Wants vs. Needs

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need” – Rolling Stones.

Come on – I can’t not start this blog post off that way.
You’d be disappointed in me if I didn’t.

But honestly, there’s no better way to kickoff this post because that statement, that one simple lyric, is so honest and straightforward there’s little room for muddling up the message.

Simply, it doesn’t matter what we want in life or even how bad we might want it because if it’s not meant to be than it’s not meant to be. Even when we whine loudly and stomp our feet even louder in protest of being denied that very thing, if we look closely… really, really closely… we’ll usually see that there was a reason the universe decided, “nahhhh” as it kindly shut us down.

In most situations that you feel slighted or upset, chances are that you’ll learn from it, take a lesson away, and grow into a stronger human.

But that’s not to say that life doesn’t suck for a little bit once I’m denying the thing I desperately want – for example, I go through stages when something bad happens:

1. My eye twitches a little bit and I whine-yell in my head, “Whyyyyyyyyyy?” and the longer I drag out the y’s, the better I feel.

2. I pout and think, “Wow. But seriously. Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this crap?”

3. I start to accept that while I didn’t want it, it’s happening and I can’t stop it from happening to me.

4. I begin to deal with it. I’m no longer whining in my head but figuring out how to handle the situation in the best way possible with what I have. If I can’t stop it, I’m going to kick its ass in one way or another.

5. I kick its ass.

6. Once the situation is over or close to it – sometimes breakups or being fired or whatever can leave bad taste in your mouth for a while – I reflect back on it. Mainly because I want to think back at how awesome I just was at kicking the bad situations butt.

(6.5. Sometimes I even take an extra few moments here to look at my reflection in the mirror, wink, do some finger guns, and say, “Yeah girl. You handled that with confidence, a smile, and you didn’t let it slow you down. You were pretttttty awesome.”)

7. I try to pull the “good” from the bad situation. This isn’t always easy and it’s not always so straight forward but, again, when you look closely, chances are you’ll be able to find something.

Let’s see this in action, shall we?

Once upon a time, I was in a relationship with a guy and I thought I was in love. Head over heels in love. I mean, seriously. I was into this 110% and while things weren’t great and he had a bad sense of fashion (oh, that was an unnecessary dig), I didn’t care.

Things progressively started getting worse and we just could not get on the same page with each other, no matter what. I’d try and try and try. I made sacrifices, I put his needs first, and I even worked really hard at making dinner one day instead of ordering it in.

But, nothing works. We decided to end things (more his decision than mine if I’m being honest), and I felt like my world was over. I was upset, I cried, and I thought, “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?”

I went through all of the steps listed above and once the breakup fog was clearing away and I started reflecting back on the relationship, I actually thought to myself, “Whoooa… whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a second. That relationship actually kinda sucked and he was actually kind of self-centered, and pretty judgmental, and he didn’t really do much to fix things or try to repair things like I did…”

That’s when I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more caring, and kind, and giving I was in that relationship. Not just when I was trying to repair what was so painfully broken but rather during other (cough cough most cough cough) other parts of our time together.

It figuratively hit me like a sack of bricks (isn’t that the saying? Did I make that up?) that I had absolutely and totally romanticized the situation. I put this guy up on this pedestal that no matter what, he couldn’t do any wrong.

Or rather, I didn’t want to see any wrong in the things he did and said.

I was so blown away at the idea that this guy had swindled me and when my head was up in the clouds, romanticizing him and the idea of us, he was over there standing on the other side of the room being kind of a jerk while wearing mismatched clothing (another zinger).

It was only after I was removed from the situation, separated my emotions from the situations and actions that ACTUALLY happened, that I began to see the situation for what it really was – a waste of time with someone who didn’t actually care about me in the way I deserved to be cared about.

From that, I saw the silver lining in what felt like the most painful breakup in history.
I learned:

1. No man should ever stay upon a pedestal that he did not climb up himself. Never again will I place someone on top of there – he has to earn that spot.

2. I’m stronger than anything life throws at me (well, or most things at least) and while things hurt really badly, I won’t dwell in that place longer than I need to to feel and experience. Once I’ve learned what I need to learn and have dealt with the emotions properly, I’m getting the hell out of that murky hole.

3. Being so caught up in the fog of something I thought was real but wasn’t definitely caused me more harm than good in the long run. Sure, it was hard on me personally, as most breakups are, but I also saw that I ignored a lot of important things in my life – I took a hiatus from being the friend and the person I want to be for the people who actually deserved my time and effort.

What the actual heck was I doing?

In a relationship, the other person should be building you up instead of looking down on you from that pedestal, helping you see your surroundings clearer rather than fogging them up with lies, and they should be enabling you to be the best you can be both professionally and personally.

What I thought I wanted was that relationship – what I actually needed was the breakup.

After the fog cleared, I was able to figure out that the universe didn’t give me what I wanted for a reason. And that was a hard lesson to learn – I don’t want to downplay that.

What I wanted, with every single fiber of my being, was that relationship and that’s because I had built it up in my head into something it wasn’t. The universe was like, “Okay, that’s cute Kate but no. You’ve had enough of this so let’s just put a stop to it, ok? Yep… Okay… Stop hugging him so tightly…”

And thank gosh it did. I can truly say that I’m happier, more focused and I’m getting back to the things that make me who I am – aka. finishing up/editing my new book!

Do me a favor and take a moment to think about a situation that you’ve been thrown into headfirst. A situation that was beyond tough. A situation that took a lot out of you emotionally.

Was it a job you wanted really badly but didn’t get?
Was it a relationship that ended before you felt it was ready (like mine)?
Was it a health scare that turned out okay but really sucked going through it?

Now, try to find that silver lining:

After the job passed you up, did you find something even better that you wouldn’t have applied to if you would’ve gotten the first job? If not the job, did you meet some really great coworkers who became friends? Did you learn a new skill or find that you were better at a certain aspect of the job you ended up taking that you didn’t expect?

If the relationship ended prematurely in your mind, did you find a kind man or woman to date after? Did you learn that you don’t need to rely on anyone else for your happiness and now you’re a strong, single badass human? Did you learn what you want and don’t want in your next relationship?

If you had a health scare (and I hate that if you did), did you find that through the turmoil you actually became closer with your family? Did friends come to your side that you thought didn’t care in that way? Did you learn to value the days just a little bit more than you did before?

The universe doesn’t always give us what we want but it does give us what we need.

Next time you find yourself in a situation that feels like it sucks, take some time to whine and stomp and then try to figure out the good you can take from it – that silver lining.

Think about the lesson or the lessons you learn as the gift you get after going through the tough stuff. Those rough patches that tested your character and your strength will truthfully only make you stronger moving forward.

(Side note: Above when I said I was finishing up/editing my new book – this is actually a chapter from it! Stay tuned darlin because I’m going to make 2018 my year)

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Embrace the Unknown and Enjoy It

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I’ve found that regardless of age, many people are worried or stressed out about their future. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a 20-something young professional or if you’re a 45 year old mother of 3 because life is stressful. You may worry about whether you’re on the right track professionally, whether you’re making smart financial decisions, or if you’re living up to your full potential.

But you know what? It’s okay not to know what lies ahead of you because of these reasons:

1.) Nobody else knows: Simple yet true. Nobody knows what their future holds so take solace in knowing that you’re definitely not alone. We’re all in this together – Muddling through the confusion and waiting to get to the point in our lives where we find that we’re okay with the unknown.

Secret: The sooner you discover that you can’t control or plan your future, the sooner you’ll be able to embrace what’s to come with open arms…

2.) Life would be boring if we knew: Sometimes the greatest moments in life are those
moments that are completely and totally unexpected. If you knew EXACTLY what your future held, would you still wake up every day with enthusiasm and excitement? I mean, really… You’d know when you’re going to meet important people, when you were going to find a soulmate, when you were going to get a job promotions, etc.

You wouldn’t be excited for the day at all… In fact, you’d probably wake up and think “Alright, today I’m going to meet someone who is going to become my best friend. Better put on some perfume even though it doesn’t matter… We’re destined to be friends regardless of how I smell.” Boooooooringggggggg.

3.) You wouldn’t learn: If you always knew the outcome of situations, you’d probably avoid those that would cause you pain. Now, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing right away but think about it for a second. Some of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned have come from jobs I shouldn’t have taken, boys I shouldn’t have dated, and friends I shouldn’t have hung out with. If I knew that all of those situations wouldn’t have worked out in the long run, I probably would’ve avoided them.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

– Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Take a deep breath and smile because you’re doing alright kiddo. Enjoy each day to the fullest rather than riddling it with worry and stress over things you simply can’t control. All you need to do is do your best, follow your heart, and try to make smart decisions (Note: I didn’t say RIGHT decisions because even the wrong ones are okay).

You Have the Power to Choose Happiness and Love

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Nothing I’m about to say is going to be a surprise to you. Honestly, you’ve heard (or read) it all before, or at least I know I have, but what I hope to accomplish through this post is to say it in a way that legitimately resonates with you….

Please, please, please take this to heart:
You need to stop reading all of the bullsh*t online articles that are trying to tell you how to change, act, and live to become more desirable to somebody else.

Because I couldn’t fall asleep, I grabbed my phone and opened up my Facebook app. I only scrolled down for a few minutes and in those few minutes, I saw two articles that upset me –

“40 People on the Worst Trait a Significant Other Can Have”

“23 Little Things that Let You Know You’re in the Right Relationship”

This upset me because you know what? Plain and simple – Life is hard enough as it is.

When we’re constantly bombarded by “advice” like this written by “experts,” we start to get this skewed perspective of ourselves and of life in general.

Don’t worry yourself with what other people think is right, wrong, desirable, or undesirable.Don’t second guess your gut even if you see people leaving comments like, “ZOMG YOU’RE RIGHT! This is SO me!”

This advice might resonate with them.
It doesn’t have to resonate with you.

There’s always something telling us that we’re not as skinny as that model, we’re not as happy as this celebrity who was just given expensive diamond jewelry, or as ______ as _________.

I decided then and there that I needed to unlike that Facebook page and I want to challenge you to do the same. You have the power to accept this “advice” OR you can say, “You know what? I’m happy. I’m healthy. I’m not perfect and thank goodness for that.”

You have the power to close the magazine, unlike the social network, or separate yourself from whatever isn’t filling your life with positivity.

The thing to remember is that people are going to keep writing these articles; however, once you realize that these sources don’t define you, your life, or your happiness then you can rid yourself that judgmental negativity.

You have the power to decide for yourself if you’re in the right relationship.
You have the power to decide that you’re happy with your life.
You have the power to love yourself despite whether some article thinks your quirks or traits are undesirable.

You don’t need to read 400 words written by a stranger to decide whether or not you’re living your life right.

It’s simple – You have the power to choose what you put into your eyeballs and into your head. Stop reading articles that make you feel like you’re not good enough, successful enough, or pretty enough. Instead of reading this judgmental crapolla written by people you’ll never meet, take a minute to appreciate your quirks, your uniqueness, your freckles and those laugh lines. If you’re in a relationship and you’re happy, then be happy and stop trying to look for faults. If you ‘re in one and you don’t want to be anymore, get out.

Forget these “advice” columns and do me this one favor – Embrace who you are, learn to love that person, and do what makes you happy ❤

Say ‘Yes’ and Figure Out the Rest Later

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So, I’m going to come right out and say this –
I REALLY hope this blog post turns out to be more than just a glorified synopsis of that weird Jim Carrey movie “Yes Man.”

I’ve never seen “Yes Man” but I can assume the premise of it is pretty gosh darn close to what I’m about to write about; HOWEVER, stick with me on this one… mmmk?
I’ll give it the Live Inspired spin and it’ll be good. Pinky promise.

*cough cough*

Lately, I’ve been going through a bit of a funk. Not a bad funk or anything like that but more of the, “Welp… now what” type of funk. Moving to a new city, starting a new job, being recently single, blah blah blah… All of that was great.

It was exhilarating. It was refreshing. It was exciting.

But now… Well, now what?

I sat and pondered this for a while (no I didn’t, that was a lie) and I realized that I can’t rely on anybody else to make excitement in my life. No, this was up to me.

I decided that the first step to finding this newfound excitement was that I’m going to start saying, “Yep” instead of saying “Nope” in regards to situations/invites/whatever.

I know that it doesn’t seem like much but to me, it was.

I tend to get stuck in my ways and honestly, I over-analyze situations that haven’t even happened yet. It’s not that I’m being a Negative Nancy but sometimes, I just avoid situations if I think they won’t end up being THE BEST SITUATION EVER. It’s ridiculous. I know this.

For example: I was asked to go out on a date.

My head was telling me, “Nah, don’t bother. You guys aren’t going to click because of _____ and _____. Plus, what if you run out of things to talk about? Awkward.”

But it took me only a few quick moments to realize that I was going against my own plan; therefore, I accepted the invite.

I said yes and you know what, we’re going out later this week and it might be awkward. We might run out of things to talk about. I might end up really disliking this guy but you know what? I’d never know if I said no right away.

For me, this idea of saying yes is more than just getting outside of my comfort zone. It’s about allowing myself to experience new things and meet new people. When you immediately shut down an idea or refuse to give someone a chance, you’re not hurting anybody but yourself.

It’s true – When you deny yourself the chance to go outside of your comfort zone, you’re denying yourself the possibility of something amazing.

As humans, we’re not meant to live a boring and stable life. I’m reminded of that cliche saying, “If your life doesn’t have ups or downs, you’re dead” and it’s true. You can’t experience incredible if you settle for safe and mediocre.

Get out of your own way and allow yourself to do something new ❤

Your Emotions are Valid

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This topic is kind of a difficult one for me to write about; however, I firmly believe it’s an important one to discuss: The validity of your emotions.

Now, this topic is difficult because I’d be blatantly lying to you if I said that I wasn’t a “proud” person. I don’t want anybody to think that I’m weak or I’m not in control of my own emotions. I want others to think that I have it all together even when life gets hard and I feel as if everything is falling apart.

This pride was tested earlier when I had a bit of a breakdown. Yes, I just admitted it to the world… I had a breakdown and believe me, it definitely wasn’t a pretty one. It was one of those ugly crying, drippy/snotty nosed, squeaky voiced breakdowns.

So, what did I do? Well, I did what any girl should do – I called my best friend.

As I was explaining to her why I was upset and more importantly, why I felt like I shouldn’t be upset because of x,y, and z – She cut me off.

She said, “Stop right there. You’re allowed to be upset because what happened is upsetting. You’re allowed to be mad because any person in your shoes would be mad. You’re allowed to feel everything that your feeling. Let yourself feel these things, it’s healthy for you heart and mind.”

This may seem simple idea but honestly, it’s something that caught me off-guard.

A few hours later (with a clearer mind) I thought about this… She was absolutely right – Of course, I was allowed to be upset and mad and angry and furious and everything else.

I just didn’t let myself feel these things because to me, these emotions made me seem weak.

Looking back, I realized that I kept giving reasons as to why I shouldn’t be upset:
– That things will work themselves out and life will go on
– People are having worse days than this. I should just suck it up and realize that my day isn’t so bad in the grand scheme of things.
– I should be over this by now. I shouldn’t still be hurt.

It was as if I didn’t have a RIGHT to feel everything I was feeling but guess what, I did have a right and so do you.

We don’t always have to put on a happy face if we’re not happy. We don’t always have to pretend as if things are okay when they’re not. Feeling sad, angry, or any other emotion is just as important as feeling a positive emotion.

Life isn’t always happy and sometimes, life is really hard. Sometimes we’ll get treated unfairly by those we trusted most. Sometimes we’ll have our heart broken by someone that we thought we’d be with forever. Sometimes we’ll get passed up for that promotion or sometimes we won’t get an invite to that party. Sometimes ___________ happens. Sometimes things just downright suck but you know what? It’s okay to recognize that and it’s okay to feel hurt, upset, disappointed – Even if you know that life goes on, there will be more promotions, etc.

In addition, you know what else is important? The fact that we shouldn’t put deadlines on how long we’re SUPPOSED to feel a certain way. Sometimes certain feelings can take a while to get out of our system but if we ignore them or refuse to feel them, they’ll keep growing and festering silently.

Goodness, I’m 99.9% sure that’s why I had my snotty nosed breakdown. I kept telling myself that everything was fine and that I shouldn’t still be upset. I kept trying to put these feelings I was having on the back burner but ignoring them didn’t do me any good when they came bubbling back up.

If you’re angry, then be angry. If you’re sad, then be sad. If you’re hurt, then be hurt.

It’s healthy for you to cope with the good and the bad in life. You need to let yourself work through whatever you’re feeling (in a healthy way, of course) and then once you’re ready, move the heck on. After a while, the strength of these feelings will disappear and by letting yourself feel and cope, you’ll truly be able to move forward.

Fact: Our emotions are valid and they’re 110% legit, regardless of what they are and why we’re feeling them. We don’t need to make excuses or feel bad about it. We don’t need to put a timeline and say, “I’ll be over this in a week” or even worse, “I can’t deal with this. I’m just going to pretend like it didn’t happen.”

Let yourself be human, take time to deal with whatever situation is happening in your life, and then put it behind you darling because there are great things ahead ❤

 

Live Inspired Hiatus

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It has been months (seriously… MONTHS) since I’ve updated the Live Inspired blog. For a while, I wasn’t sure what to say but more recently, it has been more of… how do I say this? How do I explain that my absence online isn’t because I don’t care about this site/my fans but rather, I have to step back, take a deep breath, and focus on other things?

Well… Here we go: There has been SO much going on in my life and as much as I hated to admit it, Live Inspired was put on the back burner.

In a nutshell:
– I made the decision that it was time to quit my job
– I was interviewing for other positions across the state
– I went to North Carolina for a long weekend to consult a band about social media
– I snagged my dream job in Detroit (about 2 1/2 hours from where I was living)
– I packed up and moved away from friends, my boyfriend, and comfort in Grand Rapids
– My grandfather passed away which was hard on all of us
– annnd I just completed my first week at a big ad agency
(complete with a 6am wake up call and an hour+ commute each way)

Whew!

Now that things have kind of calmed down with my move across state and starting my new position, I’ve been able to breathe a little easier. I’m hoping to not only find my groove in this new chapter of life but also to find my groove when it comes to updating/writing/posting on this blog and the Live Inspired Facebook page.

Because I’m not working from home anymore, unfortunately I’m not going to be able to update it as much as I was; however, I hope to at least post 1 or 2 things a day during the week day. In addition, I hope to update this blog during the weekends.

Even though things might be a little quieter for a minute here, I hope that you continue to make a difference and lead a positive life.

Okay, what am I saying? Of course you will... You don’t need me to remind you of how wonderful life is 😉

With this being said, I love you all and my absence was not because I was losing sight of Live Inspired. I just needed a few weeks to organize my life and get back to a less stressful place 😉

Do Something Today for Your Future

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I may be writing this post for you just as much as I’m writing it for myself.

I need to kick myself in the pants because right now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really living the life I want to end up living. I’m caught in the routine of day in and day out and it’s silly… Why should my life be average and ultimately routine?

Wake up, make coffee, sit down at my desk, work (truth bomb: I even perform my daily work tasks in the same order every day), make dinner, hang out with the boyfriend, then I go to bed.  Wake up, repeat order.

Today, I decided to walk to the post office and I’m not sure if it’s the pot of coffee I drank or just being in the sunshine but whatever it was, it got me thinking…

If we keep following these routines every day, when do we get to start living the life we ultimately want?

What am I doing TODAY to get me closer to my dream life?

It’s time to hit you with a cliché attack:

–       Nobody wants to live a mediocre life but many settle for it.

–       If you never try, you’ll never know.

–       A year from now, you’ll wish you started today

–       You have exactly ONE LIFE in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.

That last quote especially gets me… We have ONE life and if we’re lucky, we’ll live a long one filled with many, many years but it’s not about quantity – It’s about quality.

I have one life for accomplishing SO many things – Publishing my novel, becoming an expert in my field of marketing, volunteering, opening up a quaint little coffee shop, move and travel as much as possible, etc. – live, love, and act like a fool 😉

I personally think I hold myself back because of fear and the unknown. I don’t like screwing up, I don’t like being wrong, and I don’t like making the wrong choice. But really, I can’t be alone in thinking this way.

This fear is holding me back and I’m just going to come out and say it… it might just be holding you back as well.

If you’re not afraid of your dreams then are they REALLY worth it?

Let’s make a pact today to set some goals and even more, let’s both chart out some steps that will help us get there. I’m a big believer in writing out and outlining my plans… Just ask any of my coworkers. You don’t even want to see the Google docs I use when prepping for a new client project 😉

I’ll get started:

Publishing my novel

–       Do initial read through and make notes

–       Make edits based off of notes

–       Let it sit for a few weeks

–       Read again

–       Hire an editor

–       Hire a graphic designer to create the cover

–       Change copy to fit a certain format (I’ll need to look more into this)

–       Submit to Amazon.com or send copies to publishers (Not sure what I want to do yet)

When you see it all laid out in front of you, somehow it makes your tasks seem a bit less daunting and confusing. I can do this if I take it one step at a time and if I know where to go next.

You can too.

Stop being average. Stop being boring. Stop following some mindless routine. Stop just existing and start living the life you dream of.  Believe me – You CAN do this!

You don’t have an infinite amount of time so why wait until tomorrow or a week from now to start working towards the things you really want in life?

Start now and break free of a thoughtless routine.

Life is too short and your dreams are too priceless.