What flows flows / This Week

Hello!

I have been in a very reflective mood these past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had enough time to write properly, so everything is accumulating? So I apologise in advance, because I think this will be a bit of a jumble.

To begin with, I am so happy. Like so, so happy. Happier than I ever thought would be possible. It’s all this painful healing, I think. I think I am finally coming out of the other side.

Yesterday, I came across pictures from a few years ago, and they shocked me. There were photos with my arms showing, which was a very rare occasion, because 99% of the time they had to be hidden under long sleeves. I couldn’t understand the severity at the time. In these photos, scars littered my forearms in ways that I don’t remember thinking much of. What makes me feel worse, is that this was only the tip of the iceberg. I know that later my torso and thighs met the same fate. Hundreds of scars. And I know it was only going to get worse, and more dangerous, in the years to come.

These days are so foreign to me now. I remember having to be physically restrained so that I couldn’t hurt myself. And this happened time and time again. I cannot comprehend the pain that those close to me must have been experiencing. There are a few parts about my experience with self harm that I can’t write about. It’s too painful. Thinking about it hurts in ways that I never knew possible. These blurry memories are so painful. Combined with all the other things going on during these times, I barely even recognise that person as me. I feel so full now. I feel so alive, and worthy to be so.

There are years
that I cannot speak of.
There are stories that ache
in a purgatory between
mine and ours. I am choking
on a cotton alphabet
soaked in gasoline,
and the only way to save
my bloodstream from the poison
drip is to swallow
the flaming matchstick, so
listen. Catch fire with me.
There are years
that must be spoken of.

(Adira Bennett).

A song that has been helping me lately is A Rush of Blood to the Head, by Coldplay. It’s comforting in a way I cannot describe.

1000drawings: “ sunset by Loish ”

(Image sourced from: Loish, 1000drawings.tumblr.com).

University has been so busy lately. Classes are over for this semester, and now there are just exams left until next semester! I have written so many reports, so many assignments, and done so many tests. Compared to how crazy the past few weeks have been, exams feel almost relaxing!

Some things that have been making me really happy and feeling at peace lately are:

  • This quote: “I no longer force things. What flows flows, what crashes, crashes. I only have space and energy for things that are meant for me.” (The Artidote). This has been so peace-giving lately.
  • Spending so much time with the dogs, my husband, and my family. Right now, the sun is streaming in, a dog is on my lap, and I’m writing my final report for this semester. It’s bliss.
  • Spending time with new friends and old. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my friends are each amazing. It blows my mind every day.
  • Dreaming about the future, while trying to enjoy the present moment. We have so many ideas for our house that we are saving toward, and for our future family. It’s all so exciting!

1000drawings:
“by Ryo Takemasa
”

(Image sourced from: Ryo Takemasa, 1000drawings.tumblr.com).

Have a beautiful day, friends!

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

There is always a reason for hope / This Week

Hello!

This past week/weekish has been so busy, it feels as though everything is happening all at once.

We moved out of our old flat, it was an unhealthy situation for us to be in, and very gratefully into my parent’s home for the timebeing. It’s so lovely to be warm here, and to have as many doggy cuddles as we please. 


However, we won’t be here for very long as we have a new group, of wonderful and lovely flatmates that we are currently finding a place with. We are all friends, and it will be so healthy, and heaps of fun to live with them. They are also huge Harry Potter fans, just like we are. We are so thankful for them; the right thing seems to pop up in life just when you need it!

We are so very excited at the moment, because we have offically started working towards our next goal; saving for our own home. We have it all planned out and put a certain amount of money aside each week. It’s really cool to watch what you work hard for grow.

Currently I’m feeling very swamped with university, it’s crunch time where classes end next week and it feels as though everything is due all at once. I have also been working almost every night after university, which helps keep me productive, but is also stressful because I just want to sleep. For a very long time. I think once I make it through tomorrow things will be a little easier, as one more assignment (and one that’s been stressing me out at that) will be all done and dusted.

Lately I have been feeling kind of powerful, or maybe determined is the right word, but in my own life to be the best I can be. After so many years living in self destruction it’s honestly such a strange thing to experience, but it’s so exciting too. With all this stress that’s been about lately, often my mind reverts back to it’s old ways, but I am learning now when it’s making silly, destructive suggestions. I’m now trying my best to rest when I need to, to take breaks, to eat what and when I need to, and to talk to people. It feels so good. Who would have guessed?


(Image sourced from: angel-flowers.tumblr.com).


I’m learning that my past no longer serves me, nor the person I want to become. I’m trying to learn how to break free from that. Rupi Kaur’s beautiful words have definitely been helping.

The other day it was a friend’s birthday, and all my friends were eating cupcakes to celebrate. They weren’t vegan, and my legs were shaking, but I joined in, and I’m proud of myself for doing so. It’s these small, silly parts from the past that keep looming up, but they are on the way out. It’s onwards and upwards to better things from here.

Love & light,

Kaitlyn.

It’s not too late for new beginnings / This Week

Hello!

Yesterday this quote popped up on facebook:

“You are still breathing. Still growing. It’s not too late for new beginnings.” (Lightheartedsuggestion).

Sometimes I like to believe in little signs from the universe. It’s really comforting. Whether it be special words finding their way into your day, or special people, who are we to say that the universe is not breathing alongside us?

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Something I have been thinking about recently is how we all have seasons within our lives. People have seasons in our lives, places too. Jobs, music, ways of being. There is a season for everything, and some seasons last a really long time, while others are short. Maybe this is why people drift away, and why we change, and it’s not bad. It’s what we need to have space for new seasons in our lives.

These past few weeks have been really good. I have been lucky enough to see some beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and to have some equally beautiful conversations. I have spent time with friends, and I didn’t realise how much I needed to do that until it happened. It’s really nice just to hang out with people, not having to be at university or working, but to just simply be. It’s been so much fun, and really reviving.

A few days ago, I had the privilege of meeting a friend’s new foster kitten. She is only eight weeks old, and weighs 800 grams. When you hold her, she snuggles into you and licks your hand. She is so tiny! And so beautiful and perfect! And heck, this is what we need more of in life. Baby animals, and just getting to be. This keeps popping up, because it’s true. This is where memories are made.

I got to watch the film A Dog’s Purpose this week, and heck, that movie was wonderful. To be fair, I sobbed for the majority of it. But it was that amazing, happy, beautiful, sad, you know? It made me want to run and hug all my four-legged pals for a very long time.

 

Image result for a dog's purpose

(Image sourced from: https://www.edmovieguide.com/movies/a-dogs-purpose/119284/)

Image result for a dog's purpose

(Image sourced from: http://www.hindustantimes.com/movie-reviews/a-dog-s-purpose-movie-review-no-tear-ducts-were-harmed-in-the-making-of-this-film/story-KtqVxai18kSg6KQ7xgdzON.html)

Image result for a dog's purpose

(Image sourced from: http://clawtv.com/video/a-dogs-purpose/).

I also got to watch Get Out this week too. I understand that I will never know how it feels to be black, but I am thankful for this film, because it helped me understand just a little bit more. This article helped too: http://www.upworthy.com/im-black-my-wife-is-white-we-saw-get-out-this-was-our-conversation-afterward

Over the next couple of weeks, university is winding down, and there are so many things to complete and hand it. I’m going to try and focus on keeping my mind healthy. This afternoon I had an interview for an ambassador program at university, and I honestly don’t mind what the outcome is. I’m just really, really happy that I am able to do things like that now.

Here’s to recovery! As awful as it can be.

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

 

Chasing the Sun / This Week

Hello!

This week has been amazing. Amazing, reviving, freezing and incredible.

The start of this week was difficult. Everything was becoming too much. I felt so overwhelmed, stuck in the past, even though not much was going on. Brains are just troublesome sometimes.


Mid-week, the field trip for my Terrestrial Ecology class begun. It was for measuring species abundance, distribution and basal area across two different forests in the middle of nowhere. We measured and calculated hundreds of plants, saw wetas and the cutest birds, hiked through a heck of a lot of forest, climbed a mountain, and had an amazing time.

Image result for tomtit north island

(A Tomtit! Image sourced from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevex2/13985720272)

Being within the stillness and peace of the forest was wonderful, and exactly the change I needed. The sunsets and night skies were so beautiful too; we even saw the Milky Way with the most incredible stars!

It was super cold too. We had to wear multiple thermal layers, jackets, so many pairs of leggings that we were waddling, and hiking boots for days.


We had such beautiful conversations. We talked about relationships, friendships, mental illnesses, grades, therapy and everything inbetween. At one moment, a friend called me over because we had just received some of our grades back, and us being in a very similar boat brainwise, we talk about how we feel about our tests together. She had done quite well, I hadn’t, but honestly, this talk gave me a whole new outlook. We talked about how it was just one test, one small number, and in a few weeks from now I won’t even be thinking about it. We ended on our grades don’t define us, and heck, I feel so at peace.

We had so much fun too. I hadn’t laughed so much in a long time. I feel so much closer to all my university friends, and even made some new ones too. This is all sounding so cliche, but it’s all so true.

Looking back on how things used to be, this trip was full of differences. In the past, I wouldn’t have even been able to go. The anxiety would have paralysed me, panic attacks would have taken over. Or I wouldn’t have had enough energy to even physically get out of bed. Or I would have been too addicted to blades to venture away. But here, I went. I had the most incredible, wholesome time. I ate with all my friends, and had a pretty good relationship with eating and my body. I overheard a few other people talking about their diets or their body, and would just think, that sucks to be stuck thinking those things, when there is so many more exciting things to be thinking about. There is so much more living to do.


To just get away from everything, to have a new perspective, it has made me so happy. I feel so free. I can see how far away I am from who I was for so many years. I never thought I would get here. I have so much hope for the future.

This playlist is from the driving songs we sung to throughout our adventures, and some songs that have the same vibe. It’s still very short, but I have heaps to add to it:
– Lightning Crashes by Live
– Electric Feel by MGMT
– All Star by Smash Mouth
– Time to Pretend by MGMT
– Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun
– Alive by Empire of the Sun
– You can call me Al by Paul Simon
– Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus
– Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John
– What you know by Two Door Cinema Club
– Undercover Martyn by Two Door Cinema Club
– Glad you came by The Wanted
– Chasing the Sun by The Wanted
– Windows Down by Big Time Rush
– Happy Pills by Weathers

There seems to be a common theme here!

I am so happy and so excited about life, about what I get to study, about the future.

For now, it’s so nice getting to shower, sleep in my own bed, and wear normal clothes. But I can’t wait for future adventures (they are already being planned)!

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

The Night We Met / This Week

Hello!

This past week has flown by in a mixture of midterms, Easter and work.

University has been hectic, with what was meant to be three tests in three days (though it turned out to be only two – thanks cyclone)! There was a statistics test and an environmental risk assessment test, both of which went okay-ish. The biogeography test has been postponed to after the holidays, meaning that I can postpone cramming the morning of for two whole weeks. I have finished planning my two essays for biogeography, one on Rapoport’s Rule, and the other on Bergmann’s Rule, and both of which are super interesting to research, and make me so grateful to be learning what I’m learning.

It’s been plastered all over social media recently and has been hard to miss – 13 Reasons Why caught my attention and I have watched it over the past few days.

I have read a lot of differing opinions on the series; it’s controversial to say the least. Some say it’s glamorising or romanticising of suicide and mental illness, to which I’m confused; did we watch the same show? It’s awful, painful to watch, and immense in truth. There is nothing glamourous about it. Some say it wasn’t realistic, but we all have different experiences. Nobody’s experience with mental illness, sexual abuse, bullying or suicidal thoughts is exactly the same, and that doesn’t make what anybody experiences any less real. Others complain that it was too triggering, which I find to be a pointless complaint as each episode that is particularly distressing, graphic in sexual assult or suicide, contains a very clear trigger warning. There has to be a point where the viewer to must take responsibility for themselves and their wellbeing, and watching it if you are well aware that it will be harmful is a bit silly in my opinion.

In short, I loved it. It’s powerful, it’s messy, it made me cry. I had to look away because it was so awful at times. It’s raw, it’s real, I found it to be relateable. The characters were human, Hannah’s story was familiar, it was brilliantly imperfect. And if nothing else, it got people talking, and that has to be something right?

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(Image sourced from: http://achsnews.com/13-reasons-why-captivates-audiences/why-are-book-fans-skeptical-about-the-dramatic-13-reasons-why-trailer)

Last but not least, the sountrack was so, so good, but then again it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m super excited to find all the songs, but for now my favourite is The Night We Met by Lord Huron.

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(Image sources from: http://screenrant.com/13-reasons-why-premiere-reviews-spoilers/)

Easter over the past couple of days has been beautiful, and I feel very lucky to have gotten to spend time with my beautiful family. I’m finding that as I get older, family time is becoming increasingly important to me. We have a much better relatinship now that I have moved out, and I am so thankful for that. I feel so full of gratitude for my parents and husband, and for all the ways they support me. This weekend involved the cutest vegan chocolate bunnies (with bells on!), playing with the dogs, and Catan, a lot of Catan.

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Being multiple public holidays in a row meant that work has been really busy, especially because all the other shops have been closed. On Good Friday I had a bar shift, and you know how I have been afraid of making coffee? Well that has been squashed. Yay! It was crazily busy, everyone was buying coffee, so much so that we ran out of milk despite stocking up for days beforehand. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and has made me feel much less nervous.

Something pretty cool at work happened this week. I walked in to start my shift a few days ago, and my manager said “Kaitlyn, we finally have something here you can eat!”. Turns out, we now sell vegan coconut ice-cream, and they gave me a tub to try after a particularly crazy shift, and it was so good! They are the best.

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Some things I’m looking forward to over the coming week is my ecology field trip in a few days, reading Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, writing some more poetry, and seeing more sunsets. They have been gorgeous lately.

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Love & light,

Kaitlyn.

 

New Music for Better Vibes / This Week

Hello!

This week has become far more wintery, and coming home after a long day to our new, warm room, is such a blessing. It’s all sunbaked, so we feel very much like cats basking in the sunlight.

This week has been full of lots of work (cinemas never stop – Beauty and the Beast, need I say anymore?), lots of study (one test down, three to go!) and some exciting plans for the future!

I’m still not very confident making coffee at work, so when a customer ordered a mochaccino and a cappuccino yesterday, cue intense hand shaking. But it worked out okay! It was such a relief. I even attempted to try make a pretty design with the microfoam, which just ended up being a blob shaped vaguely like Australia. But nevertheless, that’s exactly what chocolate dusting is for!

Lately it has become apparent that I’m still not very good at coping with particular reminders of the past. It’s strange, because I have truly come so far from where I used to be, but then something so little and silly can completely mess with me. It could be the smell of my old bedroom at my parent’s home, a particular song, or the smell of a certain food, and all of a sudden my heart races and I shake uncontrollably, and I just have to get out of the situation. It’s strange. I don’t understand it. But after hearing a song on the radio today that merely sounded similar to one of the songs I can no longer listen to (just thinking about it makes me feel sick), I thought of the idea of finding brand new (well to my ears anyway) music that I have no memories associated with. Hopefully, these new songs can be reminders of good vibes and sunny days.

Image result for seafret

(Image sourced from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ou8PXfDhFI)

Stumbling around youtube, I came across Seafret. Their name is what first struck me, it’s just such a fun sounding word. Two other words that are also very fun sounding are “barnacle” and “parsimonious”, but this is getting very unrelated! I began listening to their music, and already I am in love.

Image result for seafret atlantis

(Image sourced from: https://slm-sintiendolamusica.tumblr.com/post/118215788890/httpswwwyoutubecomwatchv-gvay3izil0s)

Their music videos are beautiful and wild, they remind me of the Lumineers, and if you need anymore convincing just take a look at this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHhkd2B87Q8&list=RDEM0UDJ6LuNGd18QcjmJUatNw&index=5) to have your heart melt.

And damn, that song is pretty darn beautiful too.

The goosebumps are real.

A few nights ago we had the privilege of attending a close friend’s 21st birthday, and it is always so incredibly special to get to spend time with them. Being surrounded by such truly beautiful people is so amazing, how do I even put it into words?

Here’s to good vibes and new beginnings!

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

 

There is more to you than yesterday // This Week

A lot has happened this week, and in particular the last couple of days, and I’m unsure of if meaningful is the right word to use here, but all of it definitely made me feel so many things.

We have moved into our new flat, and so far it’s been really good. It’s so lovely to have space, be able to go outdoors, and breathe fresh air. It’s also much closer to where my parents live, so we were able to pop around there the other night bringing a movie and snacks, and it was lovely (just everything about this move is lovely, really) to spend time with them. This also means that we are so much closer to my parent’s dogs too! We had a spare afternoon, so we “dog-napped” one of them and drove to a big park, which involved swimming, rolling in mud, and more swimming (on the dog’s part, not ours, for clarity).

We also had some very sad news however, that our close relative passed away over the weekend. So in the middle of the week we flew down to the other end of the island for two days. The funeral, although sad, was also beautiful. So many people attended and spoke, sharing stories and beautiful tributes. It was a very special occasion. I don’t really know why, but being there and around family, made me really look forward to and be excited for our future family.

During this time away, we also got the opportunity to see my brother-in-law’s new car. Saying that it was the most fun I have ever had in a car is not an exaggeration, and I’m certainly not a car person. It’s this tiny little sports car, so low to the ground that you are practically sitting on the ground, that he has just finished painting himself. It has just two seats, and also happens to have a convertible rooftop! We took it out at night, took the roof off, and blasted Sail by AWOLNATION probably annoying loudly. It was a clear night sky, and by raising my arms my fingers felt almost as if they were skimming across the stars. It gave me so much peace. It reminded me a little bit of this scene from The Perks of being a Wallflower.

(Image sourced from: https://68.media.tumblr.com/818e2d487204bf3c03dccf09b816a8fa/tumblr_o6nhn7t4Pb1v66xy4o1_500.jpg)

Yesterday felt so very busy too! In the morning I had my Terrestrial Ecology class and then lab. We learnt about the moose and wolves of Isle Royale, an island in the middle of a huge lake which, completely naturally, ended up being an Ecologist’s dream experiment. The National Park itself is beautiful, and coupled with the rich ecological history (it makes me so excited to just think about! Eeek! I love what I study!), it is now definitely a dream to travel there someday.

(Image sourced from: https://www.nps.gov//isro/planyourvisit/images/hill_islands_1.jpg

(Image sourced from: http://media.cntraveler.com/photos/54bfdc8ef026e0d339fb6dea/master/pass/isle-royale-national-park-michigan.jpg)

That evening I went to work and experienced my very first bar shift. I have been training for it for a while now, but my biggest problem is my anxiety around it. My hands get so weak that I can’t open bottles of wine! So when I arrived yesterday I was shaking and my stomach was doing flip flops, but despite this it was actually quite a nice change. I tried to use mindfulness techniques during quiet times, and they were soothing. In the past, this sort of experience would have involved far more debilitating symptoms, so much so that I probably would have been unable to work. It was like a friendly little reminder that things have changed, that they are better now. It also helped that I had this beautiful quote stuck in my head after copying it down into my planner, particularly the final line, “There is more to you than yesterday.”

(Image sourced from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/7c/30/a0/7c30a078c297b9f6ce3e8afba698df26.jpg)

By the end of the night I had served many drinks, made lots of food, and even made somebody a Cappuccino, which surprisingly turned out alright! This whole experience really helped with boosting my confidence, and I will even admit it was a little fun! Being trained and working bar shifts was one of my goals for this year, so I’m super happy with how it all went.

I then dove home, and this time was really important to me. I hadn’t driven home from work at night in so long, just because I normally take the bus. But last night I got to be reminded of how much I enjoy driving home at night, listening to the radio with all the streets quiet. It did though bring along a big bout of that “bad nostalgia” that I previously tried to write about, because this time used to be where so many of the awful thoughts would riot and scream, and all those drives home from work in the past are painful thinking back. But last night was different. Things are okay now. These memories just erupt when I least expect them.

What was supposed to be a quick, straightforward drive home ended up being very different. I was driving on an empty motorway, almost home, when suddenly I saw a person on the side of the motorway trying to wave me down. It was then that I noticed that something was wrong. I pulled over, along with another car who had also seen, and this was my first time helping out with a car accident. A car had swerved across several lanes on the motorway, and plummeted off the side into some trees. It was so lucky that it was night, and that there was hardly any traffic, otherwise it would have been a lot worse. We had to help the passengers, and one was injured and understandably very shaken. Thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt, although their car looked in bad shape. The police arrived, and later the ambulance too, and everyone is going to be okay. I felt bad though, because I didn’t really know what to do in this situation, so I just comforted the person who was upset and waited with them until help arrived. I don’t know if anybody really knows what to do in these times though. I naively never expect things like that to happen.

I’m going to end this here, as soon we are going to spend time with family, with my warmest wishes for your week! I hope it has been a good week for you, and that you have so much hope for the next one too.

Love and light,
Kaitlyn.