Dear 15-Year-Old Me,

Dear 15-year-old me,

It has been two weeks since you received some of the most exciting news you have ever received. You may think that this means you got into veterinary school, but something along the way changed and you found a new passion.

Before I tell you what that thing is, I could tell you to change some of your notorious actions, but if I were to do that you would never be where you are now. So, what I will mention is it may seem like your world is falling apart right now, but trust me when I say you can do this. Don’t let others opinions rule what you say and do. Smile a little more. Don’t get so caught up in your head. There are days when it feels like the pain won’t end, but I promise you, you will grow positively from it. You will have some pretty bad blowouts with your parents, you will make some stupid choices and you will have some nasty injuries. However, in all of this, there is only one regret I still wish I could change, that is when you hurt so much you will turn to sharp objects to release the pain. Reach out to those around you, they may not feel the same, but they will do everything to try to understand.

Your goal has been veterinary school since second grade, and it will continue to be your goal until freshman year of college. This changes when you will begin a relationship with a very special someone. He will change the way you see everything. You will begin to notice that you are more than what you have previously valued yourself as. He will tell you that you can do more than you ever imagined you could. You will continue to stumble along the way. You will make some more mistakes, but you no longer will have to live with guilt, shame, and feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

You might be wondering what guy could ever make you change your mind like this. You have always been too independent to really give any guy the time of day. However, this one is different. His name is Jesus. You think you know Him now, and in a way you do. He knew you from the moment you were created, and His plan for you has gone beyond the goals that you have set for yourself. He has opened your heart to the geriatric population and, in turn, occupational therapy. You will leave your dream school, Purdue, the school that felt like home for the first time in a long time. Moving back to North Carolina is still the hardest decision you have ever made, but when God says go, you go.

You will end up at ECU, your last choice of schools. You will struggle with feeling alone, you will hate this school with every fiber in your body. You will start to slip back into struggling with fear and doubt. Your family starts becoming a bigger part of your life; you start realizing the hurt that you’ve been feeling for years from the aftermath of the divorce was wrongly projected onto them. Your family will become a pivotal part of you reaching where you are today. Not to mention the friends that you will gain along the way, and the ones that have stayed by your side for years. Just when you thought you had slipped so far away from God, he reminds you that He never left your side with this little piece of news.

At this point, you are probably dying to know what exactly happened two weeks ago that caused this letter. You were accepted into the University of Pittsburgh’s Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program. That’s right, you, Katie, are going to be a doctor. A doctor, pursuing what may seem like a crazy dream now, but one you will reach with God leading your life. What is that goal? You want to open a long-term care facility that uses animal therapy along with occupational therapy to help heal the residents. A farm setting where instead of waking up to white walls they wake up to something they look forward to and encourage them to keep progressing.

It has been two weeks and you still cry from excitement. You should be very proud of who you are today, and who you will become. I know you have always strived to make Mimi honored to have a great granddaughter named after her, and you will do just that. If you don’t get anything from this, at least take this: God loves you so much that He has created plans greater than you could ever imagine.

Love,

22- year-old me

P.S Next year (16-year-old you) you will visit Pitt’s campus for a wedding. Enjoy!

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Note to self:

Note to self:

Don’t be so hard on yourself; you’re doing the best you can. You should not be your own worst enemy. Love yourself for who you are and stop trying to be what everyone else wants you to be. Stop comparing yourself to others, and doing things because someone else wants you to. Start living for Jesus, not for everyone else.

Let yourself feel beautiful once and a while, it is okay to feel good about yourself, and you can do it without being full of yourself. Start smiling when you look in the mirror, not grimace.

Stop worrying about the small things, or even the big things. Has anything never worked out? God has your back through it all, and His plan is greater than any plan you will ever imagine. Time spent worrying could be time left accomplishing great things. And remember worrying doesn’t add a single hour to your life.

Remember to put your self in the shoes of other people. No matter how overused that it is it still remains true. Pray for others, just pray in general. Give people slack, they are as human as you are. We all have bad days, and on your bad days show love, not anger. Have patience, meet people where they are and not expect what they are not. You don’t like when people expect things out of you that you are not.

Let people in. People want to help you. Don’t be so afraid of the pain people can cause because the joy is so much greater. You’ll get over the pain, but you may never get to experience life to the fullest if you keep pushing people out. You may be good at listening, but you also need to talk about what is going. You can’t hide your emotions forever.

Give everything you have without giving away yourself. You can be selfless without losing who you are in the process. Remember how blessed you are, and that blessing needs to be shared with others. The sharing you learned in kindergarten can be applied today too.

Celebrate the little things, celebrate life. Make more time for the people who love you, and the people you miss. Pick up the phone a little more instead of just texting. Spend time with the people right in front of you, and less with those who don’t care. Do the things you love and cut out the mundane things you keep doing cause you feel you have to. You do not have to do anything. You’ll start to realize you do have more time in your day for things that make you smile.

Always strive to be a better person. Never stop believing in your dreams and aim for the things you don’t think you can reach, but you surely will if you set your mind to it.

And above all look more like love- like Jesus, and less like the world. Love relentlessly. Love your neighbor, and remember that your neighbor isn’t just that person hidden by the fence next door, but the hurting man on the other side of the world. Stop hoping for good in the world, and be more of the good in the world. You can’t change everyone else, but you can create a ripple effect that causes change.

And one more thing, you’re doing great, so don’t ever give up.

 

The Bluff

Why I did a Social Media Cleanse.

Social media has become the norm today, it has become something that controls every aspect of our life, especially our relationships with people.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to build a relationship without the use of technology, whether that is a friendship or something more intimate. We judge people through a jaded lens that is their camera. We show what we want on our instagrams, say what we think people will want to hear on our twitter, show what we think will cause jealousy on our snapchat, but the reality is all of this is a façade for the pain, anxiety and depression that controls our society. I’m not going to say that I am not a culprit of this. I am.

I have continually caught myself not bothering to talk to someone because I have this calculated vision of who they are (or are not) because of what I’ve seen on their social feed, and yet I haven’t said more than the cordial “Hey, how are you”. This is not what I want to partake in. I want to have a relationship with people that is real, that is what I KNOW from TALKING to them, not through what they want me to know. People are a beautiful and fragile thing, and somewhere this has been lost.

We hide behind technology never talking about what is really happening in our hearts, never letting the guilt, hurt and sadness leave our souls because that would ruin our perfect image that the public sees. What is wrong with hurt, with letdown? We all experience it so why do we try so hard to hide it? We are riddled with pent up emotions because society has defined unrealistic levels of perfection that we are trying endlessly to reach.

I find it heart breaking to hear someone say “I have anxiety” and over half the group chimes in as to how it affects their life too. We no longer push ourselves to better who we are, why should we when everyone thinks we live a perfect life and we have 100 likes on that artsy picture? I want to be a better person in knowing people partaking in genuine, authentic and transparent relationships. I want to ask people what they have been up to without having a polluted view of that answer.

So many opportunities are missed as I spend my time scrolling through pictures of that girl in Europe and that guy who actually went to Chicago, instead of me who perpetually dreams of going. What if I spent less time being jealous of what people have (and I don’t), and more on what I do have and the opportunities that I can take, and are in front of me. I can learn more by reading, explore more of what is 10 miles down the road, work on my body image that I struggle with so much when I see others with what seems to be the perfect body.

A testimony that speaks to our corrupted society, we spend more time worrying about who is and who is not following us, how many likes we have received, what people are doing, instead of looking at what is right in front of us.Why are we offended for being “unfollowed”. Does that make me less of a “friend” if I don’t look at your pictures, but I don’t even bother to look up or talk to you when I walk into a room? I’m not going to accept it as the norm. I want to make a change. I want to be more than my bluff that is social media.

Bisnieta

The name Kathryn came from my great grandma. Carrying the name of my great grandma has always made me strive to be what I knew of her, and to be honest that wasn’t much from my own memory.  The objects and thoughts that came to mind were things I heard from other people. Pears- from her and my aunt in the pear tree. Fluffy- the poodle she had that I never met. Tea sets- from the set sitting on my grandmas mantle. Then I started to try to think of my own memories.. tobacco- from the cigars she and Pop would smoke on the porch. Amish- from the valley she lived in, and will always remain my favorite spot to be. Smocks- for the clothes I remembered her wearing in the nursing home. Quilts- for the one that I thought was so beautiful that covered her fragile body. And the worst memory death… my first death I can remember. A couple days after we got the news I remember it hit me, the woman I was named after just passed away and I hardly had a clue on who she was. I can remember kissing her face before they closed the casket and trying desperately not cry over the feeling that I just lost who I was supposed to be.

I clung to what people told me she was, and trying to relate her personality to mine, dedicated, stubborn, creative, independent, strong. My fear was to take her name and to be someone far from her. The fact is, I got so wrapped up in trying to be someone I hardly had a memory of that I often forgot to be me. I often feared who I could be, it seemed much safer and easier to relate off what others said was a honorable woman. Recently I realized that I don’t have to be what I chalked up to be a perfect person, I can be me and still be accepted, and I learned this through accepting Christ in to my life. Even though my great grand mother carried character traits that I desired, I just had to let myself realize that I in-fact had a lot of those character traits naturally without fighting myself to be that person. I am Kathryn Anne Adams, not Martha Kathryn Bigelow. I will never know her quite like my grandma and my aunts and my dad, but I know that whoever I am will make her proud. I am the great grand daughter of my mimi, but that doesn’t make me my great grandma and that’s okay.

Here I sit

Sometimes I wonder why for some people things come so easily and others they work their whole life for nothing to come to them. I feel like I won the lucky hand in life and I often feel like I should be giving what I have to others, but I don’t always know how. How do I spread my good fortune to others? My friend is going through a great tragedy and I don’t know how to comfort her, how do you comfort someone through something you don’t quite understand. She has experienced death on a level I can not comprehend. The tragedies in my life haven’t been great and I wonder why me, why have I been so blessed to get to live this life? I have a family that loves me more than I may understand and money has never been much of an issue for my family. Not to mention I have a God that loves me so much that I know I will never ever understand the extent to which His love covers me. Maybe spreading His blessings to me is spreading His love, which is something I tend to be a coward with. How can I say I love someone, and yet not share His love with anyone? I want to make it a goal this year to be bold and to spread His love in any place I see fit, and also places that don’t seem fit. God has placed me in a situation where I see so much hurt on a daily basis and I have chosen not to do a thing, but He has opened my eyes to the fact that I need to do more than that, I need to love like he does, in the situation that it’s easy to love and the ones that it is not so easy.

If you read till the end I’m sorry for my scrambled post, but glad you made it through.