What do you bring to the table?

In the spirit of the holiday Thanksgiving, most people ask the question, what are you most thankful for? Frankly, there is a lot that I could say: my fiance, my family, my cats, my friends, having a roof over my head, having a job, etc and these are all huge in my book, please don’t think that I feel anything less than that. What I am truly thankful for most is that I’ve found myself. What I’ve mentioned in most of my posts is the challenges that I’ve faced and the pain that I’ve felt, however over the past couple of years, mostly this year, is that I found me. In the darkest of moments I had always asked myself, why? Why me?! But in all reality I should have instead asked ok, what am I going to learn from this and move past it?

I had become a very negative person, which is very unlike me. I had always been the optimistic, fun, free-spirit redhead which no worries in the world. My challenges came and I felt broken and alone. I complained and cried and felt unfit for the world. I felt like an outsider. If only I had opened my eyes I would’ve realized I’m not alone or an outsider at all. Maybe my young brain would’ve seen that everyone feels this way. Everyone has their own problems. If only I had taken a chance to open my eyes and see, it wouldn’t have taken so long. In all reality, that is life though. We are human beings meant to feel all the different harsh realities of the world but how you handle them is what truly defines you.

So my Thanksgiving post isn’t about what I’m thankful for, it’s what do I bring to the table. I’m coming to realize that each and every person has a brand that they need to promote. No, I’m not talking about Michael Kors, Dior, or anything like that. What is YOUR brand? I’m coming to realize that my true brand is ‘KopasKat’. This nickname came from work, my username when I first started there. At the time I wasn’t a cat lover so, though I thought it was kinda cool, I just kinda shrugged it off. When my best friend from work started she too was a ‘Kat’. Instantaneously, we were known as ‘The Kats’ and we ran with it. We actually call ourselves the ‘Katpack’. Her optimism, fun, free-spirit was infectious to me and I finally started to come out of my shell. Thankfully, we still are work besties and text all the time and keep ourselves entertained at work and away.

It is true, that you can’t rely on people to make you happy. You can surround yourself with the happiest, fun people in the world, however making yourself happy is a feat you alone have to overcome. I have been suffering from anxiety and depression sneaks it’s way in there as well in very tough times. So not only trying to heal my mental state and getting over my tragedies in life, I had to deal with those dilapidating mental conditions as well, like many others. Luckily, I have taken my life into my own hands to try and help myself become my true self and find the light in the darkest of moments. I pride myself in how far I’ve come.

So, what was it that I was saying, defining your brand, and where did the ‘KopasKat’ come from out of all of this? I researched a lot of self help websites and read many books. The most inspirational of them was “The Bounce Back Book” by Karen Salmansohn. It was a fun, witty take on life and how to bounce back from the most trying of moments. I can’t say I’m totally healed but I have a better stand on where I need to go and who I need to be. We are all in this world for a reason. Your brand defines you and though you may spend years, maybe your whole life trying to determine that reason why your here, people will see your true colors and what you stand for.

Me, what I bring to the table…I mean I believe that being a ‘KopasKat’ on the outside looks like a red-haired cat with markings around her eyes that look like glasses (because well I’m a strawberry-blonde and have glasses both of which I feel people remember). She is quiet and timid around new people but spunky and playful around those she knows. She will sit and listen to those who talk to her. She does stand on her own two feet though and will do what she likes to do, whether it’s being by herself for a while or spending time with others. She is mostly independent and thinks on her own but still depends on those she loves to help her along the way.

Basically, what I’ve determined, I have a lot of cat instincts (only after owning two cats have I determined this). I am strong willed and want to do what’s best for myself and those around me. I am optimistic, I believe that good will come in all situations – even after a long time of sadness and having wandered off my path. I am diligent in what I believe in as well. If I believe in something I will put all my efforts in trying to prove my point. I take criticism hard and will be upset over it for some time but after realizing the true point that is trying to be made, I will take the criticism and turn it into something amazing. I strive for loving passionately. I mostly stick to myself and what I know, but once I feel comfortable I will start to come around.

Whatever my plan in life is, I will work towards finding it. I am resilient and will make the best of a bad situation in the end. Don’t lose faith in me, and I will never lose faith in you.

Find your brand, promote it. Make people want to know who you are. So, what do you bring to the table?

I have such a hard time dealing with death. Frankly, it should be normal for me at this point. I’ve gone through most of my life without grandparents. It has always been hard for me to talk about people’s families/lives because of this. I was 9 when my last grandparent died. At this point most people would expect that I can deal with death, but it’s really different.

Once my dad died nearly two years ago (taking two seconds to realize that, OMG two years *deep breath*) it is very difficult for me to ‘deal’ with death. I feel like when people lose people close to them look to me to tell them what should be done and how to feel. Frankly, that pain doesn’t make things easier. I feel like I get that logo “Dad died, She doesn’t have a dad at 25” thing. It hurts, alot. I try my hardest to put my problems aside to listen to others but, frankly, it doesn’t, it always makes things harder. You want to make things better for people and make them feel better so that you do too, but it never does. The pain always comes back. 

Today at work we received word that one of our senior account managers passed away tonight after her major battle against MS. She had been fighting it for a long time. It hurts to hear because when you know of good hearted people losing to a battle regarding their lives, nothing comes close to how you feel. I am heartbroken over the news today of one of our senior account managers losing to her battle. Absolutely kills me. This woman, day in and day out fought her battle and worked literally until her last dying breath. I’m so happy to hear that she is no longer in pain. So unbelievably happy to hear that, that I can’t even explain it. She was an amazing woman who lived her passions until the end. She is such an inspiration to me. 

My dad passed away nearly two years ago (minus four months away), from his major nine month battle against Melanoma. It hurts me to this day thinking about how he might have felt during that time. I just in my head knew who my dad was and know that he was just ready to not deal anymore. He knew things weren’t going to improve and he mentally ended things. It’s crazy to think that someone can make their minds understand that it’s over. There’s no more fighting, things will never get better. 

I just wish I got a goodbye, a real goodbye, a things will be ok without me, you will grow because of this situation type of conversation. I never got it, and it kills me. I realize and see little things each day where he was trying to tell me before he died what he was truly trying to tell me. I hate myself for not realizing that that was him trying to have that conversation with me. I am better now and can understand because I have forced myself to realize what life really has to say and offer but nothing ever makes it easier. I am 25, and with out grandparents and  a dad. I am without a dad. 

Omg, I see those words, I hear them, and my heart is torn away from my soul. I don’t have the one person I always relied on for help and guidance, no matter how little the words were. My dad and I always understood eachother, and I know he tried in his last months to tell me all he could, but he never told me how to deal with this. He was the biggest advocate of following your heart.

My mom and dad had tough last couple or so years with eachother. My mom was always the person to find things to do and wouldn’t come home until late and it would just be me and dad. Our time waiting for her to come home was ours. I miss it the most. Those were the days we would watch history movies/documentaries, talk about our days and he would give me advice, and frankly my favorite were the days we would be standing in the driveway looking at the yard and trees, drinking a beer when I was old enough, and just talk about life – the little things. I miss it so much. I go home and it kills me. Everything there is just a memory of my dad, good but bad because he isn’t there to take care of things. No matter how big or small, he was the one there to just make things right again. 

I miss him so, so, so much. It kills me each day that I’m not going to receive a small text of “where are you?” “I love you” “i dont know how to use this stupid phone” type of messages. He was literally the most illiterate people when it came to technology but I had that small moment to spend with him to show him what to do. To show him what I know and make him proud that I knew what to do. I follow his steps every single day. No one will ever understand except me. 

Today we lost one of our account managers to her long battle against MS. When I received the word from my best friend at work I was devastated. She was the sweetest woman ever. She was tough to work with only because she knew what was right for her accounts. It killed me to hear that yet another astonishingly strong person lost to a disease. This is to you, I didn’t know you too well, but when we met at NSM, it was one of the biggest moments for me. I will never forget it, hearing how wonderful I was and how thankful you were for all that I had done to improve the process. Seeing your emails to get your quota or trying to understand why something wasn’t right always gave me a positive feeling in me that people cared truly about what they did every single day. I will continue to work to ensure that I make sure that happens. You are an amazing person. I will truly miss you. Please stick close to my dad because you will love his company, he is an amazing person and you will laugh every single day. The following poem is always what I post when someone close passes away, I know it’s true. Enjoy the better place and please help and guide the rest of us. Much love…

‘When somebody dies, a cloud turns into an angel,
And flies up to tell God to put another flower on a pillow.
A bird gives the message back to the world,
And sings a silent prayer that makes the rain cry.
People disappear, but they never really go away.
The spirits up there put the sun to bed,
Wake up the grass and spin the earth in dizzy circles.
Sometimes you can see them dancing in a cloud during the daytime,
When they’re supposed to be sleeping.
They paint the rainbows and also the sunsets
And make waves splash and tug at the tide.
They toss shooting stars and listen to wishes.
And when they sing wind-songs, they whisper to us,
“Don’t miss me too much, the view is nice and I’m doing just fine.”

Rest in peace. Hang with my angels, they will take care of you, dear. Watch over us. Guide us. 

Rest in peace sweet angel. Heaven just became so much lovelier ❤

Fairy Tales

I was always the girl who believed in fairy tales. The ones that would be read to me before I went to bed at night by my mom. Dreams of being a princess like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Ariel. These stories just molded a fake vision of what love is. The princess found her ‘true love’ at 16 and had some bizarre “problem” where she couldn’t be with her Prince. In the end, they always found each other and lived happily ever after. Never once do the fairy tales talk about the trials and tribulations that true love goes through. The crazed girls chasing after boys. Doing stupid things to make them pay attention. The heartaches that happen along the way. If Disney depicted that in their movies, maybe you wouldn’t have so many “love struck girls” chasing boys just because.

In high school I was just a quiet awkward girl. I loved to play sports and hang out in gym clothes 90% of the time. I didn’t care. I was comfortable with who I was. Because I was so quiet and awkward I didn’t know how to talk to boys other than just being a friend. Anything more than that and I was hiding behind my hands in the back of the classroom saying why why why… I thought I was broken hearted a couple times back then due to my self-conscious personality. Frankly I had no idea what love was. How can you know that feeling of falling head over heels and being painfully, deeply in love with someone at the fresh young age of 16? You always think you do and no one can tell you otherwise. My twenty-five year-old self could strangle my young self for thinking like that.

I had a couple flings through the end of high school and into college, again not really sure what it was that I felt. Sadly, I think I just liked the attention that there was someone who actually liked me. Then I ended up dating someone from my freshman year of college through the end of my ‘senior year’. We had a lot of fun, however now looking back on it, my heart wasn’t truly there. Most times I spent with him I was upset. If I was just a few minutes late because I got ‘stuck’ talking to my mom it was a miserable night. There were other nights I would get forced to stay late at his house until he fell asleep to drive back home late at night just so we spent every waking moment together. I was made to feel guilty for spending time with anyone aside from him, friends – family – anyone. He was the type of person to get ‘hurt’ once by someone and he turned his back and would talk about them and how they treated me poorly etc. Needless to say, there finally came a time when we got into a massive blow up and we took time off. I was dealing with much worse things, and when I had needed him the most a year previous to that I was made to be the victim, all over again by the one person I needed to help me through. That time had been rock bottom for me. I can’t even repeat most of what happened during that time because it just reopens wounds that I have put bandaids over, and let them heal at their own pace. It took a good two months for me to finally realize that I couldn’t go through with it anymore, in my mind I knew the relationship was over and I wasn’t going back ever again. Periodically I still receive whispers from him hoping that we can meet up for a coffee to talk. I leave the messages alone. Send them to the trash to never read again. I sounds awful and insensitive, and I know I am but I also know what door I would be opening up unwillingly again. For me, there is no turning back. There was no fairy tale. There was a fun time, with a person I thought I loved, and it will be kept at that. 

I had spent that summer having the time of my life, fell entirely too quickly for a friend and was hurt when the feelings weren’t returned. I turned into a crazed girl. Jealous and angry at the world. Spent many drunken nights yelling, crying, and hating everything. I look back at that girl and it pains me. It was some shadow of me that I can’t recognize. I remember I had looked in the mirror once or twice during that time and didn’t know who was staring back at me. But then, not too long after, I found him, the love of my life. My soulmate.

Now, you’re probably thinking where is this girl going with this, she’s been heartbroken and a complete crazed mess…why does she think this is real? Because it was. It’s like people say, I just saw him and knew. At first I didn’t believe it. “How can THIS guy like me?” But he did. I overheard him one night when I was up talking late with my roommate at the time and he was outside with everyone else. He was more or less talking to himself, no one responded to him as he spoke. My roommate and I hid in the window to hear him. I will never forget those words he said because it’s what brings me back day in and day out “I found her. She’s not ready right now, but I’ll wait for her to be. She’s it. She’s who I’ve been looking. I’ll wait for her.”

Basically from then, we were attached at the hip. I can’t say it has been the easiest but we’re still here, hand in hand making or ways through life together. We have gone through the biggest roller coaster of a relationship from head over heels in love, complete bliss and happiness, heartbreak and sadness, stagnant periods of time, to complete pure happiness and love. We’ve picked each other up when we’ve been down. We’ve helped each other through some of the worst times in our lives. Though there was a period of time we were apart, we still were thinking of each other at night, whether we want to accept it to anyone aside from ourselves when we are quietly thinking about things. We’ve made it through. We’ve fought for each other and our love. It’s not perfect but who’s to say what a perfect relationship truly is? If you are willing to stand beside the person that you love deepest in the world, the person you fall asleep thinking about, the person you dream about and what your future holds, then you’ve found it. You can literally go through the worst things with that person, and still know that things are going to be ok in the end. That there aren’t going to always be rainbows and butterflies. There are going to be trying times ahead. If you can accept that the picture maybe not always be perfect, then you understand what true love is. You’re ready to make the step in life together. 

I have that very joy waiting for me next year when we get married. He’s the guy who likes to have things a certain way, but I was told whatever you want you got it. This is your dream wedding, and I will do anything I can to make sure you get it. Frankly, I can dream about the colors, the dress, the people witnessing one of the most amazing days of our lives, the ceremony, the food, the cake, the music, the massive party, all of it…but what really matters to me is him and I promising our undying love to each other. I can honestly 100% say that. For me, that’s true love. I don’t need to blow $100K on one day. I just want the perfect day on the beach, with the waves hitting behind us, barefoot in our most comfortable clothes, with our most treasured friends and family watching on. Simple. Elegant. Romantic. Him and I staring in each others tear filled eyes as we promise a lifetime of happiness, faith, and love. To be there when the stormy seas are rough, and the days when it’s nothing but sunny skies and pleasant playful waves. That’s my fairy tale.