The Best Date I Have Ever Been On

girl, date, tom hanks, important, night, out,best, life, girl, my, movies, the post, writer, journalism, journalist, dreams, abuse, anxiety, grow, moment,laughing, laughter, love, self, love, I went to the movies on Friday. Yes, I went alone. I got all dressed up and decided to have a night all to myself. I went to my favorite fancy movie theater to watch The Post with Tom Hanks.

As I parked my car, I couldn’t help but be super excited about this date night with myself. I looked around me and realized I am at a pretty awesome place in my life. I have all I have I ever wanted and so much more.

In this moment, I thought about more than just how lucky I was. I really began thinking back to all the things I have overcome just to get to this place in my life.

Although I do not wish to disclose every one of my skeletons, I can share the fact that I once used to hate myself. I once abused my body and my heart at all the same time. I once didn’t know or care to know that I had value and that I was deserving of love.

I am not sure if we all go through this stage in life, but I know I did. Anxiety used to plague my thoughts and bitterness would take over most of my days. I was too naive to see that all I have ever wanted resides within me.

Sounds cliché, right? All the answers are within you sounds like a sound bite from a Disney movie. It’s true though. All you have ever longed for can be found in your heart.

I have a quote that often rattles in my head that says, “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” Sylvia Plath said this and I believe her. She also committed suicide but that’s besides the point.

We often want to fill our lives with trashy things and people to hide the fact that we refuse to look at ourselves and what we have become. I know I did this. I didn’t like the sound of silence because it reminded me that I wasn’t where I wanted to be at the time.

I know think I had wrong all along. I love meditating. I love the sound and feeling of stillness. It makes me feel more alive than ever. My body and mind are much more powerful than I ever thought possible and I am grateful for this moment in time. I steal moments with myself and these are the most precious to me.

Once I got into the theater, I bought a glass of my favorite red wine and decided some popcorn was in order. I sat down next to some old couples and just took the moment in.

I watched a movie about all the things I ever dreamed of becoming. A groundbreaking journalist. I am not a traditional journalist as I once thought I would be but I am a content creator that is more diverse in her writing than a strict hard news writer could ever be.

I have not published the contents of the pentagon papers, but I continue to publish my truth every day that I write to all of you. I have even been invited to share my story at a university next week. I never really thought I was important until this point in my life.

Maybe I was too blind to see the fact that I do add value to this world and to lives of those closest to me. I know I do and I will make it my mission to continue to do so. I will make sure to give more, do more and be more. Date nights like these always help the cause. Taking myself out on a date the other night was the best date I have ever had.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

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Why Thanksgiving is Pointless

friends, thanksgiving, dinner, too, much, dress up, people, gratitude, dumb, pointless, love, gratitude, celebrate, thanks, blesses, blessings, healthy, food, family, fun, conversation, holiday, big,

Most of us have our favorite holiday. Or we have the one that our family does “bigger” than the rest. People get together and show each other more love on these favorite holidays. Food is always the showstopper and family conversations fill up every room.

I like all holidays. From Easter to the 4th of July, I love dressing up and having any reason to celebrate. Not everyone can relate, but I have had a good time celebrating life every chance that I get.

Thanksgiving is different. There are no bunnies or Santa Clauses representing the day. With the exception of pilgrims and Indians, there really are no mascots. There are pumpkins involved as if Halloween was never forgotten. It’s all pretty confusing. It’s even gotten to the point where some people don’t even know the history behind it.

Thanksgiving is pretty pointless if you ask me. Who even likes pumpkin pie and turkey with mashed potatoes?  Why give thanks when life is so hard? Why surround yourself with people who just happen to share DNA with you? Why surround yourself with people who you have learned to call family?  Why celebrate a day whose message has gotten lost throughout the years?

I don’t know, but I sure love pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and turkey. Above all, I love all my blood relatives and the many people who I’ve decided to call family throughout the years.

I can honestly say Thanksgiving is pointless because of the fact that I give thanks for all I have every single day. But I sure love having an excuse to come together to stuff our faces and talk about all that matters to us.

My family does Thanksgiving in a big way. It is probably the biggest holiday for us. We all get together and bring too much food so we can all go home with five extra plates in our hands. My cousins and I have always had fun sitting at the “kid” table while the adults talk about their own nonsense at the “adult” table.

This year I am thankful for more than ever. My mother is healthy after a difficult year. My sister made it to 21, and my Dad is loving the retired life. I have finally found my dream job, own a beautiful house and car, and recently got a baby Bengal kitten with my love. Not only that but the first book I helped write got published and printed this week!

I didn’t get here without being thankful for my blessings each day. Today is pointless but meaningful. It marks a great moment in time for me and my family. I am still growing up and am so thankful that my support system is alive and well. I have so much love in my life and heart that it hurts and things cannot get any better than this.

We must be thankful each day. We must regularly call our loved ones to just say, “I love you.” We must not judge those people or things that we do not understand. We must understand that with gratitude comes greatness. Life without gratitude can really be underwhelming. I choose to live a life full of meaning, gratitude, and love.

What do you choose to live by?

 

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

 

My Reaction To The SoCal Fire

fire, socal, anaheim hills, burn, cloud,dark,oc, orange county, talk, neighbor, spirit, orange, anaheim, tustin, freeway, 91 freeway, love,reaction, community, listen, cry, tears, sadness, heartI woke up this morning with a huge smile on my face. I mean, my boyfriend just presented a gorgeous engagement ring to me. Things are looking up for me. I finally got the job I have always dreamed of, I can’t complain.

I drove to work super excited about what this last full week at my current job would bring. I want to finish strong and never falter, I thought. Just as was getting lost in my many selfish thoughts, I drove through what seemed like an amber cloud, except this cloud had no end.

It was early in the morning but the sky was dark and haunting.

We had a fire recently so it looked like a bit of deja vu. I thought maybe there was a different explanation, maybe a residual effect of the recent eclipse? I mean, what else could it be?

I kept driving. I decided not to worry. It was much too early on a Monday to worry about anything.

I got to my first stop of the day and my phone started ringing. It was a coworker. He told me to be careful because there was a huge fire in the middle of my usual Monday route. I froze. Another fire? Seriously? When will all of this chaos end?

I went about my day as normal as possible doing my best to avoid the forbidden 91 East freeway. I thought of the most strategic way to get to where I needed to go. It was a success, I encountered very little traffic.

All was well until I got on the 91 West freeway. I couldn’t believe how fluid the freeway was around 3 pm on a holiday. Woohoo! But then I saw it. I saw a huge black cloud of smoke ahead of me. As I approached the cloud, I looked to my left and saw flames much taller than myself taking over the mountain I so often drive next to.

Suddenly traffic didn’t matter, suddenly I didn’t even matter.

I have to admit I admire nature but I am not a tree hugger. No matter what I am or what I am not, I stared straight into the eye of the fire and burst into tears. It was overwhelming. The fire was literally a few feet away from me.

I kept driving and the flames were endless. My tears shed because of all the people who might be affected by this. My tears shed because it hurt to see such beautiful land go up in flames.

I so often take this long strip of nature for granted. I drive next to it often yet think nothing of it. I just expect it to always be there. Today I realized it will not always be there, and even if it is, it was forever changed today.

I called as many loved ones as I could. I told them I loved them. I told them I was safe. I did what I should do every single day regardless of nature’s wrath. This fire reminds me that everything can literally change in a matter of seconds. People have lost all of their memories and sense of safety today.

To all those affected:

My heart breaks with yours. I am sorry you have had to endure such a loss and/or trauma. And while things might seem irreparable right now, remember that your spirit can never be broken. Remember that you are a part of a larger community and that you are and will never be alone. If you need to talk, reach out to me, I am always here to listen. If not me, reach out to your fellow neighbor.

And to the brave responders and volunteers: I am sending you all of my love and strength, thank you for all of your heart, bravery and hard work. You are changing the course of history as we speak.

Today was not the best of days for many, but let’s all make sure to make tomorrow better by letting all those around us know they matter and that we care.

Love Always and Forever,

Karen