Yes, I am. Check out my new piece over at Odyssey here.
Then tell him #boybye.
Yes, I am. Check out my new piece over at Odyssey here.
Then tell him #boybye.
About to get way too real with you guys…
So two nights ago, I’m curled up in bed reading/diligently studying “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps,” a book my good friend Catherine gave me for my 25th birthday. Because, obviously, we were having quarter-life crises and needed guidance.
So I am reading (bonus adult points) instead of on social media or watching Netflix.
I am also starting to deeply regret having donuts and eggnog for dinner. Not very adult of me, I’m aware. But I’m easing out of my holiday binge season…so just let a girl live, okay? Baby steps.
Anyway, after eating the most unhealthy dinner ever and already feeling queasy that day at work and not calling off, (very adult of me, or so I thought), my stomach is rumbling something fierce. Like it actually begins to frighten me.
After almost 20 minutes on the porcelain throne, I return back to bed and continue reading.
And then, some time later, while reading a book about Adulting, I, a GROWN ASS WOMAN, shit myself.
Yes- I know. The irony of this is not lost on me.
Anyone can tell it is a shart when they feel one. It just slipped out. Not completely, thank God. But enough. (In my defense, I later discovered I got that nasty stomach virus that’s going around, so it wasn’t really my fault. It’s just shitty. Really.)
And yes- I know it’s gross, and TMI, and of course I am embarrassed and humiliated and horrified. But everyone poops. Everyone gets sick. And in retrospect, the situation is just too ironic and too funny not to laugh about.
I debated sharing this post, but what the hell.
I guess sometimes you have a big girl job and do your taxes and cook things that aren’t just in the microwave, and then other times, at 25 years old, you accidentally shit yourself. Would ya get a load of that- life, I guess.
All things I am thankful for.
Corny title, I know. Hope it had you rolling. Okay, I butter stop.
That was terrible, I’m sorry. Please (pretty please, with sugar on top) keep reading…
I read somewhere that a way to turn our attitudes around and find happiness is to focus on having a heart full of gratitude- thinking about all the things that we have, instead of what we don’t.
I know (in light of this holiday) you’ve probably seen enough of this on your social media outlets today, but it’s important for me to write this list, and it serves as a reminder for me to look at when I’m feeling crappy.
So, in no particular order, here are 30 things I am thankful for:
1. To be alive. In light of recent events in the world, I’ve seen how quick life can be taken away, and it is unfortunately what many of us take for granted the most. Remember, life only sucks some of the time.
2. My parents. I was blessed with two hardworking, supporting parents who have always put me first and sacrificed so much just so I could have the things they didn’t. They have always believed in me. I will always be indebted to them, and will always love them more than anything.
3. Friendships, whether past or present. The past couple years I have focused so much on the friendships that have dissolved or people that have shown their true selves, but it caused me to 1. Forget that those people came into my life and left for a reason, and 2. neglect the friends that had been there all along. To have one true friend is better than ten fake ones. Whether they are cities, states, or countries away, they have helped shape me into who I am today. (Thank you all, and I know I need to call more often!)
4. The incredible man that I am lucky to call mine. JJ embodies unconditional love in every sense of the word. He takes care of me, protects me, sees and loves every flaw yet only announces it as perfection. He keeps me sane, and keeps me smiling.
5. My health. This past year I’ve had two surgeries that made me rethink how fortunate I am to have the ability to do simple things like eating or walking without pain or discomfort. Your health is really everything.
6. Running. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are. But it has been the driving force behind becoming the stronger version of myself this past year. I have pushed past the limits I set on myself, and came to understand I have none.
7. This blog. It has forced me to be vulnerable and transparent with my life, my feelings, and my words, and held me accountable for actively writing and relaying experiences of my life. I know it has been a big step in the right direction for me.
8. Discovering a community of writers in the Madwomen in the Attic classes.
9. My niece. Because she is so sweet and chubby and the only baby I’ve ever really liked. Because she is a new family member to love. And of course, my brother and sister-in-law are in this category as well 🙂
10. My job. I work at a wonderful university where I am surrounded by brilliant individuals, and it also gives me a paycheck and benefits. Really can’t complain.
11. My apartment. Sure, it blows coughing up that much $$$ every month, but I have a roof over my head (though it sometimes leaks) and a little corner of the universe to decorate and be as pantsless as I like.
12. Traveling. This is no secret. ‘Nuff said.
13. My education. I will admit that 75% of the stuff I studied for I have already forgotten, but at least I had the opportunity to sit in a classroom and learn.
14. My hometown. Everyone has some sort of love/hate relationship with where they grew up, but for me, it gave me the comfort of community and the peace from driving down back roads.
15. Public transportation (weird, I know) for letting me not demonstrate to the world what a terrible driver I am- especially when it is winter, and when it is not. I don’t worry about getting myself to & from work safely, or parking, or, paying for parking, etc.
16. Wearing my heart on my sleeve. Because it means I am like my mother, and she is warm but can rage with fire, and I love that- regardless if I am labeled emotional or too sensitive because of it.
17. Chocolate, because without it I would be a miserable bitch.
18. Technology, so I can Skype or call my friends/relatives whenever I am not near them.
19. JJ’s entire family, for taking me in as their own, and always making sure I am well fed…(as if I’d pass up on any food, ever.)
20. My grandparents, because they’re so cute and have shown me what true love is. (Or just that it is possible to put up with someone 60+ years of your life.)
21. Music, for getting me through my teenage years. Literally.
22. Books, for letting me lose myself in their pages and revealing my love for reading and writing.
23. CHAPSTICK. I own over 300 tubes of lip gloss, probably. No, really, someone should count them all.
24. My teachers, other adults (friends, coaches, employers, coworkers, etc.) in my life who have significantly shaped and guided me through whatever rough waters I was facing. Often, we don’t realize it until we’ve moved on.
25. My setbacks. I’ve felt heartbreak, but it lead me to someone better. I faced rejection letters from literary magazines, but it fueled my desire to try harder. Everything- friendships that fell apart, prayers that weren’t answered, “WHY ME??” moments in my life- were all preparing me for something greater.
26. Carbohydrates. Do I really need to elaborate?
27. Humor, without it life would be so dull.
28. Blankets, fuzzy socks, oversize sweaters- things that are cozy and soft.
29. Warm weather, because then I can be barefoot and sun kissed and in a better mood.
30. Sheetz, because it was love at first bite and it’s always welcoming me no matter what the hour.
P.S. I really tried to refrain from listing all foods. It was much harder than I thought.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
JUNE 29, 2013
Today, I slept until about 9 a.m. Had bread with Nutella (my staple breakfast) and went to watch the kids take a youth yoga class at la platja. Hilarious to watch but then I realize, as I’m watching them bend and thinking about how exhausting it has been to chase after them these past couple days, how extremely out of shape I am. These children actually can do a hell of a lot even if they’re just mimicking butterflies and trees.
It took me a while to understand what “platja” meant. In Spanish, beach is “playa,” so obviously, though it seems subtle, there is quite a difference. Welcome to my confusing, sort of trilingual life.
Sa Palomera, Blanes.
As Roser packs up the towels, beach toys, and bags, I take Adrià’s hand and lead him near where the beach meets the sidewalk to stand under the fountain and rinse the sand off his body. The kid has it in every crevice of him, I swear. All of a sudden, I hear another stream of water coming from somewhere. Confused, I look down, and to my horror, Adrià has pulled himself free from his swim trunks and is casually sending an arc of golden pee into the air and straight onto some poor middle-aged woman’s legs and feet. I don’t move, or speak. I just froze, and stared, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, my feet rooted to the spot, because my brain can’t register what to tell my body to do. What could I do? I mean, how do you say, “Holy shit, I’m so sorry this child who is not mine is currently peeing on you” in Catalan?! So I just panicked, grabbed his hand, and ran away. Real smooth, Kara. I said a silent prayer thanking God that the lady didn’t follow us, or shout after me, and that Roser didn’t see the whole thing happen, and wished with every fiber of my being that I could disappear under a rock. I mean, he wasn’t my child…why did I feel so mortified and responsible? Because you couldn’t apologize to her, or even explain to make Adrià realize what he did was wrong. Because you don’t speak Catalan and can’t understand anything. Sigh. As we made our way back to the car, I made a mental note to apologize to my mother for all that I must have put her through. Whatever stuff moms are made of, I don’t have that in me. In summary, I am majorly failing at being an au pair already…
I also forgot the beaches are topless here. I see young girls with better boobs than me, and I can’t help but stare in jealousy- both from their tan, curved bodies and the fact that they are at the beach with their friends. I am an outsider, and though I have this wonderful family, they are not mine- so it’s lonely. I am a strange mix of being too old to be Jordi and Roser’s child, but too young to be Adrià and Mar’s mother. I almost feel like their older sister, but I am still isolated because I don’t understand the language or how to care for them. (Note: I’ve never had younger siblings or even cousins that I’ve been around and had to care for.) Adrià holds my hand and gives me besos sometimes which honestly melts my heart. Being with them is an emotional roller coaster- good days and bad days. My mother once told me that kids will break your heart and then mend it over and over again. How right she was.
The kids and I spent a long time at the pool when we got back…they swam naked (why are children always naked?) and I tried to teach them the word “Jump!” They love my camera and are fascinated with what my iPad can do. I know I will have to get some good photographs of the kids and I before I leave. They are starting to take up a huge place in my heart… We went to Sa Palomera, the huge rock at the beach down by the town (pictured above), and climbed to the top.
I carried Adrià everywhere, which actually made me feel so good that he wanted me to pick him up and hold him. We saw the locks that countless couples put there to lock their love. I just kept thinking, ¿Dónde está mi amor? For dinner later that night, I was introduced to pan con tomate. It’s bread, but on the bread we take a tomato cut in half and rub it so that it moistens the bread, then pour olive oil and sprinkle salt over top. It was amazing. I don’t care about carbs, I will forever fill up on bread. I love it! After dinner, I taught the children “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in English as we danced. Mar loves to dance as much as she loves to swim. It makes me so happy to see them learn… I hope it is working.
Pan con tomate- A.K.A., the best thing you will ever taste.
I’m always a day late and a dollar short.
Just two weeks after turning 25, I am finally forging a path back to my childhood dream. With this blog, I hope to not only retrace my footsteps over five months of traveling in Europe, but also rediscover my voice as a writer.
It’s funny how thirteen-year-old me knew best all along, huh?
Since then, I’ve transferred colleges, broken up with boyfriends, had surgeries, gained a sister and a niece, crashed my car, built friendships that failed, found a soulmate, ate the weirdest sea creatures imaginable, drank absinthe, swam topless in the Mediterranean, cried in castles, jumped from mountains, and the whole time I drifted in and out of my first love- writing.
I received my B.A. in English from Westminster College in 2012 and moved to Pittsburgh, PA. After working for a year in a job that I increasingly became more unhappy at, I had my quarter-life crisis early and quit my job to travel. Now, two years later, From This Side of the Sun is the compilation of months and months of poetry, journal entries, pictures, and word vomit that expels every emotion I’ve ever felt.
Head over to my about me page so I can introduce myself further, or (for those who know me) refresh your memory on where I’ve been.
Can’t wait to catch up with you all!