How Has Bullying Impacted Your Life?

It would appear that I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging but I haven’t. Whenever life gets busy, my blog suffers. So, I saw this video with a young kid practically breaking down about how he’s being bullied at school. Firstly, I applaud him for speaking out. Secondly, bullying is a topic I’m deeply passionate about although I don’t always speak of my own personal struggles with it. Well, the video inspired me to share how bullying impacted my life in the last decade and a half.

I don’t think I was ever a strong person, my emotions were out of control. I allowed myself to feel deeply, and let things stab at my soul. It goes all the way back to my childhood where I really wasn’t exposed or taught to handle meanness. Then high school happened. High school happened to a lot of us, right? I didn’t know how to deal with bullying, I didn’t even understand bullying. I felt ashamed of myself that people were saying and thinking such horrific things about me. And back then, it was harder to voice an opinion about what I was dealing with. High school, all the way up until my early twenties was a downward spiral. It was like ripping my nails off trying to claw out of an angry vortex.

If you’ve ever been bullied, how have you coped with it? It was terrible before I learned how to properly deal with it. As I mentioned, I was ashamed of myself. It impacted me in such a way, I felt that I shouldn’t live, I shouldn’t exist. There was a point in my life where I wanted it to be over. I couldn’t foresee a contented future, a happy one. I began to think I didn’t deserve someone’s kindness or appreciation. Bullying impacted me so negatively, it consumed my life. Believe it or not, I started to bully myself. I started to believe I wasn’t smart enough to accomplish anything, I wasn’t good enough to be seen in public. It was painful for me to leave my house, let people see my face. I felt hideous, I felt wrong.

Bullying left a stain on me, and I could never stand up for myself, or even be myself. I found myself adopting fake personalities to be better accepted. At thirty years old, I’m now in a place where I appreciate my own differences, flaws, creativity. I’ve learned to keep away from drama and negative people. I’m an introvert as you’ll probably see from reading my blog, and I love that. I’m comfortable, contented. But it wasn’t an easy task climbing out of the darkness. I won’t lie, it’s still present some days, but I think maturity and responsibility has taught me a different perspective.

As always, thanks for reading. Have a great week ahead.

xo Kat

I Go Off The Radar on Weekends

A few years back, I would admit that I was a slave to notifications, always checking my apps, always looking to see if my comment was liked or commented on by peers or family. I’ve never been a crazy picture poster as I have always valued my privacy, but I did post more than I do now. A thing happened, a misunderstanding or miscommunication with a best friend that I had since high school and it woke something inside of me.

I realized that I really don’t need social media to exist. In fact, I loathe opening Facebook or Instagram to stare at people’s lives, miseries. I no longer have a personal Instagram, it’s more of a Bookstagram nowadays and I don’t reach for my cell phone as frequently as I did throughout the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love socializing, taking about interesting things, learning new things but I’m not that invested into people’s pictures & life stories. I appreciate bloggers who share, writers who write, readers who read, and yeah…that’s who I’ve become.

Is it a bad thing? A good thing? Perhaps it’s where i’m meant to be at this stage in my life. Bookish talks are my jam and i’ll make an effort for that, and bookstagram, but when I pick up my kid from school on Friday afternoon, I ditch the phone. It’s there for an emergency call but I don’t lug it around in my pocket. Even when I’m out it stays in my bag, not my hand.

What I’ve learned from detaching myself from the phone is that time is precious, and available when you’re not sucked into the vortex that’s Facebook.(i say FB because that’s the only personal social media I have). I’ve learned to utilize time by targeting my goals, really getting to know and develop a friendship with my children, and best of all, silence. Not everyone likes the sound of silence but I do, and I appreciate the few moments of it I get from the outside world. With each year, I also don’t find myself needing to say much on a phone call or on someone’s post. It’s often degrading to someone else, or poking fun out of someone’s appearance or shortcomings and to be frank, I never developed a taste for that.

Am I making any sense? Let me know in the comments how attached you are to your phone or if you choose to go radio silent like me in between. ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, thanks for reading. You can find me on Twitter & Instagram by clicking the icons at the top of the page.

Xo Kat

The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword

“The pen is mightier than the sword” is an expression coined by English author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It’s main idea is the indication that communication is better than violence.

This is a sentence or phrase that resonates deep with me, in my own personal way. I’m not a violent person who turned writer overnight (haha). Writing has helped me overcome many fears and insecurities. It opened up doors of happiness that I didn’t know existed. Writing served as a form of therapy even when I weren’t old enough to understand all of the pain, rejection and loneliness that came with being a young adult. I wrote books of poetry during that period and I’ve since learned that writing is the only way I can truly communicate my emotions as well as put everything into perspective.

Before deciding to take on being an author, I wrote pages and pages of deep feelings completely unaware of what my ability to write was doing for me in a positive way. And, for that, one of the truest statements is that the pen really is mightier than the sword. I could’ve handled things differently in my life but I always turned to my pen. Now I’m thirty years old and holding a pen is my strength.

xo Kat

How to Be A Happier You

I initially started blogging to help people who really had no one to talk to or understand them. I really wanted my troubling feelings to be able to reach out to someone and help them through whatever difficult situation they were in. I am not saying that there are people out there who don’t have worse problems than mine but I honestly wasn’t in the right mental frame for a large portion of my life. The way I saw myself, the way I hated myself and had no confidence, and a mountain of insecurities, it affected my life deeply. It impacted the way I carried about myself, the way I dealt with people and situations and it took me a very long time to really come to terms with who I am and why I should not be insecure or ashamed of being a little different. When I say different here, I mean that I don’t fit the same skin as my peers or family so I often felt like I was strongly misunderstood.

About three years back I lost a really good friend of mine. Not to death or anything of the sort, it was a misunderstanding that I still don’t understand and don’t have the energy to get into. Nevertheless it was an eye opener for me. I realized that I’m the only one who can help me be strong, who can validate my own existence. I don’t like the idea of leaning on friendships to be happy because that’s like putting the key to your happiness in someone else’s hand. And that’s not right. You have to be your own referee. Having friends is awesome and it’s helpful but it’s also very liberating and strengthening to be able to pull yourself out of deep waters.

Here’s a few things that I reassessed about my own life which helps me continuously today in making better decisions and in waking up contented with my life even though there is a lot that I could be sad or mad about.

Respect Yourself

A lot of people hate hearing the words “love yourself”, especially when they’re at a really dark place in their life. I know I hated hearing it. How can you love yourself when everything seems to be falling apart? You have to learn to respect yourself. That is a much better term for what I’m about to explain. It means that you have to accept your own existence, your own purpose the way you accept other people. You are no less than another human being. This is one of the worst kinds of mind sets you can put yourself in.

Learn Yourself

You have to reach deep into yourself and learn who you are as a person. Learn what you stand for and which direction you want your life to be headed. Once you’ve come to terms with that, you need to start weeding out all negative aspects and anything that may be a hurdle in your way. I know this sounds like a difficult thing to do but it’s doable. You have to really want that change, you have to really want to be happy to garner that drive to make these changes.

Focus on Yourself

There comes a point in your life when you really need to stop listening to what other people are saying. It’s okay to listen and incorporate good advice into your life. I’m not advocating being a rude person but if what someone is saying is troubling or harmful to you in any way, you need to filter that out. I needed to stop being concerned about other people more than I was being concerned about myself. I needed to focus on me and my goals, my kids and what’s best for them. Reading into others’ negativity really wasn’t helping anything in my life. It was creating problems in places where there were none. The best thing you can do is focus so hard on your life and goals, until you can’t hear the negativity beating at your door.

I hope you found something helpful in what I shared today. These steps have really worked for me in the last several years. It’s helped me reach a level of maturity and security that seemed so far fetched before. If you take these three points into consideration, sooner or later you’ll realize your worth and once you do, then no one can snatch your happiness away from you. My life isn’t perfect at all. Most of our lives isn’t. There’s many things I could cry about on the daily but really working on myself as a person has helped me reach a significant level of contentment.

xo Kat

(c)Kat Degnich. All rights reserved.

 

Start by Writing Simple Stories

Recently I have been so engrossed with writing techniques and listening to other people on Youtube share their writing journey or publishing journey. My eyes have opened quite a bit since I have started pursing writing full on. I have all of these stories in my head and the need to get them out is sometimes, painful. I go through these period where I feel like a failure because all of these ideas mean something but it’s hard to choose which one is the most epic. In the middle of writing something, I feel it mundane compared to what I know I can do. Deep down we know our potential, and we can only get there through hard work and diligence.

Last year when I started writing my first book-like piece, I was under the impression that to write something good one had to be over-the-moon smart but after hearing some of my most admired authors’ stories, I’ve started seeing writing from a different perspective.

I’d like to share something I’ve noticed, and also experienced to people who are pursuing writing, as a hobby or as a career. This is for beginners like myself and comments/tips are always appreciated on this blog!

There’s a Youtuber that I look at from time to time who shares writing tips. Said Youtuber has a self-published book out and I thought to myself, “Wow, her book must be something great if her tips are that great.” So I went over to amazon and downloaded a sample of her book and do you know what I found? Within the first few paragraphs I saw that she broke the very rules she was telling people not to break. Over usage of metaphoric descriptions, too much telling.

I’m not here to bash on another writer’s book, it simply wasn’t for me. But that’s not the issue. From what I gathered, this author had to build an entire world and characters in them, and it was quite a lengthy task. I myself, as a novice writer have many epic story ideas but I won’t pursue them quite yet.

Building worlds, and writing about other worldly elements is quite a difficult feat. So if you’re just starting off like I am, go simpler. Learn your craft before you tackle anything too hard. I think it was JK Rowling that said you have to get out all of that bad writing out before you find your voice. It’s like that saying, practice makes perfect. And no piece of writing is bad writing. Never delete your work. It came from a genuine place and it would project in your story. Anything you don’t like, can be fixed but never delete it.

Happy Writing! Leave me a comment to let me know how your writing process has been thus far ๐Ÿ™‚

xo Coffee Doll

What My Second Kid Taught Me About Parenting

After the birth of my second child almost two years ago, I have been feeling more incompetent that ever but I’m not beating myself up over it because I know I’m outnumbered. I don’t have help with my children so they are with me all the time and it’s tough. My husband is in the picture but he works long hours and whenever he takes them off my hands, I still have other things to catch up on…like the tons of laundry that I often wish to discard.

The first thing I’ve learned as a parent the second time around is that no two children are the same. How naive of me to believe the second one would be carved out of the same stone as the first. I noticed from birth actually that she’d be a little tornado walking around, pulling things down, creating chaos as she goes. But she loves us equally as hard as my first and for that, I’ll let the broken candle holders slide.

Some of the things that you might be faced with as a second time parent are explained below.

Sleeping Pattern. My first child slept through the night around three months. My second will be two and although it has toned down a bit, she still wakes up during the night a few times a week. One is a late sleeper and can you guess which one wakes at the crack of dawn…at the sound of any kind of movement?

Different milestone pace. I’m not speaking on behalf of everyone but most people I’ve talked to had this to say. The first child took their time when it came to thrashing your house and your belongings. I could’ve left anything out unattended…a cup of coffee, important papers and I’d meet it in the same place when I get back. However, I can’t afford this ย kind of trust with my second. Children also develop at different paces. My first was advanced with speech but way behind in walking and running whereas my second is the exact opposite. It’s important not to compare and feel as if something is wrong. Everyone is just wired differently, even kids.

Less Baby Paraphernalia and Toys. When preparing for your first child you watch every video, read every article and download every baby app. All of that makes you want to purchase everything baby related in case they might need it or you believe they might need it. Well I’m here to tell you that babies really don’t need that much stuff. Newborn things are expensive and they basically grow out of it by the time they can crawl. So for your second child, you don’t buy as much stuff and if you’re like me…you let them wear their siblings hand me downs and pass on toys.

Outnumbered. When you’re outnumbered, it feels like going from one kid ย to two kids is more like going to ten kids. That’s how it was for me honestly. This is not a scare tactic but let me state some truths here. You’ll be pulled in two different directions while trying to balance everything else in life. I’d be lying if I said it was easy peasy lemon squeezy. Some mothers do their jobs flawless and although I believe myself to be a very nurturing and caring mother…a little cool at times, I am very sloppy. I get overwhelmed and if you came over to my place, you’d see a chair full of not so dirty/not so clean clothes. Yes! Those clothes that are not dirty enough for laundry but clean enough to wear again.

Defeat. I often feel defeated trying to juggle everything together…the kids, and my own life, and goals that I am still working to achieve. No one said it was easy and I don’t expect an easy route but boy is it tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Children, whether it be one or more is a full time job and it’s one that needs to be done willfully and skillfully, sprinkled with love. I feel inadequate as a wife and stay at home mom when I see my tired husband cleaning our filthy living room. Some days I cry wishing I could do better to manage everything on my own.

In spite of everything us parents deal with on a daily basis, our love for our little brats go deeper and deeper. They’re our pride, our joy and our reason for waking up in the morning and doing what needs to be done. My second child taught me that parenting on a whole is very challenging, not that it wasn’t before but now there are two children with different personalities and needs. Some thing I’ve learned along the way is that we don’t always need to have everything planned and figured out. We’re learning as we go. Our job is to be the best we can be for them and trust me when I say that it’s enough.

xo Coffee Doll.

Have a great weekend guys! What are you doing this weekend?

Why does everyone hate turning 30?

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I am about two months shy of turning thirty, and most of my past classmates are too. More than a handful of people that I’ve spoken too has a negative view on turning thirty and it’s been really interesting to hear.

Of course, we as humans tend to set milestones for ourselves and thirty is that number where you’re officially an adult…nope not eighteen or twenty like we initially thought. Thirty marks a certain point in our lives where we enter new chapters and we do change a lot even though it doesn’t seem like it. I for one, have gotten a little better with skin care and the kind of food I eat. We tend to want to put more nutritional things into our bodies as well as practice a healthier lifestyle. Why? Because our body simply doesn’t work the way it used to. We can’t pull all-nighters then show up to work fine the next day.

Coffee also becomes your best friend, unless you’re completely anti-coffee then drink tea…lots of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I go off on a tangent let’s examine the reasons why people see turning thirty in a negative light.

Uncompleted goals. The goals we had realistically set for ourselves at twenty seem far-fetched and unrealistic. None of them ever came into fruition. We thought we’d have everything all figured out by twenty-five but five years later, we’re still hanging by a thread or even wanting to start new life goals.(like myself)

Sometimes self-realization comes at a later time in life than everyone else. It’s not something you should beat yourself up about. Til there is life…there is hope.

Fear of aging. Young people think you’re ancient and that you were never into cool music and fashion. Your time to shine has expired. This can sometimes weigh on your own impression of yourself. Your teens and twenties was a fun ride, and turning thirty seems to make you feel like it’s coming to an end. Thin of it as beginning another chapter. ๐Ÿ™‚

Looks and Interior. Like I was saying above, we can’t survive on soda and burgers anymore and those lines of aging near our eyes are really coming to life at this point. Not everyone wrinkles at thirty, some people age like fine wine. Me however, I look like a tired train wreck all of the time, but it’s not something a little make up can’t cover up…*cough cough* I mean’t diet and exercise. Your body really changes. Yes it does. I get acid reflux all of the time that I only feel safe eating granola(true story). We know that somewhere between thirty and forty we’ll start looking a little older than we did in our twenties and for some reason it scares the crap out of us.

I think what it comes down to is a mixture of fear and disappointment of not having achieved everything we wanted to achieve at this point and entering a brand new decade with all of that baggage. The fear of uncertainty perhaps.

Turning thirty doesn’t bother me as much and it shouldn’t bother you. Stay true to yourself and keep focusing on those goals. Just think about it, we’ve had three decades of ups and downs, lousy teenage years or great ones…we’ve dealt with acne scars, heart breaks and we’ve made some of the best memories we’d ever have. Embrace yourselves get ready for your brand new decade….

xo Coffee Doll

 

 

The Monday Syndrome

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Good Monday y’all! Let’s talk about The Monday Syndrome. I don’t know if that’s a real thing or not, pardon me if it is but it’s the only term that comes to my mind.

No, I’m not referring to our grogginess on Monday mornings when life resumes and we have to leave those few minutes of a weekend behind. I’m talking about the Monday “Go Getter” Attitude. Sometimes we leave things for next month, or next year but most likely everyone has a “leave it for the beginning of next week” attitude. I’ll start gym next week Monday because it’s already Wednesday and the week is practically over or I’ll start my diet next Monday or I’ll start to write at the beginning of next week(that’s me by the way). Our lives are consumed by a “let’s leave it for Monday” attitude. Right? I can’t be the only one.

There are procrastinators and then there are people who just can’t seem to get a handle on their lives. I’m both by the way. I know I procrastinate but I have a sound reason. My children just won’t zip it enough for me to hear my own thoughts and I’m always busy running behind them that the few moments of procrastination just to hear myself think are gold. But seriously though, it is hard to juggle everything already going on in your life so when a new task arises, we leave it for next Monday.

Whatever it is we leave for next Monday shouldn’t always be left for next Monday. I know, I know. It’s hard to find motivation to get yourself moving but it’s important to understand why our brains think we can’t start things right now, right this minute. I think my way of thinking is so uniformed that if I start something in the middle of the week, I feel all sorts of panic, like I’m running out of time, like life on Earth is coming to an end.

Wanting to be a perfectionist can hinder your progress believe me. Sometimes you won’t be starting next Monday, you’ll be starting five Mondays from that Monday. Not seeing the bigger picture and focusing on current struggles(which describes my case of The Monday Syndrome perfectly) makes you want to jump out of your skin and not start anything. Maybe it’s the fear of failing and not so much the fear of starting. Another thing I get hit with hard from time to time(more often that not) is bad estimation of time. My brain fails to process that things take time to reach a level of satisfaction, hence I’ll kinda put it off until next Monday, and then the next until I’m a hot panicking mess.

Do you suffer from The Monday Syndrome? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear!

See you next Monday!(jk jk)

xo Coffee Doll

Image: Pixabay.com

 

Barbie’s Impact on Body Image

people-1105591_1920I’ve read a lot of studies and paid attention to this topic for a number of years now and it’s left me with my own take on the matter. Many articles point out that Barbie’s unrealistic body measurements are unhealthy and it’s impacting our girls in a negative way. I’ve seen many parents opposed to the idea of their kids playing with Barbie dolls and opt for dolls with more realistic measurements. Another issue that seems to be popping up is Barbie’s “trashy” look, the dresses that she wears aren’t suitable for little girls.

Now I just stated what I’ve gathered over several years, not my actual opinion. Firstly the people that do spend money on surgeries to look like a doll are few and it’s definitely not a doll problem. Is a body image problem. But is Barbie really impacting girls to want to dress in skimpy dresses and acquire unhealthy sized waists?

I was born in the Caribbean, brown skinned and definitely not slim and I absolutely loved playing with Barbies as well as my cousins and friends. It never crossed my mind that I needed to be like my fair skinned, blue eyed, skinny Barbie. Of course we thought her very pretty and fashionable but she was a doll. We were able to differentiate a doll’s body and real life bodies. As for her dresses, I was raised in a conservative house and never questioned why Barbie got to be sexy and I didn’t. I didn’t even know what sexy was. It was just the way the doll dressed and it was just the way I dressed in “real life”.

Even if you don’t allow your children to play with superficial Barbies, they are going to see women with all different body types all around them that may or may not cause them to question their own body size. The skinny girl wants more hips, more boobs, the fat girl thinks the skinny girl has it easier but it’s never really the case. We will all criticize ourselves one way or another. My point is if you raise your children with a good head on their shoulders, Barbie won’t have that kind of effect on them.

As a child I felt like Barbie’s different careers were more interesting than the way she looked. I never really thought about it at all until recently with the body shaming. Also in more recent times people are praising the companies for making more curvy dolls and a wider variety which is a good thing but it shouldn’t just be a good thing because you didn’t teach your children to differentiate between reality and pretend play. Teach your children to love their bodies and accept that we are all different shades, shapes and sizes. Let them know that it does not take away from who they are as a person inside.

xo Kat

All Work and No Pay

Placeholder ImagePeople that know me look confused when I say that I have work to do. Well, it’s because I don’t actually have a paying job. It’s bizarre to some people why I would invest my time, sweat and tears into something I’m not being paid for. Do I wish to be paid for it? Yes, maybe. Does it need to impact my creativity? Absolutely not.

The thing that I’m talking about is writing but there are many creative people whether it be artists, musicians, cooks that aren’t making money where their skill set lies. I truly believe what drives creativity is something that comes from deep within, that no matter what you’re doing or what people tell you to do, you cannot shut the lid on your creative aspect.

Personally I do it because I love to do it and it’s a dream of mine to put out some completed work. Maybe see it on a shelf one day? Wishful thinking I know. But it’s really the journey of doing something you were born to do that keeps people going.

Many people became famous long after they were dead. Not everyone generates a whopping income at the end of the month doing what it is they love. And that’s okay. I believe that creativity comes from a place where there are no boundaries or limitations. One can truly set free and reach unimaginable lengths.

Writing is an escape for me. I delve into different worlds and carve a variety of characters and it’s empowering. It’s liberating to be the author of the story that you want to tell. It can go anywhere you want it to. And that’s something I can’t ever experience in a nine to five job unless it revolves around writing. I’ve never been so fortunate to have a job like that so I’ll settle for this unpaid one for ย a little longer.

I’m not saying there aren’t avenues to sell your writing or paintings or whatever it is you do but money can’t be the only driving force. The moment you let making money become a factor, it becomes strenuous on your creativity. And don’t think this hasn’t happened to me. I’ve spoken on rushed kindle books and how it impacted my process of writing.

It’s not about setting unrealistic goals for yourself. It’s about finding who you are and what you were truly meant to do. What excites you, what contents you, what motivates you. And just do it. Do it with diligence, let it come from an honest place and you have to believe that you will succeed.

xo Coffee Doll