Kudos From Kaley
There’s only one way to succeed
in anything and that is
to give everything.
Vince Lombardi 
New Chapters

The best part about reading a book is turning the pages. Better yet, it’s finishing the chapters. It’s always an exciting race to the end, weaving your way along jumbled paths and tousled events to invariably reach a conclusion. The ending may be unsatisfactory, but the journey, the anticipation of it all, propels you forward. As cliché as it sounds, it really is the journey, not the destination. It’s the excitement of the unknown, the fear in taking risks that pushes us to be better and more complete people. 

 At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. I’m taking a risk, leaving behind a job that has taught me a lot about career paths, the working-world, and myself to enter the unknown. I am looking forward to this next step, this risk. It’s scary, not knowing if or when I will find my next job, but I need to use this time to really hone in on what I want to do, and find a position that will help me grow beyond where I am, and really lead me to excel in my future career.

 Where this next chapter in my professional life leads me, I don’t know. And, quite honestly, don’t care. I may end up in Wichita, Kansas for the next year, and the location would make no difference (no offense to those in Wichita, of course). As long as I am happy, working towards a goal, I will be okay. And happiness, truly, is my goal. Would I love to be working at a prestigious marketing or advertising agency? Absolutely. (And if any agencies read this, I would love to talk to you) But really, I am after a position where I find happiness, a position that I love waking up to go to. A position where I can be myself. A position where I can allow my creative juices to flow, and learn from people who have excelled before me.

 And so, I’m taking a risk. I’m leaving behind what I know, and launching myself into the unexpected. So long, an income, a steady job. Hello, uncertainty an undiscovered. I welcome you, with open arms.

 

Kudos to the risk takers, the page turners, the fearless and the go-getters. 

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
Living to Learn

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written, and I apologize for the lack of postings. Time has a way of slipping silently by, and before you know it, six months or more have passed, changing you, your perceptions and your attitudes towards life, without you even having known it was happening. Six months ago, I was carefree; I had just graduated college, and had no idea what was I was in for in my post-college life.

My current position has been less than ideal, but a learning curve none-the-less. In the last six months of my employment, I have learned more about myself, and my own capabilities than I had ever thought possible in such a short timespan.  I have come to understand, more than ever, that true growth comes through adversity; success can elicit complacency. That is not to say I would not love to be complacent. I pine for my days in college, devoid of any growth, content with skating through my then grueling 4-hour (work?) day.

Six months later, work has taken on an entirely new meaning, leading me once again, grudgingly, to realize I should have listened to my parents more. The older I get, the more I realize Mom and Dad are, more often than not, right about school, work, and life in general. Unfortunately, in my smug teen years, I, like most unholy pubescents, believed my infinite wisdom surpassed that of my parents, who although have inhabited this earth much longer than I,  could not possibly know more than I did. Boy, was I wrong.

         In my mind, high school was traumatizing, college was fun (albeit difficult), and life couldn’t get any tougher than studying for final exams. The “enjoy it while you can” or “you’ll never have these years back” mantras were lost on deaf ears as I stressed about the latest papers, exams, and finding that balance between work and play.

        Now, that balance has become even more of a necessity, sans the actual time to do it. With 13+ -hour work days, commute time, and the overall stress of a position in the work force, I have begun to realize more than ever, that Mom and Dad were right. Using my parents for guidance, I have come to realize that, however cliché, money cannot buy you happiness. In my haste to build a successful post-graduate story, I have let the things that truly make me happy fall to the wayside. Writing, for one.

As of late, I have decided to make the extra effort, push past mental and physical exhaustion, and once again pick up the pen. Words are my weapons, my solace, my life. Without writing, and the ability to fully and completely express myself, I am nothing. While a career as a novelist, fiction short story writer, or editor may not pan out, I need to continue to fulfill my passion for prose in whichever way I can; to find outlets for my creativity, lest that dwindle and die, taking a part of my soul with it.

If nothing else, my parents have taught me not to let happiness slip to the wayside. Do what you love, love what you do, and never stop trying to better yourself. Surpass your own expectations, push yourself to achieve greatness, be compassionate, loving, and kind; quite simply, truly LIVE.


Kudos to you, Mom and Dad, for helping us kids get through our struggles, teaching us to focus on the important things in life.  

Living Easy 

The crisp burst of air racing through your tousled hair, sea spray splattering cool droplets of water over parched skin, sunbeams warming and caressing your face, drying the seawater and leaving its trail on salt encrusted skin. Rays dance across the ocean’s surface, ducking and weaving beneath the bow, yet never allowing themselves to be caught. This is the true essence of summer: basking in the sunshine, bathing in the seas, and being faced with the immense freedom that the very phrase “summertime” elicits. Fortunately, I have all of this and more to look forward to this summer. It is my last moment of ultimate freedom before I sign my life away in black and white, confined forever to the desolate workspace, and I plan to make it count.

I am spending as much of my last moments of complete freedom outdoors, experiencing “the wind beneath my wings” so to speak. I fly into the unexpected and the unknown, traversing new trails, blazing new paths and wholly experiencing life. Interestingly, I have done all of these activities before, but find myself attacking them with a new gusto. I find it sad that it took me this long to truly experience where I grew up, to find the minute nooks and crannies and absorb these adventures into every fiber of my being. I run the familiar trails noticing new plants, the brightness of their hue or the ocean’s deep cobalt and emerald shades. Even something so seemingly miniscule as reading a book in the sunshine has a renewed pleasure. I absorb the sun’s rays, allowing them to lick and dance upon my skin, soaking them in and inviting them to become a part of me. I have learned to enjoy the small things in life, to appreciate the finite time we have to ourselves, as we will never get it back. I plan to live each day to the fullest, to be happy with who I am and where I am going.

This summer, I am taking it slow. I am packing my day full with nothingness: ceramics, running, hiking, playing with my dogs, sailing etc., but above all, I will be completely and wholly immersed in myself. We all deserve to be selfish once in a while, and we all deserve to do things that make us happy. Take time out of your busy schedule to forget your worries and fears, feel the sun flit around your skin, let the wind ripple through your hair and enjoy every minute of your hard-earned freedom.

Kudos to Summertime! 

Changes

The hustle and bustle of graduation is more exhausting than I anticipated. From cleaning to planning to decorating my cap, the preparation alone was enough to knock a person off their feet.

Graduation day has come and gone, and it took a mere seven hours for the emotional roller-coaster ride to begin. What began as a day full of excitement and anticipation, slowly faded by the time I got home from my incredible graduation dinner. I would be selling my family’s efforts short if I didn’t mention that they made the day the most special, incredible, and meaningful evening in my life thus far. These last four years at Cal Poly have been the most amazing years of my life. I not only came away with an outstanding education, but I’m leaving with a new family. The people I met here in San Luis Obispo have grown with me, changed with me and have taught me to be a better person. I am truly blessed to be able to call these people my best friends.

 Unfortunately, now comes the time for me to say my goodbyes, pack up my room, and bid my home of four years farewell. And so I begin a new chapter in my life. I am moving back home to begin life as a workingwoman, an independent, an adult. As exciting a time as this is, the closer it comes to making the transition, I become more upset and more unwilling to relinquish the past. I hang on to memories, dig up old photos, papers, notes, and pack away everything that holds so much an ounce of remembrance. True, the friends and memories I have made here are lasting and while I realize I will return as frequently as possible to visit them, the change is a difficult one. I’m leaving my family behind in a seemingly other world, while I enter, unnerved, unarmed and unprepared for the life ahead.

Nevertheless, as difficult as it may be to look ahead to the future and not dwell on the past, I am excited for the next step. It will be a learning process, a means to grow and continue developing. I suppose the elementary school saying “make new friends but keep the old” still rings true. I will never forget the smiles, tears, and laughs that I shared with each individual person. My friends have truly made an impact on my life, and have changed me for the better. San Luis Obispo, thanks for making my time here the best time of my life.

Kudos to Remembering the good times <3


“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Take yourself beyond what you dream; beyond what you can possibly conceive. Launch yourself into a world where people walk upside-down, speak from their eyes, feel through their hearts and breath through their feet. Allow yourself to remember your childhood with your &#8220;imaginary&#8221; friends, the only ones who truly understood you. Laugh and cry with yourself, explore new oceans, jump from great heights and soar to new planets. Immerse yourself in all your experiences because they may be more real than reality itself. Learn from them, Love them, Live with them. Stretch your mind and place yourself in a world you never believed existed. Widen your horizons and learn from those adventures; embrace the part of you you&#8217;ve long forgotten and let your imagination wholly encompass who you think you could be. Be that person. To put it simply, believe. 
Kudos to imagination! 

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” 
― Robert FulghumAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Take yourself beyond what you dream; beyond what you can possibly conceive. Launch yourself into a world where people walk upside-down, speak from their eyes, feel through their hearts and breath through their feet. Allow yourself to remember your childhood with your “imaginary” friends, the only ones who truly understood you. Laugh and cry with yourself, explore new oceans, jump from great heights and soar to new planets. Immerse yourself in all your experiences because they may be more real than reality itself. Learn from them, Love them, Live with them. Stretch your mind and place yourself in a world you never believed existed. Widen your horizons and learn from those adventures; embrace the part of you you’ve long forgotten and let your imagination wholly encompass who you think you could be. Be that person. To put it simply, believe

Kudos to imagination! 

Selfishness: A New Necessity

Love yourself. People often go through life like a competition, as if there is some prize to be won. They tear others down to build themselves up, focusing on others’ failures rather than their successes. Each of us is guilty of doing this in our own way. Whether in comparing hairdos, clothing, build, weight, or test scores, we constantly need reassurance that we are in the running for a “successful life.” Who gages success? It is not something we can merely place on a scale and weigh the outcome. Rather, success is something that we must determine for ourselves. Success is how we view life, how we interact with those around us, and the extent to which we strive to be the best we can be, whether that be academically, socially, monetarily, or with our careers.

Sadly, many gauge their success by how poorly those around them have done, and applaud their own achievement for “outdoing the others.” Unfortunately, this breeds competition and contempt. Slowly, this festers within the depths of our mind, growing within our subconscious and overtaking our senses. We focus on these inadequacies and become obsessed with the need to outshine the people we call friends and family. Conscious of it or not, we all are guilty of this in some way or another. Be happy for your friends and family members. If they meet their goals, applaud them. Don’t search for where they went wrong or correct them. Support them, love them, care for them. Make a conscious effort to understand your own shortcomings before judging others. Rather than obsess and become angry with your loved ones for their achievements, focus on YOU. That’s right, this is your chance to be selfish. Focus on bettering yourself, not to outdo your companions, but because deep within, you know that you can advance and progress; that you deserve to be happy. Love others by first loving yourself. Wake up each day with a positive attitude and regardless of the negatives, find the silver lining. That silver lining is what keeps us going; it keeps us motivated; it keeps us living. So, stop judging, stop pushing, stop breaking other people for your own benefit. Embrace yourself and all your shortcomings. We are human. We make mistakes. We are not perfect. Embrace it, and love it. Welcome each day with open arms, and tackle the challenges you face knowing that you are learning and growing from them. Live each day for yourself. Do what makes you happy and push yourself to reach new lengths. Above all, learn to love others by first loving yourself. Don’t discount yourself for your ideas, actions or looks. Remind yourself that you, and your glorious ideas (even the failures) are beautiful. Bring out that inner beauty; wear it in your thoughts, in your speech, in your actions. Then, my friends, you will lead a happier, more fulfilling life. 

Kudos to individuality!

The Old Way, The Right Way?

The outpouring of imagination makes writing an art form, an art form that, sadly, is little appreciated in today’s world. Today, we have all sorts of media, which have distorted and depreciated the written language. Even books have become digitized in this rapidly evolving world, leaving their pages of printed ink behind. Long gone are the days of feeling the pages between our fingers, smelling the freshly printed leaves, and leaving our trace with dog-eared corners and personalized fingerprints.   

                        

As the world becomes more and more digitized, writing is becoming a lost art, where the Internet has spawned a new language complete with different spellings to make it “easier” for its typers. I die a little bit each day when I log onto my social-media accounts and see people mistaking “your” for “you’re”, “there” for “their” etc. It’s difficult to make a conscious effort to maintain the correct spellings, to be sure. There are times where I find myself making the same mistakes and feeling too lazy to correct them, because I know that everyone will understand my meaning. Unfortunately, this laziness has created a world where people do not care to correct their mistakes, as everyone will “understand anyways.” I cringe at the thought of my peers going into the workforce and writing cover letters or emails to their future employers or clients. How can people be taken seriously if they don’t even have an understanding of the basics of the English language? Don’t let laziness adversely affect the way you read, write, or approach life. A large jump? Maybe. But, how far will people take this new style? Are we leaving tradition behind as a whole, and moving away from not only traditional language but in the way we act, think, or feel?  

Change is a part of life, something we all need to acknowledge and embrace. But, we also need to draw the line when the world has taken things too far, when society has altered our perceptions of “normal” and far too quickly changed the acceptable words and actions. The day our employers begin to use “LOL” in a work-setting, is the day we’re all in trouble. I pray we have the common sense to sparsely utilize this new language, and to not allow it to seep into our perceptions of “normal” so that writing, one of the most beautiful ways to express oneself, is not depreciated. I’d like to have a little more faith in the human race, and think that we haven’t forgotten tradition, that we haven’t forgotten right or wrong, that we can still appreciate the ways of old.  

Kudos to you, writers!                    

Stepping up! 
Because life is an inevitable spiral of rapid succession, sometimes it is necessary to take a step back. It moves so quickly away from you, you forget how it was you arrived in your current state. It’s now down to my final three weeks as an undergraduate college student. I have only 18 days left of living under the shelter of pre-world bliss. As the end-of-the-year school schedule is rapidly speeding up, I find myself more willing to slow down. I procrastinate more, study less and grudgingly attend classes. After four years of college, and sixteen total years in school, I have little to no regard for my final grades. I have always known myself as a student, and have prided myself on my work ethic. I find it hard to believe that I have fallen into a pattern, a habit rather, that is proving harder and harder to break with each passing day. The goal should be to work as hard as possible and end on a high note. Perhaps it’s my immense desire to cement the friendships I have formed prior to leaving, which prevents me from spending time locked inside the library I have too often frequented over the years. Whatever the reason, “senioritis” has definitely taken over. I have previously posted about the necessity to slow it down a little, but I fear I may have taken my own advice a little too well. I make time for running, hiking, seeing friends and writing, yet schoolwork has fallen to the wayside. Part of success is recognizing your failures, and this is definitely one of mine. But, having identified my weakness, I am making an effort to change this behavior despite the fact I only have a mere 18 days left. The only way to truly alter your life is to identify the problem and make a change. Take pride in your work, take pride in yourself, and revel in your accomplishments.
 
"Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown."

Kudos to taking charge of your life! 

Stepping up! 

Because life is an inevitable spiral of rapid succession, sometimes it is necessary to take a step back. It moves so quickly away from you, you forget how it was you arrived in your current state. It’s now down to my final three weeks as an undergraduate college student. I have only 18 days left of living under the shelter of pre-world bliss. As the end-of-the-year school schedule is rapidly speeding up, I find myself more willing to slow down. I procrastinate more, study less and grudgingly attend classes. After four years of college, and sixteen total years in school, I have little to no regard for my final grades. I have always known myself as a student, and have prided myself on my work ethic. I find it hard to believe that I have fallen into a pattern, a habit rather, that is proving harder and harder to break with each passing day. The goal should be to work as hard as possible and end on a high note. Perhaps it’s my immense desire to cement the friendships I have formed prior to leaving, which prevents me from spending time locked inside the library I have too often frequented over the years. Whatever the reason, “senioritis” has definitely taken over. I have previously posted about the necessity to slow it down a little, but I fear I may have taken my own advice a little too well. I make time for running, hiking, seeing friends and writing, yet schoolwork has fallen to the wayside. Part of success is recognizing your failures, and this is definitely one of mine. But, having identified my weakness, I am making an effort to change this behavior despite the fact I only have a mere 18 days left. The only way to truly alter your life is to identify the problem and make a change. Take pride in your work, take pride in yourself, and revel in your accomplishments.

 

"Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown."


Kudos to taking charge of your life!