September 5, 2019No Comments

Life check in

Now that we've entered the month of September, I can officially say I've made it through a year of college and a summer of hard work. Looking back at it all, I can confidently say I'm the happiest I've ever been. Say it louder for the people in the back!

I had my doubts when I first began college because staying in state felt like taking the easy route and signing myself up for a long ride on the lazy river where all the lazies slump and slouch in their Lay-Z-Boy chairs. Yeah, I'm dramatic, okay? Sue me. If I knew myself at all, I would've realized this lazy nightmare I had dreamed up shouldn't have been a concern because "easy route" simply doesn't exist in my vocabulary. I haven't lived a day in my life where I haven't pushed myself to do better or find the next best thing. I'm a go, go, go kinda gal. You'll never find me sitting still for too long or waiting around for things to come to me because that's simply not who I am. I'm a go getter and plan on "going" and "getting" no matter what state, country, or continent I may find myself in (or on). Right now, that place is the University of Oregon where I just finished up my prerequisites and applied to be a full major advertising student. I'm learning coding, design, german, and a whole lot more and I couldn't be happier to be immersed in it all.

This year, I made incredible new friends who I love dearly and hope to treasure for all of eternity (in a non-creepy way), experienced all that college has had to offer me thus far, and worked a summer job that filled my soul to the brim. At Camp Yakety Yak, I spent my summer surrounded by people who know the true meaning of giving and with kids who filled my days with smiles and laughter. Working at CYY gave me a whole new appreciation for educators and made me realize the importance of special needs programs in schools. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be in community with people their age and to learn in whatever capacity they are capable. None of this is possible without the selfless, yet much too small group of people who choose to give their time and energy to this incredible group of kids. At camp we offer these kids a home and a safe space to express themselves, something that I wish they had year-round. I've always had a passion for teaching and this summer that passion has expanded to special education and language development and communication. This is something I hope to pursue more in my own time and on a small scale at the UO. Though some choose to fill their summers with relaxation and recuperation, I wouldn't have liked to spend mine any other way.

As the warm weather comes to an end and summer says goodbye, a new year of learning and personal growth is about to begin. Though my summer days have been far from boring, the prospect of a new school year ahead gets me excited. Starting college back up means reconnecting with all my friends, moving into my new apartment, GaMe dAyZ, and getting closer to becoming an expert in something or other. The start of a new school year also means the beginning of a new bullet journal season. If you didn't jump up and down at that fact you've given the wrong response. Bullet journaling is another one of my many passions only this one I pursue on a day to day basis. I've decided to try my teaching and creative talents by making a bullet journaling guide which you can look forward to in future posts. Though my blog is one exemplification of myself, my bullet journal is yet another, one that I can't wait to share with you.

Congratulation, you've made it through another post with moi. You deserve a prize really.

Until next time, kales

April 17, 2019No Comments

Let’s talk about JOY

A while ago I conducted a thought experiment on my social media about small moments of joy and where people find them. I thought this would be an interesting question because everyone has different experiences with joy and where they find it. Plus it makes people think about happy things which really has no downside. I attached a short TED talk to my Facebook post on joy that talks about things people usually associate with joy such as balloons, swirly lollipops, bubbles, bright pops of color, and rounded edges. No one mentioned things like these when I asked them about what brings them joy but talked instead on experiential moments. Moments like looking into the eyes of their child when they were placed in their arms for the first time, seeing pride or joy in the faces of others, picking up friends from the airport after a long time apart, high school graduation, etc. Maybe these are moments we can relate to or not but what matters is that for someone, these memories are associated with a feeling of pure, simple joy, an emotion we wish everyone experiences as much as they can through life.

The first moment that brought me to this topic was on a spontaneously sunny day in January. I thought that Spring had magically come early and of course, I was wrong (thanks Eugene) but it still felt great to have the sun shining if just for a day. Nothing spectacular occurred on this day. I just remember walking to class with a smoothie in hand, the taste of lemon and ginger exploding on my tongue, the sun shining down on my head, and a long forgotten song playing through my headphones. A sense of overwhelming joy and contentment fell over me. I hadn't accomplished anything, in particular, it was just the combination of simple, yet joyful things that made me feel perfectly content. I think acknowledging this moment is really important because of the fact that it didn't include a massive accomplishment. I find it's easy to get caught up in goals and go go going that we forget that joy can be found in simple everyday things. Yes, large accomplishments can bring us immense joy but so can a peaceful walk on the beach or being reunited with a longtime friend.

My reason for bringing up this topic is that I think we should allow ourselves to spend more time thinking about joy. We should go about our day acknowledging the things that make us happy rather than letting them slip through our minds before jumping to the next thing we have to do. We should spend more time in the moment. More time dancing, singing, laughing, watching the clouds, listening to good music, drinking hot tea, and doing whatever brings us joy. Think of it as a brain break. You probably need it. You may feel like you can't afford it but trust me, you can. Your sanity depends on it. Yes, society may be telling you to be on 24/7 but that's just not plausible and we need to push back on that expectation. No one can keep going continuously. We all need a break and acknowledging and going out of our way to experience things that bring us joy is the perfect way to spend that break. It's rejuvenating and memorable. It's good to have a store of moments that brought you joy to refer back to but there's no way to have that unless we're paying attention to those things in the moment.

Society is telling you to speed up but I'm telling you to slow down and excuse my cliche but smell the roses. Recognize the things that bring you joy and go out and do them. I can't guarantee anything but I'm confident you'll be a much happier human being because of it. My new appreciation of joy is what has led me to want to spread it and remind people of it because I hate that we've allowed ourselves to forget it.

Why have we forgotten it? I think one of the big reasons is because it feels childish. As if staring open-mouthed at a double rainbow is childish and we feel ashamed if we get caught doing it. Well, guess what. F*** that. I hope you stare open-mouthed at that rainbow until your tongue feels like paper.  I hope you skip down the beach, arms swinging instead of listening to your "adult" brain and walking calmly with zero emotion on your face. I hope you allow yourself to pack a picnic and head to a park and drink La Croix while staring up at the sky for hours trying to identify obscure shapes in the clouds. And yes La Croix needed to be included in this post because it's another thing that brings me immense joy. The Key Lime flavor to be specific, thanks to my dear friend Christina for introducing me to it. There are so many opportunities every day for us to appreciate small acts of joy. So let's do it. If you're considered childish for doing so then obviously the people that say so have no idea what joy is and should read this. Tell them to come talk to me and I'll send them a care package of joyful things or give them instructions to go to Disneyland and hug Mickey Mouse until the smile on their face is irremovable.

I'm very passionate about this whole joy thing as you can tell so you should probably just listen to me so I don't have to come after you. I promise you won't be disappointed. I just want more people to realize how joy can and should be a daily part of life. I urge you to end each day by thinking back on a moment of joy you experienced that day. I bet you'll find you're a much happier person because of it.

I've had many moments of joy today but one of them was sitting outside, drinking what some might call a sickeningly sweet iced coffee but me a joyfully sweet iced coffee and writing this post. What's yours?


April 17, 2019No Comments

An ode to a new friend…

My thoughts are being vigorously typed onto my Notes page, fingers flying across a screen that’s much too small for the extensive writing I’ve suddenly been inspired to do. My “emotional” playlist is playing through my ears drowning out the world around me. Something about this playlist, my sheer exhaustion, and the darkness surrounding me as I drive down the highway has put me in a heartfelt mood. A mood that hits me ever so often with such intensity that the emotions that crash over me make the thoughts flying through my brain almost impossible to comprehend let alone write down. Yet it’s always my best content. The thoughts that mean the most to me. Tonight I got lucky and here I am writing things down. This time my thoughts were drawn to a new friend, someone I’ve come to admire with my whole heart. This girl is the type of person you meet for the first time and automatically wish you had known your entire life. Genuine is too small a term to encompass the depth of honesty and kindness found within her. I can’t even say I know her well yet I know deep within me how wonderful of a human being she is.

She talks to every person she encounters with so much compassion. You could easily pour out your whole soul to her before you even knew what you were doing and she wouldn’t even mind. She’d wrap you in a massive hug before calmly telling you exactly where you’re right and exactly where you’re wrong. And you’ll know she’s right. Any encounter with this girl is a blessing. You’ll walk away feeling better than you did before entering her presence. Not only do I value how genuine she is but how quickly she can jump from a fun and playful mood to complete seriousness when the need arises. That takes an incredible amount of maturity that is hard to come by. As I mentioned before, I’m not even incredibly close with this girl, but even from a distance, I’ve witnessed her brilliance and true heart. My pure shock and amazement are what have led me to write this all down in the first place. I’m acknowledging what I’ve found. Now I’m not trying to keep her to myself, there’s no way she’d let me anyway. This girl is a free spirit. I’m purely pointing out an incredible anomaly I’ve found in the hopes that you remember to be on the lookout for incredible people like her. Next time I see her in person I’ve told myself I’m going to tell her how much I value her. Straight to her face. I think she deserves my appreciation. I don’t owe it to her due to any specific encounter but that’s not what this is about anyway. I urge you to also verbally acknowledge the amazing people surrounding you. They could be your closest friend, your mom, or the grocery store cashier that gives you a bright smile every time you come through their line. Everyone deserves a little random act of appreciation. Too many selfless acts go without acknowledgment and we have the ability to change that. Please don’t think I’m urging you to write an incredibly long and dramatic blog post about how awesome the people you know are. That would be totally overkill (haha oh the irony). I mean if that’s the best way for you to call out awesome people then, by all means, please type away. Send me the link. I’ll like, subscribe, repost, the works. But obviously, there are other ways to go about this. A simple word of thanks or a compliment of someone’s personality or actions is all you need. It goes a long way. So let’s try to make this more of a norm. By doing so we’ll improve not only other people’s quality of life but our own as well. I don’t see any downsides. Do you?

Songs that played while I wrote this because I know you’re so incredibly intrigued about my “all the emotions” playlist on Apple Music (not an ad but you should still check it out):

  • Just a Little Bit of Your Heart - Ariana Grande
  • Too Good at Goodbyes - Sam Smith
  • Fix You - Coldplay
  • Big Girls Cry - Sia
  • Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson
  • If This is Love - Ruth B.
  • Kmttp - 1$T
  • Coloring - Kevin Garrett
  • Bad Dreams (Piano Version) - Faouzia
  • Machine - Amber Run
  • Jesus Wept - Sia
  • All I Could Do Was Cry - Beyonce
  • changes - XXXTENTACION
  • The Letter - Kehlani
  • Airplanes (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore) - B.o.B

I'm sure there were more but I'm embarrassed by how long my writing process truly is so that's all you get. Thanks for reading and don't forget to appreciate someone amazing today.

yours truly, kaeleigh

October 22, 2018No Comments

Thinking about writing

I've been thinking a lot about my blog lately and how much I've wanted to be writing. Every day little fragments of ideas come to my mind. I'm hoping these small pieces of my brain will eventually start to find themselves as short, thoughtful posts, ideally each day. Because that's the goal right? A post a day. We'll see if I ever get there. I just think a small, heartfelt note could be equally as fun to read as one of my long-winded, well thought out essays. I hope you agree.

Cheers to a new era of blog posts to come.



February 7, 2018No Comments

That’s life for you

Everyone goes through struggles big and small throughout their lives.

Little kids face problems that feel huge to them but in the grand scheme of things, really aren't. Imagine a coffee shop where that annoying toddler we can all picture from experience, was pulling on their mom's jeans, screaming that they wanted a blueberry muffin. That poor mom was just trying to get in her daily cup of joe and her kid was losing their mind over a muffin. You're standing there watching this scene play out, shaking your head and dumping sugar into your coffee, thinking to yourself, just wait till you hit college and can't afford more than Cup Noodles, let alone a muffin from a high-end place like this.

Tweens go through struggles too. Looking back at them, maybe you still feel the pain of those years; acne, school hallways, gossip, cafeteria food, that lead in the play you had that you will never forget and will always regret. *Shiver* The struggles truly were bad. But what feels bad in the moment will surely be bested by another low to come in your life. Maybe that's a negative statement but we all go through highs and lows, it's a part of life.

Now that I've officially entered adulthood I can say I'm a legal adult but I'm still a teen so that kind of takes away the effect. A teen goes through the struggles of passing their classes, more gossip, more acne, SATs/ACTs, applying for college, hopefully getting into college, and a lot more. As the now adult that you are, you're probably still thinking, yes all of this is accurate but kid, you still don't know what's coming. Trusty adult, you're probably right.

The point that I'm trying to make with all this is that I've finally come to realize that life really can be hard and that's okay. I've had it good till now, I still have it good but you know what I'm saying I hope. It didn't use to be so difficult but it seems like the older you get, the harder it is. As a seasoned adult I'm sure you can say some years are harder than others but as a not seasoned adult, dang, I sure didn't see all this coming.

I am going to put some of the blame of this "reality check" on my exchange because it had to be brought up at some point right? Yeah, sorry if you're sick of hearing about it by now but I'm never going to stop. Whoops.

Anyways, exchange was the best year of my life. I had very few responsibilities; I traveled, learned German, made friends, went to some Rotary meetings, and enjoyed almost every day of those 11.5 months. Of course, there was the occasional off day but as previously mentioned, that's life right? I was happy, carefree, and curious about the world around me.

I was excited to come home and then real life started to set in. Things fell to shambles, they got better, they fell apart again, they got better, fell apart, got better, and here we are in the present. I've stepped onto a see-saw with "I'm doing alright" on one side and "Why does life hate me" on the other and I'm constantly shifting from one side to the other. I've never felt so unbalanced in my life.

It's not all bad though, the growth that I've gone through in the months since coming home from Germany certainly compares to the learning I experienced abroad. I'm still learning and I still think life sucks sometimes but I'm not a quitter. I can gripe all I want but that's not going to get me into my dream school or get me a job, or friends.

My exchange was fantastic but now it's time to get things done. It's time to move forward and push through the struggles no matter how big they feel because hey, that's life for you.

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