Tag Archives: challenges

Keep Moving Forward

There’s a quote in Disney’s “Meet The Robinsons” that Cornelius, the genius inventor who has built this amazing city, swears by:

“Keep moving forward!”

The entire source of these three quotes are revealed by the end of the movie as something Walt Disney said:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

I’ve had this quote popping up at random moments this month. I mean, when I actually think about it, it hasn’t been all that horrible, but it’s definitely been a weird mental trip.

My father’s business closed as of December 31, 2017, and emotions have definitely been up and down for mom and I as we adapted to retired life. For me, that means financially I have to 100% stand on my own two feet–which I’m quite capable of doing–but, in lieu of Dan and I getting married, I have been worrying about our combined future and everything that comes with it.

Which is pretty stupid when you get right down to it.

Now, let me explain. It’s great to plan and be mindful of the future, to work hard so you  prevent trouble as much as you can. But I was worrying to the extent of it causing me panic attacks! I was worrying more about the future–about Dan and my mother’s happiness–than celebrating my completion of a bookkeeping course, or successfully applying and pursuing jobs.

I talked to my friend about my anxiety and she labeled part of it as “impostor syndrome,” which is not entirely inaccurate. Basically, I’m not internalizing my accomplishments and am fearing failure despite all my hard work. In short, being a fraud. It’s an illogical thing to happen; my doubter calling me out,  saying “you’re going to lose no matter what you do.”

I’m proud to say that once my friend pointed out what my brain was doing, I’ve since issued an eviction notice to the Doubter. He’s no longer welcome in my life and will be vacating soon.

All the goals I’m pursing, this 2018, are well on their ways to being accomplished:
1. Become financially stable; whether it’s by creating a business, getting an additional job, or some combination of both.
2. Lose weight by Dan and I’s wedding; I’m already 10 pounds down, 40 more to go!
3. Finish current draft of novel by March, have my completed book circulating to agents by Dan and I’s wedding.

I will not give up. I will not give in.

Always keep fighting.

And keep moving forward.

A Shack-Inspired Birthday Reflection

Ever since I saw The Shack this weekend, I haven’t been able to get its themes out of my head. Frankly, would I even want that? Nope. I think it’s great that the story sticks with me so much!

The Shack is a heartfelt story about a man, named Mack, who is lead back to life by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Literally, they appear in a shack in the woods and spend the weekend with him. Whether you’re Christian or not, it’s a good story that can reground the best of humanity within you: being good to one another, forgiving those who do wrong against you, and spreading love.

Every time I read–or now watch–The Shack, I feel like a child again.

And, especially now in my life, it’s a message I need reiterated to me.

I have found myself, especially in the past, in seemingly hurricane-like chaotic years, not focusing on love–or trusting in God–as much as I really should’ve been doing. Since Choy, my beloved feline companion died, events have transpired that have shaken me. Frankly, they’ve taken me, unwillingly, a bit away from focusing on God. My belief in him has still been strong, of course. It always will be. However, I realize in hindsight that I was going through the motions of living a strong faith; specifically, I focused on my worries rather than putting my trust in Him. It’s amazing how we can get lost in our own battles, and our fears of the future, and forget to put our trust in God–to trust things will work out the best way they should.

Truly, it’s hard to put your trust in something you can’t see. And that’s the theme of The Shack: God is always with you, his love will guide you, just let him show you the way. (Or, for those who prefer, let “her” show you the way.)

This year, as my birthday approached, I’ve been feeling more emotional as of late. Last year, I spent my special day at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, watching my father go in for melanoma surgery. Mom and I left my dad late that night, after we knew he was safe, settled and the surgery was successful. On the way home, we stopped at Olive Garden and I blew out a candle in an apple crisp dessert.

A simple, small, somewhat melancholic birthday that fell right in place with the rest of 2016.

But it’s not that specific day itself that makes me bittersweet about my birthday, it’s how the year went after dad’s surgery. That landmark moment seemed to catapult my family and I into a variety of stunning developments that grew me into a stronger Katie today. In part, I wish that some things didn’t happen; mom’s brain bleed last April, for example. But, for the most part, I’m happy for how much I’ve grown out of my shell. For example, I’ve found a hidden talent in bookkeeping that I could hone to subsidize my writing career and support my family.

All in all, even if my birthday feels a tad bittersweet, I still remain stubbornly optimistic to see the good that this new birth year brings.

I fervently aim to finish my book and get it out to agents by the time I go to New Orleans, but I am also, now, looking forward to pursuing this bookkeeping career. (If I’m being honest, I wasn’t entirely set on it until now.) I’m excited for Dan, the boyfriend, and I to get engaged and set our combined goals in motion. And I aim, with God’s help, to let my life–and the lives of those around me–be as little stressed as possible. (Especially after the taxes are completed! Hah!)

I impart this wisdom to all of you: hope is never gone, love never leaves, God never deserts you, unless you let it go yourself. As the infamous Dustin Pari says: “#NeverGiveUp!” 


For more birthday reflections and ramblings, check out my companion Youtube video, and, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, subscribe to my channel and blog!