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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I Chose To Be Poor And Here’s What Happened

I was born and raised extremely spoiled. My parents were never super rich but they made sure I had everything I wanted and more. Santa always got me every single thing on my list. I grew up expecting to always be surrounded by nice things and people.

When I was 17, my dad offered me a rent-free condo, a car, and tuition. He told me if I stayed in one of his (local) rental properties I could have all the luxuries from home away from home.

I thought about it. I considered it. I quickly realized that wasn’t me.

I wanted to forge a future of my own. I wanted to get an education while chomping down on ramen noodles every night. I wanted the struggle. I wanted to earn my freedom.

Crazy, right?

I traded in the car for a bike. I traded in a free condo for a dirty half dorm room. I traded in a comfy allowance for some minimum wage scraps. I wanted to live the true American dream and escape the trenches of my childhood home. Yea and that made a lot of sense since my childhood home exuded comfort. Oh, what a tortured soul I was.

I “roughed” it in my own way throughout college. I ate Dino nuggets from Costco and had a cup of noodles at least once a day. Life was beyond amazing! I could do whatever I wanted without answering to anyone… or so I thought.

Life caught up with me and my reckless ways of life but I continued to choose a minimalist way of life. The longer I could stay out of my parents’ pretty house, the better. They even replaced me with a dog.

I lived the “poor” life up. I loved having only enough money to buy eggs, milk, and cereal at the market. Every day was an adventure, a chance to find a really good steal at the local thrift store.

I gave up all things sparkly and traded them in for hard work and long nights. I thought nice things were the devil. I thought I would never give in to the “system.” Haha, yet there I was at a state university studying to become something socially acceptable that would one day pay plenty of tax dollars to the “man” each year.

Upon graduation, I decided to move into a box in a rough part of town. It was the smallest little room you could find. It had only a bed, a bathroom, and a mini-fridge. The kitchen consisted of a hot plate and a toaster-oven. Now, this is luxury I thought!

The point of the box was to never have to depend on my parents for anything. The box was pretty amazing until it wasn’t. Eating on your bed everyday can get really old and it did. I grew out of my box and wanted more space to think and grow.

Don’t get me wrong, I got my Master’s degree in that tiny little box. Although the box was great, I realized I was settling for less in fear of not becoming successful enough to ever pay for more. I literally had boxed myself in. I was frozen in place with no signs of advancing in life.

I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and stop running from my past. I wanted to create a future much like the one my parents created for me. I decided I would get a house. I decided I would take on the risk of a mortgage.

I decided I would be relentless on my journey to achieve more, do more and be more. Even if I had to become a credit card abuser statistic, I was going to make this next step happen. The box made me want so much more from life.

And so I did it! I am sitting in my house as we speak (or type). I am sitting on the couch that I bought. I am looking at a kitchen that I hired a team to make pretty.

I have love surrounding my physical and energetic space. I have welcomed people into my home  and they can feel all of the love I have within my heart. That alone makes this huge risk worthwhile.

I have yet to really use a credit card as abundance has come my way. I willed it and I worked for it and I am now currently enjoying it. Being poor was extremely fun and liberating but accomplishing and reaching for more makes my life so much fuller. I am now able to share love on an entirely different level as I come home to it every single day.

I am now able to share love on an entirely different level as I come home to it every single day.

Choose to take on risks. Choose to take on more. Choose to laugh in the face of fear and doubt.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why I Don’t Freak Out Anymore

home alone, mistake, freak, out, calm, solve, solution, answer, cry, fix, analyze, evaluate, dont, why, freak out, failure, success, pact, promise, blame, circumstance, faultsI used to be the biggest basket case you have ever met. I was always running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Crashing my car multiple times a year was the norm and I often spilled things all over myself. Okay, I still spill things all over myself but that’s not the point here.

I used to spend half my time making mistakes and the other half crying about them.

I can blame my parents for this because it got to a point while growing up where they would just ignore my cries and refused to offer up any explanations for as to why I couldn’t spend the night at Suzie Q’s house.

While I can sit here and blame a million people and/or circumstances for all of my faults, I will save you the grief. I am the way I am because of some external factors, defense mechanisms and secret pacts and promises I have made with myself throughout the years.

Regardless of the reasons why, I got to a point in my life where I realized freaking out and crying about things would get me absolutely nowhere in life. If anything, my freak out moments created more unnecessary stress  during times of trouble.

A wise person once told me that it’s okay to make mistakes. They told me just to make sure to never make the same mistake twice. And if in case a mistake is made, find a solution and find it fast.

People don’t want to hear about all of your mistakes, they want to hear about all of your solutions, accomplishments and successes (which usually come from a series of mistakes).

I stopped freaking out about everything by changing my mentality. I had to shift what I defined as “failure” in my heart and mind. Crashing into a parked car is not a failure, it is a sign that I need to slow down both mentally and physically.

Everything happens for a reason and just simply giving up after something goes terribly wrong is not the answer let alone the solution.

I now refuse to freak out about things. I simply take a deep breath, analyze the situation (quickly), and then come up with the best solution I can possibly think of. Whether or not this conclusion is the most effective way to fix the problem, I realize I will soon come to find out.

The bottom line is there’s no room for growth without mistakes. We must fall before we can get back up. We must try different options before we can come up with the best one. I mean, isn’t that what the Shark Tank is all about? People inventing things that are solutions to life’s everyday problems.

So next time you feel like freaking out about something, remember you might just be on the verge of creating a genius invention. If not, at least remember freaking out and obsessing over something gone wrong will solve absolutely nothing.

Character is created by making mistakes, learning from them and creating a genius thing or idea as a result of them.

 

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen