So About My Senior Year . . .

So About My Senior Year . . .

Hi. I’ve been gone for a few months and I feel like I owe you all an explanation before I get back to business as usual.

My senior year was great until it wasn’t. I had fun, a made a lot of memories, and then I hit rock bottom.

It all began when one of my two best friends, the girls I’d spent almost every moment with the last two years, seemingly decided she didn’t like me anymore. Even now I really don’t understand why she suddenly had a problem with me, and why she felt the need to take it to such extremes. I found myself in the middle of a battle I was never really fighting. I only wanted things to be like they were before, the three of us together and happy. But I soon realized that wouldn’t be possible because my presence was no longer wanted. By the beginning of summer they still had each other, but I was left completely alone to fight a new kind of battle.

My mental health declined as my social life seemingly fell to pieces. I’d never felt more lost and alone. Part of me wished I wasn’t here anymore. I had no strength left, and no positive way to spin this situation. I had been completely blindsided by my closest friends and I had no idea what to do with myself. All I wanted to do was sleep, and for everything to stop hurting.

My mother raised me to believe that all things happen for a reason, so I knew I was meant to get through this. The things that saved me were my family, my childhood bestie, and a newfound spontaneity to say yes to new adventures because I was determined to overcome this and come out a better person on the other side.

I went to Spain with my school and made some new friends and lots of memories. I also went to my college orientation anxious, a little depressed, but determined to make new friends, which thankfully I did and for the first time in months I can say with confidence I’m excited for college. I’m not scared about seeing the girls who hurt me on campus anymore now that I have found people who care about me and support me. I know that  even when my bestie goes away for college, that if that sadness I felt before ever resurfaces, my new friends will have my back and I’m so immensely greatly for that.

Honestly, I’m not sure what was said about me, but all I know is that it turned the girl who I thought was my best friend away from me. Even after it was all over, when I showed up at grad parties alone and was asked why they weren’t with me, I never once had a bad thing to say about them. I just said we are no longer close but they are still good people. I knew deep in my heart at that moment I didn’t believe the words that were rolling off my tongue, but talking shit would have made me no better than them. I really do wish them the best and I hope they get everything they want out of life.

It is so incredibly hard to be the bigger person, but I promise you will never regret it.

The only person I blamed for all this was myself and it wasn’t even my fault. I knew it only would have made me feel worse to tell people about the emotional minefield they dragged me through. There is still a part of me that so badly wants to hate them for everything they put me through, but it’s against my nature. I know someday I will find it in my heart to forgive them for making me feel as terrible as I did leaving high school as I did entering it.

I know they may think they have done right by me, and I guess more power to them, but I don’t think there was anything right they could have done other than leave me alone and let me move on, but instead they decided to drop off grad cards in my mailbox while I was in Spain. My mother told me when I returned from my trip. She waited a few days because she was nervous about how I’d react since I was so elated and excited about my newfound friendships and all the memories from the trip. Once she told me, a huge knot formed in my stomach and all those horrible feelings I felt when school ended rushed right back.

If I’m honest, I’d hardly thought about them while I was gone, so those cards sent me over the edge. My first reaction was anger. I just wanted them to leave me alone. I wanted to move on. I even took it out on my mom, the one person who has been my rock and here for me through absolutely everything. She sat with me in my car while I cried before my senior prom, she wiped away my tears when I told her how everything they’d done had made me feel, and was there to remind me I was loved when I felt completely alone. I was angry because I wished she had just thrown them away, but I know now if she had, I never would’ve gotten to write back and say what I needed to say in order to actually move on. 

One of the cards was extremely specific, and told me that my best friend still didn’t understand the complexity of the situation and the other was nothing more than a grad card, which honestly upset me more than if I would’ve never heard from her again. 

After reading them I decided I needed to end this once and for all. They were once my friends, so maybe they might care about what I had to say. I wrote them each a note explaining myself, even though I knew in reality I owed them nothing, and mailed it to them. I did it for me. I have never felt more of an emotional release than I did dropping those letters in the mailbox. That was my closure.

For me, it was finally over. Well, sort of. The last piece was securing my sanity, which required me to take the final step and unfollow the girls on social media because mentally, it was hard for me to watch them still be there for each other when they didn’t want to do so for me anymore. I know it may seem shallow or petty, but I’m doing it for my own sanity so I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong in doing so. I’m not doing it to be hateful, I’m doing it to protect myself. 

For whatever reason this was maybe the hardest part for me. I couldn’t even bring myself the push the unfollow button. I’m sure they thought it was me being petty or rude, but some of things they had posted on social media during this whole ordeal were things that hurt me. I didn’t do it to be mean or to say I didn’t care about them anymore because that just wouldn’t be true. I just needed to detach myself.

I didn’t block them, because to me, that wouldn’t accomplish anything. I just needed to not see their content anymore because it only gave me negative energy. I decided to do what was best for me and to not apologize for it. So after several persuasive texts from my bestie and a talk with my mom, we decided it was what was best. I handed her my phone, she pushed the buttons and it was done.

So now it is over. I’m officially done with high school drama. 

Things are going to get better, unless rock bottom really does have a basement like some say it does, but I believe it has to get better.

Needless to say, I haven’t felt that inspired this summer, which is why blog content has been hard to come by. I have a million ideas I want to see through, and now that I’m starting to get my groove back, I promise it’ll be coming soon. I just needed time to heal emotionally, and put what I went through into words. I finally feel like I have achieved that, so I can get back to being me.

I’m anxious, but also excited about starting college in the fall. I’m not the same scared little girl I was when I started high school. All I know is that I need a new start; a fresh clean page. I wanted to rip out the last few pages of this chapter of my life, but I couldn’t until the final paragraphs were complete. I consider this post, this explanation of my emotions, my journey through the final months of my senior year, the final paragraphs.

The story of my high school career is now done, and I’m never looking back.

Summer has offered me time to grow. Reconnecting with my childhood bestie who always has my back when life goes to shit has been one of the greatest things I’ve done this summer. I am beyond grateful for her and my wonderful family. If you haven’t found a best friend yet, I promise you will someday and they will always have your back and love you like family. Turns out I’ve known mine since literally her birth, but I promise you can find them at any point in your life. I’m surrounding myself with my new friends and positive people and honestly, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Finally the world doesn’t seem as lonely as it did for me a couple months ago.

I’m so ready to leave the past behind me, but mostly I’m hopeful for the future. I’m ready to be creative again, I’m ready to continue becoming a better person, I’m ready to meet new people and try new things, and make new memories that I’ll have forever.

Things have to get better and I can already tell that they will because for the first time in a long time, I finally feel free.

Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been?

OMG HEY!

It’s been a hot minute since I posted anything on here and I promise you it’s been driving me crazy and I promise you I can’t wait to get back into a creative flow again. Senior year is almost over, but I decided that I wanted to recap what’s been going on for me the last few months just to fill you all in as to why I have been gone.

While I love how my blog is a unique and separate part of me, I’d love to start sharing more personal experiences with you all as well because my life doesn’t stop and so I’ll always have something to write about if I bring it back to my life. So today I’m starting off this new tradition here on the blog by sharing photos and stories with you from my life the last couple of months. Enjoy 🙂

Best Buddies Prom

Best Buddies Prom with my Best Buddy and my beautiful sister, Em, of course! I always love dancing the night away with my favorite people in the world. You can’t forget how important it is to show these kiddos that they’re loved and that you want to spend time with them. Prom night to them meant so much and I am so so so happy I was a part of it.

Activism Through Journalism

I wrote a controversial opinion piece for my school’s news website about a decision made by my school board. Here’s the gist of it: My district’s original non-discrimination policy did not include sexuality or gender identity. Although all students and staff are technically protected by sex, gender, age, or religion, they can still be discriminated against because of their sexuality or how they identify. The board voted against adding these two terms to our policy. Their decision was fueled prejudice and personal opinion, which is why they failed to see that these were students asking for their help and they were turning their backs on them because of their beliefs.

That’s why I wrote the story. Every student and every staff member deserves to feel protected period, regardless of whether or not you agree with their opinion or how they live. I am the least opinionated person I’ve ever met in my life and I have never taken a stand on an issue like this before so it’s a HUUUGE deal for me and I really don’t think I could be more proud of something I’ve written outside my comfort zone.

My “Mid-Life Boy Crisis”

You ever been waiting around on a boy who flirts with you, and you think he’s interested and so you get your hopes up, and then all of a sudden you realize he really isn’t trying and he isn’t going to and there’s just been another guy who’s been hanging around being the best, being helpful when he definitely didn’t need to be, being supportive, offering advice, and being an all around freaking amazing guy and you didn’t pay him any attention because you were so focused on the cutie who isn’t making any moves and just keeps playing with your feelings??? CAUSE SAME. Like he was right there the whole time and I never even realized that this freaking fantastic, amazing, wonderful dude has been here just chilling watching all this go down and now I’m just sitting over here like sh*t. I have to wonder how I could really be this dumb and not see this, but there’s still time to try and fix this and maybe make things happen before the end of the summer, so wish me, luck folks.

College Decision Day

Ya girl is staying local and going to IUPUI in the fall, so get ready Indy! I can’t wait to rediscover my city with my favorite gals by my side. I’m heading there to study Spanish and communications, but I already have a feeling that my major (not my minor in Spanish because I love it too much) is probably going to change pretty quickly once I get there… 😉

A Lil Promposal

I asked my bestie to prom (She said yes)! I was a lil tired of waiting around on boys to make moves (OOF) and besides it’s more fun to go with your friends! And I mean technically you could dance with any single guys at the dance as well because it’s 2019, if you want to go to prom solo, you can go to prom solo and dance with other solos! Have a great time!! So we didn’t go to our senior prom “dateless” and because I feel like every girl deserves a cute promposal, I decided to ask my bestie to the dance. ALSO, boys, are y’all crazy? Have you SEEN this gorgeous gal? What the heck my dudes.

Hope for Happiness

I got to see an amazing event my school’s mental health club has been putting together with the city called Hope for Happiness come to life and it was AMAZING. Silent disco, mental health resources, speakers, community members coming together, and elementary school students showing the power of coping skills. It was astounding and I’m so so so grateful to have been a part of the planning process for this event for the last two years.

Learning About Loss

My whole world was flipped upside down when my great uncle, who has been in and out of the hospital the last few months, suddenly had a heart attack and passed away after what we thought was a life-saving surgery. While we weren’t close, I’ve never dealt with grief or loss before. I’ve never lost a grandparent or anyone else in my life, which I know to make it 18 years without losing someone close to you is no small feat, however I always wonder if I would have rather lost someone sooner just so it doesn’t hurt as much when they’re gone after knowing them for so long. Either way, it’s never easy to see the people you love most suffer through it. He was my grandma’s baby brother, but my grandpa’s best friend. They were devastated, my mom was devastated, and of course, then I had to be too.

Last Newspaper Work Session

I had my last newspaper work session, and let me tell you, I know my publications kids out there will get this, but OH MY GOD I am going to miss everyone I met on staff. The rest of the world may think we’re nerdy and annoying but oh well because I love us and I think we’re great. I’ve literally met some of the best people ever and I will miss them so freaking much.

Last Bring Change to Mind Meeting

I had my final mental health club meeting of the year and it was so freaking fun. I’m going to miss these people and this club so so so much. We made some super cute chalk drawings outside our school and posters to decorate the inside with positive affirmations for World Children’s Mental Health Day. We love to spread the love ♥️

Continued Activism

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the next board meeting regarding the issue of my school district’s non-discrimination policy. I was there as an ally to support one of my best friends as she spoke in front of the board. There were over 20 brave students and community members who addressed the board to their stories and why this addition matters, and there were easily over 300 people in attendance to show their support of the amended policy. Love prevailed and the board was swayed after hearing all the emotional testimonials. The addition of gender identity and sexual orientation were added to our policy in a 5-2 vote. It was an amazing thing to be a part of.


As my senior year comes to a close, I hope to share more of my summer adventures and college adventures with you all in the future, as well as your regularly scheduled creative content 🙂

As always, thank you for your love and support on this wild and creative journey.

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The Dream

The Dream

“So, what is it that you want to do?”

This is a question I’m certain I will receive about 42 times this holiday season.

This question is a loaded question is disguised by its own simplicity.

It should be easy to say what it is that I want to do, at least according to most people’s definition anyway, which is college and a career.

However, I feel what I want to do doesn’t necessarily fit that definition.

What do I really want to do?

— I’d love to fill you in.

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I want to be a writer. I’m not 100% sure what I want to write so I want to try it all. Screenwriting, songwriting, journalism, maybe I’ll even try writing a book, and who knows what else.

I want to be a photographer. I want to test my abilities and improve my photography. I want to maybe even start a small photography business on the side, but only time will tell.

I want to be a content creator. I want to design and put my blood, sweat, and tears into projects that I’m proud of. Maybe I’ll achieve this by helping others find themselves and build brands they’re proud of, or maybe I’ll do this just by creating content of my own. I’m not sure yet, but I can’t wait to find out.

I want to be an influencer. What do I want to “influence?” I want to influence people to be better, to be good to people, ALL people, regardless of our differences. I want to influence people to be the very best they can be and to never quit striving for that. I want to influence people to dream bigger. I want to influence people to stand on their own two feet, to know they are loved, they matter, and that their voice is relevant.

All of these things I can technically achieve without a college degree, however, there are other things I aspire to do that might.

I want to learn more about photography. I’d love to take more photography classes to get a better understanding of how to use my camera. I loved photojournalism in high school so maybe I’ll take a class about it in college too.

I want to be bilingual. I want to be fluent in Spanish. I have taken it for the last four years in high school and I am nowhere near ready to quit learning.

I want to study abroad. I feel beyond privileged to travel to Spain this summer, but I would love to study there for a few weeks, maybe even a semester while in college. Or maybe I’ll even study in a different country entirely! Who knows what the future will hold.

This next one is a little cliche, but I feel it’s necessary to include because it is the whole-hearted truth:

Most importantly though, I want to be happy.

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as it makes you happy, and I know for sure that I am the only one in the entire world who knows what can make me the happiest.

So to my loved ones,

If this crazy dream is a part of it (which hi there, it is), please please respect that, especially if you want me to be happy too.

To my readers,

It took me a while, almost 16 years of traveling around the sun, to find the things that I’m the most passionate about, but once I did, I knew that I had found what was going to fulfill me, give me purpose, and grant me the happiness I’ve told myself for so long I never deserved. I never stopped searching for my passions.

And I will always and forever encourage you to do the same.

xoxo, Katie

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. — Sophia Bush

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Let’s Be Friends

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How I’m (Actually) Going to Balance Blogging & High School

How I’m (Actually) Going to Balance Blogging & High School

This is me, happier than I’ve been in a long time. Why? Because I’m finally working on finding balance.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed a change in the number of posts coming from me over the summer break and into back to school season in August. I’d like to explain, but this time without excuses.

I’d also like to tell you how I’m going to change because although balancing blogging and high school isn’t the easiest, I’ve realized it’s something I need to figure out for my own personal happiness.

So this post is, in a way, a continuation of How I (Attempt to) Balance Blogging & High School.

First things first: Why did I stop blogging for so long (or blog so irregularly)?

I got the idea of quality over quantity in my head, but it wasn’t until I realized how unhappy I was not writing when I understood I was looking at that concept all wrong.

I thought it was more important that I disappear for a while but come back with one fantastic post than to regularly push out smaller posts that I don’t have the time and flexibility to work on as much.

What I didn’t realize, is that when I would put out a post after not doing so for such a long time, I wasn’t actually proud of it and I wasn’t happy.

I guess you could say I’ve had an epiphany. It’s more important to me that I continue to push myself to be creative and get new creative content out there than to focus all on my energy on school work (or procrastinating my school work).

I would rather put out a bunch of smaller posts that I’m proud of than to put out one big messy one that I’m not.

I would rather make time for a little bit of creativity and expression each week than to sit around and wonder when I’ll have the time to.

In other words, word count is not a good way to measure quality over quantity.

After all, there’s nothing wrong with a quick read!

This blog is something I really love, and I don’t plan on giving up on it. Not now, not ever.

I have so many people around me who love and support me, and they motivate me to keep going. Even though I’m not seeing as much growth as I hoped I would by now, that’s okay and I understand because I haven’t gotten to put in the time and effort so many other people do.

The dream works, but only if you do. I haven’t been, but I plan to. Sometimes life happens.

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For example, I started writing this fairly short, straight-forward post a little over a week ago with the intention of it going up last Saturday, but then I got sick, like super sick, for five days. I missed three days of school and I slept for almost two days straight.

Sometimes, things can’t be helped, but here I am, it’s a whole new week, and I’m still determined to share this post with you. Why? Because it’s important. It’s something that I’m sure all creative people go through at least a million times during their life. The struggle of balance.

I thought senior year of high school was going to be all fun and games, and come to find out, first semester is not. Definitely not.

Between college applications (Which I’ve actually done two, just not for schools that I’m actually genuinely interested in going to), senior classes, test scores, work, trying to maintain some kind of social life, and thinking about how this blog is being put on the backburner YET AGAIN, I. Was. Dying.

It’s only September, but already I feel like the worst is mostly over. Other than college applications, which in my true nature, I can’t help but to procrastinate them, I’m already feeling better about life.

I think joining the school newspaper this year may have been one of the best decisions I could have made, I have so many new ideas for this blog and how I can carry them out, things seem less overwhelming at work now, and I’m actually feeling really good about the future, other than, ya know, college because YIKES.

All these things are why I’ve set my new goal for this blog to be one post a week. Some weeks they’ll be big, thought-out, creative posts, sometimes they’ll just be smaller posts, like the occasional rant, a post about Emily or my family, a monthly playlist or favorites, or even another Life Lately, where I sit down and pour my heart out to you about what’s going on in my life at the moment because after all, this is a lifestyle blog.

However, the one thing I never want to lose sight of is the fact that I firmly believe I am a positivity-based lifestyle blog. I believe a positive attitude has the power to change absolutely everything. By choosing kindness, and understanding, you can forever change this world. By spreading love, you give this world hope. Together, we can easily do this.

I can’t wait for what’s next.

Thanks for stopping by,

 

If you like what I do here, please consider buying me a coffee to let me know!

— Thank you!

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High School Survival Guide: The Essentials

High School Survival Guide: The Essentials

Hey there!

. . . From someone who actually made it through three full years of high school and lived to tell the tale!

Today as part of this little mini back to school series I’ve been working on the past few weeks, I thought a would share a few things that I personally feel like you need to consider having with you while you’re at high school.

Some are silly and others are more serious, but I promise you they’re all important!

My Must Haves:

Coffee — I never knew sleep deprivation was a real thing for high schoolers until after pulling a couple late nighters to finish psychology projects last year. Guys, it’s real. I needed the caffeine in the mornings otherwise I’d fall asleep in math every day I didn’t have it, but also if you just like coffee it’s a bonus. I like to drink coffee casually for enjoyment but during the school year, I drink it almost religiously for survival.

Headphones — In case you don’t have friends around to walk with to your next class, or if you’re in a mood and need to listen to your favorite songs to cheer you up, they’re super important. They are also good for giving someone a *subtle* hint not to talk to you, which seems super mean, but it is actually considered a socially acceptable form of deterrence, so no worries I promise it’s not that awkward. Also, they come in handy if you need to watch videos in class for homework but don’t want to be annoying to the rest of the room (Don’t be that person!).

Comfortable Backpack — Not even overreacting. You may have to carry textbooks (If your school still has legit textbooks), notebooks, folder packed full of notes, pencil pouch, your lunch, water, and who knows what else, so you’re going to want a bag that doesn’t give you back pain.

In my school at least, hardly anyone uses their lockers. Yours could be too far away, maybe you don’t have enough time between classes, or in some cases, it might even be too small, so just make sure you’ve got a bag that will hold it all so you don’t regret the decision of choosing no tardies over using your locker.

Some Kind of Planner — I can not stress enough how important it is to have somewhere to keep everything organized. There are a lot of great online options, you could even use the Notes app on your phone for homework assignments and iCalendar for tests, or you could use a cool app like Trello, but I seriously recommend a paper planner. It’s all right there in front of you and it’s super easy to flip ahead a few pages to see what’s coming.

You need to do the homework (It’s actually the majority of your grade in most classes and can be super helpful when preparing for tests, just saying)  and stay on top of your stuff so you don’t fall behind, seriously, it’s not fun to try and play catch up. I should know, I’m practically the Conductor of Procrastination Station, but if you’re motivated, you’ll find a way to get it done.

Three or Five Subject Notebook — Some people prefer having a separate notebook for each class and believe me, I feel ya, I was that person once, but after breaking enough spiral notebooks by them getting tangled up in my backpack, I decided that one notebook that holds all my notes for three classes was better.

Also back to the backpack > locker thing, it really doesn’t weigh that much more so you don’t have to worry about not having your notes if you grab the wrong notebook, because they’re all together (Which could also be bad if you forget the whole thing, but hey, let’s be optimistic here!). I can imagine this kind of notebook might be even more helpful in college, but I feel it works pretty well for high school.

Pads or Tampons — For my high school ladies, we can’t skip over perhaps one of the most important things to make sure you have in your backpack at all times, your pads and tampons. Because let’s be honest, “That Time of the Month” can come and go whenever it pleases, so it’s always good to be prepared. Also, it never hurts to carry a few extras in the off chance you can help a sister out because those little vending machine tampons and pads at school are not ideal.

Travel Sized Deodorant — This may absolutely just be a “me” thing, but some mornings I’m in such a rush I forget to put on deodorant. How someone forgets such a crucial personal hygiene step such as deodorant in the morning, the world may never know, but I like to have a small one in my bag just in case because I know myself all too well.

Those are all my essentials (Wrote more than expected, whoops! I wanted to be specific to help y’all out!)

I’d love to hear your #1 essential for school in the comments below! I hope you have an amazing school year!

Thanks for stopping by,

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