Touched By One of My Readers…Her Name is Sahar

Dear Readers,

I haven’t blogged in a very long time.  I was suppose to start back up a year ago but life became very hectic.  “Life is what happens to you while youre busy making other plans.” ― Allen Saunders   Needless to say a lot has changed in the last year or so.  I am now a proud Mother to a one and a half year old, her name is Maliyah.  I will provide updates on all that has changed over the last year or so in a later post.  

I have been checking in on my stats and comments every few months but haven’t written a new post in about a year.  I attempted to publish a few posts but they all ended up as unfinished unpublished drafts.  So in yet another attempt, I am finally returning to start blogging again.  As I was checking my comments I missed a few that got categorized as spam.  One message from one of my readers really stood out and wanted to share her message with all of you.  As well as my response to her.  I never intended for this to be my first post starting again but you never know what could happen.  

My reader’s name is Sahar and this was the comment she left me on my post “Changing Direction In Life…”:

Dear Katie,

I’m writing a term paper in my intro to poetry class right now; I’m doing a study on similarities and differences between two poems by E. E. Cummings, one of which is Dive for Dreams. It’s during my research that I came across your post about Charlie St. Cloud. Then I sifted through some of your other posts and this one caught my attention.

I will be 21 this summer, and reading what you posted here felt like reading my own thoughts reflected back at me. I had been living in a comfort zone for years where stories were my refuge, but not too long ago, I made the decision to be more involved in the world around me and do more things that scare me, because I needed to grow as a person and become stronger. Despite that, I don’t think I could ever give up my passion for writing. This aspect of my comfort zone is not just an escape for me, it’s talent that I love.

A few days back, I made the decision to try self publishing, but I was hesitating because I don’t know if I’m going to fail at it, and in case I do, I don’t want to risk having my bad decision cost those who care about me and who are helping me achieve my dream. What you said has really helped me and made me more determined to follow my dream.

So I just want to thank you.  :)

Love, Sahar

 

This was my very late reply to her:

 

Dear Sahar,                                                                                                                                                             Saturday April 7th, 2014

I apologize for not responding sooner.  I hope and pray this message reaches you.  I haven’t blogged in a long time.  My life got crazy and a lot changed over the last 2 years.  I am now a proud Mother of a one & a half year old.  Her name is Maliyah.  I am finally returning to start blogging again and your post definitely inspired me as well.  You made my day!  To be able to connect with someone who is going through what you went through previously is amazing.  I wish I had seen this post so I could’ve written sooner.  You think 21 is a turning point? Wait until you turn 22 this summer (2014).  A lot of changes at that age as well, at least for me there was.  I look forward to hearing about all your adventures.  Please feel free to share some of your writing with me as well.  On here or via my contact info which is in my about me section on this blog.

As for your writing, never stop.  Always carry a small notebook in your purse, you might be surprised when a great thought or beautiful words cross your mind.  I even sometimes text thoughts or send e-mails to myself on my cell, so that I don’t lose thoughts or ideas I have spur of the moment.  I suggest maybe even try carrying a small recorder.  I just purchased one recently from Best Buy because it has been harder to write down all my thoughts and ideas chasing after a toddler who is in constant need of attention.  It still doesn’t replace the feel of writing with a pen or typing on a computer as your thoughts and words develop.  I have found new ways to reinvent myself and reconnect with writing, in order to get back into blogging.  I’m curious, have you tried blogging?  I originally thought one day I could get paid for my posts but realized years later WordPress doesn’t pay for posting.  But I don’t regret choosing the site because it is a great platform to reach the world.  I am amazed by how many readers I have on a daily basis, even throughout the time I haven’t been posting.  I am more amazed by the origin of each reader.  I strongly suggest starting a blog on here if you haven’t already.  The ripples of your words will be shocking.  You will be amazed by how many people you can touch all over the world with your posts.

In response to your fear of failure, the only way to succeed is to fail along the way.  Everyone who is a professional was once a beginner and feared failure.  But through each failure they did not stop and give up or throw the towel in, they got back up and tried again.  They persevered!  “Fall seven times, stand up 8.”  Do not fear making mistakes or failing before success.  In order to become a success, you’ve got to believe in yourself and in your ability.  No matter how many times you fall, you need to keep getting back up.  There is always someone out there who can help you make your dreams come true.  Some people are just better at helping others make their dreams come to fruition.  Find that someone.  Keep pushing until you find that someone or that place that can make your dreams come true.  The biggest tools to help you succeed are to be genuine, be yourself, and promote what you love.  Promote yourself and your passion for writing.  “The squeakiest wheel gets the oil.”  No one will know about who you are if you don’t share your writing with someone or even the world.  Passion is contagious and addicting.  It sparks a fire within others, as you share your passion with them.  Share who you are with the world and they will come to you.  You might be surprised how many people you will inspire and motivate and how many lives you will touch on your journey.

When I started my blog, I was afraid but I jumped in.  It’s funny because in a lot of ways we are very similar.  Check out my two posts on fear.  The first entitled “Fear Here I Come….” is about my attempts at my dream to blog amongst other things:

https://odonnellkm.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/fear-here-i-come/

and the second post is entitled “Fear and Failure…Where Will Your Potential Take You?” is about how fear paralyzes even the strongest of individuals: 

https://odonnellkm.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/fear-and-failure-where-will-your-potential-take-you/

One reason I jumped into blogging the first day I started this blog on WordPress was because I saw a woman on Oprah who asked the audience how many things they could have accomplished by now if they had started a year ago.  I have spent so many years contemplating how to start things and dreaming about starting things, that I let so much time pass by.  That was when I realized the best way is to dive in.  Make mistakes and learn.  Gain experience and excel, maximize your potential.  Learn as much as you can and ask as many people for their help and expertise.  “Knowledge is power.”  Become an expert. Learn from others working or excelling in your dream career.  Another reason is because I was also inspired by the story of “Julie & Julia” and wondered where my blog would take me.  I was curious about how many lives I could touch and change, as well as how much my life would change if I pursued one of my many dreams.

I just turned 27 and I’m still afraid of failure but we wouldn’t be human without fear.  I know what I want in life and I know that in order to get it I have to stumble a few times, learn a few hard lessons, and gain experience along the way.  That’s the beauty of life, the bumpy unknown terrain that lies ahead. Half the fun is the journey and the lessons along the way.  So enjoy the lessons and be thankful because you are taking a chance and stepping into the unknown.  You are attempting that which many refuse to try for.  Do not let fear shackle you down and keep you from experiencing life and achieving your dreams.

As for your writing, let me tell you this.  You never know how many lives you can touch.  Or what life you can touch or make a difference in.  You never know, but you could make a major difference in someone’s life somewhere in this world.  Your words, your writing, and your story could be the difference between life and death.  I once had a friend who was going through one of the darkest times in his life.  He was contemplating suicide.  No one could tell at the time, he seemed completely normal and content with life on the outside.  But inside he was dying.  Screaming for relief from life.  I would’ve never known if he hadn’t told me his story years later.  Something I wrote gave him hope, gave him a reason to look at his situation a little differently, and to hope and look forward to easier days.  He didn’t want to miss out on what life had to offer, so he decided to stick it out and work through the darkness.  He told me I made a difference.  The time frame was around when I started blogging on this site.  So goes to show you, you never know what lives you can touch, change, or save.

Now about your “comfort zone.”  If you’re not in your “comfort zone” then that means you are already working on changing and growing.  They say, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  You are only confined and limited by the walls you build around yourself.  Do not limit yourself and your growth.  Get uncomfortable and experience every single thing life has to offer.  What was once new, foreign, and unknown is now familiar and comfortable.  So find new comforts.  It’s time to branch out and grow.  Show the world what you have to offer.

How did self-publishing go?  Have you succeeded yet or are you still going through the process to achieve it?  If you haven’t started yet, start the process today.  Don’t worry about the ones you love.  If they truly love you they will understand and love you regardless.  If they want to help you achieve your dream let them.  I know you are afraid of failure but if they are willing to help you then they obviously see potential in you and believe in your dream as well.  So it is time to start seeing the potential within yourself.  Believe in your ability and your dream.  Take a chance and no matter how hard it gets don’t let setbacks get you down.  Above all, don’t become negative because of setbacks or hardship, or failed attempts.  You get back out there and keep fighting until you achieve your dream.  When someone dismisses you right away by closing a door on you, get your foot in the door.  Make them listen.  Find ways to get their attention.  They also say when the door is open, find a window of opportunity.  My Grandmother use to always say “Where there is a will, there is a way.”  Another one of her favorite sayings was “Better late than never.  Even when you’re late at least you showed up and tried.  That’s half the battle.”  She helped me not miss out on so much in life.  Whenever I’m late for something or take longer than expected to start or achieve something, I don’t worry as much because I’m trying.  I’m making an attempt when most would give-up.  So be that fighter.  Show the world.

I have let my words run away with me but I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to leave me a message and your words meant the world to me.  Please keep me updated on your progress I would love to hear about everything.  As well as possibly share your blog or progress with my readers.

Love Katie

I later found out after posting my reply that she has started her blog.  It was called “Finding Sahar” but is now called ” Dealing With Sahar: Learning Who I Am.”  Please check out her blog and check out her writing.  The site is as follows:

http://dealingwithsahar.wordpress.com 

Hope you enjoyed our messages, I learned a few things and was definitely inspired all over again by her genuine and touching post.

Love always Katie

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A Few Words of Advice for Aspiring Writers & New Bloggers

Dear Readers,

I came across a comment from a reader recently on one of my posts and the reader was asking if I had any tips or recommendations for aspiring writers and new bloggers so I wanted to share my response with all my readers because maybe it’ll help or inspire someone to start their blog or follow their dream.  I have more tips or words of wisdom than below but if anyone would like to hear more feel free to email me at: mkatie_odonnell@yahoo.com or comment below:

Reader commented on February 3rd, 2013 and said:

“Awesome blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid
option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Cheers!”

My response was as follows:

“Dear Aspiring Writer,

I apologize first because it didn’t say a name and wasn’t sure if your name was Frank. I actually replied via my cell but somehow my first response to your comment got deleted. I wanted to thank you for the compliment on my blog, it means the world to me. I actually have lots of tips for aspiring writers and love to take the time to share my wisdom and advice with others. As well as hear advice and wisdom in return. I first began blogging randomly on various social networks such as Myspace and Facebook for fun or just to share my thoughts when that facet of those networks was popular, but over time the popularity of doing so has dwindled. Not to mention, not many people get to see your writing with everything else going on with either social network. My analogy for blogging on those two sites was like standing in Time Square trying to scream for attention when there is so many other things going on at the same time. Sometimes there are better attention stealers out there. So, I ended up putting the idea of blogging on the back burner. I took time to regroup but I continued to write in journals, random pieces of paper, and where ever and whenever I could get my thoughts out fast enough before losing my train of thought. I’ve actually accumulated a great deal of writing in notebooks and papers since I was little, both handwritten and typed up on my computer. My friends both old and new often come to me for advice or an ear to listen, in doing so I often quote my own experiences or share my old writing with them to help them figure out their situations. That is when I decided to start blogging again. I figured if I could touch my friend’s lives when I least expected it, I questioned how many other lives I could touch with my writing and my words. I realized that most people in my current circles don’t usually get to know the writer side of me and contemplated how many people could benefit from my words. I feared that no matter how much writing I did, it would do no good keeping it to myself. I have lost a lot of friends early in life and this made me contemplate what I was leaving behind. I feared that my words may never be heard or read, or that when I passed I wouldn’t have touched as many lives as I would’ve liked to. This inspired me to want to blog again. But this time around I did my research. My first few attempts were successful but not all the circumstances were right, thus leading to a smaller audience than expected. This time around I was determined to succeed and find the right platform for me to express myself on. I actually consulted my tech friend “Gizmo” who is extremely savvy when it comes to the internet and the best of the best of technology. He actually recommended various blogging sites to start on, WordPress being one of them. The first few blogging sites that I tried though, he liked better than WordPress. But for me as a writer dealing with my situation and my goal…those sites just weren’t a good fit for me and what I was trying to accomplish. I believe WordPress was my third or fourth attempt at a new blogging site. I actually liked it better because it was more along the style I was trying to blog in. When I write, I prefer to see more of a newspaper column format versus the other formats they have out there on the internet.

I strongly recommend WordPress to host your blogging site. I chose and fell in love with WordPress because it is extremely easy to use and maneuver, especially if you are new to any aspect of blogging. Be it writing, blogging, website design, etc. WordPress makes the site easy to manage and understand or learn. I love the multiple facets that WordPress offers as well. Some facets I fell in love with were Stats section, Various Pages, Multiple Blogs, Search Terms Sections, Reader Location Section (I loved seeing what parts of the world I was touching with my words), etc. I was also highly impressed by the fact that they offer a great deal of space for your blogging for free. WordPress only charges you if you want to buy more space once you hit their max limit. I have actually been blogging since 2011 and I am still far from hitting that specified limit. WordPress also gives you the option to go Pro if you like. The other thing that I love about WordPress is that they don’t limit your creativity. WordPress gives you the option to host as many blogs as you like. I am currently and have been experimenting with two other blogs. I have had a few ideas I have always wanted to try and when I have time I work on those blogs little by little, until I can dedicate the amount of time I want to the other two blogs. But bottom line choose the platform that is best for you and what you are trying to accomplish.

Another recommendation I would make is to stop by your local bookstore or even search online for some WordPress Blogging books or just blogging books in general. I was browsing in my local book store and came across a few blogging books as well as blogging books to improve my WordPress blog and experience. Some books I found helped me become a better blogger, some lessons I still have yet to put into action because I haven’t been writing or blogging as much as I would like to because of my hectic life. But I have slowly been implementing aspects from lessons I have learned from the books and it has done nothing but improve my blog, website design, as well as increase my reader numbers. I would also suggest in between your posts that you write posts about something current such as a book you read or movie you watched or maybe even on something that is currently trending. It is an easy way to get new readers and traffic to your blog. If enough readers like what you have to say your popularity in search engines will improve. As well as the fact that the reader’s curiosity will tempt them to check out your other work. I also recommend using tags, especially ones that are relevant or will generate lots of traffic when people use search engines.

Bottom line don’t put it off for tomorrow. Start today! We often limit ourselves and put things on the back burner out of fear or insecurity or lack of confidence or the knowledge to start something. We impose limits on ourselves and make tons of excuses as to why we can’t start today. Circumstances aren’t right or things have to be perfect….well I guarantee a year from now you will wish you started today. Speaking from my own experience, today you are alive and a year from now you never know what will happen. So seize the day, take a chance and remember anything is possible if you follow your heart.

Thank you for your time and enthusiasm,
Love Katie

P.S.
Keep me informed of your progress :)”

Well, I hope that my words have helped someone find their motivation or inspiration.  I wish you all the best of luck and please as I said to the reader who commented, keep me informed I would love to see where life takes you.

Thank you,

Love Katie

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Changing of the Seasons…

Dear Readers,

As the weather starts to give us a few days of warmth or nice weather here and there in between the Winter days, it always reminds me of the inevitable changing of the seasons.  You can’t stop it or prevent it, it’s just something that is on this world.  Or at least in the part of the world I live in, the seasons change.  

When seasons change it constantly reminds me of how precious life truly is.  Change, aging, and death are all inevitable.  I was up late looking through old memories and ended up wandering onto Myspace.   I decided to re-visit some old blog posts I did on Myspace.  I was surprised to find I wrote a post exactly one year after my Grandmother’s death.  I wasn’t surprised I wrote that but was extremely surprised I hadn’t shared it with my readers on WordPress.  Especially when I made sure I shared a few other posts when I had first started my WordPress blog.  So in her memory I wanted to share it with you as a part 2 to my previous post “My world…without you…sweet August..”  (If you type that in the upper right search bar you can search my blog for the original post.  Here is what I wrote one year after she passed:

 

It’s been 1 yr…since u left my life…I miss u NANA!!! u were my world!

(originally written Aug. 20th 2008)

Current mood:crappy

Nana ….a year has passed since your death…..the shadow of lonliness still hovers over me.  I never knew lonliness like the day you left this world.  Since your death I felt like a mal-nourished child, without your love blessing my days.  The only strength to go on, came from the love you showed me and everything you taught me.  If it wasn’t for my Best Friends and the man who has my heart I don’t belive I would’ve ever gotten through the darkest hours without you.   The day you left this world my heart broke into a billion pieces and just when it felt impossible to put it back together…with time and help I slowly regained purpose and moved forward with my life.  It wasn’t easy.  And to this day I still can’t come to terms with your death.  I’m sorry beyond sorry for not visiting your grave.  It’s just been so hard to bring myself to go back there.  

Papa and you were the two biggest parts of my life…and now that you’re gone…it’s as if I’m alone.  The only parents I’ve ever known are no longer alive.  I still have the rest of the family but it’ll never be the same.  I’ll never be able to come close to what we had, with them. You were my heart, my soul, my everything…you believed I helped you live longer…well I’m telling you if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be alive today.  I found my strength and sense of self  through you and Papa.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings…all I know is life dealt me a blessing.  I have one more year left in the only home I’ve ever known.  One more year to get back on my feet….one more year to complete and finish whatever I feel is incomplete or missing.  I’m so confused right now, I don’t know what direction to go in.  There are so many possibilities that I can’t figure out what to follow.   I’m searching for a sense of peace.  My current situation has me so overwhelmed with restlessness that I don’t feel at ease.  I still feel like I’m always two steps behind.  I’m tired of playing catch up.  Tired of the stress and over exertion.  I miss my life with my Grandmother.  I miss our little things.  No amount of memories will bring that back.  No amount of wishing or dreaming, and that is the saddest thing of all.

I can’t finish I’m too emotional….sweet dreams crash n burn…Katie

It has been 6 years since she has passed, but not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.  I wanted to share this post and my previous Sweet August one because I know there are people out there looking for some kind of message to help them handle what they are going through with their loss.  I’m hoping maybe my words at my lowest will help someone else at their lowest point in life.  If not, then maybe even give them comfort in being able to express their sadness with my words from my experience losing the woman who raised me all my life.  The only Mother I had ever known, my Grandmother Nana.  If you found this post, I hope it changes your day or current mood, if even just a little. 
Enjoy and thank you for reading.  Hope your day and year gets better,
Love Katie
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Changing Direction in Life….

Dear Readers,

My laptop is currently broken so borrowing my Aunt’s.  Anyways as I was going through old writing once again I found some old blog posts from when I use to blog on Myspace before Facebook was the hottest craze.  I found a very motivational message written by my younger self a few days before my 21st birthday.  Here is what I wrote:

…Changing Direction… 

(originally written Jan. 17th 2008)

Current mood:anxious

“21” is coming fast and change is inevitable…something is pushing me to change my current course in life.  It’s time to leave the past behind — the familiar structure, belief systems, comforts and defenses — and venture into the unknown.  I have to use my wits and survival skills to find or create a healthier, more integrated situation.   I guess this means it’s time to give up my comfort zone and take a chance.  It’s time to get out there and get my hands dirty.  The only way to get anywhere in life is to learn by doing.  I’m going to give it my best and try my hardest.  When you do that no one can say you failed!  I know what I’ve got to do.  And no one can decide the correct next move for me but myself!  There is nowhere to go but away from the past.  It’s gonna be hard at first but it’ll pay off for me in my future.

With success comes specific obligations.  Obligations, that come with a considerable amount of stress and decisions, of which I will soon be aquainted.  This moment in my life will teach me how to cope and balance my soon to be new found obligations.

Inspiration is coming to me like lightning bolts.  And the only wall stopping me is fear itself.  I belief it’s finally time to release my fears and let my guard down.  I’ve got to think positive!  Can’t let pessimism get in my way!

I’m slowly realizing how to learn from my past experiences and how to use what I’ve learned to fuel my future.  With each  piece of knowledge obtained I’m adjusting future plans and goals accordingly.

I’m not trapped on this course in my life…through re-attending college and throughout all the various changes occuring currently in my life..I’m slowly realizing that my life has potential.   My life is about to take on a new direction and I’m curious to see what surprises “Life” has in store for me.

Afterall, you are not merely the result of your past.  Who you are will be the result of how you respond to future opportunities as they arise.

I didn’t realize and understand this lesson until the course of the past two days.  Life is ever-changing and you have no choice but to make some decisions before they’re made for you.  THAT is the answer to succeed in life.  Taking chances in the face of fear.  And being one step ahead.

…these are my thoughts from my snow day…time to go to work…Love always Katie

My blog post on Myspace definitely reminded me of what I was going through at the time but more so, of some lessons I forgot I had learned.  Lessons that no matter what point in your life you are at, it is always good to constantly remind yourself.  So I hope this message gave you a wake-up call or got you thinking.   Feel free to check out my other posts, especially my very first posts on WordPress, or my other old writing.

Hope to get my laptop fixed soon because I have a lot of writing to post,

Enjoy Love Katie

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Thoughts… (An old poem)

Dear Readers, 

I was talking to an old friend and he reminded me of some poems that I wrote and submitted long ago to poetry.com.  To my surprise I actually found them from my middle school and high school years.

Thoughts

By Katie Monique Mary O’Donnell

 

Does my past haunt me? Or do I haunt my past? 
Am I remembered? Or am I forgotten? 
Am I seen and heard? Or am I ignored? 
Am I being me? Or being what others want me to be? 
Will I stand up and fight? Or bow my head and take it? 
Will I be strong? Or will I be weak? 
Am I mature? Or am I immature? 
Am I a woman? Or am I a girl? 
Am I wrong? Or am I right? 
Are They right? Or are they wrong? 
What are the answers? Will I ever know?

 

Enjoy….until I find more,

Love Katie

 

 

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Our Place (An old poem)

Dear Readers, 

I was talking to an old friend and he reminded me of some poems that I wrote and submitted long ago to poetry.com.  To my surprise I actually found them from my middle school and high school years.

 

Our Place

By Katie Monique Mary O’Donnell

 

There’s a place in time 
where I can meet you, 
A place in time 
only seen by two other people, 
It’s the place I first took you 
before I truly knew you, 
The first place you surprised me 
by holding my hand, 
A place where I took you 
to wish on the starrs, 
The first place 
where we once wished on Mars, 
The place where magic began 
with music from our hearts, 
A place that turned into a Fairytale 
with a Ball, Princecharming, and glass slippers, 
A place where our imagination runs free 
where you can be you and I can be me…

 
Enjoy…until I can find more
Love Katie 

 

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Confused & Lost (An old poem)

Dear Readers, 

I was talking to an old friend and he reminded me of some poems that I wrote and submitted long ago to poetry.com.  To my surprise I actually found them from my middle school and high school years.

Confused and Lost

By Katie Monique Mary O’Donnell

 

I feel alone and lost 
It’s as if everything is out of my control… 
similar to the feeling fate gives you. 
Before I found myself… 
I had been lost, but in a different way 
and when I had found myself… 
it was the most amazing feeling. 
But now I’ve managed to lose myself, 
yet in a new way. 
Now when I look in the mirror 
I’m not sure who I see… 
a marianette…or the real me?

 

Enjoy…..until I find more

Love Katie

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Unexpected…. (An old poem)

Dear Readers, 

I was talking to an old friend and he reminded me of some poems that I wrote and submitted long ago to poetry.com.  To my surprise I actually found them from my middle school and high school years.

 

Unexpected…

By Monique Kathaleen Mary O’Donnell

 

Life took an unexpected turn on 
A night that lasted… 
for what seemed like a moment 
revealing an unpaved path… 
igniting the beginning of quite an adventure 
In just being with him that one moment… 
I saw an intensity in his eyes 
that I had never quite experienced before…

 

Enjoy…until I find more,

Love Katie

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Why do they have to leave? (An old Poem)

Dear Readers, 

I was talking to an old friend and he reminded me of some poems that I wrote and submitted long ago to poetry.com.  To my surprise I actually found them from my middle school and high school years.

 

Why do they have to leave?

Monique Kathaleen Mary O’Donnell

 

Why is it that when you finally meet someone
worthwhile…they have to leave?
And why is it that when you wish you had met
them earlier…when finally thought
about…you know it’d be a whole different
situation altogether?
But for some reason unknown to me people
come into and leave your life at the exact
moment they’re suppose to
Those people touch your heart in the most
amazingly profound ways…
that even if they leave or they never talk
to you again
for some reason they’ll never leave you or
escape your heart.

 

Enjoy…more to come as I find them,

Love Katie

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How Did I Become So Insightful?

Dear Readers, 

One of my readers recently complimented me on my insightfulness and I wanted to share how I became so insightful with all of my readers because I believe the following words may help someone learn from how I grew up.  He also continued to ask if I ever contemplated writing a novel.  This is how I replied:

“Thank you for your comment. I apologize for taking so long to get back to you but had to take a break from blogging because my life got a little hectic towards end of Summer and beginning of Fall. I actually just had my first child in September, a baby girl. But I am slowly getting back into blogging, so please stay tuned. Thank you for the compliment, as a child I had a different upbringing than most children. I was actually raised by my Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents. Growing up around mostly adults I learned alot throughout the years. Their various ages and stages in life taught me very valuable lessons.  I guess you could say I was like a sponge always absorbing every ounce of wisdom or spoken/written word.  As well as listening to their experiences or learning from their mistakes.  

 

As a child, I was often called a shadow because I loved to tag-along anywhere and everywhere. I always loved to do and learn new things. I was always afraid of missing out on something. Then as time passed I interacted w/ my family members and their friends or co-workers.  I slowly learned even more by keeping quiet when I needed to and never being afraid to ask questions.  As I attended school, not only did my education add to my insight but by never limiting myself I interacted w/ various cultures.  As well as never discriminating against any age group, I always talked and interacted w/ younger and older students. Thus adding to my education and upbringing.

As a child I was always very in touch with my emotions, I owe this in big part to my family because they reassured me to never be afraid to express myself. No matter how scared, angry, or embarrassed….whatever emotion, I could always talk to them or ask any question. They always tried their best to give me the most honest answer, to the best of their ability, the best age appropriate answers. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and I owe that in big part to my Grandfather. He taught me how to write at the young age of 7 and I slowly developed my passion over time. I had finally found something I was extremely passionate about, that gave me the ability to express myself in ways I never could before. Once you let your fears go, anything is possible.  I learned alot from expressing myself by working through and writing my thoughts, feelings, or ideas, etc.

 

Yes, I have contemplated about writing a novel but I honestly have no idea where to start or how to go about it. I have been writing since I was 7 and have an immense collection of papers, poems, journals, random thoughts, etc. in my possession. Alot of people that I have known throughout my life do not always know the writer side of me, so I decided to start my blog to give people a chance to get to know and see a side they never have. As well as to express myself and share my writing and thoughts with the world. To my surprise, I have had readers stop past my blog from all around the world. When you first start a dream, it’s hard to fathom what type of impact your dream could have on others. The ripples are astounding. If you have any advice I’d be more than happy to listen please feel free to e-mail me @ mkatie_odonnell@yahoo.com Hope to hear from you. Enjoy your day.”

 

Now if anyone has anything to add or comment feel free to speak your mind.  Hope to hear from you soon. 

 

Always Love Katie

 

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Cooking Inspirations From All Around the World Post #1: “Icecream Cone Inspired Party Cupcakes”

Dear Readers,

I haven’t written, well actually completed a post in awhile.  I have been writing lots of posts but unfortunately haven’t finished them yet and they are still in rough draft form waiting to be published.  Today I wanted to share something that I often do.  Whenever I am online I like to save various pictures and articles for different reasons on my computer.  Let’s just say I am a very inquisitive soul.  There is alot I am curious about or find valuable and precious to save or remember.  Knowledge is power afterall.

One thing I like to do is save random pictures or cooking recipes on my computer to print out for my binder to try out down the road.  I have an account on pinterest.com.  (Feel free to join and add me: http://pinterest.com/ODonnellKM/)  Which is a community where you post various collections of theme-based pin-boards each consisting of photos, videos, etc. that are of things of interest to the user.  One of my pin-boards is called “Cooking Inspiration.”  I like to collect pictures of interesting foods, recipes, or ideas from other users that I want to try out down the road when I have time to experiment.

I have decided to start a new group of posts in my blog for readers that would be interested in some “Cooking Inspiration” as I have always been.  I am titling each post “Cooking Inspirations From All Around the World Post #: (inserting recipe or idea)”  This post will be titled: “Cooking Inspirations From All Around the World Post #1: “Icecream Cone Inspired Party Cupcakes”.”  The posts in this collection will be numbered consecutively, so that readers such as yourself can keep up with each inspiration I have found and wanted to share.   My blog is based on “What my heart says…” so the posts from this collection won’t be grouped together one after the other.  Each post may have a few other different posts in between so I recommend using the search bar on my blog to find posts from this idea collection.  In the top right hand corner of my blog there is a search bar where you can type in and search for various posts I have written pertaining to this collection of posts.  Just remember to always change the post # when entering your search.

Today’s cooking inspiration is “Icecream Cone Inspired Party Cupcakes.”  I came across this pic when I was following another user and thought they’d be fun to try out one day.  I had never seen them done before and thought they were a great idea.  The user who posted this picture recipe used rainbow confetti cupcake batter to get the colorful design that you see inside the cones.  I’m currently considering using this inspiration for the cupcakes for my baby shower coming up this summer.  Stay tuned and I will let you know what recipes I end up using.  I hope you enjoy this inspiration and find it as interesting, unique, and scrumptious as I did.

 “Icecream Cone Inspired Party Cupcakes”

Image

(Image & Idea courtesy of: backstitch.tumblr.com)

 Have fun experimenting with your loved ones!

Love Katie

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Diamonds in the Rough…of Wisdom

Dear Readers,

It has been some time since I have written a post for my blog, I guess you could say I fell off the face of the Earth.  I have been focusing so much on my life and working towards achieving my dreams, that I sort of neglected my blog a little.  But not as badly as I could’ve.  So that is a plus.  But I want to start making a commitment to myself and my readers to set a timeline for posting.  That way I will form the habit of posting to begin with at least, once a week.  As time passes I will slowly improve that habit and eventually post more than I had originally committed to.  So keep your eyes open because my mind is a tumultuous sea of thoughts and inspiration waiting to break free from the chains of my mind.

To start off my weekend right, I want to share with you some AMAZING quotes I have been encountering lately.  I haven’t the faintest idea how I have found so many diamonds in the rough, but I have definitely been blessed by God or coincidence.  I am not extremely religious, but I like to believe God has his ways of hinting.  And I can take the hint!

Love Katie

So here goes the diamonds in the rough of wisdom….

‎”Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.”-Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)

(IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK, YOU NEED TO READ IT BEFORE YOU DIE!!  NOW!  Before you’re a day older.  His pearls of wisdom for life are literally LIFE CHANGING.  By far one of my favorite books.  Plus it’s a quick and easy read!  So no excuses!)

“Coins make a sound when dropped, but paper bills won’t. Lesson: When your value increases, keep yourself silent and be humble.”
— Unknown

“The 3 C’s of life: choices, chances, and changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”- Unknown

“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.” – Shira Tehrani

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
“You control your destiny, so work hard, follow your heart, & fight for your dreams. Don’t ever let anyone take them from you.” – Unknown

‎”Bravery is when you’re the only one that knows you’re afraid.” – Unknown

“If you fight hard and are determined to work just as hard, then you can be successful and change your destiny” :) – Jimmy Ghrahm

‎”Life isn’t worth living unless you’re willing to take some big chances and go for broke.”
– Eliot Wiggington

“True character and heart speaks volumes.” -Unknown

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and let it come in.” – Morrie Schwartz (Tuesdays with Morrie)

“Everything starts out as a dream…the difference is you make it a reality.” – Unknown

“You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.” -Charles C. Noble

“Life is like a snow globe, often it’s prettiest AFTER it’s been turned upside down.” -Unknown

“Think how different life would be if you had never met the one person who changed everything.” – Unknown

“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are.  All you notice is the one person who doesn’t.”  –Jodi Picoult

“DON’T make decisions when you’re angry and DON’T make promises when you’re happy.” – Unknown

“The ugliest personality trait…Selfishness.”-Unknown

“You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it’s not a mistake….it’s a choice.” – Unknown

“Sometimes you’ll never know the true value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” -Unknown

“If it’s worth the risk then take the fall.” -Unknown

“If you can dream it, you can do it!.” -Walt Disney

“Don’t wait!  The time will never be just right.  So take a chance or miss out on possibly one of the best moments of your life.” -Unknown

“The darkest hours hold the brightest dreams.” -Unknown

“Never let love get away!  Always fight if they’re worth it!  Tell them everything from the bottom of your heart and if that’s not good enough, then be happy you gave it your all.” -My Grandfather

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I`m about to do today?” -Steve Jobs

“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” -random Magazine

“Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing.” -Tony Blair

“Business is like riding a bicycle.  Either you keep moving or you fall down.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katharine Hepburn

“Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest. The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity. I don`t want to give you a rate, but it is a very high rate. Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be  tremendously more productive over a lifetime.”-Richard Hamming

“Always bear in mind, that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing.”- Abraham Lincoln

“The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing.”- Michael E. Gerber

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”- Napoleon Hill

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”- Thomas A. Edison

“You miss a 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”- Wayne Gretzky

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”  – George Eliot

“If you always sail close to the shore, you`ll never discover new territories.” – Unknown

“No matter what, no matter how, where or who – you can almost always turn around and get a second chance.” -Anonymous

“It’s time to let go!  It will be ok.” -Anonymous

“You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” – Albert Einstein.

“Don`t treat every problem like a nail just because all you have is a hammer.” – Unknown

“The greatest wisdom comes from those experiments that fail.” – Unknown

“Don’t believe all of what you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.” -Unknown

“Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.” -Unknown

“Talk slowly but think quickly.” -Unknown

“When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.” -Unknown

“Get moving fast enough in life so that you can hydroplane over crap.” -Unknown  

“Don’t worry about what anybody else is going to do.  The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  -Alan Kay

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubinstein

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” – Marcel Pagnol

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Anonymous

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” – John Allen Paulos

“You are not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor should you feel the world must live up to yours.” – F Perl

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” – Randy Pausch

“How you do one thing, is how you do everything. Be aware.” -Unknown

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

“Life is not about kissing a**, it’s about kicking a**!” -Unknown

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?” – Rumi

“The harder you fall, the higher you bounce.” – Unknown.

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be.”  – Douglas Adams.

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” – Harvey Fierstein

“Your task is not to seek love, but to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

“Happiness always sneaks in a door you did not think was open.” – Anonymous

“Stop pushing people away.  You have to learn to trust people.” -Back-up Plan movie

“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” – Rumi

“Don’t worry! Be happy!”

“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?” – Charles Schultz (probably chose happy)

“Happiness is a choice. Choose happy.” -Unknown

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl

“Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.” – Tony Robbins

“A real apology is one that has no ‘buts’.”- Unknown

“Vision and passion can conquer ANY obstacle. You will never know your limits till you push yourself to them. Make your determination bigger than your excuses.” -Unknown

I can change my life at ANY time and any age. I can even run a marathon at 100. As can you.” – Unknown

“Be smart enough to hold on, be brave enough to let go. Sometimes, we need to hold onto faith while letting go of the outcome. Open your hand and hold your dreams gently, don’t try to grab them.” -Unknown

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill.

“We must let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell.

“Dance like the photo’s not being tagged. Love like you’ve never been unfriended. Sing like nobody’s following. Share like you care. And do it all like it won’t end up on youtube!” -Unknown

 “”It’s impossible” said pride. “It’s risky” said experience. “It’s pointless” said reason. “Give it a try” whispered the heart.” – Anonymous

I hope you enjoyed this post, it has been a work in progress of the quotes that have touched my life most profoundly this past Fall and Winter.  May they inspire you and invoke change in your life, or maybe some comfort where once uneasy thoughts laid.

Thank you so much and if you have any life-changing quotes of your own feel free to contribute and comment below.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Love Katie

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Things I Want to Do & Places I Want To Go In 2012 or In the Future Before I Die

Dear Readers,

This is a list in progress of my dreams, goals, events, places I want to visit, things I want to learn and see, and things that I want to do in the year 2012 or in the future that I have never done before.  I keep a binder at home called “My Possibilities Book” that I modeled after the idea from the movie “Last Holiday.”  It’s a collection of everything that I want, dream of, or desire out of life…anything that could be a possibility in my life before I die.  I decided to start this year off with a list, not only to push myself this year but maybe to inspire others to do the same.  Lists help me keep things in perspective while at the same time reminding me of what I haven’t done and what I still have yet to accomplish.  I still have lots to add to this list but I decided to publish it as a work in progress. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to finish my blog posts.  But I believe this post can be published as is and added to throughout the year.

Thanks,

Love Katie

DREAMS

  • To have a successful photography business
  • Professional Photography Job
  • Work for a Newspaper or a Magazine company

EVENTS

  • B.V.I. Music Festival
  • Cirque Du Soleil
  • Renaissance Festival in Maryland

GOALS

  • Improve my photography skills and business
  • Secure a day job working for a photographer, magazine, or newspaper company

PLACES I WANT TO GO OR TRAVEL TO

  • Australia
  • B.V.I. in May
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • California
  • Canada
  • Cancun
  • Central Park in the Summer
  • A cruise to the Caribbean
  • Canary Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Hawaii
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Puerto Rico
  • South America

THINGS I WANT TO LEARN

  • Learn how to whistle loud w/ two fingers

THINGS I WANT TO SEE BEFORE I DIE

  • Aurora Borealis
  • A Moonbow (like a rainbow but at night time)

THINGS I WANT TO DO THAT I’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE

  • Go iceskating in Central Park (like the movie Serendipity)
  • Ride a Scooter in Italy
  • Skydive
  • Bungee Jump
  • Hang Glide
  • Jet Ski
  • Water Ski
  • Tubing behind a speed boat
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Ski
  • Snowboard
  • Surf

(ALL OF THE ABOVE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS.  IT WILL BE CONTINUOUSLY ADDED TO….SO CHECK BACK FOR MORE, THANKS)

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Good and Bad…it’s all worth it!

Dear Readers,

I just watched the movie “The Time Traveler’s Wife” for the first time and I was so inspired by parts of the movie that I decided to write a thought as my facebook status.  The thought was as follows:

“Cherish the little moments…don’t rush them…sometimes they are some of the best in your life.  Before you know it life will pass you by…so enjoy each moment slowly or you’ll miss it.  Good and bad…it’s all worth it.  Trust me! –MKO”

One of my best friend Dre responded with:

“I’m a bit skeptical about the bad moments, but I guess it depends on the type of bad moment.”

My response was as follows:

“Dre, some of the worst moments changed me and impacted me in ways I couldn’t imagine.  Granted, it would’ve been nice to have them turn out differently but we rise from the ashes…we learn from pain, mistakes, and negativity.  Some of the biggest in my life are who my parents are and their decisions throughout life, their own and mine.  Growing up with my Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles instead of my biological parents.  My Grandfather’s death, different friends and family member’s deaths throughout time.  My first love and my first heartache came hand in hand with depression at the young age of 14, the only men I have loved and our trials and tribulations.  My DC nightmare which probably prevented a lot of similar nightmares for other women, and stupid less cautious and more naïve decisions on my part.  My Grandmother’s death and many close scares with it beforehand.  Losing friendships throughout my life for various reasons and circumstances.  The death of my dog Peanut earlier this year, who I had since my Grandfather passed.  And many, many, more to name only a few.  The bad moments and hard times make you who you are.  No one said life was easy.  You just have to stay positive like my Grandfather always said, “There is enough bad in this world without you adding to it or finding more fault than there already is.”  Without bad there wouldn’t be good.  So I know and take comfort when something bad happens, I smile eventually and thank God because good is coming around the corner.  Nothing is given to me in life that I cannot handle alone or with help from God, others, or with time.”

I hope this post changes others thoughts or at least makes people contemplate the thought for a minute.

Enjoy, 

Love Katie

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2 Years Later I Finally Finished Reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” I Kept My Promise and Just Watched the Movie

You’re probably thinking to yourself “What?! Why?!”, and I’m assuming you’ve already drawn conclusions as to why the title of this post is written as it is.  But your curiosity is still intrigued…now here is my story.  The author Audrey Niffenegger came out with the book The Time Traveler’s Wife in the year 2003.  Slowly overtime this book became one of the most popular books in the industry and became a favorite of many, many readers across the United States.  The film industry later decided to turn the book into a movie that debuted in theatres in the DMV area (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) in August of 2009.

I had heard many things about this book through word of mouth, through various internet websites, and finally my curiosity peaked when I saw the previews for the new movie based on the famous best-selling book.  I was curious about the plot of the book, not to mention I had always been curious about time travel like most since I was a little girl.  The idea of time travel combined with a love story is quite an entertaining idea and story, as well.  Like many other books turned to movies that had caught my attention and intrigued my curiosity, I decided to finally buy the book and discover what everyone had been raving about.  Upon beginning the book I decided to share my discovery with my best friend Manier at the time.  It was then we decided to read it together.  I also had decided to make it a goal of mine to finish reading the book before I saw the movie.  My goal was to read it before the movie came out in theatres because I originally wanted to see it in theatres, but things don’t always work out the way you plan.

I slowly fell behind in the book as both my best friend and my little cousin Ashley surpassed me in the book, both finishing it.  I had put the book down so many times I continuously lost my place.  “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is not a book you can put down because if you do you’re sure to get lost.  At first glance the book changes the viewpoints from the main characters Clare and Henry so frequently, it’s often hard to follow at first.  Your next roadblock as a reader is realizing not only do you need to keep up with the changing viewpoints but also the changing dates, times, and ages.  This is when you realize you have to keep track of more facets of the story than you have ever encountered before.

At the time I was a few chapters in when life started piling on more work, pressures, and constraints on my free time.  So I had to put the book down and focus on more important things.  I ended up losing the book in my house and brushed off the loss.  I chalked it up to finishing it later or if I was really desperate I’d get another book if I couldn’t find it.  A month later I came across it again and at the time was working passing out flyers at college campuses during the day for the clubs.  I often took metro to and from work during the daytime because not only did it save gas, but also time and money as well.  I decided to turn “The Time Traveler’s Wife” into my metro commute book.  I spent many mornings and afternoons engrossed in that book.  I often couldn’t wait to go to work or leave because I could get back to the story.  Audrey Niffenegger does a great job at keeping your attention as a reader.  Not only does she astoundingly keep your attention but she also elaborately tells you the story of a love throughout time.

I ended up getting a little bit more than half way through the book when I ended up putting it down again.  I forgot about it for quite some time.  Almost two years had passed since I had begun reading the book and I came across it again.  I have a habit of putting books down and picking up a different one where I left off.  This time when I came across the book again I was determined to finish it.  I was tired of wondering and waiting to find out what happened.  I did a pretty good job of stopping others from telling me the ending and all the moments in between that I had yet to read about.  Or of controlling myself from cheating and watching the movie before I finished the book.  But I have to admit, I often came across it on various channels on TV and would always take a sneak peak.  My sneak peaks were equivalent to that of one of Henry’s glimpses in time.  Just to get a taste of what I didn’t know yet.

I finally finished the book early September of this year, 2011.  I was a little disappointed by how slow the pace of the book became towards the end but now I believe I was angrier at the fact that the story was over.  I have to admit the ending was sad yet had a beautiful twist.  If my life were predetermined like that of Clare and Henry I would want something to look forward to throughout time and during the span or course of my life.  Especially if I was aware of past, present, and future events that had yet to occur.  Their love story was beautifully woven web throughout time and it teaches us to cherish all the little moments.  They did not take their time together for granted, despite all of the negativity and adversity they faced.

I have always been curious about the theory of time travel and all of its entities.  I’ve always been curious whether it was possible to change your fate, destiny, or your past.  And whether knowing a piece of your future makes it come to fruition or if it could change your fate.  Henry was correct in the fact that knowing your future will just make you go insane, but is that a risk you’d be willing to take?  And would you take it?  Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if knowing a piece of your future is a blessing or a curse.  I guess it’s like they say, information all depends on how you use it.  But in this situation, is this so?

Most of us are too scared to deviate from the plan but what if by exercising free will or trying to prevent our fate we end up creating our fate?  This is what will forever drive us crazy.  The fact of the unknown, unforeseeable, and the dreaded “What if?”

The way I have always viewed life since I was little was like walking down a dirt or paved road in the countryside.  You are only guided by your instincts, your sense of wonder and curiosity, with the stars and the moon lighting the unknown path ahead of you.  The moon is illuminated by the light from the sun.  While the stars are like your friends and loved ones, some die out, and still effect us years after they’ve burned out.  But with the main basis of the stars is that you can’t always see them at night or during the day but know that they are always there.  Or if you choose so, you can deviate from the path ahead and find your own way, paths, or roads for your journey.

Another way I look at it is most of us are stumbling down a dark tunnel with only a flashlight.  Most of us are so focused on getting to the other side that we often miss what’s around us.  We are often unaware of our surroundings when we are too focused on other aspects.  Some people are too afraid to move for fear of the unknown, they want more, but decide to stay only where they can see.  They are comforted by the sense of the familiar and are use to the conformity.  While others decide to explore or take in their surroundings, meanwhile taking a chance, and not paying attention to what’s in front of them.  While others pay attention to the sidelines and try to stay focused on their goals in life or horizon.  Their dreams and desires.

I do not wish to spoil the book or movie for you but I do recommend reading the book before you see the movie because I believe that the movie is missing a lot of important moments and aspects throughout their lives.  I especially believe that the movie could’ve been longer and covered a little bit more of the book than it did.  In my opinion the movie is like a flash of their life.  The movie is missing a lot of the nitty-gritty and escalating circumstances or moments in their lives.   Whereas, the book takes you in various directions in time in both of their lives and leaves the reader with a better sense of the story and how her life and the story ends at eighty something.  Or just begins with Alba…

Thank you for reading.  I am looking forward to your thoughts.

Sweet Dreams Love Katie

 

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My world…without you…sweet August..

Dear Readers,

I originally attempted my first blog on myspace some years ago but due to my lack of focus and attention to it I eventually gave up on that first attempt.  I was talking to one of my friends earlier and due to something he said to me I went to look for a poem I wrote a long time ago and in searching for it I found this and completely forgot I wrote it.  But you never know who’s life you’ll touch or help so I wanted to share the post with you.  I wrote it a few days after I lost my Grandmother.  So I hope it gives hope to someone out there one day.

Enjoy Love Katie

written Aug. 26th 2007 on http://www.myspace.com/whatmyheartsays

My world…without you…sweet August..

Current mood:sad

“Every story has an END,

but in LIFE every end is just a NEW Beginning”

I’m not ok…it’s a weird feeling…my Nana isn’t coming home…but I wake up every morning feeling as if any moment she’ll walk through my bedroom door.  I enter my house expecting to see her or hear her watching tv or making a cup of tea…expecting to hear her voice and see her face and she’s not there.  I feel like an orphan…my house feels even emptier than before.  All my life my house has been warm and inviting…NEVER has it felt this empty before.  I thought I knew emptiness before when she was away or in the hospital.  But I knew nothing compared to this feeling.  My Grandmother and Grandfather….were the only mother and father I knew growing up.  I had parents but they were never there.  Waiting around for them was like waiting for rain in a drought….useless and disappointing.

My world is straight flipped upside down.  All my Life…in a way I had to take care of myself, but now I have to more than ever.  Over night I found the burden of becoming an adult all too quickly shoved upon my shoulders.  The woman you see before you looks like she’s taking things well…but her all too delicate fascade is in danger of breaking any moment.  A mask…hiding all the hurt and pain…is expected to hide all her emotions from the world.  Anger consumes her and sadness takes over her every activity,  idle hands weren’t the answer to this tulmultuous storm.  Lost and confused…unsure where to turn or what step to take next…I slowly try to find a little bit of light in the darkness that has become my very world.

Two years ago I wrote her a poem and designed a picture for her for Mother’s day in 2005.  In my blog post I revisited the poem and directed it back at her again.  This is what I wrote:

I told you how much I needed you…I told you what my very world would be like without you…I told you my universe would fall apart!  I told you my world would be dark, grim, and cold…like the depths of winter.  I told you without you, my life would have no meaning…I told you if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I told you…I’d surely be lost like a tossled ship at sea in the middle of a storm.  I told you thankyou for filling my world with warmth and love, and for helping me to grow into the woman…you see in front of you today.                               

That was the day I told you Happy Mother’s Day Nana…that was the year you battled  breast cancer and colon cancer through treatment.”

(At the time of her death Avril Lavigne’s Song I Miss You was the only thing that got me through)

I miss you…your love would always get me through the day…the days feel long without you in my life.  I need you here in my life.  I need you to hold me tight.  I need to hear the words you use to say to get me through the day.  I miss you…

I need to hear you sing through the long night…I need to hear the lullabies you sung to me…they always got me through a night of sadness or pain…do you see how much I need you right now?  Your voice is missing from my days…the face I came to know and love is missing, too.

I’ve never felt this way before…I’ve never been this lost before…everything I do reminds me of you.  Everything I see is a memory with you.  I miss you…

You kept me from falling…you kept my head up…you never let me look down…you kept me smiling…even when I cried you’d never let me look down.

But that time came…and it hurt to say goodbye…my heart told me to be strong…and let you go.  “Until we meet again”  My heart tells me we’ll meet again…someday.  It’s time to pick myself up…and take that first step forward…you’re no longer in my life but like Papa you live on in my heart and in my every word.  You have always been a part of me through life…and you’ll always be with me…now after.  I will always love you…and my love for you will never change…you were the only Mother I ever truly knew.

Pieces of the following song tell you what my Grandparents did and who they were for me:

“A Song for Mama” By Boyz to Men

“You taught me everything and everything you’ve given me
I always keep it inside
You’re the driving force in my life”

“You were there for me to love and care for me
When skies were gray
Whenever I was down, you were always there
To comfort me. And no one else can be what you have been to me
You will always be”

“Mama, mama you know I love you (I love you, ooh, you know I love you)
Mama, mama your the queen of my heart
Your love is like tears from the stars (Yes, it is)
Mama I just want you to know
Lovin’ you is like food to my soul (Yes, it is, yes, it, is, oh…”

You’re always down for me have always been around for me
Even when I was bad
You showed me right from my wrong, yes, you did
And you took up for me when everyone was downin’ me
You always did understand
You gave me strength to go on

There was so many times
Looking back when I was so afraid
And then you come to me and say to me
I could face anything

And no one else can do what you have been doin’ for me”

 

Now dear Readers….I hope that gives you an idea of what I had gone through and how far I’ve come.  I’ve been in your shoes and there will be sunnier days ahead.  I promise you.
Love Katie
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Baking…a family tradition forgotten so easily…but still touches many lives and hearts

Baking…a family tradition forgotten so easily…with the passing of time and each year.  No, I haven’t forgotten how to bake, I’ve just forgotten what baking teaches you and how important it is to practice daily or weekly in your life.  I’m sitting up late at home alone, restless because I don’t feel good and can’t fall asleep.  I don’t know what made me decide to start baking right now but I just felt the need to focus on something other than feeling icky.  The rest of my family is currently in Everett, Massachusetts at the moment visiting our sick cousin.  My brother and I were the only two who didn’t end up going to visit with the rest of the family.  We couldn’t take off at the drop of a hat, our responsibilities took precedence over our wants.  It’s the first time my whole family has been in Boston since my Grandmother was first diagnosed in 2005 with breast cancer and colon cancer.

Our families, “The O’Donnell’s” (Arlington, VA) and “The Riley’s” (Everett, Mass.) made it a tradition, since my birth, to visit each other every year for Thanksgiving.  During our visit each year we also took the liberty of celebrating our birthdays and Christmas together as well.  When I was little it was one of my favorite concepts because in our family we celebrated Christmas alone three times.  Once in Boston normally the Friday after Thanksgiving, then in Virginia on Christmas day, and later on January 6th due to the Irish tradition of “Little Christmas.”  My family strongly believed it was important to celebrate those times of the year we didn’t get the chances to be together for.  I always admired our tradition for its distinctiveness.  I use to look forward to Thanksgiving in Everett, Massachusetts all year round.  Christmas is my favorite holiday but I use to anxiously await Thanksgiving because I got to spend time with parts of my family that I didn’t get to see on a regular basis.  I also always admired how close both families were from the start, even before I was born.

Each year before we left for our trip for Boston to visit at Thanksgiving my Grandmother who raised me would bake up a storm.  She made her famous old-fashioned brownies, carrot cake, and Guru Goodies…which was an interesting twist on a candy bar.  These were her signature desserts but she always made a variety of munchies, traditional foods, and goodies for our trip and for our visit.  She made it a point to bring everyone we knew up North his or her own batch of her goodies.  That was one of the things I loved the most about her, no matter how many people our family knew or had to bake for she never got tired of giving to others and she never gave up on or grew tired of her baking.  She had a unique way of making everyone feel special when she handed out his or her care package.

My Grandmother had a gift.  She was a magician in the kitchen and her passion definitely showed in her creations and in her traditional family recipes.   My Grandmother use to believe that baking or cooking could fix anything.  I loved that about her because she taught me that if you’re mad, sad, or even upset, that cooking and baking will always calm you down and make you feel better than when you started.  My Grandmother was a firm believer that by cooking or baking for someone you could change someone’s life, if even only one day at a time.  She use to always say that a recipe made with love is sometime all anyone really needs.

She was the type of cook who made everything from scratch.  When she found a recipe she liked, she would treat it like a problem in life and work on it and perfect it until she was finally happy with it or loved it.  She put so much time and effort into her recipes and creations that she always kept them under lock and key.  She was a firm believer in family tradition and only believed in passing recipes down to family members or a close loved one who would truly appreciate it, which was very rare.  She use to say recipes are a lot like life some are good the way they are, while others you have to play with them or keep trying different ingredients until you find the one that works best for you.  When you have achieved the best recipe you add it to your family’s collection and share it with your loved ones.

My Grandmother was a firm believer that cooking and baking with love is what kept our family together and friendship ties strong.  She strongly believed that when someone you knew was going through hell, that you should bake or cook for them.  She always loved to give nice gifts but believed cooking from the heart was a better gift than money could ever buy.  It doesn’t cost much and you will enjoy the process and the end result.  The person you cook or bake for will definitely be grateful for your love and kindness.  You never know what someone is going through, what battles they’re fighting, or what kind of day they are having until you reach out to them.  I guarantee your kindness will change their day and make everything a little easier to bear or handle.

If there is one thing my Grandmother taught me, it’s that traditions are what keeps the family strong and love is what keeps us alive.  Always reach out to others because even after time passes, they will always remember your kindness and how you made them feel.  They will never forget that no matter how many years pass.  True story.  I’m in college now and my elementary teachers still talk about my Grandmother’s famous brownies to this day.  My Grandmother is the first person to ever teach me how to cook and I fell in love with cooking because she shared her passion for it with me.  She put such emphasis on cooking that I regard cooking so highly that I believe it is one of the cornerstones to living a good life.  I developed my love for cooking from her lessons and emphasis on tradition throughout the years.  One of my favorite things about cooking is when you get the chance to share the experience with a loved one or even teach someone new how to cook, it’s one of the most unforgettable moments you will ever experience together.  You can learn a lot from another based on the differences in your homes, traditions, and even cultures.  Through cooking you learn to work together, teach eachother, try new things, and grow.  Cooking is one of the ways I remember my Grandmother, whether it’s baking something simple or cooking a complicated dish…cooking is when I remember her the strongest.  She lives on in many ways in my life and her recipes and the lessons she taught me are just one way of remembering her legacy.  I look forward to teaching many more friends and loved ones in the years to come and I looked forward to passing our family’s traditions down to my children one day, God willing.

Time to eat my late dinner tonight.  I got off to a late start and decided to tackle making Jerk Chicken.  Yummm…. :) Sweet Dreams

Love Katie

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You Can Learn Alot About Someone Based On Their Answers To Some of The Most Interesting or Thought Provoking Questions in Life

Dear Readers,

I love to stay up late often and when I’m up during the wee hours I love to research questions, thoughts, or ideas.  I do alot of writing and reading late at night.  I came across a blog called “Marc and Angel Hack Life.”  I googled for interesting and unforgettable questions.  I like to always google questions because I am a firm believer in asking the right questions.  If you ask the right “deep question” then you’ll be surprised of what answers you’ll get in return.  You can learn alot about someone based on their answers to some of the most interesting or thought provoking questions in life.  Not to mention you can connect with new people you’re just meeting on the most interesting levels.  Their answers often show you pieces of them that you normally wouldn’t get to see or experince.  When I google I came across a blog post and had to share their collection of questions.  I fell in love with every question and truly believe everyone needs to hear these questions.  So I chose to repost their blog post for you.

Love Katie

REPOSTING

From the blog: “Marc and Angel Hack Life”

http://www.marcandangel.com/2009/07/13/50-questions-that-will-free-your-mind/ 

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

These questions have no right or wrong answers.  Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  22. Why are you, you?
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  25. What are you most grateful for?
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  32. If not now, then when?
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

And check out these books for more thought-provoking questions:

Dear Readers,
I hope you loved their post as much as I did and maybe apply these questions to your own life or conversations.  I strongly recommend reading some of their other posts as well.  They have a section called “Thought Questions” and another section called “Makes Me Think.”
Thanks for taking the time to read and if you have something interesting please feel free to share with me or my readers,
Love Katie
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Somewhere along life’s path….Who we WERE, who we ARE & who we are to BECOME

I found this amongst my vast array of random papers I’ve written on throughout the years.  I wrote this on January 17th, 2008:

“Somewhere along life’s path we lose sight of the person we once were…the fire that shined so bright* starts to dwindle with the winds of immense change and time…somewhere down that path we look at the horizon and remember who we are…and admire not only where we are from but who we’ve become…and question who we are to BECOME.  Sometimes the reality of our truth is so hard to believe that somewhere along the way we lose sight of our reality.  We even start to question our certainty in the truth.  For is the truth of our reality truly possible?”

–Monique “Katie” O’Donnell

(Written remembering Papa’s promise and the reality of me vs. others.  Which I will go into another day in a different post.)

Dear Readers,

I honestly wouldn’t have written this post if it wasn’t for my power going out overnight.  The county is doing some work on the power lines in my neighborhood and had to cut off the power until later this afternoon.  So like a genius, I didn’t charge my cell last night after work.  Instead I curled up on the couch to watch my recorded episode of my TV show “Pretty Little Liars” but ended up falling asleep like a baby.  I’ve been so determined this week to finish my client’s pictures from our shoot this past Thursday that I disciplined myself to focus on nothing but her pictures.  And if anyone knows me well they know I have trouble focusing.  So I was proud I got her pictures back to her with a quick turnaround, even though I barely got any sleep.  But I am determined to work hard this summer.  I want to succeed and achieve success in my dream careers, or at least make some progress in the direction of my dreams this summer.

Before this summer started I couldn’t wait because there was so much I wanted to do and accomplish.  Whether it was going out, traveling, spending time with friends, family, and loved ones, doing something I have never done before, or even doing lots of photo shoots to build up my portfolio.  Well, as the saying goes “time flies” and summer is already a little more than half over.  Sitting here it seems as if I haven’t accomplished much this summer, but as far as my personal life and myself I have made a lot of progress.  I have grown immensely as a person this summer.

The second part to that saying is time flies but luckily you’re the pilot, but in my opinion the twist is that the co-pilot is God.  One of the greatest questions in everyone’s life at some point in time is “Who am I?”  This question pops up continuously throughout our lives especially when our circumstances or our stages in life change.  Life is a continuous search about finding oneself.  Like life, our sense of self is ever-changing but in the rare moments or time periods that you find your footing everything changes.  When you find your niche in life itself, the moments where you find the perfect footprints for you, are some of the best moments in life.  You have found yourself like two puzzle pieces in time fitting together perfectly like fate or destiny.  Meant to be, meant to be discovered.

There was a part of me that was missing until this summer and there was a part of me that I thought I had lost long ago until now.  A part of myself that makes me feel more alive than I have felt in quite some time.  Even my best friends have noticed the change and fire in me lately.  A side they haven’t seen in years.  When something changes you so immensely, you don’t just let it go or ignore it.  It’s funny how life works out and the curve balls that life throws you.  When you least expect it life switches up on you.  It changes up the equation and experiments with different elements.  Sometimes throwing in the most conflicting elements with the only hint being that in some crazy explicable way all these elements can work.  As out of this world and incomprehensible as that sounds at the moment, the fact is it’s possible.

When specific elements are removed from the equation your first reaction is how can it or does it function now?  You have to reevaluate everything because the answer is no longer the same, or is it?  This is something that you have to determine or evaluate yourself.  Sometimes when we are so focused on the specific elements in our original equation that we lose focus.  We fail to remember that the whole purpose of the equation is the answer, the end result.  When we take our eyes off the end result, we sometimes lose sight of the whole equation and it’s purpose, our purpose.  When we focus on the elements we lose sight of everything else but we do not realize this.  We still think we are evaluating the equation correctly when in fact we didn’t keep our eye on the answer and while we were distracted with the details, the answer has changed.  Which means the whole equation has changed and what we were originally searching for, is no longer the same thing we are searching for now.

Life has a funny way of doing that to us, sometimes what we think we want and what we really need are two different things.  But we cannot realize this unless life switches up the elements of our equation on us.  Sometimes it’s hard to focus on the end result or what we want in life, because we have become so focused or obsessed with focusing on or worrying about one specific element that we forget all the other elements.  We even forget about ourselves.  We lose sight of ourselves and our wants, our desires, and dreams.  We forget that we deserve better or that we can achieve better because we are so focused on making the current equation work.  We are so determined to make it function that we are afraid to upset the balance or when the balance is upset we are quick to go back to the norm.  But is the equation meant to be that way?  Or is there a better equation and a better formula for our lives than we can currently comprehend?  Why do we forget this small fact so easily?  Why do we overlook the obvious?  More so why are we so blind or only focused on the details?  How do we get so lost?

Before this summer started I was too focused on rushing through life, through everything.  I often put a lot of my own heart’s desires on hold to cater to others or to focus on work and other aspects of my life.  I was doing enough to get by and always worrying about upsetting the balance in my life.  I was so use to my comfort zone and the choices I had made.  But little did I know how much my life would change this summer.  I didn’t expect for this summer to change my life or impact it as much as it has but it did and I don’t think I can go back to the woman I was before.  There is a difference in me now that is irreversible.  It was unexpected and unexplainable.  I am still having trouble putting it into words or fathoming the depths of it’s impact.  This summer I have had to make some of the biggest decisions of my life.  I had focused so long on worrying about others that I forgot about myself and my own dreams.

‎”The expected is what keeps our
 lives steady, it’s the unexpected
 that changes our lives FOREVER.” – True Story

One of the biggest problems for most people in life is that they are afraid to give up what is comfortable in order to achieve that which they desire most.  People are afraid to let go of what already fits or works in their life in order to get what they want or to go where they want in life.  They are afraid to take the chance, to let go of the familiar in order to chase or try for the unfamiliar.  Most are afraid of fear or are afraid of failure.  While others are more afraid of losing what has taken them so long to achieve already, mainly being who they are at this exact moment in time.  But what they do not realize or forget to remember is that life is always changing.  It never stays the same, nothing in life does.  Most people are looking but aren’t really seeing.  Is that what you’re doing?  Does any of this sound like you?

I came across this next quote and it definitely sums of some revelations of my summer.  “What you are is what you have been, and what you will be is what you do now”. –Buddha   This quote is very true, so follow your heart, do what makes you happy, and forget what others think or believe.  Sometimes in life we need to wake up and realize what is best for us.  As hard as it is to focus on yourself solely, you need to sit down and ask yourself what it is that you want out of life in this moment?  What do you want in the future?  What will make you happy?  What will you regret?  What can you live with and what can you not live without?

At some point in the last few years I felt like I needed to wake up and stop being so naive and that I needed to come to terms with the reality of my life.  The reality that maybe my childlike way of thinking wasn’t the best thought process for my situations.  I started to deflate my head out of the clouds a little but not completely because I still held out hope and still believed in my fairytale-like way of thinking when it comes to life.  No matter how many curveballs life threw at me or how many times I got knocked down, I kept fighting and pushing forward.  At some point though I started to settle in some aspects of my life that you should never settle in.  I started to believe that maybe my hopes, dreams, desires, or wishes were too high and maybe in the reality of life I started to believe maybe you had to settle.  I started to contemplate that maybe life wasn’t like the fairytales or books and stories you read.  At this moment in time or over time I began to lose pieces of myself.  My flame started to dwindle and wasn’t burning as bright as it once was.  Until this summer, something awoke and changed in me for the better and I cannot ignore it.  I believe everything happens for a reason and this summer taught me that I had forgotten how to live.  I had forgotten my self worth and what I truly had to offer.  I forgot what is was like to live a life worth living.  I stopped doing what made me happy and I stopped spending time with my friends and loved ones.  I even abandoned my writing and photography at different points.  My two first loves and the biggest passions in my life.  My reasons for my existence.

Sometimes in life you forget the fire that’s deep inside of you, but more so you forget how to make it burn as bright and fiercely as it use to.  When it was an unwavering beacon of light inside of you.  You start to lose your faith and hope little by little everyday.  Even your optimism diminishes, you find yourself contemplating negative thoughts that you would’ve never given a moment’s thought to before.  You start to let reality creep into your life a little too strongly and forget that optimism, a strong heart, and belief system is what kept the wolves at bay.  You forget that anything is possible and you start to settle more and more.  Somewhere along the line you lost sight of the answer to your equation.  You focused too long on certain aspects that you forgot who you were and the person that you wanted to become.  God knows this and life knows this all too well, which is why we are thrown curveballs.  This is why our equations get shaken up.  To show us what is possible in life.  Our world changes and our equations are shaken up not to take things away from our lives but to make sure we want the path we are currently focused on in life.  Sometimes we are so consumed in the different facets that we forget the big picture.  We tend to not even realize that our own hearts, desires, and mindsets have changed with time.  It is in this moment that we remember our distant hopes, desires, and dreams.  And in this moment that we realize they are more attainable now than ever.  Nothing is set in stone and we are not dead yet.  We are very much alive.   When we least expect it life teaches us that what we want and what we need are two very different things.  Are you courageous enough to take a chance to pursue what you need in life?  Are you willing to change your course in life for the better path?  The path that will lead you to everything you had dreamed of but began to lose hope of achieving.  I ask you this, Do you know your self-worth? And what you truly have to offer?  Trust your heart don’t forget who you are, your roots or where you came from.  Do what makes you happy.  What choices will you not regret in the years to come?  Today the possibilities are endless but will you be courageous enough to take advantage of them?  Or will you be too afraid?

(Image courtesy of google)

Just something to contemplate that I have been dealing with throughout my life and all summer,

Love Katie

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Fear and Failure…Where Will Your Potential Take You?

Fear paralyzes even the strongest of individuals.  Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear to try something new or out of your comfort zone, fear to be completely honest with yourself or others, fear to take a chance, or change your mind and your path in life.  Fear is one of the most paralyzing emotions that we experience in our everyday lives.  Sometimes it can touch us once and leave us forever paralyzed or reminiscent. People are often so afraid to take a chance because they often want a guarantee, but nothing is guaranteed in life.  Their current situation works only because it’s feasible and they’re accustomed to it.  But what if I said your life would change for the better if you took a chance.  It is better to try than to waste time by regretting or wondering for the rest of your life.  Sometimes what we are most afraid of isn’t as big of a deal or as hard as we often make it out to be.  Sometimes out of fear we cause ourselves more frustration or stress than is really necessary.  The longer we avoid it the bigger it becomes, and the harder it is to conquer and overcome.  The fear can consume your life and take control of or effect your everyday choices.  Fear causes us to miss out on a lot of moments and opportunities in life.  Ask yourself, in the end is it worth missing out?

Believe it or not failure can be a good thing.  It brings our attention to that which we want or desire most.  It inspires and encourages change.  Sometimes we can stumble or fall because of it but it teaches us to get back up and try again.  If we hadn’t tried to conquer our fears we wouldn’t be where we are today.  To get to where you are currently at in your life now, you had to conquer some form of fear.  Don’t tell me “No” because I can name multiple moments just in your childhood alone when you were afraid of simple things that seemed so overwhelming, simply because you were afraid.  I know things are different as adults but sometimes we need to remember that even though we are afraid, we are often afraid of the smallest things.  Nothing is impossible.  Believe in yourself and in your ability to overcome your fear.  You never know what is just around the corner or what is awaiting you on your path in life if you just take a chance.

We’re all afraid of failure.  You’re not human unless you possess fear.  Most humans are actually afraid of the unknown.  Everyone wants to know what will happen, what the future holds, or what the best path in life is.  Everyone wants to know the good but fears the bad or the path, choices, and decisions to get to the good.  Fear teaches us to be cautious of the unknown.  But why do we let fear limit us?  And what are we missing out on in life because of our fears?

One of my biggest fears is taking a chance on a new day job.  I have the biggest problem with waking up early in the morning.  I wake-up to alarm clocks but once in awhile I have the ability to sleep through my alarm.  My fear is losing a dream job because of my failure to get up on time.  I know I am capable, hard working, determined, and a very dynamic individual but my only fault is not being able to wake up on time.  I have a tendency to do well but every once in awhile I miss my wake-up alarm and oversleep.  My fear is that I will get connected to a job through my family or a friend of the family and that I’ll fail to wake-up on time just once.  I fear losing a dream job or an incredible day job because of my inability.  I don’t want to be jumping from job to job or have my inability to wake-up once in a blue moon be the only reflection of me and who I am as a person.  It may sound silly but it’s true.  My other fear is to pursue a job that is not even related to my desired career field.  I fear getting stuck at a day job unrelated to my field because I’m worried about wasting more time than I already have, I’m not getting any younger.  Now as I sit here writing this, I am starting to realize how silly my last statement is.  I know I am not currently working in my career field other than doing random jobs as a free-lance photographer but I am just afraid I will not have as much time to focus on or pursue my photography.

If you spend every waking day being afraid of failure you will never learn your true potential.  Most people wait until they are forced to make a change but it always better to act on your own accord instead of being forced into it by a drastic change in your circumstances.

Fear forces you to challenge yourself and your current direction or path in life.  Fear is one petrifying emotion but you have to ask yourself if you’re always afraid, will you ever realize your true potential?  Can you maximize your potential, your circumstances, or your life without facing your fears and possible failure?  Everyone is afraid of something but it is the ones who accept their fears and challenge them that make the difference.  The ones who courageously face their fears and either conquer them or don’t give up until they do so.  Do you honestly believe you can get anything you want, dream of, or desire without facing your fears?  Everyone is afraid at some point or another in time.  Don’t forget that everyone is new or was new and inexperienced at some point in time.  The first step is admitting and realizing your fears, while attempting to overcome them.  As long as you keep moving forward in your battle against fear, that’s all that matters.  Sometimes failure will set you back, but you cannot be afraid of moving forward.  You cannot be afraid of taking chances or achieving what you desire and deserve.

People cling too easily to the familiarity and comfort of their everyday lives and what they’re use to, that they fight so hard to keep it from changing.  If they put half as much effort into conquering their fears, they might be surprised of what they can accomplish or change.  If you freed your mind and allowed yourself to keep an open mind instead of putting limits on yourself, the possibilities are endless and may surprise you.  By giving into fear you are paralyzing your free will.

This year I decided to stop being so afraid and take more chances, even if I fail or make mistakes.  Surprisingly because of the chances I have been taking new doors are opening and new opportunities are presenting themselves.  If I hadn’t taken some of the chances I’ve taken this year I wouldn’t be where I’m currently at, especially as far as my dreams are concerned.  The process is slow but I am steadily progressing and improving little by little every month.  I’m just trying my best to move forward no matter how afraid I get or what I encounter.  I sometimes get scared and have to pause or take a moment to re-evaluate the situation and my fears, but I eventually take the next step and hope for the best.

What are you waiting for?  Stop waiting and cease the moment conquer your fears, maximize your potential, and achieve what you deserve.  Nothing is impossible…so don’t limit yourself.  If you run into an obstacle along the way or maybe even reach your limits, just remembering to keep pushing forward.  Try to achieve better and above all do your best, that’s all that matters in the end.  No one can say you failed if you gave it your best.

Where will your potential take you?

Love Katie

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