Sunday, 25 January 2015

No Regrets?

I'll admit that this post is partially fueled by watching the US Figure Skating Championships yesterday afternoon and all of last night. But really, they just gave me the push I needed to write on a topic I've been thinking about a lot lately-- regret.
I know regret has absolutely no use for me in my life. I know that it is just negative energy I am harboring and using against myself. I know that if I just let things go, I would feel a lot better. But right now, I need to dwell on my regret a little bit. Maybe writing about it will be therapeutic...or maybe not. We'll see.

I regret not returning to my school in 2013 to continue my journey to become a professional ballet dancer.
It's not so much that I made the conscious decision to 'quit' dancing, but that summer I returned home injured (yet again), burnt out, and completely discouraged by the lack of attention I'd gotten/development I felt I hadn't made at my summer intensive. I told my mom that I wanted to take a break for the rest of the summer and see how things felt. When it came time to return to school, I didn't feel ready. I was still hurting, more mentally than physically at that time. So, I didn't go. I worked at the dance studio I grew up in, teaching pre-school classes and enjoyed "normal life" (aka a life not revolving around ballet) for a while. I would proudly announce that I wasn't attending my school anymore, that I was unhappy dancing, so I was going to turn my life around and find something that made me happier.  
Slowly but surely, I began to miss it. Dance magazines that I'd long stopped paying for still found their way to my doorstep, only for me to browse through them and see multiple people I know personally in each issue. I went to see performances at my old school, and the electricity in the air was exactly the same as the countless times I'd performed. I felt how everything was the same without me there, but everything was so different at the same time. To this day, I can't go to a performance without crying because I feel a gaping hole in my life without ballet. At first, I was mad about this. I was mad that my teachers didn't teach me to be a person outside of being a dancer. I was mad that, no matter if I decided to quit ballet at age 19 or age 50, I would feel a paralyzing loss of identity. But now, I just feel sadness. I am sad that I'm missing opportunities in a life I could've had. I'm sad that I can't find any other activity, hobby, or job that gives me a sense of purpose and meaning in my life. I'm sad that a lot of people who I loved and still love dearly are moving on in life and I feel like I'm on a raft in the middle of the ocean, helpless, unable to catch up.

The ship has sailed, but a part of me still holds on to that dream. It may even be a good thing that an injury prevents me from taking dance classes at the moment, even though I crave them, because they remind me of what once was, and what could have been. They allow me to escape back to a time where I was so sure of myself and where I was going. However, the return to reality after that escape is even more painful.

There are other things I regret, like returning home from Australia early and not saying things that I really wanted to say, but the regret I feel pertaining to dance is by far the one that impacts my life the most.

As I mentioned earlier, when I first 'quit' (I keep putting that in quotation marks because I don't think I, or anyone else can really QUIT dance), I boasted about the full, happy life I would lead without dance governing my every decision. I look back on that, and I see that it was foolish. I can't say I blame myself for being that way, but I can say that I was overly optimistic about how easy finding a new passion in life would be. I thought that once I had free time, a new path would fall right into my lap and I would be on my way to success and fulfillment in another area. 
But that's not how it works. Passions are sometimes once in a lifetime, and maybe my only true passion was dance, and maybe I'll feel a little less "me" without it for the rest of my life. 
In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy life for what it is.

To end this post on a slightly happier note, there are plenty of quotes that help me find solace in times like these.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." -E.E.Cummings
"I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." -F. Scott Fitzgerald
 If you have any thoughts or regrets you'd like to extinguish in the comments, feel free. I will be glad to hear any stories to make me feel a little less like a ball of gloom. I hope you're happy where you are, wherever that may be.
xx Kim

Friday, 10 October 2014

Short Hair Club

Recently, I cut 20 inches off of my hair and donated it to Children With Hair Loss, an organization that provides children with medical conditions that cause hair loss with hair pieces at absolutely not cost. (Note: the very popular foundation, "Locks of Love" charges children and their families varying fees based on financial need, which are sometimes outright ridiculous.)
 But enough of that!
I've had long hair pretty much ever since I surpassed the age of 5 and it grew long enough to be considered "long hair". Over the past year or two, however, I let it grow with absolutely no cuts or trims. It wasn't really a conscious decision, I just saw no reason to cut it as the ends were relatively healthy. 
Every once in a while the idea popped up in my mind to make the big chop, but I was always much too uncertain to actually go through with it.
I took this photo after I stayed up all night stuck in the Dallas airport due to thunderstorms- the day I was finally coming home after a very long journey from Australia and visiting a friend in California.

from my instagram
As you can see, it was EXTREMELY long! It may be hard to see without me being able to point it out to you, but there's a wave in my hair that goes about the same angle as my jaw just under it and when I noticed that in the photo I wanted to get it cut to that length so badly!
It took a couple more months and a ponytail accidentally shut in the dryer door (so glam), but I finally decided I wanted to cut my hair. I knew all along I wanted to donate it, so I was beyond excited!

I actually don't even think the before and after picture does the change justice! 20 inches is a LOT of hair, and I definitely felt the difference! I would say my hair is actually a bit shorter than it looks in the after picture, because it was still damp there and was weighed down a bit. It doesn't touch my shoulders!
I felt SO happy the entire day after my haircut (I still enjoy it now, it was just a strange euphoria right after I cut it!) 
They say if you're ready for some change in your life, a haircut can get the ball rolling. Well, I got the haircut part down, so COME AT ME LIFE! Hehe :)

That's all for now! You can find out more about Children With Hair Loss and how to donate by visiting their website here. Also just gonna slip in a cheeky little video I made explaining much of the same stuff I wrote out here:

 I'll write to ya soon, promise :) 
xxoxo Kim

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Things That Stop You Dreaming

It's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry about that.
To say the least, a lot has changed since my last blog post. I am no longer in Australia (a fact that I find is becoming more sad for me with each passing day), I am no longer a nanny, and I am once again plopped down into the middle of the field of life without any pathways around me telling me where to go.
Things don't always never turn out the way you expect them to.
I can't decide if that's a good or a bad thing, because, against the more logical part of my brain, I do believe things "happen for a reason". Not necessarily a predetermined or divine reason, but a reason. One door closes, another one opens; or at least there was very good reason to close the first door.
“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”
— Vincent van Gogh
Source: tumblr
Perhaps knowing where you stand is the first step to begin walking?
It's funny; as I've gotten older, I've become less and less certain about the direction in which my life is headed. In high school, I was 100% certain I was going to have a career as a ballet dancer. I knew this wasn't the end-all, be-all, that I'd retire much earlier than the average person and have to find something else to do with my life- but for the time being, I was set.
It wasn't until a year ago that I even began to consider this wasn't my outcome. Now, I'm still not ready to let that go even though the possibility is, practically speaking, pretty much out the window.

It is both a terrifying and exhilarating thing, realizing that you can change your life whenever you want to.
And now, here I am, back where I began, except I've added some (or a lot of) miles to my imaginary jet-setter card, and I'm not any more certain about where to go next than I was before I left.

I am also realizing more and more each day that this is completely and utterly normal. So common, in fact, that talking about it could almost seem pointless and mundane.
That doesn't make it feel any better.
I don't expect or even want a sudden wave of understanding and direction to come into my life. I get that this is how it's supposed to be, almost like a right of passage, but that still. Doesn't. Mean. It. Doesn't. Suck.
"Nothing will ruin your 20’s more than thinking you should have your life together already." -Anonymous
So, that's where I'm standing, currently.
How are you standing lately? Joining me in the fields, or sprinting full speed down your precious, finally prevalent path?
Either way, I applaud you, just for being.
xoxoxx Kim

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Little World/Big World

Source: tumblr
It's weird-  no matter how far from home I go, I still don't feel like I'm somewhere else. I know in my mind I'm in oz, I can prove it to myself on a map or just by looking outside the window, but I'm still me and this is my present consciousness. So, even though things are different, part of me feels the same.

I can take ballet or yoga anywhere in the world, and while some things are different, the classes are fundamentally the same. People who speak in different languages than me or with different accents, people who've never set foot in America or heard of the state I live in-we're all unified when we come together to take a class. It doesn't feel any different than getting a new teacher at home would. I think I should revel in these constants as I start to feel as disconnected as I do right now.

I really do love exploring new places as a completely unnamed, "strange" person. Alone, unattatched to's cool. But, you can only go to the beach alone so many times before you just get plain lonely. Since I'm not attending uni or anything over here, I'm kind of in an odd spot for meeting people my age.  Someone fly over and be my companion. We can take on the world.

"Dahlin'" has quickly become my favorite aussie slang (it's just darling, but the way they pronounce it is very endearing). This post is becoming a a list of random thoughts, hope that's alright :p

It's so interesting communicating with my mom in a different way than I am used to. It almost feels like we're getting closer, because in reading and writing emails, I think we both say things we tended to keep to ourselves when we were living under the same roof.

I am feeling very small in our world at the moment--I don't really see that as a good or a bad thing. It just feels kind of funny, like I'm in limbo. It seems the "I moved to the other side of the world" existential crisis (as well as the jet lag) has come on a bit late, and it took me by surprise.

Still striving to be grateful every day though.

Love from this little heart on a tuesday evening,
xx Kim

Friday, 28 March 2014

Week 1 of Aussie Life

Phewwwwww! We have a lot to catch up on! Today I will have been in aussie for a week, and it seems like so much longer! The day I arrived, we explored a bit of the areas up and down the coastline, and I took this picture from a lookout. (I realize the picture doesn't really fit on this blog layout but I can't be bothered to figure out how to fix it and I also believe the pictures deserve to be full sized!)

Bonus points if you noticed the Aussie flag!

Most of the week was spent sleeping, settling in, picking up the kiddos from school, and other necessary tasks. On wednesday I started to feel really run down, because I felt like I hadn't had a single second to just sit and think to myself! When so much is going on around you, and you're trying to take everything in, it gets really overwhelming. Yesterday (friday) I had pretty much all day to myself and I feel wayy way better for it. 

Origami time with the little man <3
FINALLY did some shopping! If you didn't know, there's a Target here in Australia- it's got completely different brands and everything from American Target, but it's pretty comparable in how good it is (I'm a Target enthusiast). The mall I went to had some great clothing stores, it seems like the fashion here is pretty awesome, in my opinion! 
My kinda sign!
I also went to Lush and maybe sort of, kind of, went a little bit crazy. Who can blame me when everything is so amazing?! I plan on reviewing some of the things I got on here once I've used them for a while.

Yesterday I also went for my first run in aus to a ridiculously beautiful park with a lake. Let me tell you, the US needs to take notes on Australian parks and playgrounds! The park I went to today was not only beautiful, but it also had playground-style (think presidential fitness tests in elementary school) exercise equipment every 80 feet or so down the pathway.  It was so fun just walking down and trying all of them out! Talk about promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle! 

I think it's cool that Aussie trees are different than American trees. I'm thrilling, I know.

Check out dat sky tho

That's a lot of pictures, but so much has happened! For now I'll leave this.
So far, Australia has proved to be an incredible place, but who really doubted that? It is really interesting seeing a completely different way of life, but it is also interesting to see similarities where I didn't expect to see them. If you get the chance to come here, do it. I'll say that about anywhere I go, because life really isn't meant to be lived in one place, but it's still valid!

Have an amazing weekend! Sending my love to everyone back home and all around the world
xx Kim

pssssssst; you can also follow my blog on bloglovin, which is a site that makes it a bit easier to see all the blogs you want to read, in my opinion. Follow my blog with Bloglovin here.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Thoughts From LAX

I hopped off the plane at LAX...and paid 11 bucks for a cold sandwich. Hah! Okay, I was really hungry, and it wasn't that bad, so I don't mind. I do wish that I could explore LA while I'm here, but I'll just have to come back ;)

Leaving day was beyond hectic. On top of not wanting to wake up, there was final packing, the drive to the airport, the rush when you think you may be late-- all of those wonderful things. By the time I got on my flight, I was beyond frazzled and anxious for a reason I couldn't pinpoint. My mom cried at the airport, which for some reason I wasn't expecting and was not at all prepared for. I feel so bad leaving her alone at home, but I know that this will be a great adventure.

Kitty today, just before I left <3

Now, if you are like me and find yourself hanging on your last wire when you board a plane, or if you are just a nervous flyer (which I'm not) I do have some advice: meditate.
A lot of people say it's just too hard for them to meditate, but that's kind of a given. It's a practice. I use the  "Smiling Mind" app- a voice guides you through the entire thing and you advance to next levels as you get more comfortable, plus you can choose a session from just 5 minutes up to 45 minutes-anytime, anywhere! For example, On. That. Plane. As soon as my phone could be turned on again, I powered up and launched the app and meditated for 30 minutes. It's absolutely ridiculous how much better I felt afterwards. Now, 30 minutes is pretty long, even for someone who regularly meditates, and 5-10 minutes would definitely do you just as good.
Now for the long-haul flight. See you on the other side!
xx Kim

Friday, 14 March 2014

On to the Other Side of the World...

I mentioned in my last post that I was moving "to the other side of the world"... and I wasn't even exaggerating a little bit!

Yup, I've been pretty restless for a over half a year now- after I decided I wasn't going back to university for my second year, I set out to find a new plan for the year ahead of me. Obviously, new plans that involve things you've never even thought about doing before take a bit of time to really come together, and mine (finally) has. I can tell you 100% honestly that there were many, many times when I felt hopeless and just plain stupid for exploring such seemingly unattainable territory.

Now, on to the good stuff:
A week from this coming thursday, on the 20th of March, I will get on an airplane (or two, or three). I will not arrive at my destination until the 22nd, due to the length of the journey(s) and time zone changes!
For the next six months, I will be living with a beautiful family in (/on? it's been said both ways, so I'm not entirely sure) Gold Coast, Australia. I will be their au pair, or in simpler terms, live-in nanny. Why did I suddenly decide to become an au pair? Well, when I was left with nothing to do this fall, one of my friends told me that her sister was looking into it, and that I should maybe do some research. I love kids, I love travelling, I want to help people; the au pair thing just seemed to fit. I searched for a really long time before I found my particular host family (which I tend to just call "my family"... that seems kind of weird, but I can't help it!) I'm not really sure how much information is too much to post onto a public blog, regardless of the fact that not many people will read this, but there are two children, one girl and one boy, aged 6 and 8. They are so so darling and I can't wait to meet them :) I'll post more information whenever it feels alright to do so.

Gold Coast is a very vacation-y town about an hour south of Brisbane. It's Australia's #1 retirement destination and averages 300 sunny days per year (poor me! NOT.) It is also known for it's gorgeous beaches. It will be fall when I arrive, and I will be there through the fall, winter, and early spring at least, but the lowest temperatures of the winter are said to be a mild 10 degrees Celsius, about 50 degrees Farenheit. Average temperatures around this time of year are still 80 (F), so even though it's not "summer" it's warm weather :)

Here's the video I made about my move, give it a watch if you'd like!

So, as of now, this is what my life is focused around. I'm still putting off packing, it's a big, big job, but I WILL get it done, obviously! I feel like a lot of people think I'm not excited enough about this, but in all honestly, I just don't think I'll believe it's really happening until I'm on the plane or actually THERE. I've dreamt about it for so long, it just seems like another part of the daydream!
Maybe the lesson here is that life can be a daydream if you make it. (CHEEEEESE, I know, I'm an expert at the extra cheese.)

So 'til there are more adventures/observations to be documented, have good days, weeks, months, lives... what's YOUR daydream?

xx Kim