Here’s to the man..

Who at around 8yr old told me: “It doesn’t matter that you are a girl, you can do whatever you want as long as you work hard enough.” (this might be super cheese, but I literally tell myself this almost every day.. especially recently)

And at 20 before I made a terrible decision to get married, when my ex asked my father for my hand in marriage, my dad responded: “I don’t know why you’re asking me, if Kara wants to marry you, she will, if she doesn’t, she won’t. She will do whatever she wants.”

And most recently in the past year, while my dad was visiting, we had lunch with a couple friends of his.. who of course asked: “Is she seeing anyone? Married?” My dad Responds: “Why does she need to be married? You don’t need to be married to be happy nowadays.” They then come back with a: “How will she have children?!” (If you know me at all, I pissed myself laughing here) My fathers response? “She doesn’t need to be married to have children, if she wants children she will have them.” The conversation continued with how I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

And here’s to the man who told me once to never date a man like him, because he knew his flaws and wanted better for me. I understood what he was saying here, as I lived through it.. However, I would definitely appreciate someone who is also as open about their flaws, who understands that mistakes do not make us who we are, and that everyday is not perfect.

A man who is definitely not a traditional father – and even through a childhood of slight turmoil and young adulthood of distress, I still learned from this man that I do not need a boyfriend, a spouse, a job, children, money, or any other societal expectation to define me. I define me.

Happiest of Fathers Day to my daddio who is my biggest supporter and definitely helped nurture my independent-bitchy side Lol – And who will always be a reminder that it is I who makes my life, and to make sure I’m happy with all that I put in it, because it is also me, who has to deal with it.

Thanks Dad for making me want to work hard everyday ūüôā

 

 

the longest facebook post ever.

Now don’t get upset, but this won’t be about the longest fb post ever.

Honestly, I’m partially happy that I didn’t go fb-happy during the holidays this year and here’s why..

I was too busy actually spending time with people.

And let me tell you, I tried! Hahaha I did.. part of me started getting frustrated at the fact that I was unable to post all the pictures and all my annoying Christmas, i.e. Jesus’ Birthday, cheer and New Years hopefulness. For the first time in a long time, I felt it was more important to actually¬†absorb everything around me instead of trying to let people (who could prob care less anyway) know what I was doing, and how exciting! it all was.

I totally understand the concept and the importance of social media so don’t get me wrong. I understand that without it, friendships may not have been saved, or long-distance family time would be more than scarce. Trust me, it helps me everyday keep in touch with my long-distance loves ‚̧ I also know many a people who have met loves of their lives on social networks. But I also know how it has ruined relationships and hindered actual¬†social¬†lives.

If you have read anything of mine, you will know that I feel the spirit of any holiday (and/or birthday) should carry throughout the year, not just that day, or time; because we should be celebrating life and all it brings everyday. However, “reality” for most, isn’t my way of thinking. Knowing this, we should be more diligent in taking the time during those holidays that focus on family, friends, and sharing, and actually spend the time¬†doing¬†it vs telling internet people about it. And per usual, I am sorry that I always seem to get a little bit morbid.. But, the time we waste during those crucial moments, even just minutes, are minutes not spent with people we apparently love. Those minutes may come in handy one day.. when you are counting them down.

So my Christmas? If you’re still wondering.. was spent in NYC.. with family.. a new family at that, and even though they weren’t my own, they deserved all the love and magic.. and cupcakes! Christmas had to offer. Because that’s what Christmas is all about. Jesus.. (had to!) and family. (Which really go hand-in-hand if you know anything about Christianity) Anyway -rant.over- the entire time I was there, it wasn’t so much about what we were doing anyway, but who was doing what. Were we all together? Was someone still sleeping? And honestly, the best moments were the conversations around the kitchen table.. or possibly playing Heads Up (no, not 7up) because karaoke and karate are pretty similar.. just sayin.

And New Years? I might add.. Was also spent with family, mine this time, and some friends with lots of food and drink. Nothing too crazy, which is out-of-the-ordinary for me, but still splendid all the same.

This past year was another crazy chapter in my life-book. There were plenty roller-coaster moments.. some over-exaggerations, lots of emoji faces.. I laughed, I cried, and had more than enough learning-mistakes. I met several amazing people –¬†two of which, keep me on my toes, and refuse to let me live by a plan.. and more in the moment ‚̧¬†– and I¬†made some overly-amazing friends.¬†I survived my first year back in the sate of my birth and full-circled back to one of the best companies out there that was so gracious to offer me a new, great job. I survived the darkest of times, a mechanical bull accident, my new job transition.. in the middle of the holidays, mind you.. which included a business trip two weeks before Christmas! and I even survived meeting my boyfriends’ family. AH!

My annoying optimism will admit, this was a perfect year.. just like all the rest. Because how can any year not be perfect if I’m still standing?

So here’s to another frustratingly-exciting, magically-wild, overly-emotional, and crazily-awesome year.

Cheers!

Happy Birthday!

It’s that time of year again.. where you all can’t stand my posts of giving thanks and love.

But¬†thankfully¬†you’ll probably still keep reading anyway ūüėČ hehe.

So it is that time, where (at least in the US) we begin to focus on being Thankful and we begin the Season of Giving. Well what if I told you we could do this all year long? Everyday even. And I’m not saying this metaphorically like “We should love each other every day of the year, not just on a fake holiday we call Valentines Day.” Or “We should be thankful everyday for family and friends not just on Thanksgiving.” Yah I know I’ve heard it too.

What I’m trying to say is that.. I mean it. It’s simple really, and many of us (not just crazy people like me) do this everyday.

It’s called Birthdays. Now, I know what you’re thinking.. “Oh goodness Kara, we get it, you love your birthday because it’s your¬†one day to celebrate yourself.” And, “I think I’ve read this already.. on this same blog!” Ok, yes, if there’s one thing anyone can agree on, it’s that I do¬†love my birthday and birthdays in general ūüôā but aside from my love of birthdays proving my own point, (you’ll see how this relates soon) I am honestly trying to explain mere observations I have had.

To start,¬†I do not, for the love of God, understand why some people dislike Birthdays.¬†The whole crying about getting old bit is well.. getting old. Seriously. Because while these people are complaining about “another year older” they seem to be forgetting that there are hundreds, millions even, who never made it to their second birthday.. maybe even their first. On top of that,¬†I know (as I’m sure many of you know) people who are fighting, and surviving cancer. I even heard more great news last week! But I have also lost friends who did not get to win that fight. I know old people, survivors of major accidents, and even some of those miserable people who are bitter every year that goes by because they can’t grasp getting “old”. But I also have friends who didn’t make past the age of 21.. or 16 even.. and I have an uncle who didn’t make it through his 40s. Birthdays, yes, are celebrations, but they are also reminders.

Long story, long.. this brings me to my point. WHY?! The easiest, most fun, and best way to be thankful everyday is to Celebrate Birthdays!! And I mean like really¬†celebrate like you mean it, like you are happy to be alive.¬†Not celebrate that you are one year older, but that you made it another year.. because sadly, there are many who did not make it this far.¬†I’m not trying to be a debbie-downer here, I’m just trying to open some eyes. Don’t you see? Every birthday is a day to be thankful and celebrate¬†life.

And even with what your faith or beliefs are.. whatever reason we have that some people leave us too soon, we still know that to make it another day here on earth is a blessing. We always seem to forget about the alternative. Birthdays remind us that we are blessed.

Knowing this, why would we not want to celebrate making it another day, never mind another year! Without birthdays there would be no people.. and without people, no life.

So Celebrate Life this week and this Holiday Season. Be Thankful for Birthdays. Celebrate them.. all of them. It is someone’s Birthday everyday.¬†If you are on Facebook, you know this is true!¬†And feel Blessed for the mere fact that you are here and able to celebrate.

Give Thanks & Be Thankful.. for simply being alive.

back to the drawing board.

i literally just erased this entire post about 30 minutes ago.

i realized, one: i like typing in lowercase, hehe.. and two: i keep these drafts that are meant to be finished at the time of emotion.. yet they just sit in my queue. the universe must be telling me something. ive noticed that when i stretch and stretch out thoughts.. the main idea tends to get lost. i start focusing on my grammar more than my thought.

knowing this.. i decided to just type up a recap of this last post that i meant to publish, and just explain the angst inside me as simple as possible.

Ahem.. So.. after 11 months of being away, I took a trip back East.. visited some peeps, went on a few adventures.. had the BEST.BREAKFAST.EVER, but missed my bestest waitress ūüė¶ I felt comfort in the city and lost in the woods. I realized within two days that this was no longer “home”. I then realized days later on the plane back West.. that one: I have been struggling with this idea of “home” for a while, and two: there were now only about 3 people that I could still call family.

This trip was a great learning experience. Most people found my explanation of my trip rather strange.. not understanding my confusion with feelings. You see I thought, as most of the people who know me thought, that I would land in Boston, breathe in the air, have a cannoli.. then drive up into the woods and relish in all its greenery.. and one changing leaf.

But that didn’t happen. I mean, I was very happy to see people.. some more than others, of course.. it’s always about the people. However, there was something weird and unsettling about it all. In all the familiarity and comfort, it’s like I no longer belonged. And maybe this was just a taste of my own medicine. Because for 18 of the 18yrs I lived in New England.. all I talked about was moving back West. I was always a SoCal girl to many.. I was a SoCal girl at heart.

SoCal was where I fell in love with the ocean, where I learned to play volleyball at the age of 9. Where I grew up learning from my father that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I worked hard enough.. and don’t let anyone tell me otherwise because I was a girl (you got it dad! ūüôā ).

But New England.. New England is where my love for the ocean grew, and where I was given the opportunity to play volleyball through college. It’s where I saw first hand that it is hard work that you needed to succeed. It’s like SoCal was the idea, and New England was the blueprint (for simplicity’s sake we’ll call it a plan).. and now full circle.. I am on to the execution stage.

It’s funny too, because thats exactly how I feel. Like I am taking two pieces of life and trying to make them fit together. And they can’t. Because plans come from ideas.. and you cant execute¬†anything without a plan.

So instead of trying to figure out what “home” is, I am trying to find comfort in knowing that I love both places in different ways, and more important, both places are a piece of me.. whether I like it or not. One is the spark, the other the flame.

I just need to focus on loving the ideas I love, and re-evaluating the plans I don’t love.. to keep working on the execution.

ode to family..

It’s funny how the one place I wanted to leave for so long is now the only place I want to be right now.

For almost a year, I have been living “uncomfortably”. That whole¬†Life begins at the end of your comfort zone¬†idea was really ringing true, and I liked it. I still do. But oddly enough, what I never expected is that when it comes to comfort, it’s not necessarily where you are or what you are doing.. it’s who you are with.

What I realized is that my people, are family more than than they are friends. They have seen the darkest of dark, the craziest of crazy.. every tear shed, every smile shared. They have been there through every bad decision and every highlight. Every aching moment of despair and every hysterical laugh over a chambord margarita.. or a pumpkinhead.. or a gin & tonic.. or a sam summer.. or.. you get the idea, HA! I definitely have not been the most pleasant person to deal with, and even with my most vulnerable moments exposed, they still decided to keep me around. Through these past 10 months living my dream in the “uncomfortable”.. they are the ones who have been there to share every moment. They have been my cheerleaders and my support system.. As hard as it was being 3k miles away.. they took care of me when I was home alone with the flu on New Years Eve. They were high-fiving me through the phone when I finally started playing volleyball again.. and they even gave me a raised eyebrow and a ‘not surprised’ attitude when I fractured my thumb riding a mechanical bull..

It’s amazing, the types of connections people can have with each other. It always comes back to that old saying.. “I’d rather have 4-quarters than 100-pennies.” Thankfully, I have 5 ūüėČ

And don’t get me wrong, I have had, and still have, so many Michael Buble moments of “And I’m¬†surrounded by.. A¬†million people I..¬†Still feel all alone..” So cliche I know, but it’s true. It’s incredible what people can do to a life once they learn all about it.. and more so, how much people need it. In life, what people want most is acceptance and understanding. And even though you can seriously be surrounded by many great people, that doesn’t mean you receive either of those. The hardest part in all this, is finding those people that you can share your life with..

Having been accustomed to a traveling lifestyle as a child, and living a 50/50 life of East Coast, West Coast, the only thing I really strived on accomplishing was being part of a family. From the minute that plane hit NH soil back in 1994, I dreamed of moving back to the Golden State because that’s where I thought my family was, and that’s where I belonged. Yet in the 18 years I lived in the East, I never realized that I was creating the family I always wanted.. one who loved me unconditionally, with no obligation, no expectation.. just love.

And I cannot wait to squeal like a 5yr old when I see all you loves of my life‚ô•

‚ÄúThe most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don‚Äôt. But, in the end, they‚Äôre the people you always come home to. Sometimes it‚Äôs the family you‚Äôre born into and sometimes.. it‚Äôs the one you make for yourself.‚ÄĚ -Sex&theCity

i can’t make you love me if you don’t.

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” -Sex & the City

I refuse to settle.

And to clarify, I don’t see settling as in getting married or having children, or buying a house even.. any of that. Because, believe it or not, I want some of those things.. I want to love and be loved, but I know enough to wait for what is right for me. I refuse to do anything because of my age, or what society¬†thinks¬†I should be doing. Settling down for¬†me¬†is doing something for the mere reason that people, or society, expect it of you, not because you actually want to do it.

I especially believe this in terms of love. I have read in several places that people are in relationships for many reasons but not necessarily because of love. How sad¬†is that!? I mean, if you think about it, we aren’t even friends with people because we genuinely like them or have anything in common.. many times it is a feeling of sheer obligation. I’ve also read a breakdown of the differences between love and obsession, lust, and control even. And honestly, this is why the divorce rate is 50%.

Don’t hate people, its a statistic. Fact. (in case you feel the need to read up on it, here’s a link for you) statistics

And also, in the 50% who stay married, only a fraction of those are together because of love. Now that is really sad.

As much as¬†I LOVE¬†living in a fantasy of romance and undying love, rom coms, and fairytales, (which, as many of you know, my likeness for these things is absolutely rediculous) I still understand, and learn everyday that love is more than convenience, expectation, practicality, being comfortable, and the idea of “I don’t think I can find anything better.” When I hear this, I want to kick a puppy. Is that what you really think? Or are you just being impatient? Lazy? Are you just plain scared of being vulnerable? These are the chances I am willing to take. Love is not “Well we’ve been dating 2 years, it’s time to get married.” Is it?! We’re talking forever here people.. do you realize this? Oh right, you can just get divorced.. because that’s a whole lot of fun I tell you.

Maybe it’s because I am part of that previously stated statistic and I refuse to add to it again.¬†Maybe because of my previous ‘failure’ I finally understand what marriage actually means. Forever. I am slowing beginning¬†to see, after¬†physically¬†seeing with my own eyes, so many people after me who got married, or divorced, or both even.. that marriage is no longer being taken seriously. It just becomes another ‘step’. Especially for those who are in long relationships.. hate me all you want for saying this, but maybe you aren’t supposed to get married.. maybe your long relationship is just that – a relationship you’ve had for a long time. I have been there, I know others who have been there too.. leaving relationships after 4, 8 years even. Marriage was not meant to be a ‘step’ it was, and is, meant for love.. not taxes, not babies,¬†love.¬†With love, comes the rest..¬†Maybe I’m trying too hard to explain this. But, maybe.. out of sheer hope, people will read and view life a little differently and actually take the time to fall in love vs just taking what they can get.

And yes, I’ve heard you critics, life now is not what life was back then.. blah blah.. The Bible is dated.. Society has changed.. That’s great, well if society has changed so much, then why are women, on average, still getting paid less then men? Why is there still discrimination? Why do families automatically expect children the minute people get married? Are you now going to argue on the basis of tradition? Exactly.. this is an on-going argumentative cycle. People may have changed, but feelings have not.

Love is a feeling, it is understanding. It’s compromise. Not in compromising yourself, but in finding compromise together. It’s being true to yourself and seeing truth in each other. It’s living as individuals, and bringing home your separate ideas to collaborate, or at least agree to disagree. It’s ever-changing.. because our lives¬†are ever-changing. It’s loving all of someone¬†including¬†their imperfections.. not¬†despite¬†them. It’s allowing each other to be vulnerable because we all need to expose ourselves sometimes so we don’t feel shame. It’s about accepting that vulnerability because we all are victim to it.. It’s about not expecting strength and perfection at all times.

Love is about finding that person or people even, including friends, who see you for everything your worth, down to the bones. Vulnerable. Shameful. To be able to stand by you when you are not strong. Through imperfections. Love is not about knowing what buttons to push, but knowing why there are buttons at all. Love is truly unconditional.

And don’t get me wrong, of all the people I know who are married, with children, etc.. I know a few who are truly in love, who are together because of each other, not out of circumstance.. But I can count those couples on one hand.

Call me crazy, but no, I won’t settle, I refuse to allow myself to just be ‘comfortable’. I refuse to allow time, and society, and even friends and family, to create my boundaries. I refuse to be part of anything other¬†than that 2% or so of the population who are together because of love.

Will I have to wait till I’m 80? Maybe. Will I be lonely? At times.. Will it be worth it? Yes.

.


I’ve been experiencing a lot of emotional randomness the past few days..

I know the reasons why.. they have led me to re-think about what I am looking for in life.

I hate days like today.. well, I mean hate is a strong word.. But today created more emotional turmoil inside me. I don’t want to over-saturate all the stories, articles, and blogs about Boston, but I do like to take these moments to remind people what is important in life. People. Love.

picstitchboston

I don’t think I have missed Boston or New England more than I did today. There was an ache inside me, imagining the pain and suffering many people went through this morning. Imagining the city I love so much, the sports teams I grew up with and spent the majority of my adult life cheering on.. Imagining pieces of it blown up. Pieces that I have been a part of, I have walked by.. streets I have walked down.

In the end, in all the memories, I remember the people. Thats what I miss and love the most. The people. Because that is what’s important in life. People. Love.

I love you, people of Boston. I’m thinking about you and praying for you.. Although you probably don’t need it from me.. because, You, are stronger than I am.

“..It takes only seconds to change a life.”

Cheers ‚̧

Untitled.

Whoa.

It’s been just about a month since my last post, and once again, I have a few drafts waiting to be finished.. Until those are completed, I would like to take a second to apologize for boring all you readers with nothing new! This new life in SoCal, has provided me with a job, which from my understanding was a feat in itself being able to secure something in one month. I guess I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that. With this new job, I have clearly been busy.. and then I blinked and it was Christmas. I literally began working the day before Thanksgiving which explains my month-long hiatus.

Not sure if you are aware, but many things can happen in a month. Many things can happen in a day.. an hour even.. seconds. And this past month not only have I experienced many things personally, I have also experienced things globally. There were good and of course there were some bad.. There were more heavy rains and cyclone/tsunami-type weather in the Philippines, more cold weather and snow in the Northeast, Pacquiao lost his fight, there were more birthday parties to attend, and of course, there was the wild hustle and bustle of Black Friday kicking off the holiday shopping season.. there was also my cousin, who finally landed a job herself after being out of work for over a year, and more recently, there was a heartbreaking tragedy in CT.

I don’t want to write about tragedies, or bring back terrible memories. I also don’t want you thinking that it hadn’t affected me. I want to explain that aside from the reality-check CT has brought me, everything else that has happened has reminded me of how absolutely blessed I am. I have my family, my friends, a job, and even a new roommate! I’ve had low moments questioning some of my decisions.. but all in all, I have another day. I can’t say that I’m plain lucky, because there have definitely been some questionable moments in my life. But to still be standing here experiencing yet another moment, even one as small as writing this blog post.. it allows me to remind all of you of how equally blessed you are to be able to read this.

I have always been a very grateful person, but more so recently the minute I moved across the country. I have thanked God everyday for what I have. I am thankful for every struggle and every happy moment. It was not easy re-starting my life. As crazy-positive of a person I am by nature, at times, I felt very defeated being here. I have phone calls and texts to prove it. But in all that is down, there is up, even if it seems impossible. For this Holiday season, I have God, but to whomever you have to thank, Thank them. Even If you are not spiritual, you have your best friend, or even your mother. Be thankful. Be kind. Stop waiting for reminders.

“It always amazes me how seemingly insignificant choices in life end up being all the more significant in time. I’m constantly reminded that all situations, opportunities, and relationships are precarious. It takes only seconds to change a life.” -Brian Sicard

best form of birth control..

..is other people’s children.¬†Until you start to love them..

I knew the number one reason I wanted to move back to CA was because of family. The second reason was to follow dreams I hadn’t dreamt yet. With those dreams, I also thought I would be living the life of a socialite, a role that very much suited me in the North East.. and a role that thrives out here in the South West. However, the most social thing I have done recently is help my cousin take my niece and three of her friends to an amusement park for her 8th birthday.. with also trucking around my 16mo old nephew. Never mind the days where I’m helping watch my nephew and my other niece (who is 1yrs old).. which proves to be the greatest arm/shoulder/pectoral work out¬†ever,¬†but having to humor 4 third graders.. man, I forgot how exciting life as an 8yr old was. Or maybe it was more overwhelming then exciting.

Either way, I have only been in CA for 6 weeks (but it honestly feels like I’ve been here for years) so it doesn’t surprise me that I havent been able to live up to my socialite status yet. Focusing on finding a job was very life-consuming leaving me no time, or money, for friends. Also considering my perfect timing in moving.. right before the holidays.. I’ve been non-stop with family events and Thanksgiving. And of course, a month from today is Christmas. So really, my social status probably wont blossom until the new year.. which is my next challenge all in itself.

What DID surprise me though was the capability and patience (which is EXTREMELY difficult for me) I had to help take care of my nieces and nephews. Helping with homework, putting the babies down for naps, feeding, constant playing and distracting..¬†crazy¬†I tell you. And more so, exhausting. I mean, I’ve never been terrible with kids, I just have absolutely no patience with them. So being able to manage screaming children and even getting them to stop? Well now, that’s a feat no one thought I would ever be able to accomplish, never mind enjoy. Theres the kicker.. I actually enjoy it. I love these kids. As crazy and wild, headache causing, and coffee requiring as they make me, Its like I’m helping nurture the future. I love the looks on their faces when they see me walk into the room. I know. I can’t believe I wrote those sentences too. And being with these crazy children makes me miss my brother and his four little ones even more. I’m starting to feel bad that I’m not able to be with them as much as I am with my cousins kids.

Now, don’t get all excited you people who know me.. I love these kids, but by no means will I start having ‘baby fever’. It is a strange emotional experience though.. that although the thought of me ever having my own children still makes me cringe, I now contemplate if I will ever have any. And Kelly, I don’t want to hear any ‘I told you so’ yet! Theres a still a long way for me to go before children ever become the forefront of my mind. For starters, there’s that socialite life I need to live first ūüėČ and of course, finding that someone who is worthy of me and my craziness.. in order to even make a baby.. which is far beyond important to me right now.

It’s just crazy that in 6 weeks, I fell in love with three kids. I make baby noises, I talk about Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and I’m already planning a Christmas-movie-watching night with my cousin and my niece. I am THE auntie. I’m involved and helpful, and I’m able to give the children back! ūüėČ Hahaha! But honestly, that’s one thing that I am happy about though, because I always wanted to be THE auntie. We had that auntie growing up.. she wasn’t able to have children, so she raised us and treated us like her own. She was our biggest supporter, our biggest fan, and our biggest motivator. She prayed for us, took care of us, and even with me, being miles away.. she looked after us. When she passed away 3 years ago, it was the hardest thing my cousins and I ever had to deal with. It’s still hard sometimes, and like many things, we miss her most during the holidays. Maybe that’s why being THE auntie means so much to me. Because she may not have had her own, but she still had 6 children. And just like I tell my cousin every time we joke about me having kids.. I don’t need any.. because I already have 7.. which is such a perfect number. ‚̧