endless days of cold rain
and blurry eyes stuck on
the dangerous blue glow
of a sad world gone wrong:
each message from the screen shows it’s out of control.
but then i see a smile
and it heats me up with hope,
that the sick will become
again healthy and whole…
A NOTE TO YOU.
Hello, my dear readers! As you all know, we are battling a dangerous virus that has spread to almost every nation in our beautiful world. I know that my words cannot act as a vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic, but I will say that I pray each and every one of you is safe and healthy. We will get through this–and come back stronger than before.
It is that time of the week… A blog post from Katie Kay! I wish you all a fantastic Monday (or whatever day it is when you are reading this). Today we’re going to dive into a topic that seems both wildly discussed and kept rather private, and this is the issue of stress.
Yup, told ya: It is everyone’s favorite topic. But in all reality, stress is something that pertains to every single human being on this planet, and we can all connect together from this peculiar emotion (is it even an emotion?) we experience now and then. There is not a living soul on this planet who doesn’t experience some level of stress on a normal basis, so it is my goal that each of you has a takeaway from this post on five tips for dealing with stress.
This is especially prevalent to me this week, so let me know down below how you all are doing and how you are feeling. ❤ But without further ado, let’s hop into the list!
1. RID YOURSELF OF DISTRACTIONS
Some of these tips may seem simple, but even the most complex issues can be solved from simple deductions. And one thing I have found is that my stress is reduced when I rid myself of certain distractions, so this could be a tool for you to use as well.
What I mean by this is that certain things distract us from what we should be doing. When we are overwhelmed, we must be willing to take a step back and consider what is really stressing us out in the first place. And there’s a good chance there will be little things here and there that only add to your stress… So cut them out!
2. BUT ALSO DISTRACT YOURSELF
Okay, how in the world can I contradict myself faster than a flash of heat lightning? Hear me out!
When you’re worrying about one particular thing, person, or situation, what do you tend to do? There’s a good chance you’re probably thinking so hard that A) you wish you could teleport to a Fijian island, and B) you wish everything would go away and/or calm down.
You need to give your sprinter’s mind a little break, and to do this I encourage you to find a hobby or pastime (for a lot of you, that could be reading or blogging) that tugs you away from your worries and into relaxation.
3. PLAN AHEAD
The key to success is a well-executed plan. I really do believe this. I know that when I’m stressed, I compose lists of all I need to get done, and it gives me a little jolt of energy when I complete one of my items and then the whole thing!
Stress can be managed with a plan. So, when you’ve got a big work stresser, sit down and come up with your game plan. Have a time table and rehearse in your head what you need to do. Or, if you’re thinking about a particular person, maybe it’s time to consult #4 on the list… (You’ll see shortly what I mean.)
But planning ahead can be a tool to use. Don’t be afraid to conquer your stress instead of wallowing it. And remember that you’re capable and will get through it, as you’ve done countless times in the past. 🙂
4. TAKE A BREATH (AND PRAY)
And even when we know we have a killer plan, it’s important to take a step back and breathe. And throw in a prayer! (This is my best piece of advice, if I’m being honest.) Why? Because you’re exiting from your worries for a little while, and giving it to God.
As a restless spirit who isn’t content with staying still, I find it impossible at times to relax and pray. But then I’m overcome with the realization that my laziness is coming at me again, and I remember to close my eyes and disappear for a little while.
Manage your stress through relaxation–and tell God how you feel!
5. BE CONFIDENT. YOU ARE CAPABLE.
And if our plan is the key to success, then the door that blocks us from that success is our lack of confidence. So what can we do to open that door? Yup, here I go with my “redonk” metaphor: Be confident! You are more than capable of plowing ahead through your stressful time. Yes, the going gets rough, but it happens to all of us. And it gives us a chance to see what we can accomplish and what it takes to do so.
So when you strut around town with your confident pose and head held high, people will never even notice you’re stressed. And when we ooze confidence, we realize that we can take on anything that comes our way!
THANK YOU, GUYS!
I hope this post spoke to you in some way or the other. Let me know if you’re stressed and need some help, but I’m sure a lot of you guys write your feelings down all ready. In the meantime, use some of these tips if you need them, and let me know how they work out for you!
On another note, I’m sorry to have been MIA for the past two weeks. I’ve missed the blog but needed to devote myself to other endeavors for a little bit. But now I’m back, and I’m excited to catch up on all your stories!
Let’s live our lives as stress-free as possible this week (and every week)!
they say salt
in the wound’s
if it don’t
but the sting’s
sure better than
cover up your
and when the
you will wish
the sting was
Hello, my dear readers!
Another day, another poem for you guys, and today’s is… Well, it’s a little guy come to life from a random cold January night in which I thought to myself: “Salt in the wound seems like a cool phrase. I wonder if I can make a poem out of it.” And here we are.
Does anyone actually say, “Salt in the wound’s / supposed to cure you?” I’m going to guess not, but this question is actually something I really considered as I was writing it. At first the question didn’t make sense to me, because if there is anything in anybody’s physical wound, it’s going to hurt and make you even worse. But as I wrote the poem, I thought to myself: But what if that’s exactly what it’s for? What if rubbing salt into our wounds hurts us more, and therein lies the cure to our issue in the first place? Yup, there I go off on a tangent again that probably will go over even my head by the time I publish this.
Anywho, salt in our wounds hurts. It’s painful, but it sure does leave a stinging memory in its past. While we want it out ASAP, that salt’s power is engrained in us and who we become. And what happens if that metaphorical salt never really goes away, and our pain goes from external to internal? Well, that’s not a good diagnosis is my guess.
Tell me what you guys think! I love hearing your analyses and opinions. ❤ And in the meantime prepare yourself for Monday’s blog post that will stray from writing and head into the topic of…
Am I stressing you out when I keep it to myself? Or is that just annoying?
Today we’re going to do something a little different–and by that, I mean we’re gonna travel up and down the California coast! As some of you know, I’m a pilot (private pilot, I should clarify) and flying is something I love to do. While I attended Pepperdine University, I had the absolute privilege of flying out of Camarillo, California, to build hours, and so I want to share some of my trips with you guys.
Now this list is in no particular order, and I’ll be honest that I’m writing from my heart. So, yes, these guys are my favorites, but I want you to let me know what your favorites too. This is your journey as well. Imagine yourself as my copilot. You’re up with me in those clouds, so take a moment to relax, put on some sunglasses, and see California from up above.
Now, a quick little disclaimer: Our home airport is Camarillo, a beautiful city in the Ventura area, about an hour and a half (with no traffic, let me remind you) north of Los Angeles. Sometimes it is my humble opinion that flying outside of Camarillo is pointless, due to how pretty it is (especially at sunset!). But, alas, a pilot normally likes to fly places. And our plane? The grand old Cessna 172, the plane of anyone’s dreams. So let’s get going. Got your bags? Bring some water. And a smile! 🙂
Let’s get going.
1. PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA
Paso Robles, oh Paso Robles! Nestled within the Central Coast and a short drive from the beautiful Pacific, Paso is a town that reminds me of a small town America out East. It definitely doesn’t have a strong California vibe to it (okay, the gas prices make it Californian), but it’s got some of the friendliest people and one of my favorite airports in the state. (I flew so much there this past autumn that I got repeatedly teased by flight instructors who kept saying, “Stop going north, Katie! All the best places are south into L.A.!” Um… Debatable.)
Paso Robles is located between flat desert and mountains lining the coast, so it’s got dual views of different biomes. Plus, considering that we’re flying there at sunset, you’ll get to see the beauty of a California twilight without too much light pollution. In a way, Paso reminds me of California before it became overdeveloped (yes, in my opinion, Southern California is overdeveloped. No hate, just stating a fact).
So, yes. When we fly to Paso, it feels like we’re in the middle of nowhere. But that’s the magic of it, especially coming from a heavily populated area. This flight proves that there is more to California than just the major cities, and there is still ample beauty to find.
2. CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA
Carlsbad’s a fun flight, especially since we’re going to be flying directly over Los Angeles, one of the busiest regions of the United States. Terrified? No fear at all! There are published routes for us to fly (this means that we can fly our little Cessna 172 directly over Los Angeles International Airport as long as we stay at a certain altitude and course).
The reason Carlsbad is on this list is due to the challenge of flying over L.A. in the midst of huge passenger jets. Again, the VFR (visual flight rules) routes make everything safe and legal to do, but one of the wildest experiences in my flying was “jetting” along at 5,500 feet and watching as a bunch of A380s (the largest passenger airliner) are taking off right under you.
So, yeah. We’re cruising along, Los Angeles on one side, the Pacific on the other. The views are incredible, overpowering, and thrilling to say the least. But it actually goes by pretty fast, and the next thing you know it, you’re talking to SoCal Approach and headed for Carlsbad, just north of San Diego.
Carlsbad’s an idyllic town that feels old school in comparison to the busyness of Los Angeles. That being said, Palomar Airport has a sloped runway and can be busy at times. So let’s hope they’re not too busy when we arrive, and we can stop and get a bite at the quaint restaurant there. (Maybe we’ll even take a moment to bother my friend Matt who’s lucky enough to live there.)
3. SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA
San Luis Obispo was one of my first cross country destinations when I was training for my private pilot license, and it’s quite the place to fly. It’s a quick flight, has a nice restaurant I’ve never been to, and it’s nestled in some beautiful mountains that turn emerald after winter rains.
Our flight is only an hour or so, but it’s one of the best flights a VFR pilot can experience. That’s right: You get to pass over Santa Barbara, head up the mountains, and soak in the knowledge that you’re floating in the atmosphere in a Cessna 172. And when it’s dark outside, you get a view of the star-studded sky.
Down below is an image taken of the final leg of our journey into San Luis Obispo. Gorgeous. Stunning. Picture perfect! And when you look at it with your own eyes, it makes it even more real that sometimes all you need to clear your head is a plane, a destination, and the knowledge that it’s only you, your copilot, and God. 🙂
4. MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA
One of my good friends is from Monterey, which probably makes me more biased than most, but I’m going to do some recommending for you: Get yourself to Monterey for real. The flight from Camarillo to Monterey’s two hours one-way (about an hour north of San Luis Obispo, flight time wise). So we’re going to see the beautiful Santa Barbara region, cruise up the sparsely populated Central Coast (in comparison to Southern California), and ATC will eventually become NorCal approach. That’s right: We’ve made it to Northern California!
Monterey is just south of San Francisco, but it’s definitely not San Francisco. Monterey is famous for Monterey Bay, the fantastic aquarium named after the Bay, and the sweet nearby hamlet called Carmel-by-the-Sea. So basically this flight allows us to head into one of California’s most romantically beautiful spots among private jets and other thrill-seekers. ❤
My friend and I flew up to Monterey one day, and we both could not handle how beautiful it was. The runway faces the water, so when you come in it feels like something out of a movie. When we waited for fuel, we were treated with kindness and respect (despite the fact we were the only general aviation plane there), and we ended up hanging out to watch the jets take off. (With free ice cream!) Though I have since left California, this flight to Monterey will always be one of my favorites.
5. VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA
Now, our flight to Victorville is way different than our other locations. While we flew to Monterey for beauty and Carlsbad for a challenge, Victorville’s got an entirely different appeal. Yes, that’s right: We’re going to climb over the mountains and head for the desert.
A quick one hour flight from Camarillo, Victorville is famous for its airplane graveyard. That’s right: A bunch of old airplanes are just, well, there. Which is pretty cool when you’re a 172 pilot who’s just trying to build time and live life. So, yeah, you’re going to see the Boeing 737 MAX as well, as in the airplanes that have been grounded for safety issues this past year. There’s a handful at this airport!
When I visited Victorville in October last year, I also ended up running into a Royal Air Force plane. I got there fifteen minutes after it landed, so unfortunately I did not run into any of the pilots or crew, but I was overwhelmed by the fact that I was practically standing in a movie scene. (Abandoned airplanes, quiet airport, and the Royal Air Force just happened to be in town?) Told ya: Flying is an interesting business!
6. CAMARILLO, CALIFORNIA
Camarillo will always have my heart. It is where I learned to fly, soloed, and got my license. Now that I’m away from it, I’m truly saddened because it is the end of a phase. That being said, I will never forget how amazing an opportunity it was, and here’s a special shoutout to the air traffic controllers at this airport–they’re some of the friendliest in the game!
So as we’re landing back in good old Camarillo, still in our imaginary sunset phase, let’s remember that each flight is a blessing. It’s an opportunity to see God’s beautiful Earth (whether it is green or deserty), and that each flight brings a lesson with it. ❤
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COPILOT SKILLS.
There we go, my dear readers! Thank you again for joining me on this journey, and I hope you got to escape for a little bit. My goal is to write more travel-centered posts in the coming months, because now that I am not traveling as much I miss it a lot, and also because it gives us creative types a free vacation, right? 🙂 (Or is everything ever really free… Random musings from Katie Kay.)
Until next time,
P.S. Hi, just letting all my awesome supporters know that my little sister, Genevieve, is so amazing. She is so so so so so so so so wonderful, and I am so lucky to have her in my life.