All in Story

Realigned Reflections

I woke to a scream.

As my vision began to come into focus, I made out the face of a horrified older woman. She hid behind a curtain as she watched me with wide eyes. I sat up from my slumber and immediately questioned her judgement on the situation— why was she so afraid? After all, she was the one behind a glass door and I was the one who was abruptly woken up.

A Coming of Age Story

What started as a silly book I had to read junior year of high school became a silly book I consistently think about in my “adult” life, especially the above segment. How can I identify so clearly with the narrator, Holden Caulfield, and the kids who get too close to the crazy cliff? I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have to pay taxes and go to work but in many I still feel like I know nothing; like a child on the edge of a cliff. I’ve fallen off a lot of crazy cliffs and I’ve been the catcher in the rye for myself a few times, too.

Living Seasonally

Working as wildland fire fighter on a hotshot crew is an intensely unique experience. If you’ve ever worked outside 16 hours a day for two weeks at a time, without showering in some of hottest months of the year, you know what I’m talking about.

The Voyage of a Quarter-Century Father

All of our plans for the future have had Kay’s well-being as a top priority ever since we knew we were expecting. Admittedly, we didn’t plan to have a child at the time we did, but we’ve completely reveled in the beauty it is to shape and mold a family from scratch. Not to mention, I have absolutely LOVED being a father. I get to help someone discover their interests, watch them develop their quirks, and try to explain the workings of the world we live in. But, I’ll admit that I had some concerns with my newfound role fairly early on.

An Anchor in a Sea of Change

When I moved to India, I wasn’t sure how I was going to account for my diet and exercise, but I knew I needed it. The first apartment I lived in didn’t have a stove. I didn’t yet trust my stomach with Indian food, so in the interim, I stuck with microwave oatmeal, peanut butter sandwiches, and canned fruit. Much to the dismay of my ego, I started to involuntarily shed good weight. Pounds seemed to wither away as slept. I remember standing on a scale for the first time, peering between my feet, and at the moment the red LED lights reached my eyes, a wave of self-loathing and sadness washed over me.

The Path to a Better Perspective

Throughout my life I have done a ton of less than intelligent, odd, dangerous, and new things. When I went camping as a child, I cooked sticks over the fire and then attempted to eat them. I had this ambitious idea that all burnt stuff tasted the same, so developing a taste for it may have been an invaluable survival skill. I was both wrong and a weird kid. There was also the "Half-Sandwich Incident”, which consisted of me always making an entire sandwich, eating half, and putting the rest in the fridge. This seemed sensible at the time, but my loving family kindly pointed out that I could have cut one slice of bread in half rather than making an entire sandwich.

Origin of The Man-Trip

Just over five years ago at exactly midnight, Stephen and I took off from a trailhead in the mountains of south-western Montana.  Headlamps were unnecessary due to the super moon that night. Super moons are a rare occurrence of a full moon which occurs when the moon is at it’s closest position to the Earth. For nights like this one, it creates a strange glow that blankets the entire mountain range. We had both driven several hundred miles to meet halfway for a self-proclaimed “man-trip” in the wilderness.  For months we planed our backpacking trip through the Tobacco Root Mountains near Bozeman, Montana.  Sure we could’ve camped at the car that first night and hit the trail first thing in morning, but Stephen and I tend to do things unconventionally. Especially when we are together in the mountains. So hiking into the wee hours of the morning seemed completely acceptable to us.  

The Power of Asking

In May of 2016, I was on top of the world. I had completed all four years of college as a Division 1 student athlete, and had a freshly-minted marketing degree in hand. Everything I owned could fit into my Toyota Camry, and at 5am the day after I walked across the graduation stage, I drove to my future home in the Napa Valley.

Sound Healing with Meg Weldon

I am a strong believer that everyone has their own methods of escapism – something that helps to distract us from the crazy, sometimes unpleasant, stressful realities of life. It could be meditation, eating tacos, drinking bourbon, painting wildflowers or so many alternatives, but for me it’s live music. There’s just something about hearing your favorite song played live, with an unparalleled amount of energy in the air and your best friends by your side. It’s called “Sound Healing.”

Stay in Touch

’ve been suffering from a severe case of the FOMO/homesickness.

To combat this, I figured I should get off social media. You know, out of sight out of mind and all that jazz. So here’s how it goes – I delete and deactivate my social media with a vengeance, thinking that will cure the FOMOitis. But a few days later, I can’t control the urge of sneaking a little peek into the lives of my ‘friends’! Also, I need to know what new memes are out. What if I miss out on a meme that is so me that I could have legit… died! Oh! The tragedy!

Show Me Your Lemons

Quitting my golf career was one of the biggest failures of my life. I was so determined to reach my goals that it was the only thing that I focused on. My determination to become a professional golfer was my sole focus and nothing was going to get in my way of achieving it. Not my academics, my relationships, or even my mental health.  I sacrificed everything for it and I still came up embarrassingly short. Yes, I had some success. I qualified for the U.S. Amateur and played Division 1 golf, but it was still nowhere close to where I wanted to be. After finally deciding to give up on my dream, I was devastated.

 

Finding Strength in Happiness 

I had a conversation with Steve a few weeks ago about writing an article for his blog, and decided to write about something that has been weighing on my mind in different capacities for a greater part of the last year.  For those who don’t know me, I lived with Steve for about 5 months while in India together last year.  I am originally from Philadelphia, moved to Houston, Texas when I was 7, went back to Pennsylvania for college, and currently reside in New Jersey about 10 minutes train ride into Manhattan.  If you know me, you know I’m pretty passionate about all of these places. (WE ARE!!)

A Small Fish in a Big Pond

In all the jobs I’ve held throughout my years there seems to be a recurring theme – I’m always either the youngest employee, the least experienced, or both. In fact, in the 11 years I’ve been in the workforce and the 15 oddball jobs I’ve had, that statement holds true for all but one job where I was a call center employee at my university. Any kind of on-campus job is going to pan out that way, but the vast majority of my employment experiences have had me at the bottom of the food chain. Now, I realize that I’m nearly 26 years old and my statement warrants a response like, “Duh Kale, what did you expect?” There’s also the fact that back in those days the number of Baby Boomers in the workforce far exceeded the number of Millennials, so we’re looking at hard probabilities that some if not most of my colleagues would be older than me. But, being the small fish in a big pond can be challenging and a little disheartening at times…

Have the Cake and Eat it Too

Have you ever voiced a concern to a friend, such as a performance review, and their response is to ‘Just be in the present, dude.’

Is this helpful advice? Should I neglect all the things in the future and seek to find bliss in every moment? I know what my hippie self would say, but I’m not certain about the part of me that craves to achieve more in the future. If I’m in the present all the time, how do I visualize and make my goals a reality? If I’m in the woods somewhere chasing after butterflies all the time, then I will have no time to sit down and get to work. If you are only fixated on being in the present moment, then it will end up jeopardizing your long-term satisfaction.

Uncomfortable in a Comfortable World

When was the last time that you felt uncomfortable?

I’m not talking about the time that you ate too much dessert or after a long day of sitting in a chair for 9 hours. I’m talking about something else entirely. When was the last time you made yourself feel uncomfortable?