My name is Katie and I’m a lady from the land of sunshine!
Like most people in their mid-twenties I had to learn some difficult lessons recently. I had to learn the hard lesson that if you live by someone else’s idea of what YOUR life should be, you’ll never live your own life and you’ll never be happy. Perhaps like many, I come from a very high pressure family, where if you don’t have that degree, or this life plan or accomplished this or that, in their eyes you won’t amount to anything. So the past year of 2017 was a tough one, I thought I was pursuing what was my own ambition and dream in becoming a naval aviator. It took until I almost signed away 10+ years of my life to realize it wasn’t my dream and I almost threw away 20 years of my passion. Which is music! I’ve been playing piano for nearly 20 years and guitar for just over 12. Those are my main instruments that I have a degree in, but I can actually play 7! Music is in everything and anything I interact with. You can probably find me skipping around and humming everywhere or noodling on various instruments. Right now I have my own little studio of badass students. I love bringing up the next generation of musicians to unleash into the world. It took me realizing I was being pressured and swayed into something uncomfortable and noticing the complete discord that I felt internally that something was terribly wrong. For the first time in my life I stood up for myself and said “No.” and walked away. I promised myself from that day forward I would live unapologetically me. So yes! I can pop wheelies on my motorcycle in a tutu if I want! Or shred in a biker bar in my favorite summer dress and no one will ever tell me that I’m not being appropriate or that it isn’t right. Because it is right! You know why? Because it’s who I am. And that’s okay.
Growing up was kind of hilarious development into becoming who I am today. My mom likes to say I got hit with double-whammy stubborn since both of my parents are basically oxen. Boy, was she right. A good example of me both being as stubborn as a rock and having my own ahem “style” is my progression of clothes. My parents gave up REAL early trying to wrestle me into their fashion ideas and I promptly left the house in rain boots, little jean shorts and a flannel. The boots eventually evolved into Star Wars shoes and later into standards such as keds. I was repulsed by dresses and skirts until I was almost an adult. I hated when people said that I couldn’t do things just because I had a dress or a skirt on. So I used to hide every skirt or dress my mom or grandmother tried to bring home. I think I even buried one in the yard at some point. (sorry mom). However, as I started to grow into who I am today I loved the freedom of dresses! What were these silly people thinking. There’s so much freedom to move! No restriction that pants usually cause! I started dancing when I turned 18 and discovered the awesomeness that is a swirly skirt and honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever looked back. Around 20 I started riding motorcycles and on top of playing guitar I realized I wasn’t the most outwardly “girly” person but I loved being a bouncy ball of sunshine. I think I thrived on that opposing image, of leather jackets and guitars with sundresses and lipstick. It was in these “opposites” that I found and embraced myself only recently.
Attractiveness was a hard concept for me. People started commenting on my body pretty early on, which left me with a confused notion on what was attractive. Most people commented on my weight because it took me longer to lose the baby cheeks. I started riding my bike over 10 miles a day starting in 7th grade and in high school although I wasn’t aware of what I was doing, I was giving my lunch to my friends whose familes couldn’t afford lunches. I knew deep down I was really giving my lunch away because I was struggling internally with an eating disorder. My father knew I was giving my lunch away and started packing a second lunch. I just found more and more hungry people. It wasn’t until I was in college when I realized that this wasn’t normal and definitely not healthy when I almost passed out at a dance. It had been three days since I had a meal other than coffee. That’s when I decided healthy is beautiful. I had a lot of help from very supportive friends that made sure I was consistently eating and I ran and went to the gym just about everyday and pretty soon people stopped commenting on my weight and instead started saying things like “look at those arms” or “Those are some strong calves” and so on. It was in a very important turning point where I realized that I suddenly also found myself attractive and proud of the journey it had taken to get to a point where I was proud of the work I put into my body and there were things I actually liked about myself. To this day I think my favorite feature is my green eyes and my little cutie booty.
Doing this post and working with Braden was wonderful, he is an incredible artist and human. He allowed me to step out of the little bubble and shell I had built for myself. He helped me embrace and celebrate what I loved about me too. I encourage everyone to take moments out of their day and appreciate self as well. Thank you very much to this very talented artist and to this community! Cheers.
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