard way. Between the three of us girls and the seven-year age gap between myself and the youngest, Aundrea, new material was never in short supply.

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Reasons I Love Being Kate: Part Three

This is my third installment of my “100 Reasons I Love Being Kate”, the remaining portions will be posted over the next few weeks. You can begin at the beginning with Part One and Part Two, if you’d like.

41. I don’t worry about having a large number of friends. I have my people, and we fit.
42. I enjoy figuring out how to do things differently.
43. I love people, but sometimes I just need to get away and have time to myself.
44. I’m the Mama Bear / Carer in my group of friends.
45. I work hard so that when rest is needed I can do so without (much) guilt.
46. I’m slowly but surely learning how to live without letting my overly analytical brain take over.
47. I do things simply because I am able. Reckless? At time, yes. But it is incredibly freeing.
48. I love to share. I love to help. I love to nurture.
49. I bike out my frustrations. It’s much easier to let go of my worries while flying down a hill hands-free.
50. I don’t think the universe keeps track of rights and wrongs. I’m not owed anything.
51. I fall in love with the crinkled-eye smiles, the forehead kisses, and quiet car rides.
52. I have dreams/goals in all shapes and sizes, but the ones I favor are simple.
53. My motivation is not to be better than anyone else, it’s to be better than I was.
54. I prefer to be barefoot.
55. When life becomes too much, I pile my camera gear into the car and I chase the rain.
56. I’m no longer afraid to speak out, to stand up and defend myself.
57. I like lists, charts, and check-boxes.
58. I choose to have fewer friends so that I have more time to invest in them individually.
59. I’ve become quite good at doing my own thing.
60. I’m not for everyone, and that’s okay.

I think everyone needs a list, whether you compile the list on your own or as a collaboration with loved ones. Who doesn’t want 100 reasons of why things are going to be okay / why they’re awesome / why their loved / what makes them different?

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Reasons I Love Being Kate: Part Two

This is the second installment of my “100 Reasons I Love Being Kate”, the remaining portions will be posted over the next few weeks. You can begin at the beginning with Part One, if you’d like.

21. I don’t hate where I’ve been, but I know I don’t want to go back.
22. I’ve learned a secret: success is most valuable when you no longer feel the need to compare.
23. I usually know when to walk away. Maybe not at first, but eventually. And then I go.
24. Words have a way of wreaking the most beautiful havoc on me.
25. I’m strong, stubborn and courageous. I am a force to be reckoned with.
26. When I love someone, I strive to make it abundantly clear how much they mean to me.
27. Even when I say that I’m simply out of fucks to give — I still care.
28. I’m not afraid of disaster, I welcome the chance to rebuild.
29. I prefer to dance awkwardly, with much hip swishing, arm flailing and head shaking.
30. I’ve stumbled and wandered my way into many happy places.
31. I’ve been marked and scarred up, and I can still tell you about every adventure.
32. I adore my smile lines. I know I’ll love being wrinkled in the most sincere ways.
33. I take chances and risks.
34. I’m naturally quite sarcastic, but I give praise and love with the utmost sincerity.
35. I’m rarely content to stand still. I need progress and growth. I need to be improving.
36. —but sometimes, I’m most happy when I take moment to just be.
37. I’m more than happy to discuss and debate, but I refuse to raise my voice.
38. I can finally write honestly and share openly.
39. I wear my heart on my sleeve, there’s no worry of not knowing where we stand.
40. Even at my most hopeless, I’ve known that I’ll be okay — it was the only option.

When you decide to start a list, even if you only start with a few things, I’d love to read it, either post a link in the comments or link back to me so I can find you. Best of luck!

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