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KateLyn 2.0 – Reintroduction

I’ve always been a little bit of everything, but I wanted to be a lot of one thing.

I’ve felt this way for a very long time, ever since I remember remembering things, which is about 6 years old. I felt like an imposter in my life and I felt as if I was not worthy enough. It always seemed that everyone else had something they were interested in, or good at, or at least they had a group of people they identified with.

For me, it was the opposite. I felt like I wasn’t seen at home, not to my parents fault, but the circumstances of things; life is usually like that. There were 6 of us sisters and life was crazy and chaotic, my dad was busy at work, and let’s just say there were a lot of emotions; all.of.the.time.

My dad is a wonderful man, though struggled with depression and was dealing with a lot of his own traumas that he hadn’t dealt with yet –  which put us girls on the back burner, by necessity. What felt worse was that my parents were very involved in their church and my dad happened to be one of the leaders of one of the local groups, or “wards” as they call it.

I felt like an imposter there, too, because I knew the fighting and unrest that was happening at home, but at church we were the “perfect little family.” “How beautiful we all were, marching into the church, all 6 of us, dressed well and smiling (mostly). What a wonderful family.” (Ugh, gross.)

And we were wonderful. Except we also weren’t.

We loved each other and my parents loved us, but there was an unsettled feeling in our house and mostly I wanted to run and hide. It was overwhelming for me to have so much energy around me and I needed more comfort.

I found comfort in the woods, I’d play for hours in the woods by myself, creating forts and stories that went along with it. Looking back I realize I did have imaginary friends, I’d talk to them and make believe that I had close friends that cared about me and loved me. We’d create things, make-believe dinners we ate out of dried up gourds from the garden that I cut in half. This was my solace and my quiet from the chaos inside the house. 

When I got older, in high school, and even in middle school, I realized I was interested in a lot of things.

My family was very active and all of my sisters were involved in sports, and so, I was too. I played field hockey and cross country skied, and for half of highschool I ran track as well.

But I also loved art. I hung out with art kids and spent all of my extra time in the art room. I loved pottery and photography the most, though painting was also fun for me because it was so abstract. I was never that “talented” at art, so the more abstract, the better. Drawing mostly frustrated me, but I dabbled in it still.

I also liked theater.

In my younger years of high school I did a play or two but never felt like I quite “fit in” there, either. I wasn’t as boisterous or good at acting, nor did I have the confidence. In field hockey, I was good, but I was never part of the “group” of girls – the cool ones.

I didn’t quite fit in. I also was not the one who was really good at one thing – I wasn’t good at defense, or offense, mostly I could run a lot and for a long time, and I was scrappy – so there I was, in mid field.

I was in the middle, again, of everything. A little bit of everything.

So I never had one “group”, I never had that group of best girl friends, and I wasn’t the master at any one thing. I was really good at field hockey, but never the star. I was good at skiing, but could never get first place. Usually, it was second, third, fourth, somewhere in the top 10.

Getting second place at states was probably one of the most frustrating things that happened to me, because it accentuated how I always felt like second best.

My whole life, I was kind of good, but not great. I was a little bit of everything.

I loathed myself for this.

I loathed myself for being too sensitive and never feeling like I was good enough. I’ll spare you the details, for now, but this self-loathing lasted through my 20’s.

It caused me to fall into habits like drinking and smoking and having a long string of boyfriends that were never quite right for me because I couldn’t handle being alone and I didn’t like myself, so I wanted someone else to tell me they liked me enough so I felt worthy.

This bred anxiety and a deep depression at times, because I was an imposter in my own body. I knew that I wasn’t living up to my potential, and I knew I had no direction in my life. It was a painful existence, to wake up everyday and feel as if I had failed, as if I was never going to be good enough or figure it out or love myself. To feel like I’d never be good at anything, that I’d never have a group, a tribe, a place that felt like home. 

Just recently, even in the last year (2021), I started to realize that being a little bit of everything was actually my superpower.

I am a little bit sporty, a little bit outgoing, a little bit introverted, a little bit woo-woo, a little bit left-brained, a little bit neurotic, and a little bit calm. I’m not completely any of these things, but that’s just the way I’m wired. I can see things from most perspectives, even if it’s just a little bit, and I am very good at tuning into people’s energies, even if just a little, in order to connect; because connection is what I need and crave most in life, and it’s also what I’m good at.

I am the inbetween girl, a little bit of everything, and I am so OK with that.

I was always looking outside of me, for someone to save me, for the perfect job or the perfect mentor, for someone to tell me what to do, for someone to help me realize my full potential.

What I didn’t realize was that I already had it all inside of me.

Yes, this is cliche, but let me explain a little more what that means.

When I stopped rejecting myself, stopped telling myself I wasn’t good enough, that I needed to be something or someone else, that I needed to be better at x, y, or z, and started to look at what was already there, I started to see what others saw.

I was KateLyn. I was smart and athletic, compassionate and loving, wore my heart on my sleeve, loved to cook and travel, to try new things, and most of all, loved sharing my heart and loved to make people feel loved and connected to their own selves as well. I was someone who was able to see the good in others, to see the qualities that made them unique, and could see the potential in everyone.

I already had what I needed inside and I already knew who I was, I just sort of…forgot; because I spent so much of my life trying to be other people.

I’d see an amazing fitness instructor or fitness model in person or on Instagram and want to be them. I’d see someone who was an amazing cook and immediately thought I should own a restaurant. I’d see someone who was in finance or climbed the corporate ladder and want to be the next women investor or next business success. I’d see an Olympic athlete or famous artist and think that I should have continued with the piano or maybe tried harder in sports.

But the reality was, I was not those people.

That was not my path and I didn’t need to be those people to make a difference, to find myself, or to be a “success”.

Being a success was actually looking at what was there inside of me and learning how to use that to make change, to contribute to the world.

Unfortunately, this society does not reward the normal everyday person for being an amazing mother, father, bank teller, server, or teacher, just to name a few.

But the most powerful thing you can do is be the best you you can be, because no one else can do that but you. And whether you believe it or not, the world needs you; it doesn’t need another Gandhi or Oprah or Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. The world needs you.

I heard once that you teach what you need, and that’s exactly where I’ve landed. I don’t have the answer and I’m not smarter than anyone else. But I’ve had a lot of guidance and help and a lot of people who have held space for me to crash and burn and get back up and crash and burn again. And those people have made it possible for me to get to where I am, to heal enough, so much so that

I don’t feel broken anymore, and I feel more joy than anxiety; something that I did not even see as a possibility even a year ago. 

And that’s why I talk about what I talk about.

I teach and talk about what I needed because I know just how helpful it was for me. I shout it from the rooftops and mountaintops. I am a little bit of everything and that’s just perfectly perfect, exactly the way it should be.

I am here to care and love and to help others become and see what they are meant to be.

Because you have all the power you need, you just may need to unpeel it, find it, discover it, unveil it. You are your own medicine, your own healer, your own gardener of your life. Sometimes, we just need someone to hold our hand till we can see it ourselves.

Photo Credit: Miranda Ryan @themuseandthemystic

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