Archive for the ‘live your life’ Category

cheers to 2012 and another chance to start over.   1 comment

As I begin writing this post I’m reminded of last night, which consisted of a somber version of myself staring at similiar screen shot in an attempt to revert to some blog therapy as a way to break my funk.  Seriously, who has a funk on New Year’s Day?  Okay, so maybe it makes more sense to call it a hangover/funk.  But to be fair, I really can’t blame it as much on the hangover as I’d like.  My emotions were too out of whack to blame it on that, and frankly, I don’t think I drank enough the night before to be that hungover.  Well whatever it was, it was miserable.  Really, really miserable.  So miserable that I decided to spare any potential readers and only open up to a few friends (via email and text) about my rough night.  (Thanks, girls!) 

So unfortunately, last night’s emotional messiness has me feeling off again today.  (Think aftershock.)  But then again, I’m doing my best to fight it off.  After all, it’s a new year!  And I have to agree with Darlene when she said that this is going to be a great year for me.

So since yesterday didn’t start the year off too well, I’m going to give today a go.  So cheers to a new year and a bundle of changes for yours truly.  As always, I have absolutely no idea what to expect this year, but I really hope that I can break out of my funk (depression) as soon as possible and make up for last year.  I’m planning to do a lot of self-reflection this year, beginning tonight- after work & class- in hopes that I can really break away from some of my bad habits.  So cheers!  Let’s get this year started off right!

XOXO
K

just as free…free as we’ll ever be.   Leave a comment

As soon as I felt the sun on my skin and the breeze through my hair, I knew that it was going to be hard to leave this place.  California.  Never in my mind did I think I was going to fall in love with California- let alone fall in love at first sight.  Heck, until this summer I wasn’t sure I’d ever even see California.

Last Friday morning my friend, Jenny, and I fled the craziness that is Chicago for a four-day weekend in sunny California.  After landing and getting our rental car, I found myself taken by the fresh air as we drove to San Francisco with our windows down and sunglasses on.  With the sun shining down on me, I had one of those moments of recognition that there was nowhere else I wanted to be. 

I could call my weekend in Northern California perfect, but instead I’ll reference it as being exactly what I needed.  After a summer of anxiety and a few months of nothing but work-school-sleep-repeat, a weekend of sunshine and freedom was just the ticket.  Add one of my best friends and a countryside of vineyards into the mix, and perfection may actually be the best way to describe it.

It is nearly impossible for me to give justice to the beauty that I experienced during my four days in California.  Between the exquisite landscapes and the relaxing environment, I found peace.  Peace within my surroundings, but most importantly peace within myself.  Sure the wine had something to do with it, as did the companionship with Jenny; however, there was so much more to it that words simply cannot capture.  In essence, I discovered myself.  My true self.  The girl without worries.  The girl who lives fearlessly with no regrets.  The girl who does what she says and says what she means.  The girl who is comfortable being single and doesn’t rely on the affection of a man to complete her.  The girl who believes she is beautiful- inside and out. 

California was truly an awakening experience.  Not only did I uncover things about myself, but I came to recognize how important certain things are to me.  Within ten hours of my arrival back to Chicago, I was forced to adapt to a changing culture and face a somewhat stressful situation.  This last week hasn’t been easy, but fortunately I’ve been able to keep my California sense with me and embrace it all with as much ease as possible.  To be fair, if it wasn’t for my four days in California, I’m not certain that I could have handle such a buzzkill.  But then again, as they say, “Everything happens for a reason.” 

For the first time in a while, I felt free in California.  I felt like nothing mattered expect where I was at the present time.  Sure I knew that things were bound to change when I returned to Chicago, but then again I remained hopeful that my peace of mind would stay intact.  And if not, then at least I had the vivid memories of the sun shining down on me as the wind blew through my hair as I drove through the captivating state of California. 

*The title of this post is lyrics from Free by Zac Brown Band.

you and tequila make me crazy- or at least very honest.   6 comments

I’ve mentioned my “No Tequila Pact” before, sharing that I regularly make my friends’ swear that no shots of tequila will be joining us on our nights out.  (Margaritas are okay.)  Trust me, for everyone’s benefit- especially mine- it better if I stay away from it.  Per usual, that was the plan for last night, but there’s a “but” and a “however” unfortunately.  Oddly enough I kept my No Tequilla Pact for most of the night, including a free shot twenty minutes before I (somehow) ended up splitting a shot with a friend.  (I’m not even going to justify that 1/2 a shot isn’t technically a shot.)

So at first I didn’t hold that tequila responsible for the game of 21 Questions that began almost-immediately following that 1/2 shot of tequila, but thinking about it today, well, I may have to hold the tequila somewhat responsible.  (And perhaps that {free} shot of Jager and two glasses of wine.).  I agreed to it, and maybe even initiated it, so I take full responsibility for my actions.  But out of curiosity, I wonder how different my answers may have been if it wasn’t for the tequila.  Guess we’ll never know…

I’m not going to get too detailed here, or at least that wasn’t the intention of my post.  However, I feel it’s necessary to explain that this game of 21 Questions was played with the best friend (guy) of someone who I’m going to start referring to as “The Good Guy”.  Note: “The Good Guy” has been mentioned on here plenty times before, never by name and mostly written about inadvertently, as he’s been someone I’ve had my mind on and find impossible not to be interested in. Trust me on this.  And yes, we hooked up once last winter.  Anyways, somehow I found myself enjoying the company (completely platonically) of his best friend, who through our game I learned had no idea of any past rendezvous until the question was asked and my very honest answers started spilling out somewhere around Question 9 or 10:

Best Friend: Who at this table would you hook up with? 

Me: (Smiled, and playfully avoided answering.)

Best Friend: (Figuring something was up.) Have you hooked up with someone at this table? 

Me: (More unconstrained smiles.) Yes.

Best Friend: Who?

Me: (Being too honest, damn tequilla.) “The Good Guy.” 

To continue with the honesty, I’ll admit that things are a bit blurry from there on out.  Best Friend seemed surprised, but happily so.  Phrases like “at your wedding standing next to him as his best man” and “You said you’ve been in love 1.5 times, does that include someone at this table?” led to a lot of interesting diagloue- including me admitting (under the influence of tequila) that “He is someone who I could fall in love with.”

So yeah, in short that was where the night with tequila took me.  While I semi-pleaded with Best Friend not to say anything, I’m not sure if I really care.  It’s just one of those situations where it really is out of your hands- for now at least.  Best Friend has the information- if he remembers it, after all he had that shot of tequila too- and it’s strictly his choice as to what he wants to do with it.  In a way he is controlling a part of my life.

To tell you the truth, a chance with “The Good Guy” is worth the vulnerability and uncertainty that I feel right now.  Some of my best friends know something of how I’ve felt about him since he came into my life a few months back.  But then again, I don’t know if I’ve fully been able to understand my feelings for him.  In an odd way, I’ve been able to keep it somewhat-cool with him, which really has me questioning the role he could potentially play in my life and my heart.  The honest truth is I don’t know what’s next with “The Good Guy”.  As crazy as it sounds, I really don’t have any expectations right now.  Since learning how truly amazing he is I’ve said, “I could be a very lucky girl to call him mine”  As I said to Best Friend before watching him walk away with “The Good Guy” into the Chicago night skyline, “He’s amazing and even though we, girls, tend to go for the bad boys, I know he is too good not to like.”

Ladies, trust me when I tell you that he is proof that good guys are still out there.

*This post was partly inspired by the song, You and Tequila by Kenny Chesney.

goodbye, twenty-seven: it’s been quite a lessons learned-kinda year.   3 comments

No one wants to spend their birthday at work and in a classroom, but this full-time employee and full-time graduate student didn’t have a choice.  Memories of my 28th birthday will have to be just that, as well as the abundance of love that I got from friends, co-workers, and family members today.  (Thank you all so much!)  It’s fine.  I’m not one for celebrating birthdays anyways, nor do I really like attention drawn to me.  Quite frankly, the best way for me to celebrate my 28th birthday is to reflect on the many lessons I’ve learned this past year.

Twenty-Seven Lessons Learned as a Twenty-Seven Year-Old

1. Never underestimate the therapeutic powers of a long walk.  One of the best decisions I’ve made since moving to Chicago is not buying a car.  Besides numerous trains and buses, I’ve relied on my walking shoes to get me around.  Whether it’s my walk home after volunteering, babysitting, or a night out on the town, the cool night air really helped me gather my thoughts these last few months.

2. There are people out there who recognize your potential.  I’ll never forget reading an email from my friend, Linda, while at my parents’ house this past July.  Her kind words hit me hard because 1) I didn’t expect them and 2) I didn’t know she saw me that way.  “Don’t worry, Kristen.  We know good people when we see them.”  So many people have said such sweet things to me this past year, making me realize that good deeds and an altruistic heart aren’t taken for granted.

3. It’s never too late to go back to school and/or pursue your passion.  Grad school was never in my plans, and honestly it never crossed my mind during undergrad.  But life is unpredictable.  Becoming a Child Life Specialist became my goal and if that meant going back to school then so be it.  So here I am, spending the last days of being 27 as a grad student. 

4.Your parents really do want the best for you- even if they have a hard time showing it.  My mom claimed she was playing devil’s advocate to make me think about my decision to enroll in grad school and accrue more debt.  Sometimes I went days without talking to them because I hated knowing that I didn’t have their support.  But now I know, that I had it all along. 

5. Babies and toddlers are always an instant happy pill.  Between volunteering and spending time Max, and sometimes Keira too, my worries always seem to go away as soon as I’m around kids.  And not only that, I feel happy.  Perfectly content.  Like there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. 

6. Sometimes you just need to let yourself cry it out.  Plain and simple, this year I’ve realized that sometimes you just need a good cry to get you back on track.  There’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Sometimes you just need to cry. 

7. There’s nothing wrong with saying “No”.  What can I say, I’m one of those people who carries a lot on her plate.  I like to keep myself busy and help as many people as I can.  On top of it, I’m lucky to have very good friends that I like to be there for.  But this year, under the coaching of many friends and family members, I’ve learned that I can’t always do everything and be everywhere.  Sometimes I just have to tell myself “No”.

8. Every girl needs a best guy friend- or two, or maybe three…  I’ve always been a girl who has guy friends.  In fact during my teenage years, most people told me that I needed to make some girl friends since all I seemed to do was run away with boys.  (It isn’t as scandalous as it sounds.)  Nowadays, I run with mostly girls around the streets of Chicago.  Though I consider myself lucky to have my guys a mere phone call away.  While girl friends are wonderful, sometimes it helps to have a guy’s laid back, go-with-the-flow perspective.

9. Come up with a fake bar name.  Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.  This is definitely one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned.  I’m sure Lana, Addie, Jordan, and Mitchell, DTF agree.  Not only does it protect you from creepers and potential stalkers, but it can also prove to be a lot of fun.  XOXO Kendall

10. No matter how much the truth may hurt, closure is the best medicine.  This year, after 7 long years of  self-inflicted suffering, I let him go.  I got the closure I needed to move on, once and for all.  It may have hurt to learn what I needed to know, but in the end it was all worth it.  Moving on was worth it.

11. A little country music and a cute pair of boots will always make you feel better.  Whether singing around to Taylor Swift’s catchy lyrics or soothing my heart with Lady Antebellum, country music has a special place in my heart.  Paired with a flannel short, cut-off shorts, and some faux-cowboy boots and there’s no reason not to have a smile on your face.  Whether at Houndstooth for country night with friends or taking in one of the hottest summer tours, I’ve commonly use country music to ease the funk that hit me these last few months. 

12. You are never too old for day-drinking or a good old-fashioned bar shuffle.  Let’s just say that I’ve enjoyed some amazing days/nights out with friends these last few months and caused my share of trouble while making the rounds in Chicago.  If I can provide one piece of advice based on my own experience, never turn down a bar shuffle for charity- especially if it involves a mustache.

13. Always let your friends be there for you. True friends will never judge you no matter what situation you find yourself in.  This is a lesson that I keep learning, but one that was especially apparent these last few weeks.  To cut to the chase, I lost my trust in people back during my teenage years and never fully got it back.  But this past year, with the support and encouragement of many fantastic friends, I’ve learned to trust again.  I’ve learned that it’s important to let your friends be there for you, especially in cases where you think you’re better off alone.  The truth is, if you have wonderful friends then you’re a fool if you don’t let them in. 

14. Confidence is indeed the best accessory a girl can own.  I could tell a story or two.  Okay I may be able to tell four stories, actually five or six about my confident escapades this past year.  Yes, they all take place at bars- in both Columbus and Chicago.  But the stories don’t matter too much, it’s the message that proves to be the important factor here.  On each of the nights, between the shots and adventures, I mustered up enough confidence within myself to appeal to someone of the opposite gender.  While four of those six scenarios resulted in a kiss, the confidence that I exhibited is what I remember the most.  Well, it’s at least a tie in some of those situation.  PS.  Confidence always works well outside the bar scene too.  

15. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.  I swear I didn’t mean to put this next lesson after the last, but because I did I won’t indulge you in any story telling.  Instead all I’ll say is that I took a few chances this past year and made the first move.  Gosh, I even pulled out a few (ridiculously direct) lines in doing so.  My point is that there is nothing wrong with making the first move and in fact, it may be the only chance you have since guys don’t seem to be doing it too often these days. 

16. Some Facebook stalking is okay.  It just is, and if it isn’t then I guess we’re all guilty of a felony.  After all, if you meet a cute guy at a cupcake shop, you’ve got to see if he’s on Facebook.  Right, Jenny?  And come on, how many of us have to do some stalking on that guy we ‘accidentally’ made out with at the bar?  Admit it, we’ve all been there.

17. Be guarded, but not too guarded.  Okay, I have issues.  I’ve said that from the beginning and all along it’s been one of my motives for creating my “free therapy” blog.  Now blame it on my lack-of -trust issues or my last-relationship-was-a-friends-with-benefits-‘situation’ issue, but whatever the case may be I am guilty of being very guarded with my heart.  However, this year I’ve learned that being too guarded has you running the chance of missing out on an opportunity worth taking. 

18. Whatever is holding you back, let it go.  Two of my friends said this to me this past week and it really hit me deep.  Foolish me thought I’d be letting things go for a while now, but I trust that they can see that someone is still holding me back.  I’ve shed a lot of baggage this year and taken some risks in an effort to live fearlessly, but I guess there’s more to do.  I guess this is one lesson that will definitely be carried into my 28th year.

19. Be a mentor for those younger than you.  Life is tough and they could use someone to look up to.  And on that note, let your older peers serve as a mentor to you.  After graduating high school, my cousin, Becca, and her friend, Kenna, flew to Chicago (from Atlanta) for a weekend full of excursions.  While I’ve always recognized that importance of looking after those younger than me- especially girls- I’ll admit that my weekend with Becca and Kenna definitely opened my eyes to its importance.  Unfortunately I didn’t have an older sister nor an older female role model to guide me through those dreadful teenage years.  Because of that absence in my life, I know how beneficial one is.  So if I can play that role in at least one younger girl’s life, then I’ve fulfilled a responsibility that is special to me.

20. Do something that scares you.  So this may sound really strange to some, but I’ve always been scared to go to the movies by myself.  For years I’ve tried pumping myself up to just go and get it over with.  FINALLY, earlier this year, I took myself to the movies.  Me, myself, and I- as well as approximately two dozen other singles- took in the 11 am Saturday morning showing of Blue Valentine.  I swear I left that theater feeling like I could do anything.  (Silly, huh?)  Since then I’ve seen another movie by myself (One Day) and I promise there will be others to follow. 

21. Be patient.  Good things really are worth the wait.  This is one of those lessons that I’m still working on applying.  Patience is certainly not my forte.  Both of my parents will tell you that.  My patience has been tested A LOT this year and while it’s never easy, I do agree that certain things are worth the wait. 

22. Always be as honest as you possibly can- especially with those closest to you.  I’m a horrible liar… and that’s why I don’t lie.  A few weeks ago I kinda-sorta lied to one of my best friends because I was afraid of losing her friendship over a situation I found myself in.  Not telling her killed me and therefore I ended up telling her the truth.  Because she’s fantastic, she accepted what I saw as a flaw- to put it gently.  And more so, she made me realize how beautiful of a person and friend she really is by making me understand that I can tell her anything.  Moral of the story: If you think you have to lie to your best friends about “it” then the situation/circumstance probably isn’t the right one for you.

23. Being single is not a bad thing.  My friend,  Michelle, has really opened my eyes this year and brought some clarity into my always-thinking mind.  Our talks together sometimes revolve around the theme, ‘Enjoy the Now and Don’t Worry About What You Don’t Have’.  As a mother and a wife to two very handsome boys, she appears to have everything a girl could want.  She knows she’s lucky but she doesn’t take anything for granted.  Instead she tells us that we’ll have it too, but enjoy the freedom life has bestowed on you.  Enjoy knowing that you’ll find it once day. Isn’t that enough to keep one taking chances and exploring all that life has to offer? 

24. Believe you are beautiful.  I had to include this on here even though I’m hesitant to address it.  The truth is, I know this is a very important lesson; however, it’s still one that I haven’t been able to master.  Being a girl isn’t easy.  Trust me, I’ve been trying to tackle it for the last 28 years.  I’ve made progress, but this is definitely a lifelong journey of mine.   

25. It’s okay not to always be okay.  I’ve learned a lot of lessons this year, but this may very well be the one that I (need to) value the most.  For someone who unconsciously overlooks her own needs, I’ve run myself down for years.  But this year under the coaching of several friends and a family members, I’ve gotten better at taking care of me.  There have been days when I cancelled plans- which I hate doing- because I either needed a time-out for some ‘me’ time.  All in all, this is a lesson I wish I learned years ago, but later is better than never. 

26. There are good guys out there.  I met one in September, and then another in November.  Then there was one really good one in February, and I like to think I met one again in August.  Anyways, my point is that there are good guys out there.  There really are.  A lot of my friends are either dating, engaged or married to some of them, and I, myself, am friends with them or others.  So don’t lose hope that they all disappeared down some black hole.  There are some good guys out there.  Just don’t give up.

27. Trust yourself.  Dina said this to me in an email once and I’ve thought of this line every day since.  “Trust yourself.”  So simple, yet so important.  For a long time I relied on others’ input to help me make decisions.  But this past year, I learned that the only opinion that matters is my own.  I was the one who had to decide to attend grad school.  I was the one who had to turn down my family vacation because it was too much with school and work.  And I am the only one who can decide who I like and want to take a chance on.  All of the decisions I make, for my own mere benefit, are made because they’re best for me.  Whether it’s following my heart or trusting my gut instinct, I have the responsibility to do things for myself.

It’s been quite a year for me and these 27 lessons are just a portion of what I’ve learned and experienced as a 27-year old.  It’s been a crazy/beautiful year for me and I fully embrace every opportunity I’ve been granted.  I’m extremely thankful for the people who have helped me learn, grow, and live up this past year.  Without them, I wouldn’t know half of the things I know now.  So a special thank you to all of you.

XOXO

K

two single ladies, two bottles of wine, one rooftop, and a whole lot to talk about.   4 comments

Last night my friend, Sadie, and I toasted our glasses of wine to some good quality girl time on a rooftop overlooking downtown Chicago.  Two single twentysomethings deciding to escape the stresses of everyday life thru wine & friend therapy.  With a cool breeze, sporadic raindrops, and the always enjoyable Chicago skyline, Sadie and I found ourselves in an easy-flowing conversation.

And what do two single girls on a rooftop talk about?  Well, you know, the usual- politics, religion, novels, and babies.  Or not.  We talked about boys and the role they play in our lives.

Seriously, if there were no such thing as boys, then what would girls talk about?  We talk about how we love them; how we hate them; how we love to hate them; and how we hate to love them.  Honestly, every conversation somehow ends up including something about boys.  (And that’s why there’s wine.)

Now don’t go rolling your eyes under the assumption that two girls sat on that rooftop engaged in boy bashing because there was no such thing.  But we did find ourselves talking about boys and the role they play(ed) in our lives.

Doesn’t that make you wish you were a fly on the rooftop?  If it makes you feel any better I’ll assure you that no secrets were shared nor did we air too much dirty laundry.  The fact of the matter is that we are two single ladies with a lot to offer but yet we find ourselves single…and a bit frustrated after years (and years) of frustration and disappointment.  However, as I implied before, we were not two cynics on that rooftops.  Rather we were two girls trying to make sense of the World of Boys and our role in it.  Or their role in our world.

Somewhere between the our first and second glasses of wine together (fourth or fifth overall during the evening), Sadie declared, “I’m trying to play it so cool (with him).”  I smiled acknowledging my understanding yet held back screaming, “I know! Me too!” despite feeling completely in sync with Sadie’s situation and her respective feelings.  Relief settled into my weary body and made me feel more comfortable with what I’ve been experiencing.  (Note: One of the reasons for my summer funk.)

Upon arriving back at home- in the middle of a thunderstorm- I noticed a text from Sadie.  She apologized for talking too much and not letting me get more than two words in.  (Which isn’t entirely true.)  She assured me that the next time we hang out with a bottle(s) of wine on her rooftop (or wherever)- and there will definitely be a next time- that she will give me ample time to talk about my ‘bo’.  (Can I say that I have a ‘bo’ to talk about?)  At any rate, I stressed to her that the night was perfect especially because I didn’t have to talk about my situation and my feelings.  Instead, I found myself at ease with Sadie’s saga and felt like, Okay, so it’s not just me.  I’m not the only one going through these emotions. 

That’s the beauty of life. Your girlfriends constantly serve as reminders that you’re never alone.  They give you the courage to be yourself and the strength to overcome any obstacle through in your course.  They challenge you to continue exploring your feelings and strive above any doubts that may hinder you from being anything but the extraordinary girl they love and adore.

Sometimes all you really need is a girlfriend or two (or more) and a bottle of wine- or two…or more.

 

This post is dedicated to all of the lovely ladies in my life who have stood by my side and allowed me to journey closer into becoming exactly who I’ve always dreamed of being.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  XOXO

 

live life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph.   1 comment

Ralph Waldo Emerson once told me, “We are always getting ready to live but never living.”  And D.H. Lawrence followed by whispering in my ear, “The living moment is everything.”  But despite agreeing with these great words of wisdom, I still find myself failing to follow their sage advice.  To be fair, I haven’t been following anyone’s advice much these days- not even my own.

“Life life in such a way that if a photograph were taken at random, it would be a cool photograph.”  I love this line so much and see such truth and inspiration in it.  But that being said, I must be honest and admit that I’ve been slacking on my living these days too.  Okay, maybe that’s only partly true.  While half of the photos would reveal my shenanigans & adventures with friends, the other stack would show me staring off into the distance in thought or napping in the sunshine on my rooftop deck.

If you must know, I’m finding myself in an unwarranted summertime funk.  Instead of living in ‘The Now’, memories of the past and daydreams of future anticipations are consuming my mind and lack of action these days.  Again, that’s not entirely true but enough to make me want to do something to change it.  I need to make a change.  (And I definitely need to start working out again.)

While I’ve been known to be someone who tends to hold onto the past, these days I’m more focused on the future.  However, after running into my best friend from elementary school unexpectedly a few weekends ago, I think my mind’s been skipping down memory a bit.  Lately I’ve been reflecting more on how I’ve gotten to where I am and how it’s leading me towards where I’m going. 

For those of you who I may not know, a few things have happened to me over the course of the past couple of months.  Most importantly, I decided to follow my passion and career aspirations and enroll in a graduate program here in Chicago.  In addition, I chose to continue working my full-time job as well.  So yeah, with my first day of class on August 29th I am anxiously awaiting- somewhat nervously- to see how I’m going to make this all work.  I think ‘balance’ is the word I’m looking to use here, although the term ‘trying not to stress too much’ seems more suitable.  I just cannot help from wishing that it would start already so I could stop wondering how it’s gonna be.

And I guess it’s fitting to add that my typically lacking love life is absent this summer as well.  Unfortunately there are no scandalous photos of yours truly floating around the Chicago tabloids.  Sure I had a good run going  for a while, but most recently it’s been lackluster.  Although an epiphany yesterday has made me question whether or not that’s really true.  While that tidbit of information remains confidential, let’s just say it is another reason why I’m longing for what could be.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “Never leave that til tomorrow which can be done today.”  I just hope that I can finally take this advice and turn my summer around.

Song of the Moment: How to Love covered by Megan Nicole

you have to find balance between being in the moment and getting to where you want to be. you’ve got to appreciate where you are when you’re there.   Leave a comment

I think there are lessons I’ve come to learn in retrospect, like not taking for granted the really small shows, which weren’t even my shows—just my turn to sing karaoke. Now I’m looking into a big crowd of people and I’m able to appreciate [those times] so much. You have to find balance between being in the moment and getting to where you want to be. You’ve got to appreciate where you are when you’re there.

(Taylor Swift)