Cleanse.

rs_1024x759-160224075644-1024.New-Buttons-For-FB

I am a serial “oversharer” on social media. This should not come to a surprise to you because I post on Facebook, write a blog, manage a food and fitness Instagram in addition to my personal one, and constantly share my day on Snapchat and Instastory. I really enjoy connecting with others through shared life experiences and seeing what other people are up to. Through social media I have reconnected with a lot of childhood friends and former classmates. Although I enjoy sharing my personal life with my friends and family, sometimes I need a break from it all.
Here are some reasons to take a social media cleanse:

-Politics: I can barely scroll down a couple of posts before I find a political debate or argument (depending on how you interpret it). This should not be a surprise to me because I lived in the DC area where everyone is super into politics, but it can be really overwhelming at times. We need to take a step back and realize that everyone is not going to be your political cup of tea. Are you posting something on Facebook to make a point or to purposely stir the pot? I am guilty of both but I have been scaling down on my political posts because it’s not worth the time to argue with your friends and family.

-Impersonal Communication: There are some people I have not talked to since college yet we are still friends on social media. The only communication we have nowadays is “liking” posts and saying “Happy Birthday.” I have actively started conversations with people by texting or calling them and it has been such a positive move in my personal life. Sometimes we forgo “real” communication when everyone just appears as a photo with a sentence on social media. Try contacting people outside of social media and make plans to see them if you can.

-Nosiness: We all know someone that only comes into our life when something exciting or new happens because they want to know all the details. If I’m going to announce something on social media, my inner circle of friends and select family will know before everyone else. While I do not mind people asking about my personal life, it can feel very intrusive when someone asks “I heard you live in New York. Can I stay with you?” or “I saw your new profile photo, who is that person?” It gets a little awkward when I realize that the last text they sent was from 2015.

-Relationships: A lot of my friends have taken a hiatus from social media after a big breakup. This is okay! You do not owe anyone an explanation of what happened. Your friends will tell you to cleanse your Facebook of your ex’s photos and delete them. That is entirely up to you to decide how you want to handle it.

-FOMO: Everyone loves to talk about FOMO or “fear of missing out.” Parties! Vacations! Weddings! New homes! Babies! All of your social media is probably flooded with so many amazing things happening to everyone else and you may feel like you are missing out on something big. If you feel this way, step away from your computer or your phone and do something that lets you focus on what makes you happy.

-KC

An Open Letter to Everyone that Broke My Heart

o-LOVE-LETTER-facebook

Dear …,

You probably opened this letter thinking it is about you and it is okay…I know you love the attention.
It all started when you caught my eye. Something about you made me want to know more about who you were. I wanted to be close to you. I wanted you to notice me. Then you looked at me from across the room in a way that made me think “maybe this is it, maybe this is the one”…you approached me from the other side of the room to introduce yourself. I took a deep breath and told myself to not take anything seriously but then you went on to whisper sweet nothings to me and I started to fall. You knew I was falling and you let go of my hand from the start.
The following days and weeks after our first interaction, I told my closest girlfriends about you. I told them that I hope you weren’t like the other guys. I eventually opened up to you and told you that I’ve been hurt in the past. You told me “I won’t hurt you” and “I’m not like the other guys.” You told me about how you’ve been hurt before. We talked about our past and I let you see me in my most vulnerable form. It hurts to know you didn’t deserve to see that side of me.
My friends fell in love with the idea of us. They wanted it to work out as much as I did. I slept with a smile thinking that someone actually cared about me. I made plans for you to meet my friends and see my favorite places. I looked forward to every moment I could see you. You seemed happy and just as excited to see me. I really enjoyed our time together even though it felt like it was going by too fast. I was always scared you would abruptly cut me off like the other guys did, but I held on to a little bit of hope. That fear became a reality when you left me without a notice.
History repeated itself…I realized that I’ve been “ghosted” or you moved on to another girl. More days pass and I see you interacting with those other girls. You’re flirting with them and flaunting them all over your social media accounts. Then the dreaded “in a relationship” notification flashes on my timeline. Why did you string me along when you knew you didn’t want a relationship with me? More importantly, what did I do wrong? I tell you later on that you hurt me and you make me feel like it’s all my fault. You give excuses about how you weren’t ready to commit or that you sparked a flame with one of your exes back home. No matter what your excuse is, it still hurts.
Now I’m more closed off than before. I feel too ashamed to explain to my friends about how we were no longer a “thing” or worse…we were nothing from the start. I’m confused and hurt because I really thought you would be different. You weren’t the one, you were just another face in the crowd.

xx
KC

Guest Post: Dear 2018

Dear 2018 you,

This year I challenge you to be optimistic, to be open minded, to welcome a new objective in in your life…to realize that the only certain thing in life is that you will die. Nothing is permanent!  Even though you may feel that way, things will change.  There is a light and the end of the tunnel.  Use 2018 as that time to light up that tunnel.  You may not be where you want to be but no one ever is.  Life is full of highs and lows!  Sometimes everything seems to be going as planned and then we received a right hook from Mike Tyson himself and all the sudden it’s a downward spiral.  Now there you are…on the floor, down for the count and you just want to throw in the towel of self-loathing, complaining, and stressing.  Trust me I’ve been there.

Unfortunately, that’s life sweetheart. It isn’t about what has happened to you, it’s how you choose to look at what has happened.  Your outlook is where the power lies, so I challenge you in 2018 to always look for the silver lining and to always believe there is a greater good at work because there is.  Just like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”  Trust that it will all fall in sooner or later.

I live each day by a quote by Padre Pio is “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” I pray for what I want, I hope that the work I put in yields me return, and finally I just don’t worry because I’ve done all I could do.  When you live like this, it is truly relieving.  What 2017 has taught me for 2018 is to take risks. Not taking a risks feels way worse than the worst outcome of taking a risk!  In 2018 shoot your shot, I may not always swoosh in but there is a backboard too.  😉

-J

Resolutions.

C5EEE3DF-3F3A-49C8-9294-C8BE4ED72879.jpeg

I haven’t written a New Years resolution list in years and now I think it is time to re-evaluate what my priorities are going to be. In college, I focused on being a student-athlete striving for a high GPA and trying to get into the top boat on the rowing team. My life consisted of getting A’s, making it to practice everyday, working out, and having a social life. If only life could be that easy as an adult right? Now that I’m in the latter end of my 20s, I need to change my focus on what is right for me at the moment. Here are some of my New Years Resolutions:

-Self Care: Lately, I’ve seen a lot of debate about the definition of self-care. For some, self-care consists of chocolates and bubble baths, and for others its mediation or going on a run. I think a little bit of both can be good for you! I’m going to try to take a couple of minutes a day in the morning to meditate and relax. On the weekends, I’m going to free up my time instead of constantly filling up my schedule so I have time to wind down from the workweek.

-Exercise: I have plenty of time to work out before and after work, but I need more motivation to get to the gym. I’m going to find a workout buddy and take group classes like SoulCycle to motivate me. I also signed up a half marathon in March to help me stay accountable on my goals. Running used to be so fun for me and now I’m going to try to get back into it again.

-Health: I was on my parent’s health insurance until I turned 26 so going to the doctor was never on my dime. Now that I’ve had my own health insurance for a year, I know the real costs of going to the doctor. This leads back to self-care, because I need to stress less, drink more water, and actually get eight hours of sleep. I used to stress out so much that I would only get five hours of sleep because my mind was spinning until 12am. My goal is to be kind to my body and sleep eight hours minimum a night.

-Social Media: I’m going to cut back on social media and focus on myself. On New Year’s Day, I deleted my Facebook app on my phone and I was surprised about how much time I spent just scrolling down my timeline looking at other people’s lives. I’m going to reach out to people by calling/texting the more often as compared to interacting with them with “likes” on social media platforms. I’m keeping a few of my social media accounts but I’m going to use them for a positive platform and not let it decide how I feel.

-Learn: I’m always up for learning new skills so I’m going to dedicate some time to re-learning some languages, reading more books, and trying to cook new things. I also want to visit new cities and meet new people. I’ve traveled more in the past two years than I have in my life and it’s been such a great experience.

-Positivity: This year is going to be dedicated to only being around positive people. The past year I spent a lot of time trying to change people and thinking that it was okay to be around so much negativity. On New Year’s Eve I went through my phone and deleted a lot of numbers. I had to finally cut out of the people who were no longer good to me…it hurt but it was needed. I want to start the new year with the right people in my life.

What are some of your New Years resolutions and how are you going to accomplish them?

Happy New Year!

-KC

Stop Settling for Crumbs.

ea47d84f78c433330178eba298fcb3af

Oh 2017. To say this year was a whirlwind would be an understatement. Your social media timelines are probably flooded with people reflecting on how happy their lives were. Nobody wants to show you the negative parts of their year because we’re afraid of looking vulnerable and being judged. A big part of my year was allowing myself to open up to others to let them know that they’re not alone.

This year was actually amazing but I let the negative make me forget about the positive. I went through a lot of personal battles with myself by allowing myself to let people determine how I feel.

When I started to feel like my life was in order, I allowed myself to get back into the idea of falling in love again. I fell hard, fast, and for a lot of wrong people. I let one to two word text messages decide if I was going to have a good day or not. I read too deeply into simple acts of kindness that never meant anything more. I held on to one nice thing someone would do for me. I was settling for crumbs. I wanted more but I just settled.

I was starting my days hoping that a simple “hello” or “good morning” text would appear on my phone. I would continually check my phone throughout the day to see if I got texts back. When I saw that I was left on “read” or my Snapchat was “opened” without a reply, I felt a small stab at my ego. I would check if he liked any of my photos or posts on social media. I would send cute messages hoping he would ask me out on another date. When my attempts failed, I felt like I was unloved, unwanted, and spent a lot nights crying to my friends about how I felt like I was never going to meet anyone ever again. Between my anxiety attacks and panicked phone calls I finally told myself that I hurt myself by wasting a lot of time, energy, and attention on the wrong people.

Unrequited love has been such a pattern in my life the past two years and I let the same patterns with the same types of people into my life. Each time it happens, I feel the same numbness but the “recovery time” is shortened. I allow myself to express my feelings and then I move on. The quicker I got over someone, the better I felt. I would start the next day reminding myself that I was happy before meeting them and I can be happy without them. I also reminded myself that my family and friends always returned the love, respect, and friendship that I gave to them.

Distractions helped me cope with my disaster of a “dating life.” I can’t even use the phrase “love life” because that is too strong to describe my feelings. My main distractions were traveling, working out, coaching crew, and surrounding myself around people who helped me feel loved.

Letting go of people who have no place in your life will be easier said than done. It will be a process and it may take more than a year. Open up to the right people in your life and remind yourself that you are loved. Start the New Year on the right note. Most of all don’t let the negative parts of your life make you forget about the good ones.

Here’s to an amazing 2018.

-KC

Political Post: Lessons Learned From Working on Campaigns

14955960_10210202408149601_5404666526151899037_n

Today is Election Day. By now you’re probably oversaturated with political ads on TV, pamphlets on your door, phone calls asking you to vote, and of course…your friends blasting your Facebook timelines with your urge to “unfollow posts.”

There is so much more to Election Day than showing up to your polling location at 6AM to vote. This day has been counted down since early summer. Campaigners have put in miles and miles in their running shoes knocking on doors, attending political rallies, and “getting out the vote.” As it gets closer to the election, they are working six to seven days a week around the clock crunching numbers, analyzing voter statistics, and making sure every corner of their district has been exposed to the campaign. Even though I have not been involved in politics upon accepting my federal government job (cue Hatch Act), I have a soft spot for all those politicos and seasoned campaigners.

When I was 17 I signed up to volunteer for a political campaign. I had no interest in politics and I just wanted to knock out my 200 hour volunteer requirement for high school graduation. I barely wanted to dip my foot into politics but got immersed. I enjoyed the organized chaos, meeting people who share similar beliefs, and feeling like I was making an impact in my community. As an outspoken person I quickly learned that political campaigns were for me.

These are some of the takeaways from my campaign days:

-Being Able to Stand Up for my Beliefs: Every day I was challenged. You would be surprised at how rude someone can be to someone they don’t even know because they wore the “wrong” politician’s sticker or shirt. People asked me “Why would you work for someone like that?” and say things like “You’re too young and smart to be a Republican.” I had to learn how to not let anyone’s opinions affect me, how to effectively state my beliefs, and how to stand up for myself. Working on campaigns gave me the confidence I needed to survive four years of debates and writing argumentative papers in my government classes. I also learned how to listen to other people without getting heated up. You’re not going to agree with everyone’s political beliefs. Nobody sees the world the same way you do.

-Losing with Pride: Out of all the jobs I had in college, nothing was harder than working on a political campaign. It’s even harder to know that you can put in countless hours into a candidate for them to lose by ten…sometimes one point. I learned to never give up even when there was no hope of winning and I had to lose with pride. During primaries, I would be campaigning against my friend’s candidates but once our Party chose the winner we had to bond together for one cause. I had a lot of friends working for the opposite party and I treated them with respect and did not undermine their candidate. Remember to always be a humble winner or lose with pride. You will not win everything in life but you have to learn how to bounce back and not let a loss affect you.

-Passion for Public Service: When I was applying for college I wasn’t sure what I wanted to pick as my major. I was planning on majoring in psychology or journalism until I worked on my first political campaign. Before the campaign, my only exposure to politics was going to the voting booths with my parents every year and taking a high school government class that did not peak my interest. Ironically, I majored in government and international politics. I really loved being around other like-minded people regardless of their political affiliation because they cared about the community, social and economic issues, and were advocates of their word. Public service has been ingrained in me since the first day of volunteering for a political campaign. One day I hope to run for office and give back to my community that gave so much to me.

Next time a political campaigner calls you, knocks on your door, or asks you to put out yard sign outside your house think about how much time that person is putting into a cause. Politics is just more than talking heads on Fox News and CNN. Being involved in politics means that you believe you can enact change through your words and actions. Anyone can be involved and everyone can make a difference. Now go out and vote!

-KC

Mask Off

Everyone has insecurities but nobody likes to talk about them openly. I’m here to tell you it is completely normal and okay. You should have no shame in sharing what you are insecure about with people who love and care for you. The right people in your life will not judge you. They are always there for you no matter what. I am going to share my insecurities to show others that they are not alone.

People tell me that I come off as a very confident person. Some people have even gone far enough to say that I can be arrogant at times. Yes, I am very proud of my accomplishments and my job that gives me the work life balance most people only dream of…but do you want to know the truth behind my “arrogance?” It masks my biggest insecurity that comes with my career.

I am afraid that I will never have it all.

Money and recognition mean nothing to me if I have nobody in my life to share that with. My insecurities about my job choice have gone so far sometimes that I imagine what my life would be like if I did not have to make such big sacrifices. I have met so many amazing people since I started my job two years ago. It’s nice to meet others who have so much in common with you right off the bat. It seems like you have to be a certain type of person to be in a job that is very selfless, committed to a higher cause, and not motivated by money.

It seems like my personal life has gone through the same cycle over and over again: meet someone, hit it off immediately, talk about life, realize we are going to two different places (physical location or career wise), and drift apart. I talk to a lot of my friends in my career field who tell me the exact same thing. The majority of their potential relationships end because one or both of them move away or they work through the move and a long distance relationship gets strained a few months later. It happens so much to me that I’m prepared for all the typical responses:

“You are moving too far.”
“I can’t do long distance.”
“I will not move for you and I don’t want you to move for me.”
“You have too much going for you to leave your job.”

It’s hard to watch my friends stay in one place after graduating college, settle down, buy a house, get married, have babies, and celebrate life’s milestones with their families. While this is happening, I’m moving to a new location far away, making new friends, adjusting to my job, and coming home to an empty apartment every night. I fill my time with family visiting, hanging out with friends on the weekend, volunteering after work as a crew coach, working out, and travelling…but the looming fear of getting stuck in this lifestyle alone drives my insecurities through the roof.

Half my friends will tell me to stay in New York because my job has given me everything I wanted career wise, while some friends tell me that I’m overacting and I should just focus on myself.

In the meantime, I’m going to just pray and believe that God has a plan for me that is greater than I can dream of. Even if you’re not religious or spiritual, something good will come your way. I believe that certain friendships or relationships are not meant to last forever, but the right people will always find a way back into your life. I grew out of high school and college friendships just for them to form again later on in my life. As insecure as I am about my personal life, I truly believe that the right person will help me learn how to compromise while supporting my decisions.

-KC