February 22, 2016

good for you, not for me: an essay.

so, i have had a million thoughts about this subject run through my mind and it seems, when i go to write them down i'm like, where do i start? but here, i'll start with my girls amy p and mindy k - they are both wildly successful, witty, funny, and both embody the kind of strong, fierce women that i hope i can be. and in both of their books (yes please and why not me?) they find it imperative to dedicate chapters to (for lack of a better term) the haters. people who don't want you to be successful, people who will put you down and tell you that you're not doing it their way, or that you made this mistake, or that you just got lucky and don't deserve it. people who poke holes in the good things that happen to you and find a reason, however tiny it may be, to marginalize your victories.

mindy SLAYS in this paragraph from her book, when i was reading it in the car i was practically shouting "HALLELUJAH!" along with it:

"Confidence is just entitlement. Entitlement has gotten a bad rap because it's used almost exclusively for the useless children of the rich, reality TV stars, and Conrad Hilton Jr., who gets kicked off an airplane for smoking pot in the lavatory and calling people peasants or whatever. But entitlement in and of itself isn't so bad. Entitlement is simply the belief that you deserve something. Which is great."

isn't that such an amazing thought? women: we work so hard to be successful and nice and smart look pretty and raise good kids and say witty things at the right time but also sensitive things at the right time and be good wives and be a positive force for good. WE DESERVE to be happy and feel like our lives have been successful.

so WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY do we tear each other down?? why do we feel like the good things that happen to US are the result of hard work and good intention - but her? gosh, she lucked out big time! why do we say things like, "oh i could never do that?" why can't we JUST BE HAPPY FOR EACH OTHER? 

in amy’s words that have become immortalized in my life, and that i have written in this blog at least 50 times, GOOD FOR YOU, NOT FOR ME. what is right for her is not right for me. what makes her happy doesn’t take away from my happiness.

it all boils down to insecurity. we all deal with it on some level or in comparison to someone else - no matter how awesome our lives really are. we all wish we could have her life, or go on that adventure, or afford that apartment, or be that funny on twitter. and when we bash them? it makes us feel a little better that we don't have what they have. if we put them down, they aren't as great. we don't need to be jealous of them anymore. it’s a pretty natural reaction – and if you pay attention, you’ll notice that the girls who gossip the most and criticize the most are, underneath, trying to compensate for the most.

here's a personal example - in the investment banking world, there is often a bit of a persona that the wives have. (that i most certainly don't.) they come from money and carry their kate spade purses and are rail thin and always have fancy manicures and for some odd reason they all take these really extravagant ski trips together all over the US? anyway, sometimes i was just like UGH! about these girls. who spends that much $$ on their nails? their husband kinda seems like a douche! they are all snobs! etc etc etc. but one day i was like GET IT TOGETHER KAYLA! you only have those thoughts because you are afraid you won't fit in with them and you are intimidated! give them a chance! and ya know, maybe i'll never have a kate spade purse (i like expensive things, i really do, but frankly, i think designer handbags are stuffy and ugly) and maybe i'll never consistently keep pretty nails, but GOOD FOR THEM, NOT FOR ME!

i have watched a lot of friends (and sometimes participated in) criticizing other's choices - be they little or small. (although, side note - i think it's totally okay to be annoyed by small behaviors or habits. that's just life, and people are annoying. sorry bout it.) but it's SO EASY!!!! it almost feels natural to poke holes in other people's lives, because we aren't the ones living them. 

it's easy to look at friends traveling abroad and, knowing they are going into a lot of debt to do so, say, "woooow how stupid of them. glad we aren't that dumb." it's also easy to see friends moving abroad, or changing career paths, or spending money on things you wouldn't spend money on, or dropping out of school, or starting a family too early (or too late,) or leaving their religion, or quitting a job, or marrying a "meh" guy and think, "okay, do you even know what you're doing?? come ON!" when really, we should just be confident that they are making the right choices FOR THEM. and let them be happy with those choices.

i have been told that jordan and i will probably never leave banking because we will get too wrapped up in the money. (100% real comment made to my face.) i have had members of jordan's ward gossip about us living in a big city and how that's such an irresponsible, stupid thing to do. i have been told that only "legit" couples live in NYC, not in SF. i have had people talk behind my back and say that i'm unrelateable and snobby and that i try to make my life seem perfect. we've been criticized for not starting our family yet, for not trying to find a job closer to our families, for jordan working a job that demands so many hours, for moving to a place that's not family friendly.

i don't write that down to gain pity points, but to say that I WISH people could just implement "good for you, not for me" here. j and i are doing the best we can with what we have, and we are really happy with what our future has in store. we have worked hard and earned the right to feel like we "deserve" all the good things we have coming. that doesn't mean that our life is one size fits all.we haven't found the golden ticket to happiness in our life choices, because that ticket looks so different for everyone. but we are happy with our lives. (most of the time.) we are.

 i think if we could ALL dig a little deeper to be happy with all of OUR blessings, we would find it a lot easier to be happy for each other’s blessings. it goes both ways - the more i stand confident in MY life and MY choices, the less other's criticisms permeate the surface, and the less i feel the need to tear others down. when i am confident that i am doing my best with MY life - i'm not affected by the problem, nor am i adding to it.

i have found crazy amounts of delight from rejoicing with friends as they get good jobs, promotions, travel the world, move to cool cities, have cute babies, write books, lose weight, open businesses, win instagram contests, or find a good deal on something at anthro. sure, a little part of me will probably ping with jealousy- but generally, being GENUINELY happy for them does nothing but increase MY happiness with my own life, and just in general. i am NOT perfect as implementing this!! but the more i practice, the easier it becomes. i am happy to be surrounded by successful people who kick a** - they motivate me to kick some more a** myself ya know?

so here is my call to action, ladies – (because we all learned in writing 101 that good pieces have a call to action in them) let’s implement a little more GOOD FOR YOU, NOT FOR ME! let’s build each other up and be happy for all the wonderful things for each other, they are meant to be shared! let’s be happy with our own lives and let that be the firm ground we stand on! let’s be better people and better friends!
& that is all, goodnight america.

February 18, 2016

taking stock 10.

loving: being a producer. i have thrown my hands in the air out of exasperation a LOT lately (haha) and i've had plenty of moments where i think, "what have i gotten myself into..?" but in my heart, i truly love it. i look forward to work and am enjoying pushing myself as a writer.

recommending: that you go see "the big short." we saw a late showing last week & i was expecting to snooze through the second half (it IS a movie about finance after all...) but i was captivated. the story is so compelling & it blows my mind that it all happened in my lifetime, with me being nearly oblivious to it. (it's about the housing market crash of 2008 and how it almost ruined the entire world economy.) banking is a really complex and fascinating industry. (i might be biased there, haha) and my man christian bale NAILED his performance. (so did steve carrell and ryan gosling and brad pitt.) best movie i've seen in a long while.

appreciating: the thought the j put into my valentine's card. he went through and starred about 15 places on a map of SF that are meaningful to us, and made it into a card. on v-day, we went through each star and reminisced about each memory - remembering all of those good times was a really sweet gift. this week we are going on a few dates to continue the celebration because i milk every holiday for ALL it's worth. it's my brand.

a little bummed: that my brother's senior basketball season is over - i loved watching him play! (and i love watching jordan almost get kicked out of games because he just can't NOT lost it with the refs. it's actually really funny/cute.) i am 100% obsessed with that kid, he is the most adorably perfect 18 year old.

freaking out about: the fact that said brother's mission papers were turned in last week!! AH! can't wait for that call to come in the mail!

obsessed with: bachelor recaps on snapchat. v hilarious. (anybody else 100% bored with lauren?? shoot me now.)

watching: arrested development again - this time with j. it's way funnier than i remember, even though i loved it the first time. i just CANNOT get over gob's chicken impression.

 looking forward to: this weekend! after four weekends on road trips, i'm excited to go out to dinner with my babe and go to church (whoops) and not worry about packing a bag.

cooking: lettuce wraps and chicken burritos. i've been trying to push myself to cook a few weeks, but this is as fancy as we've gotten so far. but slow clap to me for even cooking at all, right??!

 reading: "brooklyn" - the book that the best picture nominee is based on. i love "coming on age" stories where it's less about the plot and more about getting lost in a world and set of characters. it's a good one.

remembering: how perfect boise sunsets and sunrises are. without any obstructions, the sky is endless and when it's all lit up like cotton candy it feels like you're in a willy wonka factory.

listening to: amy poehler's "yes please." it's no bossypants or why not me - but it's good. she has a lot of really solid advice and funny anecdotes and her work ethic is inspiring. my favorite advice is when she talks about stressing out - how the stressing out somehow seems necessary, but the stressing only gets in the way of doing what you want to do, and it's not part of the doing. so she just says instead of stressing just focus on the doing - that's the only thing that'll get you anywhere. why is this such hard advice to take? idk but i love it.

touched: at the outpouring of congratulations i received upon getting my job at cbs. i feel especially grateful for friends who are genuinely happy when good things happen for you. in the past year or i have noticed that not everyone will be happy when you experience success - people will poke holes and find imperfections and criticize you and even mock the good things in your life. i'll have to write in detail about this sometime, i but i am just grateful for girlfriends that can be genuinely excited for you.

appreciating: the sunshine that's been peeking out the last few days. this winter, idk why, has felt especially brutal and long. glad to see spring hinting to its appearance!

February 16, 2016

stastny winter cabin extravaganza 2016.

the stastny cabin in star valley is pretty spectacular in all four seasons, but i think it's the best in the winter. let me just set the scene for you here: 

the coziest, am i right? 

since i started work at cbs, i am constantly checking my phone, sending emails, fixing minor hiccups and miscommunications, texting with the host about future ideas. kind of like i snack all day, i graze-work from morning to bed. i welcomed the absence of service with OPEN ARMS and loved that for a few days, my phone turned into nothing but a camera and my scriptures. i was 100% in the moment at all times and felt totally isolated from all responsibility. that was easily the most blissful part of the whole trip. 

ferrying people and luggage and food and bedding several miles by snowmobile, and then heating up a cabin that only has two wood burning stoves is an ordeal, let me tell you - but once we were situated, it was DELIGHTFUL. we pulled sleds behind the snowmobiles, made snow-caves and a homemade luge run, played approximately 1,000 games, were all converted to "adult coloring" books, i took an impressive amount of cat-naps and read an entire book. on valentine's day, these huge fluffy flakes fell from the sky all stinkin' day & it was beyond beautiful. being holed up in  snowy cabin, totally removed from the world with these people is paradise!

this kid is something else, i love him.

February 9, 2016

viva las vegas.

we've been talking about a quick girls trip for ages, so a few weeks ago cassidy and i picked a weekend and said, "okay - we are 100% committed to this even if we are the only 2 going!" luckily we roped two other friends into going, secured our spots in another friend's extra bedroom, and off we went!

after arriving late friday night, we spent the day saturday wadering the strip, dancing to the bellagio water show, eating shake shack, playing with lindsay's perfect little babe, and paying slot machines. (the selfie stick made several appearances and was an important staple of the trip. also, babbitt won 70 bucks on her first try on the slots, what!!) when the sun started to set we headed over to the "high roller" - a ferris wheel type observation deck that takes you over 500 feet up. the views were pretty spectacular.

sunday morning we toured the "neon museum" (it was totally on an episode of the bachelor!) and it was the COOLEST. it's basically a junkyard of vintage signs from old casinos, hotels, and resorts in vegas. some of them are crazy old, and our tour guide was super into it. after a pit stop at shake shack and a picture with the fabulous las vegas sign, we were out! mega quick but super packed. 

until next time, vegas!

February 1, 2016

winter carnival take 3.

as a dedicated advocate of fall, i have been surprised as how much i have loved winter this year. if i get all bundled and stay warm, i cannot get enough of the crisp air and the white snow!! we stayed in theeeee most gorgeous cabin in mccall, idaho (with heated floors, hallelujah!) with a group of friends last weekend and everywhere you turned was a bona-fide winter wonderland. five foot long icicles hanging off of the roof, big, wet snowflakes - but the white snow against deep green trees is my favorite.

right?? riiiiight????!

my mother in law is the BOMB

again with the peace signs, what is my deal???

we snowmobiled in a legit sideways-snow blizzard and played games and soaked in some hot springs and saw tons of ice sculptures, but my favorite HAD to be the elk ride. we all piled in a horse-drawn cart and were driven out to an elk reserve where they EAT THE BAILS OF HAY YOU SIT ON. as in - we were giggling because the elk noses keep ramming us in the butt. it was a little close for comfort (not a wildlife girl) but it was eerily cool. we were all completely enamored with the HUGE animals - i even gathered enough courage to pet a few. (against the rules) (total rebel) we saw a few of the males spar, too! total drama queens.

my true feelings about antlers being that close to my face

because i have antlers, big LOL's