Valentine’s Day When You’re in a Relationship

Valentines Day-0001

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

This is my favorite holiday because it’s all about LOVE & being kind.  Take the extra step to be thoughtful to everyone around you, ultimately that’s what Valentines Day should be about.

I tend to support single people during Valentines Day, because I think they bitch the most?  Like, I’ll stay in with my bottle of wine & The Notebook & cry myself to sleep style.  BUT this time I’m coming after people in a relationship.  Because, when you’re in a relationship for a long time, little gestures can get lost & Valentines Day can end up feeling dumb?  Single people – you’re GOOD on Valentines Day. The possibilities are endless, I used to love this holiday when I was single, read this post: HERE.

You know the CRAZY part about being in a relationship?  The amount of time you’re choosing to give someone besides yourself.  When you spend every day with someone, sleeping next to them, waking up next to them, making decisions with them, creating a family with them, living with them – in a way, you’re choosing to dedicate your life to them.  Think about it.  Because if you recall, we only have ONE life.  How intense is that?

I started thinking about this because I often hear people bitch about their significant other.  Often times joking, sometimes serious.  This typically happens after a few years together, right?  The fucking dishes, the annoying friend, the job.  At my age, it’s typically deciding about taking the step to marriage, or once in a marriage it’s about the pile of other conflicting situations that come up. But at the end of the day, we have one life.  When we’re in a long relationship,  we’re choosing to lay down next to the same person every day, for years & years.  We’re giving our lives to each other.  I can’t think of anything more significant than that, in our entire lives.  Or anyone more important to get along with.   Your kids will come, but they’ll also go create a family.  Your own family will do the same.  Your friends will come & go… But damn, that one “person” you lay down next to every night will be laying down next to you forever.  They’ll be there when people come, and they’ll be there next to you when everyone goes.

What a commitment. And what a journey.

That makes me realize bitching & moaning about little things is pointless.  Worrying about small annoyances shouldn’t matter.  Let it go, let it go.  We should be gentle with our partners, we’re giving them a humongous part of our one life. You know what I mean?

Read More

What is ONE Thing You Learned in 2017?

New Year

I was in a meeting earlier this month & everyone was asked: What is one thing you learned this year?  They asked a lot of hard questions like that…  What’s a trait in yourself that you would not want to give someone else? 

But, one thing I learned this year… Oddly enough, I feel like I’ve had a pretty comfortable year.  The years before 2017 were chaotic & I’d probably respond to this question with answers like: patience, confidence, staying positive, ect.  Moving to Dubai, adjusting there, working there, then moving back, my relationship with Wafiq, his immigration process, being broke, moving everywhere again, needing a job – every year contained variables.  And in the moment, I often felt frustrated – like I was wasting time.  I couldn’t wait to be “normal”.  Get my life on track like everyone else.

Then, this year I finally had it!  Normal & comfortable.  At the very least, it was appearing to be on track.

But, throughout the year, and I think I’ve said this before on my blog, I found myself missing the variables & chaos.  Even being broke!

For example, when you have no money, other parts of your life strengthen.  Your creativity, your imagination, your hustle, your ideas, your friendships.

For example, when you have big life decisions ahead of you,  the opportunity to impress yourself by being brave & making choices presents itself.

For example, when you’re not “on track”, you don’t have pressure or expectations.  People are either disappointed & judgemental OR they’re believing in your journey & supportive.  Relationships are defined.

There’s so much learning happening in the stages that you can’t wait to get through!

Read More

Reasons You Don’t Have To Set 2018 Goals

Goals

2018 is on it’s way!  Lets set goals, shall we?!

No.

No we shall not.

I thought a lot about this.  The big, long-term beautiful (somewhat vague) end goal is always in sight, but all the others change.  I love it!  I welcome change, even though I fear it.  As ideas & goals shift throughout the year, you create new agendas & updated accordingly.  Which is why, now that it’s 2018 & resolutions are all the talk, you shouldn’t feel pressure to make them.  

I’ve learned one of the worst things you can do to yourself is lose your own trust.  Disappoint yourself.  I know any goal I set on Jan 1, 2018 will end up changing, therefore I’ll end up disappointing myself & losing my trust.  Which is a big no-no.  So, fuck the 2018 goals.

Read More

5 Ways To Finish Out The Holiday Season, Stress Free!

Holiday Shopping

You know the one part that sucks about holiday time that doesn’t exist around Thanksgiving… The torture of trying to find gifts, for everyone.  And make cookies, and hang decorations, and go to holiday parties, and try to eat healthy.  Adding gifts on top of all that jazz is what can easily make you freak the F out. I have a few ideas….

5 Ways To Finish Out The Holiday Season Stress Free

 The Gift Of Being Stress-Free:  Ok, think about the people you’re buying gifts for.  Thinking of them?  If most of those people knew you were stressed out, driving around like a maniac, spending more money than you had, buying their gift from the checkout line in Target because you can’t think of anything else – they wouldn’t want that from you!  So don’t feel like you have to do it.  Wait until the next day, by them a good book, or gift card, and let the pressure of other gifts go.
Essential Oils:  This may or may not be a placebo, the essential oil trend, but I don’t give a fuck.  If it works because my mind is telling me to believe it’s working, or the oils are truly relaxing me – I’ll fucking take it.  Am I right?  I met an essential oil doctor (jk she was selling her oil potions at the grocery store & I stopped to talk to her), and she gave me a combo she said would help me relax.  (5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Jasmine, 5 drops Frankincense, 3 drops Ylang Ylang.)  She put it in a tiny spray bottle (here) and said to spray it on my pillow at night, on my clothes, mid anxiety attack – whatever.  I’ve become obsessed.  It’s so easy to do too!  Go to Whole Foods, get these essential oils, get a tiny spray bottle, and make your own secret Xanax potion.

Read More

We’re Going Back To Dubai!

Bahrain

I have some exciting news! Or at least I consider it exciting… I’m heading back to Dubai!  This time, I’m not moving there & simply going for a visit – like a normal person.

Last time I was in Dubai, I remember literally telling Wafiq “I’m never ever.  Never. Ever. Coming back to this fucking place.”  Harsh, I know.  And I told everyone that!  I hated the thought of ever going back.  Being able to say that out loud & having made it through the experience – felt amazing.  I felt stuck when I was in Dubai, by my own stubbornness, for so long that when I finally got out of it, I felt like I made it! And there was no going back. Literally.

The experience was way harder on me than I expected & by the time I had my plane ticket in hand to come back to the States, I was extremely excited for America!  But, two years later I can say I’m actually excited to go back.  Mostly because so much has changed since then.  Personally & professionally.  Also, I’m not moving there so I know I’m not stuck, merely a tourist.  And shiiiii, I lived there for almost 2 years! There are parts & memories I miss.

Read More

You Need This Book – Love Warrior

LOVE WARRIOR

Ok. Ok. So when I first mentioned my few weeks of life changing events I said it was a combination of things.  One was Jury Duty but the other was a book.  Somehow, the stars aligned in a way that helped me read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton during my week of Jury Duty.  fyi – There is plenty of opportunity to read while on Jury Duty, it feels like you’re constantly sitting in the small Jury Room waiting for the courtroom to be ready.  I was easily able to finish reading Love Warrior… and wow.

I first heard of Glennon Doyle on Chelsea! about a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wanting to read her book, but procrastinated.  I picked it up, and even read a page or 2 several different times, but always ended up putting it down.  At first glance, the book seemed too emotional & strong (if that makes sense) which scared me away from it.  Emotionally deep books (and movies) gets my anxiety on it’s tip toes so I tend to avoid them.  However, Love Warrior was the only book I packed in my purse for Jury Duty, leaving me no choice but to get through it.

Lucky for me, because this book changed me in a similar way Jury Duty did.

Let me explain.  I recently had a truce with my anxiety, where I looked it in the eye with a smile & shifted my mind to start using it as a tool.  (Also on Chelsea!), a woman being interviewed asked Chelsea to name 3 qualities she likes about herself, and they couldn’t be physical.   I listened, laughed and fell asleep.  In the morning, I was driving to work & thought about that same question.  3 qualities I like about myself, and they can’t be physical.  One of the answers that kept creeping in my mind was – anxiety.  Wtf.  I thought anxiety was something I hated.  But, I started feeling like Batman’s bestie.  Powerful, relieved, and excited.  I told myself, anxiety is a superpower.  A freaking superpower!  Because of anxiety, I’m uber aware of feelings & emotions.  They’re loud, and they’re always there for me to hear. And if I can control them a little, they can be a badass superpower.  And that’s exactly what I’m going to make them.

Read More

Wtf. What No One Tells You About Jury Duty.

Jury Duty

I never know if I should write how I feel right when I’m feeling it or wait until I get my thoughts together… For example, Jury Duty.  I walked out of Jury Duty feeling like I couldn’t breathe.  I was fucking rocked, and scared, and anxious.  For a week I couldn’t sleep without having nightmares.  Surprisingly, my immediate reaction was to hate blogging.  The first thought I had was “fuck my blog”.   Although it’s my creative outlet,  my experience on Jury Duty made me feel like I was wasting precious, valuable time working on my silly blog.  I needed to be doing more!  A week or so passed and I started thinking I need to write this all down in my blog, change my blog, change people!  But then I felt I was too wrapped up in emotion, not thinking clearly.  Now, I’m a month past Jury Duty and feel like I’m rational, yet still kind of wish I would’ve written everything down when I was irrational.  When people are super expressive with feelings I listen to them, even if they’re wrong, there has to be parts to take away.

A month ago I had to report for Jury Duty.  I recently registered to vote and the two results in that decision were (1) Donald Trump as my president (2) Jury Duty summons.  Real winning decision making skills right there, Ha!

My first reaction with Jury Duty was, anxiety.  Because that’s what I do best.  “What if I have a panic attack while I’m there”  “There’s no way out of this”  “What if I can’t breathe” “What if I can’t talk” “How long will it take”  “What if I don’t show up”.  Welcome to my brain.

Everyone told me their Jury Duty stories & how they tried to get out of it or why they weren’t chosen or how strong minded they were so no way someone would pick them, or it’s probably a dumb case, so annoying to go to Jury Duty.

I had NO idea how fucking hard it would be for me.  I happened to get chosen to be a Jury member.  12 out of 80 something people were chosen.  I have a few thoughts on that.  If you have an education, compassion, you’re smart, you listen, understanding, morals & ethics – you SHOULD be a chosen member for Jury Duty.  When I started hearing what some of the other Jury contenders were saying, I thought holy Jesus I better be chosen.  No way they’ll let these fucking stubborn assholes make a judicial decision, right?! And I was right – they chose me.  And they should choose me.  They should choose you too, if you’re smart and a good listener.  It is your duty and it is your responsibility.  ESPECIALLY if you’re making decisions about someones future.  If you don’t do it, those stubborn assholes will, and that’s not acceptable.

The Case.  I’m going to summarize what was a week long journey of my court case the best I can.  In reality, the details of the case itself wasn’t the traumatizing part of Jury Duty so I don’t want it to be the highlight of this post.  There was a domestic violence dispute where a woman ended up with a cut on her hand and the defendant plead not guilty.  This was a felony case because of the claim of the use of a deadly weapon.  When it came time to deliberate there were two different charges we could sentence the defendant with, or decide he’s not guilty.  The jury decided the harsher of the two, a felony.  The second decision was his sentencing.  Because he already had a felony on his record and spent time in jail, the Texas law requires a minimum sentence of 25 years.  My jury members wanted to really stick it to him so they gave him a 26 year sentence, as kind of a “ha ha”.  The defendant stood up, heard his sentence, ran his fingerprints, and went to jail until he likely will pass away.

Read More

Life Chats: Not Always Rosey

Life Chats

I would love to say I’m back with Taylor Swift in my ears but I have 1,000 upgrades, login/password confusion, and download issues happening in iTunes right now so no Taylor Swift for me! Might have to take it the old fashion way of buying a tangible CD or pirating.    I’ve only been looking forward to this album since she disappeared.

I had a few traumatizing events happen the last few weeks, Jury Duty, work overload, and a book that rocked my socks.  The combination of everything changed me.  Really changed me in my core, opened my eyes, freaked me out, kept me awake… I’m going to follow up with a few posts on those events in the next week or so because it’s a lot to take on in one post, for me.  Especially since I haven’t written a post in awhile, I wanted to say hi first!  Immediately after Jury Duty I started thinking – fuck blogging, it’s not important enough.  I kind of protested myself, to myself?   My eyes were opened WIDE and I really shut the door on blogging, I was completely shifted in my thoughts.  I couldn’t come on and write about shoes, or festivals, or being happy – when that’s the opposite of what I gave a shit about.  But then, being away made me feel anxious, I love writing. And it doesn’t have to be roses and smiles all the time, because life isn’t roses all the time.  And my writing doesn’t have to be perfect or make perfect sense, because no one is perfect.  No one knows everything.  I also learned that being away from blogging & writing didn’t feel right. 

I’ve anxiously been waiting to have a post schedule again.  I use my blog as a creativity outlet but realized it’s more than that for me, it’s a way to express what’s in my head and talk to a few people that read.  My goal  is to eventually talk back and forth (I think some people call that conversation 🙂 ) with readers.  I know everything I say or think can be changed with a little extra knowledge and I’m going to do my best to search for it!  And always hear the other side on all my thoughts, and I encourage you to do the same.

Needless to say, waaaay out of the holiday spirit this year.  I don’t even remember Halloween.  Did it happen already?  This might not seem like a big deal, but as a blogger I should give a shit.  And my whole life I have – I love costumes and dressing up.  I’m typically VERY holiday. Celebrations excite me and I’m always down to participate… but this year I haven’t gotten into the swing of things, just haven’t and I probably won’t.  I’m relieved, I don’t want to holiday this year.  I want 2017 to be the year that I’m not focused on holidays but focused on myself and upcoming plans.  I’ve done this once before, when I first moved to Dubai.  I skipped holidays, and you know what? It wasn’t so bad.    So this year will be somewhat similar, not a total skip, but pretty darn close.

Read More

I Cant Wait For…

Mindful

Attention All: We have a new motto in our household.  I’m putting the same test on you & your household as well.  No more “I can’t wait for…”

I’ve never been someone who’s said “I can’t wait for…” or “I can’t wait when…” very often but I caught myself the other night.   I kid you not, Wafiq & I said approx 4 times in a row an “I can’t wait for…” sentence.  “I can’t wait for us to get the new computer screen”, “I can’t wait for the new speaker”,  “I can’t wait for…”.   We sat down on our badass couch in front of our huge ass TV in our treehouse home and started laughing.  WTF.  We have everything we’ve ever wanted right here in front of us.  There were moments we couldn’t wait to have our own space, we couldn’t wait to get through the immigration process (& payments), we couldn’t wait to make money… and here we are with all of those things fully accomplished.

And now we’re acting like we need more?!?

Even when we barely had our own room to sleep in, we rarely said out loud how much we couldn’t wait to have our own place.  I think we both knew if we started to focus on the things we didn’t have, we could end up in a dark, miserable tunnel of misery.  So we rarely talked negatively.

It’s interesting once you start having “things” you start focusing on more things, for some reason.  I think accidentally.  I laughed out loud when I heard myself.  We both did.  And we said, no more! It’s freaking ridiculous what we’re doing.  And instead, we focused on watching the season premiere of Survivor.

Read More

My First Dating App Pic + A Little Dating History…

Dating Picture

Last week I did something a little anxiety provoking by logging onto Facebook & scrolling through years of pictures.  I don’t use Facebook very much anymore, and have never been a die-hard Facebooker.  For a few years after graduating college I deleted my Facebook all together.  No matter how much mind control you have, scrolling through a feed of highlights from everyone else’s life takes its toll on you.  I felt myself questing decisions I was making & comparing, comparing, comparing! – so I let Facebook go. At the time it was fantastic.  Since then I’ve rarely been using it & do my best not to get sucked into scrolling through my feed.

Ok, so this leads me to the other night, I stalked myself.  I wanted to see what was up with Miss Katie in her good ol Facebook days.  Years ago Facebook used to be a place where people posted full albums of a night out, dinner, vacation, dog, friend, time at the park.  Not 1 photo, but an album of 50.   These days Facebook is more business-y? And people sharing articles.  Instagram took over photos I think.  So I stalked back to the days of albums.  I should continue by saying, I don’t like erasing past decisions, which is why I try not to delete anything that I posted myself.  If I wanted to post it at the time, that’s how I was living life! OUI!

I felt pretty good after stalking.  Solid life experiences I’ve been documenting.

BUT THEN, I came across this photo of myself on my apartment balcony and immediately remembered.  MY FIRST DATING APP PHOTO.  I think I was 21?  Somewhere around there, and guys I put so much effort into this photo! The outfit, the lighting, the smile, the head tilt!  Probably even the nails…  I remember getting this shirt for $5 at Forever 21 & I never loved anything more.

My one & only dating app picture – on E Harmony
I put myself on EHarmony.  EHarmony at 22.  I remember feeling like the guys I was meeting on my own weren’t interested in anything more than going to church with their parents on Sunday mornings OR binge drinking on Monday nights.  Not for me you know, can we land somewhere in the middle?  So EHarmony (and blind dates) were my jam.  I pretended I was on The Bachelor and had a new date every week, on Thursday nights.  I had that system running for a long time…  Thursday was perfect by the way, the date didn’t interrupt one of my already planned fun weekend nights but was late enough in the week to actually relax & enjoy the night. Highly recommend setting up a similar schedule if you’re single.

The problem with Eharmony was that no one wanted to date me.  I think I was too young for the site?  One of the dates that I landed was with this guy that met me for appetizers.  He barely spoke & I don’t think listened to anything I said.  But I was so excited for this date!  I remember that. I can’t remember why, I think because he was older and it made me feel like he had to be more mature & maybe potential for a 2nd date??  Well we ate the apps, he took me to a nearby bar, and I saw a smile for the first time of the night when he looked up for the first eye contact of the evening and asked “what my sexual preferences were”.

Read More