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Just A Year

Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!


I’ve been writing for a year. Well, I’ve been writing longer but I’ve been publicly putting it out there for a year. It’s been great going back and reading the different thoughts I had and remembering what kind of place I was in. Some of my articles make me laugh in retrospect (we know I can be a bit dramatic at times); others have opened up even more questions. A few articles I now disagree with. And a few I still stand by 100%.

I started this blog so I could use writing as a form of therapy. The way I described it was, “I couldn’t keep thinking about all these things. I had to get them out of my head.” It’s not like I was having a bunch of bad, negative, or even real serious thoughts. But, I realized that after I wrote it down, no matter how big or small, I could actually process it. I’m a visual learner. When I saw the words written out, I was able to objectify and rationalize. When the words stayed in my head, they stewed and simmered and spiraled into feelings that weren’t actually reflective of the situation. Seeing the words made it just that…only a word. Not a feeling, not a reality, just a word. And that, for me, made it manageable.

But why let everyone read all of these?

Why not? Naturally, I’m an open book. I’ll tell a stranger my deepest secrets and won’t think twice about it. It’s a flaw at times, for sure. But most of the time it’s actually how I connect with people. When I share something personal, it creates a common ground for me and the other person. I’m not talking about connecting over pets or coffee or traveling. That’s basic. I mean actually connecting with someone over a real-life experience that has meaning and depth.

I originally mentioned that I didn’t care who read my blog or how many people read it. And that’s still true. But now that I’ve connected with so many of you through these blogs, I do care who reads. I care about how my words resonate with you and I care about your own story as it relates to what I’ve said. I have learned a lot about you and you have taught me a lot in return. Without you all, this wouldn’t have meant as much.

During this time of reflection, I appreciate even the negative or hateful responses I’ve gotten. Because when someone has a reaction, that means something stuck with them. Whether they agree or disagree, something stuck. It is interesting that my personal words can strike such a chord with someone else, but I suppose that’s the nature of our world right now. And also the nature of being protected behind a screen. Maybe that’s why I feel ok sharing my thoughts—because I’m also behind a screen.

But they’re also not my words. They are everyone’s words; I’ve just arranged them in a way that fits me. So maybe that’s also part of it? These words are for everyone to share and when they’re used in a different arrangement than we think they should be used, we can get offended. Ok, I’m starting to ramble a little.

I proud of myself for sticking with it for a year. I’ll probably keep going. I like that I give myself flexibility — I don’t have to stick to a schedule because… (a big lesson learned AND experienced this year) life doesn’t stick to a schedule. This year I’ve watched my life and other lives change over time and also change in an instant. I’ve watched lives change on their own and change with the help of others. I’ve watched people decide to change and I’ve watched people have to change.

Each precious day comes with an array of experiences and opportunities for us — good and bad, pretty and ugly. I process all of that through words, sentences, and paragraphs. I also process through movement and music.

Find what helps you and feels good to you. Make time in your day for you. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

This year, my resolution is to keep writing and stay moving. Not always physically writing or moving but viewing my life as a written poem or beautiful dance—there is beauty in the painful parts and shining truths that sometimes I can’t see.

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