To my 23-year old self

Bright eyed, full of hope and possibilities for what the world could be, and how you can be an agent of positive change in that world. Discoveries are endless, internally and all around. At times, opposition and expectations feel like concrete walls that prevent you from doing what you want, who you want to be and where you want to be. A cage that you somehow need to escape. Oh sweet girl, you’ll figure out eventually that’s not always the case.

It feels like forever since I saw you looking back in the mirror. In reality it’s only been almost five years and we still have a lot of growing, maturing to do. Every day is a day for change if you let yourself have that luxury. Now, I initially thought of sharing with you insights that may direct you in the path that you are now, but that defeats the purpose of the experience. So instead, here are lyrics to a song that may speak to you in different seasons:

Keep me in the moment by Jeremy Camp

I’ve been thinking ’bout time and where does it go

How can I stop my life from passing me by, I don’t know

I’ve been thinking ’bout family and how it’s going so fast

Will I wake up one morning just wishing that I could go back?

I’ve been thinking ’bout lately, maybe

I can make a change and let you change me

So, with all of my heart this is my prayer

Singing oh Lord, keep me in the moment

Help me live with my eyes wide open

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me

Singing oh Lord, show me what matters

Throw away what I’m chasing after

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me (what you have for me)

Keep me in the moment

Oh, keep me in the moment

Keep me in the moment

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me (oh)

When I wake up in the morning

Lord, search my heart

Don’t let me stray

I just wanna stay where you are

All I got is one shot, one try

One go around in this beautiful life

Nothing is wasted when everything’s placed in your hands

Singing oh Lord, keep me in the moment

Help me live with my eyes wide open

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me (what you have for me)

Singing oh Lord, show me what matters

Throw away what I’m chasing after

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me (what you have for me)

Keep me in the moment (keep me in the moment)

Lord keep me in the moment (keep me in the moment)

Keep me in the moment

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me

I’ve been thinking about heaven

And the promise you hold

So, it’s all eyes on you

Until the day you call me home

Singing oh Lord, keep me in the moment

Help me live with my eyes wide open

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me

(I don’t wanna miss, I don’t wanna miss)

Singing oh Lord, show me what matters

Throw away what I’m chasing after (oh)

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me (yeah)

Keep me in the moment

Oh, keep me in the moment

Keep me in the moment

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me

Keep me in the moment (keep me in the moment)

Oh, keep me in the moment (keep me in the moment)

Keep me in the moment

‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me (what you have for me)

Maturity doesn’t just mean having responsibilities [tasks] and dealing with expectations. Maturity is seeing all the possibilities and discerning between the voices in your head to make choices with full acknowledgement of the consequences and the values you are standing on. Maturity is daring to live your life greatly with integrity. 

Always, 

K

P.S. “Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.” 1 Samuel 12:16

Part 2: 18 Thoughts I Should Probably Say Out Loud

A few years ago I wrote  a blog post called ‘18 thoughts I should probably say out loud’ to get out of my own head. It was a way for me to not let some recurring thoughts run amuck. Social distancing as we try to reduce risks for COVID may also mean a more isolated experience for others; more time to think and overanalyze. 

Thoughts are powerful. What we do with them is just if not more impactful. 

  1. I will always choose love over pain, anger, frustration, disappointment, fear and confusion. It’s just who I am.
  2. I don’t recognize the man you’ve become. I don’t know you anymore.
  3. How you get consumed by fear and doubt is up to you. Looking for instances to justify those fears/doubts is a sign that you’ve already been consumed by them. Can you find objective proof? Are you seeing things with empathetic eyes?
  4. “GDP does not measure value, it measures what we value.” (quote from a presentation)
  5. I miss playing outside with my niece.
  6. God is my refuge.
  7. If tomorrow was the last day, how and who will you spend it with?
  8. How can we make sure that those who need it most can continue to find access to meals?
  9. I hope you learn to forgive your demons.
  10. What’s next? How do I keep growing?
  11. Just because something was said under your breath does not make it less painful. Is this the same attitude that you like to receive?
  12. Everybody is just doing their best.
  13. How are you acting on your values today?
  14. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
  15. Self-sabotage is a real thing. Regardless of how intangible it may seem.
  16. I wish you had faith in me. Even just a little bit.
  17. It’s really hard to take the high road all the time. Correction: exhausting.
  18. Accepting love can be just as difficult as giving it, but happy endings do exist. They are just not as utopic as the rom-com movies depict them to be.

Some thoughts should be challenged or better off letting go, while others are better acting on. Choose wisely. Choose thoughts with positive impact. 

Always, 

K

P.S. “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson

Re: 10 lessons the last 10 years taught me

With a brand new decade coming very shortly, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been feeling extra reflective lately. A lot has happened over the past ten years, as they should. Life moves along regardless of whether or not we realize that another decade has come and gone. It’s our duty to live in it, learn from it and be grateful it happened. 

Distilling all of the lessons I learned over the past decade was easier than I initially anticipated. Frankly, because most of these lessons I haven’t fully understood. So here they are:

  1. Grief changes you. It changes you in a way that you never thought sadness could. After enough time passes by, grief also propels you to move on to the next chapter because your life persists. 
  2. Sometimes conflict is necessary for progress, but it is not an excuse to regurgitate accumulated anger. Address conflict with the goal to forgive. 
  3. Your definition of success changes. And it will continue to change as life changes you. 
  4. Understand your core values and stick by them. They will help guide your decisions and who you want to invite in your life. 
  5. Stand up for what you believe in. Even if the circumstances may seem daunting. Though this may not sound revolutionary, there’s a reason why it’s a popular expression. 
  6. Always keep a grateful heart.
  7. Assume that everyone is just trying their best. 
  8. Let yourself accept and claim love. God’s everlasting, pure love is not something you need to earn neither is it conditional. 
  9. Trust in God’s plan, and trust that He will be by your side every step of the way. You are on His time. 
  10. Love deeply and courageously. Beyond the gooey warm feelings. Beyond the arguments and disappointments. Beyond the fears and anxieties. Because loving someone is a commitment you make with yourself and the other person.  A choice you make everyday.

Always, 

K

Re: To struggle or to fight? The choice is yours.

black-and-white-sport-fight-boxer

This is not some great epiphany that I’ve had or something that is entirely nouveau. Frankly, I’m not even sure if it’s something that I want to be part of my philosophy in life, but here it is-our life is made up of choices. We choose what we would like to eat; we make choices about the clothes we wear; we choose the people we become friends with; we choose whom we date and, (you can totally rebuttal) we choose to be happy. We make decisions every single day consciously and subconsciously. Thing is, the choices we make aren’t always cut clean. They’re not always easy to make. So, how do I make them?

I wrote a reflection a few months ago based on an article asking, “what are you willing to struggle for?” In it, I talked briefly about persisting despite feeling pain or encountering difficult obstacles and how we can use pain to fuel our drive to create. Now, perhaps because I have been reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, I have a completely different question to ask. Though it might sound similar, I want you to think about how this question is vastly different-what are you willing to fight for?

To, struggle or to fight-that is the question. Ever since I can remember, I somehow would make choices that could make my life just a little bit harder. I know, this sounds odd but wait a second. By that I mean, you can use a calculator to solve a long division equation or you can actually do the long division on a piece of paper and solve it yourself. To some degree, I may have taken Robert Frost’s poem to heart too literally, but then again I wouldn’t be here if I chose differently. I’m telling you this because even though there have been many times, and probably more when I will be required to struggle, I will always choose to fight.

I’m telling you this because even though there have been many times, and probably more when I will be required to struggle, I will always choose to fight.

Yes, there have been times when I would refuse to fight back because I don’t necessarily think that fighting every battle would be entirely beneficial. I prefer to pick my battles and fight to win the war. This is where I see the difference between ‘struggling’ versus ‘fighting’ for something. To struggle for something almost makes it seem like you are constrained by something else; something is preventing you from breaking free. Whereas, for me, fighting for something is a conscious choice made. You know that when you fight for something, there will be obstacles and great uncertainties. You might even feel miserable for some of it. Yes, all of that is true. They just don’t matter as much.

You know that when you fight for something, there will be obstacles and great uncertainties. You might even feel miserable for some of it. Yes, all of that is true. They just don’t matter as much.

So, what are you willing to fight for?

Always,

K