Wednesday, February 28, 2018

the warrior within [it's not easy]

sometimes i wish change were easy. i wish that my desire to be a better individual, a more mature adult, and a more competent and disciplined person - i wish that developed in the ways that my gut instinct often wishes it could.

what do i mean by that?

i mean that sometimes i feel discontentment. that's a broad term - i get it. define it however it fits into your life. for me, it usually feels like "i wish i was doing more, producing more, or more disciplined" (negative thoughts, first of all. thoughts that should sound like: i am doing more than i was yesterday: awesome. i am learning each and every day how to be healthier in every way: awesome. ) 

then i think: if i just had more of a handle on my work tasks and finances - i'd be happy with myself. or if i traveled more, i would feel more knowledgeable. i would feel more accomplished. ugh, you know what...? I feel bored. I don't know how to explain it, i just feel bored with myself, i feel like i need a change, i feel like i'm in a rut. i should cut all my hair off. yeah. or color it. i need to do something drastic and different with myself; maybe i'll get a tattoo. maybe i'll start a different project. maybe... maybe... maybe.

everything above? thoughts. thoughts that have ALL passed through my head at one time or another, many of which are reoccurring. each have nuance differences, but all have commonalities: they are easy. they are so easy.

if your work situation was different - easy. has nothing to do with the internal stuff going on inside you. all external. easy.

oh, if only i traveled more. i used to actually think this... and now, standing on the other side of a trip to Europe, I can tell you - easy. all external. does not change you. is it fun and adventurous and in ways educational? sure. very. but easy. does not evoke change. 

i'm going to chop off my hair, or get a tattoo or get another piercing of some kind - that will make me feel more unique as an individual. that will change how i look at myself: nope. been there, done it. nope. it doesn't. you're the same person, and three days later you feel just as discontent with yourself as you did before. it is all external. it is all easy.

sometimes i wish it were easy and external. i mean, wouldn't that be great? if we could all feel better about ourselves if we just had _____________, or just did________. fill in the blanks. whatever. 

am i picking on you? no. no, i'm picking on myself in a loving way - because I have thought every single of of these things, and i have come to understand, now, at the age of 23, that these are lies. i want to reach back through time and whisper to my younger self: that's the easy road. wrong road to be on, girl. wrong road.

i've come to see, through a lot of sweat and tears, that it has never, and will never have anything to do with the easy and the external. are external things bad? some, yes. no, not all. setting high goals, getting after something, chasing your dream, doing the work, working out, maintaining your health - all good things. huge supporter of those things. but do not look to these things to change you. 

the fact is, it's not even that you need to "change" per se. it's that you need to find out who you really are. a character in my book uses this line that's become one of my favorites: there's a warrior within you. i love this line, and i don't take credit for it. God gave me that line, so if you quote it, don't credit me, credit Him, please. but it's so true... and it's something that i struggled with hardcore as a teenager, and still struggle with to this date. every single day, actually. because i always wish it was easy. i wish it was just that i need to workout more, or work more, or not lose my temper ever, or cut my hair, or travel, or get a tattoo. i wish that were the case. because then my ego could at last sit back and say "ahhh, yes. okay, kate. we're good. we're done. we're perfect. no more to do."

haha. nope

the right road is never easy. the righteous path is never smooth and without resistance. none of the people i look up to had easy paths: my parents, Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther, many Navy SEALS and service members who i greatly respect - i look up to these people because of who they are and what they represent - and they did not become those individuals by taking the easy road. they did not become who they are by making easy choices. they are who they are because they looked inward and took the narrow path, day-by-day.

and you know what, i love myself. i love who i am  and who i continue to become and i love my friends, which include you guys reading this, and i love seeing you all grow and grasp and climb and struggle along with me. but if there's one thing i could say that would stick in your mind and stay with you - if there's one thing i could sear into my own head it would be this:

it's not easy. it's not external. it's not any of the things you see OUTSIDE. it's inside you. there's a warrior inside you, and what you need to be doing is getting quiet with yourself and your maker and figuring out more and more every single day, who that warrior is. because that's who you really are. and that's the only place you're ever going to find any sense of contentment and fulfillment. 

that's what i need to be doing. and if this post is nothing else, let it be a reminder to myself to stop wishing it was easy and external. to look inside myself, not outside. because Papa put a lot inside me, and you, and every single one of us, and i've only begun to scratch the surface of that potential. 

there's a deep reservoir of God-given potential inside each and every single one of us - and that, THAT is what makes us unique. that is what makes us continually become better, more beautiful, confident, competent, disciplined, focused, creative, fun individuals. that's what brings out the warrior within. 

nothing easy and external will ever help us to drink of those deep, sweet waters inside of us. you don't need different clothes or hair, or a different job, or a trip to find contentment. find contentment WITHIN you. within that day-by-day, moment-by-moment discovery of who you really are. because all those good things you aspire to? the potential for their fulfillment is already inside of you. trust that it's in there - not out there.

cheers to a good week,
Monday, February 19, 2018

you have no idea

originally posted on

Sometimes it's discouraging to live in today's world. There seems to be a shortage of love, kindness, hope, and good people to demonstrate these things. But today, I'm going to debunk that myth — and remind you what love is… because now, more than ever, this needs to be the topic on everyone's lips. The main course of everyone's life.

First, I need to be vulnerable and admit something: I'M NOT ALWAYS SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS. Although I always show up on my blog with a smile and a dose of happiness for you, that's not how I live every moment of my life. I WISH I DID…but this world has a way of knocking you down by mere association. I hear, read, and see things via the news and the internet that breaks my heart and leaves me thinking, "man, what is it all for?" And I think it's important to notice these kinds of thoughts and feelings — not just sweep them under the rug. It's important because of the way we decide to respond to things that knock us down.
I FEEL LIKE THIS NEEDS TO BE SAID. So today that's what I'm going to talk about: love (in honor of Valentine's Day because why not) and how we respond to what isn't love. IT'S A DEEP DIVE, BUT I KNOW YOU'RE WITH ME. I know you feel this too. And I hope this post will give you some solace. Let's go.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

basic [a slam poem]


dear girls with blonde hair and fair skin and lines like wings crowning your night sky eyes, 
girls with dark skin and brand name boots and hair in a messy bun,
girls with olivey skin, and skin with pink undertones, and yellow undertones, 
and dear girls with skin that's too scarred for people to notice or care what

dear girls with makeup covering their skin because society has told them that they should be
of having acne
like no one else has blemishes 
but them

dear girls who buy coffee, who wear earrings, who use instagram,

dear girls,
beautiful, beautiful
skin tones of various
beautiful beautiful

despite what he, they, society or buzzfeed tells you,
there is nothing
about you.

dear blonde girl, drinking her coffee, and maybe listening to one direction on her iphone,
i am sorry that they categorized you as basic,
because of what they see
and hear
on the outside,
when all they can perceive is your sweater and ripples of hair and eyeliner
and not the scars underneath the fabric,
the markings that manifest themselves at night when you look in the mirror and hate what you see
because you don't know
how perfect,
how precious,
how unbelievable that five foot two stretch of skin
heart beat

you don't know that you are not a 
statistic that will one day be in a 
history book that another fifth grader will dread reading,
you don't know that you are not just a name,
a megan,
a sarah, 
a Yikeria,
you are not just a number in a cooperate marketing strategy,
you are not merely your face,
or your skin,

and you don't know that that fabric,
that music,
that time you spend in a particular coffee shop
define you

because we tell you that it
and we tell you that you are 

don't listen to us,

for we are merely riders of the bow of another type of rms titanic,
and we can only see a glisten atop the waves,
a glimmer
of what might be a tiny ice berg,
we don't see the mountain, underneath,
the warzone,
that will rip you down the middle
and sink you like a stone.

we don't know you

so don't you dare let us reduce you
to a hashtag
on a photo 
on an app 
that will be obsolete in fifteen years,
laughed at
by your grandchildren.

don't let us tell you who you are
because we have


dear girl with dark skin, and warm brown eyes and beautiful braids 
who takes selfies and wears her lips bright red or burgundy,
who likes chai tea lattes and long, silky leggings,
i am sorry that we have drawn a scarlet B
on your sacred skin
to let the world know that you are just another puzzle piece 
in a stereotype
that you are but another product from the same machine
that produces "basic" females

who wear the same clothes
and use the same phones,

when we have no idea that underneath the blush and the burgundy and the perfection of your outfit
your stomach is empty
because nourishment no longer fits within the parameters of the 
you get
from the girls in your class,
your friends who are "skinnier" than you,
the women on the covers of the magazines in the check out lines, 
the "fitspiration" photos you obsess over

I am sorry that we didn't notice
how your jawline is protruding too far through the skin on your cheeks,
I am sorry,
that we didn't notice that you're drinking a diet soda while everyone else is eating lunch,
i'm sorry, 
that we didn't ask you what it was like,
to grow up without dad,
or maybe without a mom,
or maybe without someone sober,
who you can talk to 
about what it feels like
to sob into your pillow at night, and war with the voices inside your head,

we were too busy noticing what brand of shoes you were wearing,
what roast of coffee
you were drinking

i'm sorry that we took out the red pen and wrote
on your face
i am sorry
that we laughed at the things
that might be helping to keep you in one piece right now, when everything else in your life is like a post-iceberg titanic.

dear girl in starbucks on a laptop with gauges and tattoos and headphones,
dear girl who is trying to make her hair look as "good" as "pinterest"
dear girl who calls herself awkward,
dear, young, emotional one, who feels like she is bursting at the seams and she doesn't even know why,

I am so sorry we thought there was so little to you.
I am so sorry that we dared to categorize you,
like an object,
like a product,
like a satistic,
by what you wear,
by the color of your skin,
by the songs your lips snyc themselves to,
i am sorry we tried to sell you
and market you
and make fun of you.

i am so sorry we wrote you off as a reproduction when you are
an original

when you are

dear warrhead girl,

there is absolutely nothing
that is basic
about you.

can you ever
forgive us?

- k.a.