Never Forget

I remember this day vividly. I remember the days following. 18 years ago I was just trying to finish college and naive about the world. What a huge wake up call to the realities and ugliness.

During this time I was working as an assistant manager at a store in the mall called New York & Company. I didn’t work that day, but I know we closed early. NY&Co was owned by the Limited Brand and they had stores in one of the towers. Out of respect all the stores closed for the rest of the day. The next day I opened and we had specific instructions…..remove all signage and displays that showed the twin towers. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do, but it was a very uncertain time.

It was very surreal and sad removing it all. I had never been to NYC but I was surrounded by it every day. Sadly, the company had just recently unveiled their new credit card that prominently displayed the twin towers. I was able to snag one of the displays we had of the credit card. It would look like night or day depending on the angle. I had it hanging in my apartment until I moved out. I also bought one of their graphic tees that also had an image of the towers.They are all I have of a place I was never able to visit.

The last picture is of my daughter wearing my shirt. That I used to fit in back then. My daughter who was born years after this, and has no idea how that day felt.

I remember sitting on my friend’s couch watching all the coverage. I remember how quiet the sky was that night with no air traffic. I remember feeling small and helpless, and guilty for being grateful I wasn’t there. I remember going to bed afraid that night, not knowing what else could happen. I remember waking up the next morning thinking it was all a terrible dream. And 18 years later…..I still remember exactly how I felt and it still hits me hard. And I have are these small little reminders of that time that I completely cherish.

18 years ago. It was so long ago but it still feels like it just happened.

Katie.

Maybe It Was For Nothing….

I think I’ve come to the realization that everything I’ve done is truly pointless.  All the dreams I had of making what I went through mean something……they really do mean nothing.  The things I had hoped for were never attainable.  I am who I am, and that will never change…..or mean anything.

Is this a pity party?  Maybe…..or maybe….it is the simple fact that reality has hit me and I’m just done.  Maybe I didn’t try hard enough…..or maybe it is all just for nothing.  I’m just another person in a giant world of people who have gone through some crap and just keep going through crap and it all just sucks.

I’m sure the 2 people who will read this will try and reach out, but really……I’m ok.  It’s just time to face facts and step away from it all.  I’ll probably shut down my social media soon as well and just live.

Thanks everyone who supported……maybe I’ll post again sometime soon……I’m not sure.

Katie.

Dear Diary….

LOL!!!!  I was terrible at writing in my diary.  Literally….every time I had one it would start out like this…..

Dear Diary,

This time I’m going to be really good about writing in you every day!!!!

Then…..weeks later…..

Dear Diary,

Well…..I guess I wasn’t as good as I wanted.

Then a year later…..

Dear Diary,

Ok, I’m starting over and THIS time I’m going to be really good.

then……well, usually I’d buy a new one and start the whole thing over again! HA!!!!  I even had a super amazing Lisa Frank diary….with a lock 😉 and I was just a bit dramatic back then….of course I’m more sensible now!

So life has been a little crazy the past few months.  The end of the school year, house projects, super busy self employed hubby, and life in general.  I can’t lie and say I didn’t enjoy ignoring my blog for a while….it took off a bit of the pressure I was feeling.  Sometimes life just gets overwhelming and you need to cut some things, or put them on pause, so you can feel a little bit of the weight lifted.  I’ve had some interesting things happen and I can’t wait to start writing about them and getting back to this!  Forgive me for being MIA 😉

This time…..I will be better!!! HAHA!!!

Katie 🙂

Winning At Losing

I don’t like to lose.  I think it would be fair to say that most people don’t like losing.  We are competitive by nature….we all want to be the best, be number 1, or be successful.  No one wants to lose, feel like your hard work didn’t pay off.  But losing is part of the whole game….if someone wins, someone has to lose.

I had a small winning streak recently.  Little things….a travel coffee mug from a local restaurant, a gift cert for jewelry from an insurance company, and other things that just made me feel happy.  Like I was on top of the world.  Then.  THEN!!!!  I was notified I had this huge chance to do something I’ve been trying to do for 15 years!  A company that makes mastectomy bras and breast prosthesis let me know that I was a finalist in their Faces of Inspiration contest….and if I won I would be flown to Georgia for a weekend of pampering, featured in their catalog, and most importantly….I would have a chance to tell my story on a bigger scale!  This was it!  I was one of 4 amazing ladies who have gone through breast cancer.  There would be two weeks of voting online….you could vote as much as you wanted!

 

I was sharing it all over social media, and so were my friends and family.  Strangers were getting in on this.  Everyone told me…..you’ve got this!!!!!! It was exciting, thrilling, and I was on a high!  What an amazing opportunity this would be….and a little pampering too?  Sigh…..

And then……I didn’t win.  I got the call, the heads up, before they announced the winner.  The winner that wasn’t me.  I was heartbroken.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone….I was just so…..sad.  I decided to take that day to allow myself to be sad….grieve the chance I lost….and then let it go.

And that is what I did.  The next day was a new day, and full of new opportunities. It wasn’t immediate….I still had sadness….but I didn’t allow myself to be consumed by it.

This all came back to me when later that week I had the chance to teach my youngest daughter the same thing.  We were playing board games and she HATES to lose.  She could be the one who will throw the entire game board off the table in frustration.  She hates it so much.

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Today was one of those days…..losing at some math game she brought home from school.  I told her…..don’t you remember that I was just in this contest?  And did I win?  I told her it’s ok to be upset if you lose, but going overboard and throwing a fit just takes away the excitement from the person who did win.  And that is never ok.  In any competition or game, if someone wins…..someone will lose.  So we tell that person, good job and congratulations, and we try again.  You never know if your words are getting through to your kids, but a week later, she repeated that all back to me during a conversation about losing.  It made me so proud that not only did she listen, but I could teach her that hard lesson in life by my example.

Losing sucks.  It really does, but losing gracefully shows so much more about your character.  I’m thankful for the opportunity that I had….and to see the amazing support I had….and I’m sad that I didn’t win this one……but in the long run, I still feel like a winner.  And I want my kids to be like that.

Katie 🙂

The Good Old Days Are Now!

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with The Office.  This scene is from the finale and it gets me every time.  It’s so true…..we always look to the past and wish we could go back.

This past month has been one that reminds me of how important it is to live in the moment…to realize what you have before it’s in the past.  Turning 40 was a big deal.  I had mixed emotions about it…..it feels old but I’m also so grateful to have reached this age! I’ve seen levels of support from people that just amazes me, and makes me feel so extremely blessed.  I was surrounded by so much love at the surprise party my husband and close friends put together to celebrate my birthday.  I mean really…..seeing all the people there that mean so much to me and knowing they feel the same…..it was just overwhelming!  And being a finalist in a contest and seeing all my friends and family voting like crazy….just wow!  WOW!!!!

I’ve always been a person who tends to live in the past.  Remembering things that happened, wondering what life would be like if I had changed something.  Wishing I could go back and relive something.  Feeling nostalgic over music or items.  But I watched this episode of The Office recently, and heard this song on the radio that really put this on my heart:

Sometimes we focus too much on the past or the future.  We don’t live enough in the moment….but I’ve been sitting here lately just feeling every day how amazing life is.  And how blessed I am….  Life can be so amazing if we change our focus!

Thank you again to every single person who has been there for me.  I have laughed and loved more this year than I thought was possible! I have several circles in my life….and love each one so much!

 

Katie 🙂

Celebrating Another Year

Sitting here in the final hour of my 40th birthday…..I’m just so extremely grateful.  This was not an age I was overly excited about…..it seemed like such an old age when I was younger…..an age I thought would take forever to reach…..yet hear I am.  I thought I would dread it….each day getting closer.  But I’m ok…..and this is why.

I shouldn’t be here.  Plain and simple.  I had an aggressive horrible disease that almost killed me.  Almost 16 years ago.  It’s just crazy to think that I really was so close to dying…looking back on it now.  I fought so damn hard, and today…..I get to celebrate another birthday.

I can’t complain about my age, there are people who never make it here.  I’m so thankful for this amazing day.  40.  Yikes!!!  It’s still crazy to think……but it’s such a wonderful age!

This was the best one yet.  My incredible husband and amazing friends have been lying to me for weeks…..and pulled off an epic surprise birthday party! I’m telling you….it’s not easy to pull one over on me, and they did it!  I have never felt so loved.

 

This room was filled!!!!! Overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe it!  Life long friends.  Family.  People I met because of cancer…..and after.  I’m such a blessed person…..and so very thankful I’m here to celebrate another year!!!  And as a dear friend told me today….40 is a gift!

Katie 🙂

We Are Strong. You Are Strong. I Am Strong.

My life was filled with abuse, betrayal, struggle, broken hearts, and lies.  I didn’t let it define me in a negative way.  I used my struggles to become the person I am today….I didn’t know at the time I was tough.  I never saw myself as strong.  I didn’t see myself as someone of any worth.  I was told by people all around me that I would never be anything or anyone.  I was told all the time that I wasn’t important, wasn’t worthy, and wouldn’t succeed.  Maybe their definition of success was wrong….because here I am now.  I’m strong….I had to find my strength, but I did.  I am worthy…..I am loved….and I help other people find that.  I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve taken wrong turns.  I’ve believed in people who never believed in me.  I have hit rock bottom. I found myself alone too many times because I believed what they all told me.  They were liars.  They were there to bring me down…..and they couldn’t.  It may have seemed at times that they did…..but I always got back up.  But not always by myself….there were many hands that reached down to pull me up to where I am today.  True people….with good hearts.  I’m here today….the person I am today….because of everything I went through in the past.  I let it define me….but only as someone who doesn’t let their struggles bring them down.  As a person who overcomes.

Don’t let your past define you in a negative way.  That is just too easy.  Use your past as inspiration to move forward stronger and wiser.

Katie.