Life Happens

So, I haven’t blogged in an obscene amount of time. It was one of those things where I got behind on my blogging schedule, and then I thought about having to do a longer update on why I hadn’t blogged in so long, and then it was another month later and I thought about how much longer the update would be, and then it was another month later and I felt so stressed out and upset that I hadn’t just sat down and written already and then whoops it was four months later.

Suffice it to say: life has been happening.

Over, and over, and over again.

Some major pieces of “life” between November and now:

  • November 6: I ran my half marathon! Wow, that really underscores how long it’s been since I blogged, because that seems like so long ago – I wore a tank top! I finished in a little under two and a half hours, and it was definitely one of the most exhausting, crazy, rewarding things I’ve ever done. Will I run one again? That was a hard “NO” going into this race, and then I finished and was already thinking “Hm, maybe I’ll try a full next time…” Stay tuned!14906882_10154334847947928_2390278583349524202_n
  • November 17-20: Boyfriend and I went on our first big getaway as a couple (not including visits to family, of course)! I planned a “mystery adventure” as part of our two-year anniversary in October, and gave him fake “boarding passes” letting him know how to pack and what our flight times were. He had no idea where we were going until we checked into our flights and got our real boarding passes at the airport. We spent the first day in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, then headed off to National Glacier Park in Montana for a long weekend of hiking and exploring!
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  • Tigger and I celebrated our first Christmas in our own home! We had a very festive Christmas tree  cat toy and had Boyfriend, Mom and Dad come to our place to unwrap gifts. Next year, we’re very excited to have three new housemates to share with (but more on that later…).
  • December 25-December 29: Mom, Dad, Boyfriend and I visited my Aunt Julie in South Carolina! It was wonderful to end our holiday season with her (especially in a house that looks like the “after” of an HGTV special), and also to have a few days’ reprieve from the Michigan winter – let me tell you, I was pretty spoiled being able to run outside in a t-shirt!
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  • Boyfriend passed the NAVLE, which means he is a board-certified veterinarian (well, almost….53 days to go!).
  • The Community Foundation launched our new brand, and I am (finally) almost done updating all our critical documents and stationery. It’s been such a great experience watching everything come together (though at times a little exhausting…), and let me tell you, the moment I got brand new business cards, I squealed and gave the delivery person a good laugh. I also enjoy having more than one brand color to work with and (of course) factored some swanky etched mugs for the office into my budget. 17016881_10154733463237928_5313006633613470923_o
  • The Community Foundation also launched our community idea contest! It’s been incredible to see the passion coming forth from community members in the projects they’re envisioning to make the community even stronger. I wrote a guest blog  for Lansing 5:01 about my experience as a young professional encouraging other young professionals to submit their ideas, which you can read here (so I have been writing, I promise!).
  • Boyfriend accepted a job as an emergency veterinarian, which he’ll start after…
  • … our TRIP TO PERU IN MAY!! We will be adventuring to Peru from May 9-May 21 after vet school graduation with Boyfriend’s lab partner and his wife. We’ll explore Cusco and embark on a five day trek to Machu Picchu (!!!!). I am seriously still in disbelief – we’re going to Peru!
  • Boyfriend asked me to move in together! This is arguably the life update I’m most excited about (followed closely by – you guessed it – PERU), not only because this means we don’t have to figure out which apartment to have dinner at and worry about getting home to our respective fur children to make sure they’re fed and watered and let out… but also because this means I can actually use my Pinterest “Home” board instead of just lusting after the décor in Better Homes and Gardens articles. Plus, waking up next to Boyfriend every morning will be pretty nice too. 16797024_10154697940847928_12930305224123134_o

So, part of the reason I’ve fallen off the blog map is because lots of exciting things have been happening! It seems like I haven’t had much chance to slow down between all these changes, which has unfortunately left me a little burnt out. And anyone who knows me knows that change + burnout + overstimulation = anxiety. Even though many of the changes I’ve experienced have been positive, it’s still a lot to process in a (relatively) short amount of time, so my anxiety started to become difficult to manage and stopped responding well to my previous coping techniques.

Anxiety coupled with inevitable negative changes – family health problems, workplace stress, tight deadlines, over-commitment and over-scheduling to name a few – put me into a depressive state too, so it was like carrying around this oppressive fear of disappointing people and failing and being unprepared for the changes around me…while having no energy or will to do anything about it. It was a little like having two warring siblings trapped in one brain. The more I struggled to surmount this exhausting inner battle, the more intense the fighting got.

But!

After several months of attempting to self-heal, I realized I could benefit from some outside guidance and support. As part of that process, I’ve been doing different worksheets (because even though I’ve graduated college, I still love homework), and found that writing has been a valuable tool to guide me through my emotions and experiences – which really should have come as no surprise considering I am a writer by trade. I’ve wanted to find ways to incorporate more creative writing beyond just “describe your anxiety fears and the behaviors/emotions associated with them,” which brings me to…

…I’ve had some time to think about how my blog fits into my personal and professional lives. So you’ll be noticing some changes soon (the biggest one is: a return to consistent writing!!!). I’m going to try to get back on a consistent weekly schedule. I’m also planning to incorporate blogging series, so my weekly posts will be more what you’re familiar with – life updates and reflections on things that have been going on – but then I’ll have special collections that might revolve around a particular topic. I decided on this for a couple of reasons: I like having a space to talk about “life at large,” but I also think it will be fun to play with self-published creative writing – a lot of the series I’m thinking about go in a more creative nonfiction/personal essay direction.

The other big change to be on the lookout for is that I will be combining my blog with my personal portfolio website. This is something I’ve been contemplating for a while as a way to merge my online presences into one, and it just seems like the right time to do so – I’m ready to redesign my portfolio site (again) to better reflect who I am as a person and professional, and I’m taking my blog into a different and more structured direction.

Thanks for sticking with me – I’m going to try not to disappear for four months again!

TL;DR:

  • I haven’t blogged in a while because life has been happening
  • Lots of exciting changes are taking place!
  • Stimuli overload have been contributing to struggles with depression and anxiety
  • Blogging Katlyn will be back weekly!
  • Blogging series (in addition to weekly updates) are the newest keystrokes to look for
  • Blog + portfolio website coming soon!

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