Hello, I'm Katlyn!
You will find me here because I am super passionate about writing and I love to share my personal stories/experiences. I am currently in the process of earning my MSW at Pitt University, with hopes of being a counselor!
The Story of Us.
I smile, because I remember the day as if it were yesterday. It was Spring time, and life around me seemed dark. For the first time, in two semesters I went out (which, as most people know is very rare for me) with my cousin and his friends hoping to ease the thoughts inside my head.. for just one night, at least. And, little did I know my world would change forever the next day. The night was a blur, but it occupied the heaviness on my heart; it was a night I needed to escape from the world around me. As I awoke the next day, I knew I had drank a little too much, so I decided to go home and sleep (most of) the day away, of course I had finished all of my homework and did not have class, so that made it easier to do so. In the evening, I decided to try a pizza place that my brother told me about a few months ago, and as we all know a hangover and pizza go hand-in-hand. I thought, (looking back now) way longer than I needed to about whether I wanted to pick the pizza up or have it delivered; as I did not want to leave my bed, although my stomach was a little upset still, so I decided to stop for a Sprite on the way to the pizza place. You see, in life every choice we make leads us to a different path, and as I sit here today I wonder what my life would be like today if I had not made (what seemed like) the most unimportant decision of my life (getting a Sprite at Sheetz). I do, however remember feeling a little more hopeful that day; I felt as if at any moment I would meet someone who would (maybe not) forever, but just for a minute, make me smile again. All I know is, that Fall/Spring was one of the hardest times of my life. I felt broken, unable to be fixed, detached from the world, hopeless, and nobody knew, so I believe that is why I was led to you. They say people come into your life for different reasons; some stay, some go, some teach a lesson... we may not always understand the reason behind meeting someone until later on in life, but eventually the reason becomes clear. As I walked into the pizza store around 5:30-6:00 in the evening, I still had a headache but I was finally feeling hungry. I looked up because there was nobody else at the front (where I was supposed to pick up the pizza), and there I saw you. You were smiling so big, and honestly that smile made me feel like I had known you forever. I smiled back, nervously, of course. You started walking toward the counter and I stated I was picking up a pizza, so you went to get it. That day was a little chilly, so I was wearing a fuzzy brown coat, black sweatpants and yellow vans. You came back with the pizza and said to me, "That jacket looks so cozy", and I (awkwardly) laughed and said "Yes, it is." As you know, I was very unsure if you were "flirting" with me, I assumed that you were just being a nice guy. I could tell you were not from the United States, by your accent, but I did not know where you were from. I remember thinking, I have had so many guys flirt with me, but the way you flirted was different. I could see it in your eyes that you were genuine; you respected me, and that is something I have never encountered before. Yes, I have had guys flirt with me in the past, but the flirting was typically aimed toward my physical features or my body; but you were different, and I admired that. I wanted so bad for you to ask for my number, or even just my name. But, I could see that you were a true gentlemen, and I know you did not want to appear as the typical pushy "man." Again, I admired that. As I left, I turned to look at you, one last time, and in that instant we shared a smile; we shared a connection. Two strangers, from the opposite ends of the world, meeting by an innocent choice, but destined to meet for reasons beyond understanding. On my way home, all I could think about was you. I thought, "Why does a stranger feel so much like home?", "Why do I feel so strongly connected to someone I have never met?" Emotions, thoughts, feelings, all running through me, each shaped with confusion, but all so sure that I was meant to find you. My pizza did not last long, specifically because I had not eaten all day. The thought of you continuously lingered on my mind. I contemplated calling the pizza place back for an hour. I thought, "What if I call and he thinks I am weird, maybe a stalker?", "What if he has a girlfriend already?", and the funniest of all, "What if he isn't into girls that way?" You see, the way you appeared was very retro-ish to me and growing up in the States, I was not used to the uniqueness about you. Don't get me wrong, I thought you were unbelievably handsome, and just so different (personality-wise)... That is why I was so drawn to you. But, from my experience, nothing ever worked out for me the way I wanted it to, so my hopes were not high that day. Anyway, I did end up calling the pizza place back, and the lady that had answered the first time I called had picked up again. I explained to her that I had just come for a pizza, that the pizza was delicious, but I was calling for a different reason. The words, to me sounded so desperate coming out. Never have I made the first move on anyone, but in my heart I knew I couldn't let you slip away. I said, "The reason I am calling is because I wanted to give the man who rung me out my phone number." I sat there, waiting for the woman to laugh, or better, hang up. But she proceeded to tell me that she would tell him (you). After I hung up, I felt so relieved, but anxious, too. I thought, "What if he never texts me?", "What if she gives the number to the wrong person?" I sat, impatiently that night waiting for a text. Finally, I received a text from you, I couldn't believe it. For a minute, I thought she had given my number to the wrong person, but luckily it had really been you, the one I was waiting to talk more to, to learn more about. We talked for a while that night, so long that I even picked you up from work (the pizza place). Gosh, I was even more anxious picking you up, I wanted our instant connection to remain. As you got in my car, you looked over at me in awe, saying "you're beautiful." Picking up a stranger is a little uneasy, so I had to determine your true intentions. As the night progressed, we had talked for hours and I my feelings for you had become overwhelming, and to my dismay, scary.
To My Younger Self.
Hello beautiful! Your life has been very good to you, for the most part. You grew up with two parents who love you endlessly, two brothers who would protect you from anything or anyone in this world, and a family that supports you in whatever you decide to do with your life. Not many people can say they have that kind of love around them, so you are grateful every day that you were given such amazing people to love you unconditionally. Yes, growing up was complicated at times, having divorced parents will tear you apart some days, and of course you were not angry at either one of them for it, but that is for a different letter. Anyways, back to you, you were always such a strong girl, a girl who had the biggest heart, but is sensitive and feels every thing so deeply. Feeling deeply is something you were never ashamed of, some people could not handle it, but others admired it. In life, you will be confused about what exactly you want in this world, who you want to spend your life with, who you should keep in your life, who you should let go of, and the list goes on. My point is, life will make you think a lot about what kind of person you are. You will wonder why God placed you on this Earth, as you know He has a reason for creating everything and everyone, but you will try to figure out your purpose in life. You will make it through High School, gosh, that will be a hard time, but also do not rush it, for when it is over you will wish you could go back to those days. High School opens your eyes, it helps you grow into the person you want to be and it teaches you so much about life. Like, how some people are hurtful, others are kind, how some people are there for you, and others walk away without any reasoning. You will learn that half the stuff they taught you is not actually used in the real world, because let's be real it is 2017 and Google is the brain of all humans. However, you will learn that every teacher, guidance counselor, principle and so on, were all only preparing you for the life that lies ahead and you are thankful for each one of them. Graduation is bittersweet, that moment of your life makes you realize how quickly time goes by, and from there it only seems to go faster. You will say "see ya" and "good luck" to all the friends you made throughout the years, never saying "goodbye" because again it is 2017, we have social media and we can watch each others adult lives develop on a computer or cellphone screen or send them a message when we wonder how they are. From there, you will attend college, you only applied to one school, which maybe was not the smartest thing to do, but you had no idea what you even wanted to do, and luckily it worked out for you. Well, for a little while. College was something you looked forward too, all the new people you would meet, the experience of living on your own without having anyone telling you what to do. You were ready for this next chapter. Along the way, you met so many wonderful and beautiful people, people you want to stay in contact with for the rest of your life. The college you attend will be so diverse, it will allow you to meet other people from different parts of the world, which is the neatest and craziest thing to you. A girl that came from a small town was finally able to explore all this life had to offer, with the help of all the amazing people she met. And you will feel forever blessed. I guarantee, the people you meet at college will impact you for the rest of your life, each one in a different way. The college you chose is in a small, but beautiful town, where you feel one with the environment and nature. College is where you learned the most about yourself, you had time to discover parts of you that you did not know existed. I will tell you, during this time, you will cry more than you ever have in your life, but you will also laugh and love more than you ever have too. People will still hurt you, life will take its toll and the stress of college will become overwhelming. Later, you will decide to pursue a different path in life. At this moment, the new path you have chosen feels like the right path, for once you will feel like you made the best decision of your life. The people close to you will tell you how proud they are of you and that makes you proud of yourself, close friends will tell you that what you chose is a 'big step' in your life, and fear, excitement, and a sense of relief will wash over you. Why? Because you know in your heart this is where you were meant to be. Right here in this exact moment. You are strong, beautiful, determined, independent, and so much more, but most importantly never forget that you are loved, sweet girl. You are loved more than you know.
Home. We are taught is a physical place. Though, could it be someone we long to embrace? A child is supposed to feel comfort, warmth and love, rather was exposed to pain, fear, anger, all of the above.
To the one who broke me, when I was already broken.
Hello again, Enjoy, what I should have said to you a long time ago. No, before you ask, I am not writing this to get back at you. And I am most certainly not writing this to make you feel like you have won. Because, you did not win, if anything you should be ashamed of who you are, and I should have been smarter to know that you were trouble. I am not here to make you feel bad about yourself, you know, like the way you made me feel? I am a better person than that, and I do not have the capability of hurting people, but I will speak the truth about you, finally. And I am sure the other girls you completely shattered will thank me for this, too. I remember when we first met, I held the door open for you and you replied "Cheers," except I thought you were saying "Thank-you" in your language. So I did what any human who loves to learn would do, I went to Google and searched how you say "Thank-you" in your language. I found out how you say it, and I knew that was not what you said, but being the curious person I am I just had to know.... and also, shocker, I thought I could try to impress you if I learned a few words in your language. You messaged me on Facebook, do you remember that? (I even still have the messages) Hmm, probably not because I am sure you played that game many times. In fact, I know for certain you played that game many times. I knew what kind of person you were. I knew you thought you could get anyone you ever wanted, and the thing is, you were right, you absolutely could get anyone you want. Not just with your looks. You were good. At hurting people that is. Allowing them to think you were there to save them, then once you caught them you ruined them. I was not the only vulnerable girl who fell for you, as I hinted earlier. Anyways, back to where I left off. You messaged me on Facebook, and my goodness was I happy, I was so incredibly happy that I smiled that whole day, and let me tell you, not you, but everyone else reading this, that day was one of the worst days of my life. You were so sincere, I told you about what I was going through at that time, I told you how I was hurting and how I was no where near ready to pursue any type of serious relationship, because I was just about to end one very soon. And most importantly I was not looking for someone to use me for what disgusting, insecure guys use girls for, sex. You even said you would bring me ice cream because I was so upset, and you did, but ice cream can not fix what you did. I trusted in you, even when everyone told me not to. How stupid am I right? I stuck up for you, anytime anyone said anything bad about you, I was the first person to speak up and defend you. I did not believe the stories I heard about you because I wanted to get to know you for myself. That was nice of me wasn't it? I told you I was not the type of person to judge anyone until I got to know them, and you knew I stuck up for you. So a question, why did you let me do that? Why did you let me look like a fool? I will tell you why, you are the type of person that hides all of your emotions, you pretend you live in a world that is all rainbows and butterflies, when in reality your world is crumbling around you. And no, you are not the only one, people feel defeated every day, but it takes a beautiful person with a strong heart to admit that. So there I was, there we were, I gave you my heart, I gave you the chance to change the person everyone was right about, and you failed. One of your close friends told me that he thought you finally fell for a girl, me. He thought that you were going to change, that you were actually going to care about somebody besides yourself. And I thought you were different too, I thought you really cared for me. I remember going home one weekend, to do what I was planning to do, end my relationship. I remember being absolutely heart broken, I did not want to face what I knew I needed to do. You knew I was having a hard time, and you were there for me. The only time you ever talked to me about something serious was when I asked about your ex. You showed me the gift she made you and how she hurt you, she lied to you, and she broke you. Some days, I wonder if she is the reason you are who you are, she should not be, you should grow from the things she did to you. But honestly, who even knows if she did do that to you? All you did was lie, and frankly I never knew what to believe. But I felt sorry for you, and I still do. We were sort of going through the same thing, I feel like that is why we became so close. I did enjoy my time with you, until I realized you were only using me. You used me for everything, my body, my money, my car, and probably other things that I do not know about. I do not know exactly what your intention was, but I know you absolutely sicken me. You still never paid me back for all the food I bought you, and no I never asked for it back because again, I am a bigger person and honestly I just did not want to deal with you or face you anymore. You are the reason I am very cautious about people, now. I was too complicated for you, I was too emotional for you, this is what you told me. I forgot people hide their feelings now and I forgot caring for someone was an awful thing to do. Also, I had to start protecting myself, so I tried to forget about you. So we ended, you never looked me in the eye ever again. You walked away without any hesitation. Until, the day of our Spring Fling, in that moment you changed, again. I know, it is because I looked beautiful right? Or maybe because you thought you could get "lucky" again, well you thought wrong. The whole night you kept smiling at me, saying how great I looked, and I knew I looked amazing, that is what my plan was, I wanted to play my own little game with you, and it worked. You got to admire my beauty and my big heart for the last time. And when I left the party I had hoped you were ashamed of all you had done to me. I still hope you are ashamed to this day. Yes, I will forgive you because I know you are the one with the insecurity and like I said I only feel bad for you. But let me tell you, you hurt me the worst, out of any other relationship I have ever had, you broke me the most. I still wish the best for everyone I meet, including you. And I hope I was the last person you broke, if not, please, stop. No one deserves to feel that worthless and disrespected, I am strong enough to get through it, but others might not be as strong. Hearts are fragile, and you are incapable of protecting them, so do not try to. Thank you for making me a stronger and more insightful person.
An Unforgettable Choice.
In life, we all make choices: some good, some bad, some hard, some easy, and others completely unforgettable. I can tell you that I was never good at making decisions, even the smallest choice led to long nights and uneasy feelings; you know, the kind you get when you start to lose your breath and sweat beads so graciously appear on your forehead. . . yes, that was it. When I was young, I was told "every choice you make is one that makes you" and I could never wrap my head around the depth of that quote, that was until the day one choice had consumed me forever.
My First Love, I Do Not Regret Us.
I think you know who you are, at least you should know who you are, but I know you never had the emotions for me that I had for you, so maybe I am just a distant memory. Where do I begin? The history we share(d) together, excuse me, the 5 years of history we made together was something I will never forget, even though some days life would be easier if I could forget it. Honestly, I wanted to spend my life with you, I would have given anything to spend life with you. In fact, I did everything I could do to make you the happiest person in the world because I was born to love and you know how much love I had for you. I found out that it was not possible to please you, not that you are or were ever a mean person, I know deep inside of you, you feel things and you have a heart. But some people just do not like to show that side of them, and you, I am not sure if you will ever show or tell what you really feel or say what you really think. That makes me sad for you, not being able to express your emotions in the world we live in must be awful, life was made for people to feel things, inside and outside of us. What kind of world would it be if we did not have the capability of feeling? To me, it would be a sad, lonely, unhealthy place. But, back to our story. I met you when I was in 9th grade and you were in 10th grade, crazy right? That we spent basically our whole high school careers together, facing every moment of teenage life together. When I first met you, you were a different person, or maybe I was just too blind to see who you truly were, I am still unsure of that. Again, I am not trying to say you were a bad person or are a bad person, but you were definitely not the person for me. It is just a shame that it took me 5 years to figure that out. You knew who I was inside and out, you knew everything about me, you were my best friend. I believe that is the reason it was always hard for me to let you go, you never judged me for who I was, or what all I have been through, you listened to me, never responded much but I could live with that. I had a best friend sitting in front of me and i mistook that for love, yes I did love you. I still do, and I probably will for the rest of my life. But, the love I have for you is different than it was when I first met you. Life with you was good, fun, happy, until you did not appreciate all the love I had given you. I did not give up on us, you and I both know I am not the type of person to give up on anything. I simply let you go, because I deserved better and you deserved time to think. The hardest thing I ever did in my life was let you go. I will never forget that day and all the pain I felt. I think you know, but you were the first boyfriend I ever broke up with. Clearly, I am not good at hurting people, and I do get attached to people, so usually they get rid of me first. I always wondered why you never got rid of me like everyone else, maybe that is another reason I stayed, even when we did argue or I over thought about something you never actually walked away from me, you may have said you would but you never did. I liked that. Even when things got hard or I got complicated you never actually left me, everyone else would have. I can not lie, I still think about you, I hear that one song, I drive by that one place, I have that one dream with you in it, sometimes you appear and I try to accept it. As I said, I do not regret us, I never will regret us, we will always be in my memory. And sometimes I wonder if you think about us too, I do not know how you could not think about us, 5 years is a dedication that we both somehow got through, together at such a young age. I hope you learned just as much as I did from the relationship we shared together. I know you enough to know that somewhere deep inside you are still hurting and thinking about what we were. Yes, I hope you miss me, I hope your family tells you that you should have tried harder because honestly you should have, I hope you see me in the future with someone that gives and shows me the love that you never could give or show me. And of course, I hope you find your happiness too. I do know that you are a good person, and there may have been things hurting you that maybe you just could not admit them, and that is okay, but I hope you are strong enough to tell someone one day. I hope you are strong enough to love someone the way I loved you, because I promise you it will bring you much happiness. Love is beautiful and I have always tried to help you realize that.
To Cancer: You Are Scary. And Yet, You Have Some Importance. This Is For You Mom.
Dear Cancer, You are everywhere in today's society aren't you? People all over the world are affected by you every moment of every day. You are absolutely terrifying, but you also teach us the importance of life. You decided to impact me and my family in 2006. My mom was 32 years old, too young of an age to be fighting for her life, with two kids who needed her more than anything and a family who would have never healed if you had taken her away. What is even worse is that you affect children, even babies, who have not even begun to live their lives. Innocent, beautiful lives are hurt, destructed, and torn to pieces because of you. But, for my family and I, you only made us grateful for the life we are given. And for me, you opened my eyes that this life could end in the blink of an eye; at any moment. My mom's story is beautiful, special, and rare. She was 32 years old, as I stated, I was 8 years old and my brother was about 12-13 years old. In the beginning, she was sick, with flu-like symptoms, which is why we were not too concerned about taking her to the hospital. Also, this was in January so flu season was at its highest. Then as time progressed, she began to get sicker and sicker, day by day death grew closer. As a young girl, I was unsure of what was happening to my mother, yes I was afraid, concerned, confused, and nervous, but I did not know what could be wrong with her. I only knew that seeing her so ill was painful. She finally went to the doctor, where they found out she had Leukemia. For those of you who do not know, most people diagnosed with Leukemia do not survive. The chance of living is a very small percent. They told her that they needed to start treating her right away, because if she would wait any longer she would die. Actually, they were surprised she had not yet died. When I went to the hospital to find out what was wrong, I remember my father and her both sat me down on the hospital bed, and I, being young, asked if she was pregnant. I remember thinking to myself, vomiting is a sign of pregnancy, so it could be possible. And, God, did I hope that she was, I had hoped that this nightmare would go away as quickly as possible. However, I soon realized that the nightmare was only just beginning. They laughed, and said "no sweetie" or something like that. And proceeded to tell me that my mother had been diagnosed with cancer, specifically a very rare, and bad cancer. "Cancer", I knew was not a good word in itself. My mom looked at me, as tears filled my eyes, and told me that she was going to fight as hard as she could to beat this. Of course, I believed her, she was and is the strongest woman I have ever met. So, that is what she did every day, fought for her life, and most importantly fought so that she would be able to see her children grow. She went through chemotherapy, so she began to lose her hair, everywhere. Honestly, this was hard for me, because I had always known my mother to be beautiful, not that she was not beautiful anymore, but you know what I mean, the illness was taking over. Before she had such long, beautiful, soft hair, a "light up the room" kind of smile, her skin always glowing and tanned, her hands bare, and her eyes gleaming and wide. Now, with cancer, she had no hair, not even eyelashes, her smile, still staying strong, but fearful, her skin a yellow color and cold, her hands showed many greenish blue veins and on the one hand was an IV, and her eyes were dark and focused. I will never forget seeing her for the first time, I felt as if I did not even recognize my own mother. Also, I was not really allowed to be close to her because of my germs, so that made me feel distant, like I was going to make her illness worse. I did not want to be the cause of her death, by giving her my "little kid" germs, so I only hugged her or went near her when she or the doctors told me it was okay to do so. This also hurt my feelings because it was hard to know that her own daughter, me, was not able to comfort her. Like I was some kind of infection. Being older now, I realize it was only to protect her, but my 8 year old self felt left-out and disappointed. Anyway, watching my mother each day made me realize that life is precious. Yes, at 8 years old, I was thinking about how quickly my own life could disappear, and in that moment I felt so much. I told myself I needed to start telling people how much I care about them, and that saying "I love you" is something I needed to start saying more often. Basically, I felt that expressing my emotions and feelings to everyone was something I needed to do, each and every day. So, cancer, you have taught me that I could lose the ones I love without any warning, that I, myself could be gone at any moment. So, why not be who I want to be, say what I feel while I have the chance, tell people how much they mean to me, explore as much as possible, inspire others, make the most out of this life and just be happy. Happy for what I have and who I have in my life. Because life could always be worse, and most of the time someone else out there has it way worse, we just do not all realize that until something as tragic as you comes along. The bad news, at one point the doctors told us my mom only had about a 10-20 percent chance of surviving. The cancer caused other illnesses to come along, like pneumonia and her immune system was not strong enough to fight it. Thankfully she had amazing doctors, a loving family to support her, and God watching over her. We all knew He could either take her to his Kingdom with Him or allow her stay with her children and her family. And today, she is a living miracle, because the good news, my mother beat you, she won the battle. 11, almost 12 years in remission, away from the ugliness that you are. They say 15 years is when you can usually say you are "cured". But, to me, you will always still be there, you are there, hurting someone else and breaking their families. And, yes, I do still worry about my mom every day, and I pray that you do not return. And as always, I live my life to my best ability. Taking one day at a time, and leaving the rest up to God. I believe everything in this world happens for a reason, and I know for a fact that you happened for a reason, too. I have come to realize when we go through hard times, we can either come out to be stronger and better people or let it ruin us completely. Sometimes, I think we all go through tragedy to see how strong we are, and in the end we can either take the positives or negatives from them. I will always take the positives from each negative situation in my life, I promised my 8 year old self that. You helped me grow, learn, and the most significant, experience the worst of life; which honestly turned out to be good. You inspired my mom, helped her grow stronger, and made her more thankful for each day. And you brought my family closer together, which is something we needed at that time. I often wonder what life would have been like if I had lost her. I know I would still be the person I am because I would have trusted in whatever God decided to do. But, I know in my heart that my mom was meant to stay here with me, she was meant to watch me grow into a little miniature version of her. I aspire to be like my mom every day, and when she beat cancer it only made me see what kind of woman she truly is. So strong, so fearless, so inspirational, so powerful, so wise, and so beautiful. A woman that every one should look up to. So here is to you cancer, you took on one incredible woman. And, to you mom, some children are not as lucky as me, and some patients are not as lucky as you. So you and I both know, that there is so much to be thankful for every day.
Divorce and Blended Families: The Good and Bad.
Divorce: a word filled with negativity and brokenness, a wave of destruction that has and continues to complicate a countless number of families. According to the Journal of Marriage & Divorce, “In 2008, it was estimated that 40% of all marriages ended in divorce” (Uphold-Carrier & Utz, 2012). In 2008, the divorce rate was high, but today it is even higher, and it only continues to rise each year. Personally, divorce has been an impact on my own life, ever since I was two years old. Over the years I notice the affects my parents’ divorce has had on me, such as emotional instability, mental health issues, and the fear of failed relationships. Today, these complications are common in a lot of children and young adults in the middle of a separation, especially when exposed to it at a young age. My ultimate claim is a civil relationship between divorced parents should always be formed, so children can experience a happy life. As well as, blended families should work together in a mutual manner, all to achieve a healthy, positive family environment for children.