Category Archives: Random

30 Things I Love About Being Alive

It has been awhile since I have made a long list. Actually, I think the last one I wrote for this blog was “10 Weird Things About Me”. I just don’t want to forget all the beautiful reasons for living and all the things I love so here goes nothing!

  1. Sunday afternoons
  2. The way the night sky looks in winter/summer
  3. Sleeping at Last’ songs. All of them.
  4. late-night conversations
  5. laughing so hard that it hurts
  6. making art
  7. writing
  8. road trips
  9. good books
  10. understanding complex things
  11. exploring new places
  12. and rediscovering old ones
  13. the smell of autumn
  14. the warm sun on my face after a long winter
  15. libraries
  16. learning something new
  17. a cup of peppermint tea
  18. wild blackberries warmed by the sun
  19. being able to help people
  20. smiling without caring how crooked my smile is
  21. listening to stories
  22. thunderstorms
  23. finding beauty in the simple things
  24. and understanding the complex
  25. Chinese food
  26.  bad puns
  27. changing my mind
  28. movies that add meaning to my life
  29. comfortable silence
  30. making lists

 

What do like most about being alive?

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Filed under Lessons Learned, Random

Verbal Ink Essay

So I was looking through my stats here on this blog and I noticed that some of my most popular posts are just essays that I’ve written for scholarships. So here is another one that I wrote a little over a month ago. I never heard back from the people who held the contest so I assume I didn’t win, which is kinda sad because I am quite proud of this essay and was hoping I would win. Anyways, the prompt was:

 

How has language helped you find your voice?

(And I’m always looking for constructive criticism on my writing so feel free to share any tips or thoughts in the comments below! Enjoy!)

 

About a year ago, I was reading some poetry by my favorite poet when an idea popped into my head. If she did it, why couldn’t I? What’s stopping me from being a poet? Poetry was something I’d had a history with, I’d attempted writing poetry back when I was a preteen but soon tossed it aside, figuring there was no point to doing something when I had nothing important to say. So I had stopped.

But last year, I had fallen into that dangerous mindset of believing that I did not have a voice. That there were no words I could say that carried any weight. And this bothered me. I began to take a good look at my life and wonder: “What can I say that is important? What do I have to offer?”

That night, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just write. So I wrote a poem. It was terrible, but it was mine. It was my voice loud and clear. So then I wrote another poem. And another. And another. And throughout that summer I continued writing mediocre poetry and posting it on my blog that no one read.

It was then Autumn and all I had was poetry no one read on a blog that no one ever read. Everything felt safe, I was comfortable with this arrangement.

Ah, but then I had another idea….

What if I tried to get my blog popular? What if I posted my poetry on Instagram?

So that’s what I did. I reached out, marketed, my blog posts got better, my poetry was climbing out of the pit of mediocre. I was scared half to death of how my poetry would be received.

And over those few months, something amazing happened.

I had found my voice.

Soon people from all over the world were reading my poetry and my blog. I received comments on Instagram about how inspiring my poetry was, how brave I was to post them and how I must continue writing. I had done it. I found my voice and boy, was it loud!

Around that time, a young woman stumbled across my Instagram account and we got to talking . We both loved the same TV shows, we’d come from similar backgrounds and really seemed to hit it off. Over the next few weeks she began to share her story with me. That she was a recovering alcoholic who had let alcohol ruin her life for a year. That experience had given her major PTSD and she was currently in a bad place mentally and physically. I’d of course had no experience with this sort of thing and couldn’t believe that she was reaching out to me, who was only 16 at the time. She was 22.

But then I got to thinking about how my blog was doing and all the people I was inspiring with my poetry. And I realized that I had a way with words. I had the ability to encourage others, to bring a sense of hope wherever I went. So again, I thought:

“Well, why not?”

So we continued talking and I was there to offer words of encouragement and tried my best to talk her through panic attacks and to help her be optimistic again. They were just words I had figured and it’s not like I could actually make an impact with just talking, right?

And it never hit me until she finally wrote about her story and how I had helped her. Permanently altered the course of her life. Here’s an excerpt from her blog:

“Through this account I met some amazing people, one of those people being my friend Kate.
She runs the account kate_cruz17 on Instagram.
We are two uniquely different people, but I swear to you that if it wasn’t for Kate I’d be a whole lot worst than I am.

She from day one knew that I had a story, and over time she learned it and helped me through it.”

And then it hit me. I have a voice. My words are powerful and life altering. I am no longer that shy, timid girl last year who believed that I have nothing of value or importance to say. With my voice, my words, I can help people, I can make a difference.

I can change the world.

In a few months, my first poetry book is coming out. In less than a year, I have written over 50 poems! I have readers from all over the world who hear my voice. And over this past year I’ve realized that one voice can change the world if only we have the courage to speak up.

Wellspring of Words

Words aren’t meant to stay hidden
In the depths of our souls

Share the story of your life
For there are truths that need to be told

Do not let your words land in whispers
You are too powerful to barely exist
For I have seen the change we can bring
So be an open hand, not a fist

And I know that right now you feel weak
All you can do is force air out your lungs
But we are not creatures of silence
There is still much work to be done

And like you, I did not know what to do
Until one day I picked up a pen
And began writing my story in a rhyming verse
And now my words pour forth with no end

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Lessons Learned, Poetry, Random

Current Status: Senoritis

I did a few personal posts back when I first started this blog and since I cannot find it in me to write a huge, deep thoughts post, I’m once again going to do something similar. As you can probably gather from the title, I’m suffering from Senoritis. I am SO close to finishing High School and it’s driving me crazy because I just want to be done already! I’ll be graduating Mid-May so I have about 2 months, 2 weeks to go! The rest of all this is just going to be an update on whats been going on in my life recently so don’t feel obligated to read any of this!

Anyways, this past Saturday, I FINALLY heard back from the honors program and if you follow me on Instagram (@kate_cruz17), you will already know that I did not get in. (You can read my essay here.) I’m actually not as disappointed as I initially thought I would be because I know I can apply again after my first semester and I also know that there will be plenty of opportunities for me, wherever I go. Also, I would like to thank y’all for actually caring about whether or not I got in and for encouraging me throughout the very long waiting process! xoxo

Also on Saturday, I got to, once again, attend Winter Jam! For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a Christian concert comprised of 10 bands who tour the east coast every winter. This year was my 7th year attending. Meaning I was only 11 years old when I first went!

And then today, (Sunday) I received a Presidents Volunteer Service Award for all the hours of volunteer work I’ve put in at a nearby Science Museum. It felt like a well timed reminder that I can make a difference, despite not getting into the honors program. I was once again reminded that life is what you make of it and even though I didn’t get in (and very well may never), there are still things I can achieve. Important things that can one day change the world.

  
 But the best part was watching my friend, receive her award. She’d been volunteering at the museum for 9 years but couldn’t make it today because she was in the hospital. Because of her spine, (I don’t know what the disease is called) she’s in a wheelchair and has had kidney failure amongst a number of other things. So she’s always in and out of the hospital. Since she couldn’t be there with us, I called her up on Skype so she could at least see everything that was going on.

The Volunteer Coordinator was giving out awards and such and then saved hers for last because we were waiting for one of the employees spouse to get to her room in the hospital. And right when he announced that she had won the award, the spouse walked into her  hospital room with her certificate and a ton of balloons. We all started cheering and she was laughing/crying and it was the sweetest thing to witness. We were all so proud of her and how she still manages to come to the museum with a smile on her face, despite her health.

Oh and I’m pretty sure I’ve only mentioned this on Instagram, but in a month or two (I haven’t set a definite date), I’ll be publishing a collection of 50 of my poems! The book will be called “Like a Lotus” and I can’t wait to see the finished product! There have been a few requests from friends of mine to publish my poetry, but I’m hoping the rest of y’all will buy a copy as well.

 

Hope you all have a lovely week! ~Kate

(I’m trying to get on a blogging schedule again and will hopefully have another post on Friday!)

 

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Hope We Learn To Live With

I wonder sometimes how differently we would live our lives if we had the ability to recognize greatness when it was upon us. If we could see the moments, the minutes of our lives, that would not only have a lasting impact on us, but those around us. How differently would we live if we saw that the things we thought defined us, or the moments we thought mattered…didn’t matter at all? Oh and change! What would life be like if we didn’t constantly cower in fear of the unknown? We creatures of habit yet also of growth, we reject the things that bring healing and embrace the things that cause us harm. Why?

I used to be so afraid of change. But as I get older, I’m beginning to realize that it’s not so scary. It’s actually kinda beautiful. Every second of every day God’s giving us a chance to let go off the past and we aren’t in fact embracing the unknown, but accepting something greater than we’ve ever known. This post is a mess of my jumbled thoughts but I promise I’m going somewhere with this!

At the beginning of 2015, I typed up a list of things I wanted to accomplish. One of them being that I wanted to stop focusing on the past but learn to move on and accept all that had happened. But what that taught me, what I’ve learned these past 12 months…is that many things are solved simply by moving on. In the end it never matters who’s wrong or right and as I get older I’m beginning to realize that things either matter, or they don’t. It’s that simple.

All this, I believe, is a hope we learn to live with. A hope that everything is part of some larger plan and that change is natural. Growing up is beautiful. What you have to offer the world is one of a kind. Only something you can do. So stop being afraid. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Who would you be if you realized that what other people think of you doesn’t matter? Everyday, every second, EVERYTHING is changing. Why are we so afraid? Again, I ask: How differently would we live if we could see what really mattered? What would that make us?

And I sit here, clacking away at a keyboard, I ask myself these questions. When did I become so afraid?
When did we all?

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UNCG Essay (Honors College)

Sorry about not having an actual post today! I’ve been busy working on my essay for the Honors college at the college I’ll be attending this next fall! I just found out this past week that I was accepted into The University Of North Carolina at Greensboro! And that I’m eligible to apply to their honors college!!! It’s been a really exciting week needless to say. Anyways, I thought I might as well publish my essay because I don’t have a post and I love feedback on my writing.

For the essay, I was told to be super creative with the prompt, so I wrote my essay as though it were a blog post! Anyways, Enjoy!

Writing Prompt: How will a semester of study abroad contribute to your educational and intellectual growth at UNCG and to your long-term personal and professional goals?

Hey Readers! I’m finally back in the States, and true to my blog, I wanted to share what studying abroad has taught me. It’s been a crazy semester, filled with new experiences, new friends, and most importantly, a new outlook on life. As y’all know, I grew up in a small country town. I of course knew that there was an entire world out there…but it didn’t quite hit me until I arrived in that beautiful, bustling, city. There are really no words to describe those feelings. I don’t know, I guess I feel more whole. More complete after this past semester. As though something was missing, and I was somehow fortunate enough to stumble upon it. A broader perspective perhaps?

Working with others, both professors and students, within my intended field is what did it, I believe. For the rest of my career, I’m going to carry with me that feeling of togetherness. We future scientists, all of different races and religions, connecting over our love for science and mathematics. I never felt so out of place yet belonging as I did during these past few months. It’s all definitely helped with my confidence and my ability to not only work with others, but to depend upon them.

I’ve always been the type to try to figure out stuff on my own before asking for help, but going to a different country and meeting people that share my goals, it’s helped me realize how connected we all are and that is definitely something I’m going to bring back to UNCG. Fact of the matter is, one person alone won’t have the solution to large problems. But a lot of people from all over the world? If each person has just a piece of the puzzle, then many people have a chance at assembling it.

I had heard that because my major was Physics/Astronomy, studying abroad wouldn’t be practical. I could learn just as easily back in the States. Oh my stars, I’m glad I didn’t listen! Aside from academia, seeing more of the world made me realize exactly how simultaneously minuscule and vast our planet is. So many people and just one planet. Just one planet in one solar system. One solar system among many. Many solar systems within one galaxy. One galaxy among many galaxies. Many galaxies in just one galaxy cluster. And one very, very tiny galaxy cluster among trillions of others.

And as tiny as these thoughts make me feel, it also inspires me. Every one of us is a part of our own little universe. We make the laws that govern it. It is that thought, that lesson learned that is a driving force now that I’m returning to my classes here. That we all are a little universe within an even larger one. Possessing the power to change both for the better. This is our universe, and I will forever be grateful that I was able to see a little more of it.

 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Have a great week! See you Friday!

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