Some say old habits die hard. I could not agree more with that statement.
Letting go of past habits, past people, past anything can be quite difficult. There is a genuine comfort in things we already know. Even if people disappoint or hurt us, even if habits are destructive and unhealthy, even if the past is not where we want to be, it's known. In other words, letting go of the past means drifting into unknown territory; what a scary thought.
Mustering up the courage to let go of people we once loved (or still love) in favor of a possibly brighter yet somehow murkier future is no easy task. I recently was talking about the idea of letting go of old friends with a close friend of mine. She asked me what I thought about her holding onto a friend who wasn't putting in the same effort into their relationship and to be frank, was no longer honoring her happiness and needs. Should she hold on to the past and let this newer and now constant behavior go, or should she let go of this old friend who still means a lot to her?
I had this to say:
It's easy to feel caught up in the tests and tribulations of life. I often feel like I am barely treading water, barely keeping up with the unending work, the unending challenges, and the unending disappointments.
Focusing on the positive can frankly be really hard when it feels like a million things aren't going perfectly. Positivity and optimism can often be associated with a naiveté, and I don't think they should be.
Any person that has ever had some kind of adversity in his or her life (that's all of us) knows that life isn't always smooth sailing. Life can be heartbreaking and sad and really unfair. Life can beat you down into a juicy pulp where you feel like your love and strength are oozing out of a punctured shell. In those broken down moments, it's very easy to feel bad about yourself. It's very easy to feel un-beautiful, not good enough, and like a failure.
Have you ever seen Shrek and Shrek 2? I hope the answer is yes. Confession: The first two Shreks are two of my favorite childhood movies (the third and fourth Shreks just didn't get at my heart in the same way). So why are the first two Shreks two of my favorite movies you ask? Not only are the movies funny, but the soundtracks are pretty dance party ready, and don't get me started on my soft spot for Donkey.
There are some pretty advanced themes in all of the Shrek movies. For one, the "ogres are like onions" line is pretty rich. It speaks to the fact that we all have different layers and complexities hidden beneath the surface. Second, there is something to be said for having a kick-ass (pardon my french) female lead who doesn't need a man to do her bidding for her (yes, you could argue that Fiona was rescued by Shrek in the original Shrek, but she was really the one that got them past the dragon and through the forest). Third, the fact that Fiona gives up the prestige, money, security, and power with Lord Farquaad to be with her true love Shrek is so romantic. It's refreshing to see a capable, grown woman (okay- she's a princess) deciding her own fate. And lastly, Fiona choosing love and emotional connection over physical beauty (Shrek isn't the prettiest, but that's okay!) time and time again is HUGE. Picking an ogre over THE Prince Charming- the hottie mc hottie of Far Far Away cue swooning is worthy of discussion.
Now, I sort of went on a tangent there, but the part of Shrek that I really want to talk about is the idea of Prince Charming.
I am not one for formal introductions, but I hope by reading this blog, the great world wide web and the people who browse it will get a better sense of who I am and what I am about.
I have wanted to start a blog for a long time. I love writing and expressing my creativity and lately have been lacking a good outlet to harness my energy.
During this difficult transitional period of my life (the dreaded college admission process, leaving home, becoming an adult, leaving childhood behind, etc.), I thought to myself what better way to capture what I am going through than to create a website that encompasses the overwhelming, over-the-top hormones/feelings/emotions that are hitting me 24/7?
And so with that in mind, I want "Kate's Culture" to be a place where yes, I can indulge sharing my interests, but more than that, I want this little website to be a place where real discussions and ideas are exchanged about the teenage experience, cultural issues, and much more.
I will not try to pretend that I know all of the answers or that I can single-handedly change your life by reading my little musings. That being said, I hope I can offer some of the things that have worked for me in my journey to find some sort of inner peace and self-acceptance and my perspectives and insights on local, national, and world issues.
I hope you will come along this new adventure with me.
Originally Published in the June 2014 Issue 7 of "The Mainsheet"
So it’s prom season, juniors and seniors! While I have previously written on the financial burdens of the school dances, I have decided to talk about the other kinds of burdens that dances inflict on students: the self-esteem burden.
Dances can either be a major confidence boost or a major downer. Maybe that’s a little extreme of me to say, but for many students, dances are a very real form of anxiety. Will I get asked? Who should I ask? What if they say no? What if no one asks me? What does it mean if I ask him or her?
I would like to simplify this whole process. It doesn’t need to be this stressful or hurtful or frustrating. So here’s my Kate breakdown of how to survive prom season. Godspeed to the classes of 2014 and 2015!