My Etsy Shop!

Y’all have heard about my Etsy shop being open again, right? Because it is. It’s stocked full of sparkly, colorful friends for anyone.

Those little guys up above? Only the giraffe is taller than 2 inches. I kind of love them and am almost tempted to say that none of you can have any of them because they are going to be my friends forever.

Don’t get me wrong though, the larger friends are fun too! They can hang out and protect you from mean bosses or bad fashion choices or general poor moods.

If you haven’t already checked them out, I suggest doing so.

I mean, look how awesome they are!

Bring on the scary.

I did something really kind of scary today. Something that I never even thought I would ever have the opportunity to do, but because of one good friend, I did have that opportunity. I shared what I was doing with a select group of friends and even though I was questioning taking action, every time I shared it with someone, they told me I should definitely make a move even before I could share my fears with them. That my friends’ confidence in me is that strong and that unwavering pushed me past the doubts that I had.

It’s been a stressful week that has included a lot of excitement and a lot of hard work. The thing though, is that never did I feel like I wouldn’t be able to accomplish the task in front of me. I knew what I needed to do and I just kept working through the stress. It’s similar to when I was in school full time. I never gave myself credit for what I did then. I worked full time and took a full load of classes and was proud of everything I turned in. Oh, and I was on a championship dodgeball team too!

Sure, there were people who did a lot more than I did, but that’s not what this is about. This week I met every challenge placed before me and I’m proud of having done it.

Look out, because I’m planning on doing more. I like this feeling and I intend to give myself more instances for this totally justified pride.

Bring on the frightening goals. Bring on the things I’ve never done before. Bring whatever you’ve got, because no matter it what it is, I’m coming for it and I’m pretty sure that I’m going to take it down.

Reading goal

I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions posts that reading all of the things is something that I want to do this year. The day after I wrote that, I took a look at my Goodreads stats.

Just looking at the fact that I have reported reading only 3 books in 2013 makes my goal of 12 books in 2014 seem a little silly, except for the fact that I actually started the first book that I reported in September. So 1/4 of my goal in 1/3 of the time. That sounds doable to me! Especially since I didn’t report anything that I’d read before September, but I do know that I had a book or two that I read in that time!

I have a long list of recommendations from my friend Mallory, but I could always use more or just more endorsements for the .

Got any?

Recommendations from Mallory

Article 5
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The Raven Boys
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Eleanor & Park
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The Diviners
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Daughter of Smoke & Bone
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Out of the Easy
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Decked with Holly
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The Selection
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Speechless
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In Honor
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Anna Dressed in Blood
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Saving June
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Bittersweet
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Lola and the Boy Next Door
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If I Stay
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Graffiti Moon
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Such a Rush
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Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
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The Summer I Turned Pretty
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The 5th Wave
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Going Too Far
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Anna and the French Kiss
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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
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These Broken Stars
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Pivot Point
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Shatter Me
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goodreads.com

Learning to fail more

I think I’m starting this year off fairly well.

That goal about wanting to fail more? Well, in order to do that, I’m going to need to try a lot more things, right? That’s what I’m starting to do now.

Today I uploaded two videos to two different YouTube channels in between getting 3 loads of laundry washed, folded and put away (or put back on the bed in the case of the bed linens). They were the first videos I shot with my new camera and it took a little bit of trial and error.

It seems that the button to record video on my camera is not just the shutter button when in video mode. Take one: A single photo and me talking at a non-recording camera.

Apparently, if I have the sounds muted, the mic on the camera is muted as well. Take two: A nice looking three minutes of silent video.

Take three: How did I not notice that my hair looks like that?

Take four: Oh, that one works for my DailyKatherine channel!

Take five: Started with a greeting that my lovely friends Garret and Mike once pointed out is the most common video starter on YouTube and I hate it when I use that!

Take six: Yes! That works for my main channel.

Six takes for 2 videos, neither of which is even a minute long!

I’m going to say that I experienced a fair amount of failure today, yet I lived through it and actually was kind of successful because I just kept going.

I wonder what will happen if I just keep going through any challenge I face.

New Year’s Resolutions The Finale!

So you all love Gunnarolla now, right? If not, you should just go back and watch this video before you read the end of my Resolutions list. No really.

Ok, now you’re in love with Andrew and you’re subscribed to him? Awesome!

If you missed my two previous posts, this is the third part of my New Year’s Resolutions. If you’ve read through them all, you should find yourself a sticker. You’ve earned it. Here are the rest!

I want to cook more.

Technically, this should work well with the wanting to lose weight thing, except that part of what I want to do is bake more. Either way, I know that I like the way I feel when I’m making my own food, so I’d like to continue having that feeling more often.

I want to take more pride in my appearance.

This probably sounds weird, but that’s the best way I can think of to phrase it.

I like my hair a lot more when it’s curled and I get at least 2, sometimes 3 or 4 days out of one 20 minute round of hair maintenance, so I see no reason to not put forth the effort to actually do my hair more often. I also always feel more productive when I have unchipped nail polish on my fingernails and when I have that and I’m wearing earrings, you should probably just go ahead and get out of my way, I’m making shit happen that day!

I want to be out of debt.

With student loans, I know that this is not something that I can do in one year. However, I can break this stupid credit card debt cycle and I’d like to do that before June. As of writing this post I have $1,890 in credit card debt that usually ends up staying about the same because I end up having to spend about as much as I pay down each month. Hopefully my tax return will cover a good portion, if not all of that, which will free up my budget to be through my checking account instead of bouncing back and forth between credit cards and my checking account.

As soon as I have my credit card balances to zero, it will be much easier for me to focus on my student loans as well as build some savings, which is something that I unfortunately don’t have right now.

So yeah, that last one turned out to be a little more practical than some of them, probably a good way to go out, huh?

All together I’ve got

I want to fail a lot more.
I want to lose weight.
I’m going to find a new job.
I want to write all of the things.
I want to read all of the things!
I want to be better.
I want to cook more.
I want to take more pride in my appearance.
I want to be out of debt.

9 things to work toward or get done in the coming year. Some are a little vain, some are more along the lines of personal development, all are things that I’m totally comfortable with and will be proud to say I’ve accomplished.

Now let’s see how well I do!

New Year’s Resolutions Part 2!

Yesterday I started a list of my New Year’s Resolutions. I have a lot that I’d like to do, so I posted only 3 yesterday and have some more today!

I want to write all of the things.

Without actually looking it up, I’m pretty sure that I did a fair bit more writing in 2013 than I did in 2012 and I want to do that again! In the 4 days that I have been at my dad’s before writing this post I wrote more than 3,000 words (4,500 if you count this piece) without really trying. While I’ve had more free time than I normally do while I’ve been here, as I’ve already said, I haven’t been trying to write.

I’m going to try to write 250,000 words next year, which averages to just under 5,000 words every week. It’s something that I’m going to have to focus on, but I don’t think that it’s at all unattainable. Especially since I plan on writing as much as possible for The Daily Quirk and I’m hoping to get a post up every day at Tiers For Beards!

I want to read all of the things!

I used to read a lot. It was awesome. I haven’t been reading much since I moved to Chicago and that is notsome. I’m going to try to read 12 books in 2013, which is really not a lot, because I’d also like to get back into the habit of reading my friends’ blogs.

Along with reading blogs, I’d like to actually engage and comment on them. If I wasn’t trying to do this as well, I would definitely go for a higher number with those books!

I want to be better.

I started this one thinking that I’d like more subscribers on YouTube, views on my blog and followers for TFB on Tumblr, but with just a moment of thought on that, I realized that to get those things, I really just need to be better with my content and update it consistently. If I do those things, the people who like what I make will follow.

I mean, I’m not Gunnarolla, so the YouTube algorithms shouldn’t just hate me, right?

I know you probably don’t get the reference in that last one, so you should go click through and listen to some of his fun songs while I briefly explain that Andrew is YouTube’s biggest tragedy. Basically, he’s actually a pretty amazing content creator and many of the well-known YouTubers watch him, but for some reason, he’s practically unknown as far as quality creators who have been around for years go.

Now go fall in super cheesy love with him and I’ll have the end of my list for you tomorrow!

New Year’s Resolutions!

If you’re rolling your eyes, get over it.

There are changes that I want need to make in my life, so I’m making some resolutions. In the past, I’ve been the type who has kind of looked down on the idea of New Year’s Resolutions because so few people ever stick to them, but this year I have some changes that I’m making and the calendar happens to be turning over when I make them, so I’m going with the typical name for them.

I’ve heard that sharing goals is a great way to create some sort of accountability for them, though I can’t say that that has really had an impact on me in the past. I think this time around I am actually looking to have a simple record of what I want to do. While it’s not the only reason I give up on goals, I think sometimes I simply forget that I’m working toward something long term when daily tasks get in my way. This post will serve as a reminder of what I’d like to do, as long as I remember to look back at it every now and then!

Enough with the explanation though, let’s talk about what I actually want to do!

I want to fail a lot more.

I have a really bad habit of not going for things that I don’t think I’ll get because I don’t want to deal with failing. I’ll be writing in more detail about this soon, but there’s the basic idea.

I want to lose weight.

I’m not even going to pretend that this isn’t a vanity thing. It is. I don’t like how my body looks right now and I know that I have the power to make it look like it used to, so I’d like to do that. I’m about 160 pounds now and a size 10 in Gap jeans. I’d like to get down to my Gap size 4, though if I build muscle while working the weight off, I don’t really care what the scale says when I’m there.

For those of you who think that a size 4 is too small, Gap sizes are cut a size larger than they are labeled, so that really means that I’m currently a 12 and would like to be a 6.

I’m going to find a new job.

I do not like my current job. Enough so that I sometimes cry when I walk out the door from the relief I feel.

My resume doesn’t really align with the things that I’d most like to do, but I am at the point of just needing something different, at least something better paying, so I’m not going quite so crazy.

I know I’m only 3 goals in, but this is getting a little long and I’m not even half way through my list, so this is now a part post! See you again tomorrow!

I have a voice

One thing that I struggle with at work is taking authority vs waiting for some sort of permission. With my current employer, I haven’t taken much at all and I think that has a big impact on where I am with the company and how much I dislike working there.

Yesterday, the editor of The Daily Quirk held a Google Hangout meeting and I had no problem speaking up in that. Even though some of the ideas that I had might not end up being the best of ideas for the site, I know that sharing them is the only way to get them heard an for them to have any chance of working.

What’s the difference between these two situations? Well, there are a few. For one, my current job is in a field that I don’t feel I have any real expertise in, so initially I had no reason to share and then I felt like it was kind of established that I didn’t have a voice. With TDQ, I may not know the most, but I do know something, so there was no reason not to speak up. I also like what I do with TDQ, which is not something that I can say about my current job.

The biggest difference though, is that my feedback and input has always been welcome with The Daily Quirk. I never had to take any authority, my editor has always assumed that we all have it to some level, so I’ve been free to take it.

I don’t believe that this is something that I can now do with my current job, which is one of many reasons that I’m looking for something else, but I think that if I had approached it differently when I started, I might have been able to shape it better for my future with the company.

I’m finding that when I am voiceless at work, I start to become voiceless in my own life. I know that might sound odd, but there are some big things that I want to do that take a lot of little steps and I’ve found myself avoiding those little steps because I somehow feel like I don’t know enough to be taking them. I do know enough for some of them and the others I can learn enough, but I’ve been so stifled by a job that I don’t even like that I’m not moving forward with anything outside of that job.

I hope that I will remember this feeling when I find a new job because I think it’s important to establish that I have a voice in the beginning.

Because I could

The other day it was stupidly cold in Chicago. Like, my weather app said that it felt like -10F, that’s -23C. And yet, when the bus stopped two stops before I normally get off, I found myself stepping out of the slight warmth that so many bodies in a small space provided.

There was a moment before my foot hit the snow that I thought, “What the fuck are you doing?” But then I got fully onto the sidewalk and realized that it wasn’t as bad as it could be and I was physically able to walk this extra way, so why not?

It was nice.

The next time that you have a moment, I recommend getting off the bus a stop early, or going for a spot in the back of the parking lot, something to feel your body move. If you don’t already do it on a regular basis, it’s nice to remind yourself that you can.

finding my voice, please hold