Friday, December 5, 2014


In a season we dedicate to being thankful/grateful, I find that around this time of year is when we are the most hypocritical. There's always that "I am thankful" post on Thanksgiving through various forms of social media, pictures of friends and family, descriptions of everything someone has done that you are thankful for. I am in no way against these posts, by all means tell that person or those people that you appreciate them but why wait until Thanksgiving to say it? Why not express that every day? Even just once in a while for no particular reason, I feel like that is a more true representative of the gratitude you hold for someone or something. Lately, I've found myself increasingly grateful for certain aspects of my life yet decreasingly grateful for others. For example, I went home for the first time in three months over Thanksgiving and was so happy to have finally been with my family and high school friends again, ecstatic to finally run through a neighborhood without having to look over my shoulder, and relieved to again be in the high school that was once my second home. But by the second day I realized how much I truly missed every back here in college, my floor mates, my friends, my second family- I realized then how much I had taken them for granted. Its times like these that you learn the most, its those realizations that you could do better, appreciate people more, and really be grateful for the opportunities you are given. I've been given more opportunities than I can count here in Springfield one of them being an athlete on the Track and Field team here. This is one of my many examples of self hypocrisy- track is my passion, I love it more than anything no matter how much I struggle to be successful in it, no matter how awkward I appear when I do it, I have more passion for track than I have anything in my life so far. I have been given the opportunity to compete this weekend after training the hardest I ever have in my life, but today and yesterday I found myself complaining about track. Voicing some of my frustrations was justified however one of my frustrations was that I am only definitely competing in long jump, maybe hurdles...who really knows? My first thought was "I have been running twice a day and working my butt off why would you put me in one of the events I basically suck at? And why weren't my Coaches giving me criticisms while I was jumping yesterday? Do they care? Do they even know how much I put into this?" I was looking at it the wrong way and I was being selfish and here's why: I never once considered that they may see potential in me for more than I see potential in myself. While I am here believing the only thing I could possibly excel in is running, they see something in me that could eventually be good at other events like long jump. They probably want to see me jump to see how I perform in a competition environment, to see how I can improve and be successful. Secondly, there are more people than just me on the team, while its frustrating that I'm not always getting the criticisms I want and need in practice, I have to remind myself that they are doing the best they can with 40 girls and that honestly, there are bigger priorities than the freshman who can't jump. And lastly, there are people who are not given the opportunity to compete in anything whether they are physically incapable or do not have the resources, I should really just be glad I am even here and able. So basically I have told you all this and at this point you're probably wondering why I bored you with that long and whiney story- its because I learned. I learned from being ungrateful and used it to see things differently.
So if you're a hypocrite like me don't be afraid to admit it and learn from it! It's such a habit to hyper focus on certain aspects of our lives but it's so important to step back every once in a while and really look at this big picture- the whole situation. We all slip, and we can all learn something from it. Use this season as an opportunity to truly show your gratitude because through all the frustrations of daily life, we all need it.
Have a wonderful day, month, week, season, year, life....everything! And remember- you have more potential than you could even imagine, so share it with everyone you can, start that chain reaction of greatness!
~A Duck Inspired

Thursday, November 20, 2014


So often we trust so easily or not easily enough, but in such a wonderful and miserable world- how do we truly know who to trust? Usually, we trust someone until they prove us that we should never have trusted them in the first place and when this happens one too many times-we stop trusting all together. Does it ever have to get to this point? If we all just knew who to trust always then we would never have this problem right? If everyone was completely transparent in their motives and purpose, emotions and feelings, then we would know exactly who to trust right (and there would be absolutely no mystery...boring...)? But maybe its not so simple, some people do present themselves as transparent, they are clear in their actions, concise with their words but in the end- we are human. We are dynamic we experience things in life that change our outlook, our motives, our thoughts- just because we are transparent does not take our right to change our minds. It is bound to happen, we are bound to change our views or thoughts and suddenly that person you once trusted, has changed. Do you still trust them? By trusting them still you risk getting hurt but it goes the same for when you stop trusting someone- you hurt more than just yourself.
Over my life I have trusted and been let down, I have trusted and been supported, and have been trusted and lost it. Being let down is never pleasant, whether you expect it or not- it stings. Learn from every experience but especially these because times when you're most emotional often reveal the most valuable lessons, lessons that you will remember (hopefully). Personally, I have "learned" from these lessons, yet continue to trust untrustworthy people... getting hurt sucks honestly but I wouldn't trade it for the world because, personally, I rather be open to all and get hurt every time than be closed to all and never get close to anyone. When trust works out it is one of the most comforting feelings this world can offer. There is almost nothing better than being supported and loved unconditionally by those around you, and this is exactly what trust entails. When you lose someone's trust, however, it is probably one of the worst feelings in life. The person who once trusted you, no longer feel protected by you, they don't feel loved by you, and they certainly don't feel your support. Everyone makes mistakes and there are several situations that could lead to this but it is important to put in the effort needed to gain this trust back gradually but ONLY if you are willing to continue to put in the effort. If you are not committed, there is no point in breaking someone's heart a second time. "Trust is earned, not given" and it certainly takes a while to gain back after it is lost, so be patient and be understanding.
Trust is risky, trust is terrifying, and trust is complicated. But trust is also so simple and clear. Love unconditionally and you will gain trust, you will likely get hurt more than once in your life- learn from it. Be patient, be kind, and be understanding. Trust in trust and you will be gratified.
~A Duck Inspired

Monday, November 10, 2014


**various forms of the word "communication" are used over 21 times in this entry... I apologize in advance, it wasn't easily avoided...but my hope is this: if I repeat communication that many times, people will actually start utilizing it...(its worth a shot)***

"Communication is key" one of many pieces of life advice I will always remember from my track Coach, a saying that should apply in everyones' life. In a world where communication is now so complicated, people forget how simple it is. Communication can be anything from being clear on where you walk on the sidewalk when you pass people (you know those awk dances you have with strangers when you don't know where each other is walking?), those awk dances can be avoided by being clear. Communication can be visual, body language is everything- its when our body language doesn't match our words that we have issues. Clear and concise- they're the two most important elements of communication.
Any type of relationship: a friendship, a familial relationship, a romantic relationship, business, academic, etc. will deteriorate the second communication within that relationship stops. In a world full of such technology that "aids" our communication with forms of messaging such as texting and social media such as twitter and facebook etc. it seems that we have forgotten how to interact as human beings. So do these ways of communication really help us communicate? Or are they simply leading to a movement of miscommunication? Am I a hypocrite? Yes. (I told you that from the beginning). I have a twitter, instagram, facebook, and look! A blog...Hi. However, one thing I always make sure of in my daily life, is to improve upon and practice effective communication. While we have so many forms of electronic communication, there is no reason why we can't see each other face to face and have a wonderful conversation... that's my favorite part about having relationships and interactions with other people! Is it truly an interaction if you are hidden behind a screen? Is that the difference between interaction and communication? Or can we simply just not have quality interactions without effective communication? Personally, communication is something I stress in my relationships with people now so often because I have made so many mistakes with miscommunication before. Conflict can often be prevented with a simple conversation, an update of "where you're at", a discussion of issues, a debate- all forms of communication that help others better understand each other. Take that step. Tell someone you care about them, or if something is bothering you. If you don't understand something-ask. Don't let others tell you how you how a person feels without actually speaking to them- this is where assumptions are made, feelings are hurt, and relationships are broken. A friendship that could have easily been saved with a singular conversation.

Another point that leads into one of my biggest pet peeves is that: it takes more than one person to communicate in a relationship of any kind. If you are unwilling to communicate with me, I will try to fix it. Its when I cant fix it that I become frustrated. I will put everything into a relationship, friendship you name it, and I often don't expect much out of it. All I expect out of a relationship in my life is: respect and communication. If you do not put in an effort to maintain communication or interaction it is a major sign of disrespect. This goes for all the types of relationships listed above! For example, if a friend is upset at you for something they heard from someone else but is unwilling to confront you about it, they show that they are also unwilling to communicate-this is bad. If you try to salvage this and they are still unwilling to speak to you this is the point where the relationship is nearly destroyed. Don't get to this point. Just communicate. Have that awkward conversation, risk that argument-but don't risk your friendship by the fear or inability to express your emotions and thoughts towards that person. You are human, you will make mistakes, say things you may regret but don't fear it. Your effort to communicate will overpower the inconveniences of being human so get our there and don't just talk to people- talk with people.
~A Duck Inspired

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My "learned" list

Things I've learned since being at college:
Emotional investment is dangerous, be prepared for magic and misery (that's only sometimes worth it) , but don't take this as an excuse not to get close to people and make friends because your friends are the ones who will be happy when you are and pick up the pieces when you are not, and trust me- you will meet some wonderful people. 
Find a place where you can be alone and away from everything (and still be safe of course) because there are times when you are going to be stressed, frustrated, hurt, etc. and you don't want to be around others 
Love thy roommate, you live with them-communicate and function like adults because you won't survive otherwise...(if you can be friends with them it's a total plus ! I'm lucky to have mine!) Also, find a friend that will let you sleep on your floor in case you ever have that time that you can't get along or they want the room to theirselves etc. roommates respect the backup plan. 
Try new things but don't lose sight of who you are, college is exciting and new and there are so many things to try and experience but be smart about it. Don't try to be someone you are not for someone else, and don't make decisions that are going to put you in risky situations (though you make think it fun at the time I can tell you stories of people who will regret it for the rest of their lives) 
Have fun, I know I said don't make stupid decisions above but you can still live it up in moderation, just don't be an idiot, college is amazing and you have a lot of independence-utilize it but don't abuse it 
Know how to do your own laundry, if you know how to do your own laundry 1) you won't smell and 2) other people will pay you to do theirs ... Do you want to pay or be paid? 
Stay in touch with family and friends back home, they love you and miss you and there comes points when you think you function completely on your own but fun fact: you can't. Everyone needs love and family always comes first-don't make the mistake of forgetting them just because you don't live with them. They'll get you through anything. 
Don't forget the little things, and by that I mean do not forget dish soap, nail clippers, and your fork. Seriously. They're important. 
Sharing is caring, sharing your problems with certain friends when you can't deal on your own is important because there are going to be times that you just wanna curl up and forget everyone and everything but usually that's the worst thing for you. When you isolate yourself you think too much and that's when you make yourself even more upset ( at least that's what happens to me). Sometimes time alone to sort yourself is good, but know when it's counter productive . 

This post probably sounded super cheesy and cliche but it's true I promise! Especially to my people back home and anyone else reading this precollege, or even just starting out -just take it into consideration. I don't expect you to live by what I say, that would be silly, you need to experience things yourself! Just be smart about t and never ever forget that you're loved.
~A Duck Inspired 

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Everything happens for a reason"

Everything happens for a reason: a phrase used to console, to explain, to decipher the truly unexplainable. When you say it, when you hear it in any of these situations do you truly believe it? Often when we console someone we are doing everything in our power to help them “feel better” yet we are not helping them to see, to accept the value in what has happened to them. In saying “everything happens for a reason” in one of these situations we are not truly helping them to see the value but rather assuring them that there is value- is this enough? When someone says this to me in the heat of the moment, when they find me hurting, or questioning something in my life, I become somewhat angry. It is almost ridiculous that I would become so aggravated at a phrase I live by day by day yet it brings me to a point in realizing that there is a time and place for everything. Everything that happens in your life, in others’ lives, and the words that are exchanged are all a complicated system, perfectly balanced and so easily upset. Nothing is a coincidence, there is never an action that is out of place, a word that should not have been said because they all build our lives, teach us, break us, create strength- they make us who we are. In the heat of the moment you may question everything you’ve ever done, every word you’ve said, thought you’ve had- searching for any reason that this “thing” whatever it may be, happened to you. You will not find an answer. If you try to reason at your most unreasonable time, when you are emotional, then you will get no where. You will continue to think that you’ve done something wrong, or that you deserved whatever may have happened, or that life hates you- the list goes on. But if you step back from the issue, this is when you see, believe, understand that everything happens for a reason. Even at this time you may not see a specific, distinct answer, but knowing is often enough. I was taught again today that certain things take time, for example, you cannot begin a new faith one day and immediately understand everything there is to know about it the next, you cannot expect to feel truly connected until you nurture the relationship-nurturing take time. In situations like these and many others, you look back on the rough, confusing, frustrating times you’ve had and realize that it is because of them that you are where you stand today. So in a time of stress, which I know a lot of people are experiencing at this point with work, school, holidays, families, friends, relationships, and anything else life has to throw at you- just remember to step back. It's not important necessarily to know why something is happening but rather to know that it is happening for a reason. Make your less than favorable situation into one that makes you into a person you are proud of, use it to teach, use it to aid others when they don’t understand. You have a lot of power in misfortune, it's how you use it that makes a world of difference.

~A Duck Inspired

Sunday, November 2, 2014


*Brace yourself for a post of nearly all questions that I could not answer myself*

I'm looking in the mirror: I see someone so familiar yet so foreign at the same time. I do not know everything about myself yet I am expected to know myself better than anyone else on this Earth. Why? When so many people know me and see me everyday why am I the sole person who should know me best? Is it because I live with myself everyday, have known me since I was born? My roommate wakes up in the same room as me everyday, she knows my habits, my actions, reactions, emotions. My family has lived with me my entire life, they know almost everything there is to know about me. The simple difference between the people I live with, the people around me, and myself is that I only have access to my thoughts unless I project them. But these thoughts don't necessarily mean I know myself better- they may just complicate things. My emotions internally may effect my actions externally. Those around me will often know what I would do in any given situation before I finish going through all the possible outcomes in my head. Does this mean they know me better than I know myself? Or does it simply mean that their perception and knowledge of me is different than that of myself? I often ask myself if people see what I see when I look in the mirror, do I look different, am I a "better" person? Everyone has had life experiences, personal thoughts, situations that form their view of themselves. There have been several instances in which people have said things to me that I have not believed, praises, criticisms, there have even been instances in which people have claimed to not know me at all- people who have been a huge part of my life. These words and thoughts are fueled by emotions, emotions formed by my interactions with them and with others around them, they know only my actions and words but not my true thoughts. For me, I often do not speak falsities, I project what I believe to be the truth but this is not true of all- how can we believe the words of others if we do not know their thoughts? Is this the foundation of trust?  How do we know ourselves so well if it is impossible to control the subliminal portion of our minds?
Perception is complicated, varied, and biased yet it forms a foundation for nearly all of our thoughts and actions in life.
Just once I wish I could see myself through the eyes of a stranger, through the eyes of one who loves me, and through eyes of one who hates me. Would each be different? Would any match with how I see myself?
I guess I'll never quite know, but a part of me questions how much it really matters...
~A Duck Inspired

Sunday, October 26, 2014

First Steps

Taking our first steps: a milestone recorded within every family, numerous recordings, teetering steps, gasps of sheer pleasure- your first sign of independence. Upon birth we are all different but looked upon in the same way- babies, distinguished only by weight, height, and race. The only proof of individuality being our hand/foot prints, and a name that at least one other individual in the world is bound to have.
As we continue through life we develop our identities, personalities, beliefs, values- we become true individuals. It is the time of discovery, mistakes, and growth- its excitement, defeat, and accomplishment. So often we know so little about those around us, in a world bustling with opportunity and life we forget to take the opportunity to be a part of others' lives, and let others become a part of our lives.
So here is my way of showing you who I am, what I believe, and where I stand- my attempt to let you into my life in the hopes that I may become a part of yours.
I am called Katarina, Kat, Kit-Kat, KatBat, and duck- but I am known by few. I see myself as average as anyone else, but wish to see how others perceive me. I take pride in my "duck-running" , a leg-flailing, ankle turning dance that I have known my entire life. It has induced many falls, criticisms, and laughter but with it has come strength, confidence, and identity. I am a daughter with no true siblings, yet I am a sister to teams of over sixty-five girls of which I've left behind and to friends who have been nothing but family to me. I believe in not only unconditional love but, more importantly, unconditional friendship. I am the biggest hypocrite you will ever encounter: willing to help most everyone, while refusing to accept help myself; advocating learning from mistakes, while hating myself for my own; build confidence and empowerment in others, yet am my own worst enemy.
I am an average person hoping to convince others that they are more than that. I am an individual with a desire to create unity. I am a Duck Inspired.