“When you are through changing…you are through.”

August 10, 2011

I have failed the great blogosphere.  Life, as it always does, took over and now one is forced to mash all of life’s happenings into one bloggish nutshell.  I’m sure my 3 readers will be sorely disappointed.  Last I wrote we were just getting settled into our new life in Hawaii, yet again.  I started grad school after a decade of working.  I was nervous and scared and I’ll admit, frightened that after being out for so long, I might not measure up to my classmates.  But I have enjoyed it tremendously so far.  I had the highest grades in both of my classes, sealing my fate of nerd, forever.  It’s amazing how much better you can do in school when you aren’t constantly hungover (like my undergrad days!)  Sans beer and skipping class, I actually CAN be a good student!  Now I start at theUniversity of Hawaii in the fall, studying Social Work and Women’s Studies.  I can’t wait!  While others relish summer, I am DYING to get started!  I’m certain that feeling will dissipate as I get further into my studies and will be replaced with stressed-out student anxiety and sleeplessness.  But for right now, I’m just looking forward to learning, growing, and meeting others with the same passions as myself.

Joe has settled into his job and while it keeps him PLENTY busy, he seems to be learning alot and working hard.  I’m so proud of him!  We’ve been enjoying our island as always, hiking and beaching on the weekends and pretending we’re on vacation.

We had some fabulous friends (shout-out Ryan and Brooke!) visit from the mainland and have been keeping ourselves busy doing our Caldwell thang.  Our relationship has grown in huge ways this year, making us closer and more in love than ever.  I count myself so very lucky to have such an adventurous, sweet, funny and smart partner for this crazy life.  What a lucky girl.

In other news, this girl finally went out and got herself a J-O-B!  After temping for several months (blahhhh), my friend Sarah let me know that her company was hiring.  I now work for Fidelity National Title, which handles escrow and title insurance.  Yes, it is JUST as exciting as it sounds.  The most interesting part has been learning about the corporate world.  For the last decade, I’ve worked in non-profits.  But really, the job is easy, and most of my coworkers really are wonderful AND my commute is 3 city blocks.  Can you really beat that? 

I also recently fell into singing with a group again.  I met Ev, a guitarist and singer serendipitously through my [other] friend Sarah, and began singing with his group every other Saturday at a local dive bar downtown called Hanks.  Hanks  is a special kind of place, to be sure.  On a Saturday night you are likely to find some very intoxicated old Hawaiian man, swaying to our music who doesn’t seem to mind that we’ve skipped our last 3 rehearsals and that we talk to each other in between songs through our mics.  It’s the kind of place that serves frozen pizza to its patrons and where the owner (Hank, obviously) tends bar and gets upset if you use the F-word.  I get a kick out of the whole thing and the band is really fun and lighthearted.  I’m honored they chose me.  🙂

I’ve also begun the arduous task of training for my 3rd marathon.  It is near the end of September on Maui.  While I’ve vowed to do at least one marathon a year as long as my body can stand it, I always forget just how gruesome the training can be.  It’s like a part-time job!  Sticking to a training schedule while juggling work and school is going to be interesting, no doubt.  I have read that the Maui course is one of the most beautiful in the world, as 17 miles of the 26 are ocean front.  I’m excited and scared, which basically always sums up the ever-daunting marathon for me.  Every time I get into those really high miles, I chastise myself for making the decision to do it AGAIN.  “WHY do I do this?!?!?!” I think to myself as my feet hurt and my legs ache and sweat and sunscreen are pouring off my face into my eyes…but as all other runners will tell you, I bask in the pain of it all.  The personal accomplishment, glory, challenge and crazy joy it brings to my life.  Run a marathon and you’ll understand.  I promise.

As I write this for you I am flying through the air from Denver to Honolulu.  I just went on the first annual “SistORs Trip” with my 3 sisters.  We all met in Boulder,Colorado, where my youngest sis is residing.  We haven’t all 4 been together in a year and a half, so I have been INSANELY excited to hug on them and catch up.  There were many laughs, sleepless nights staying up giggling and talking over each other, way too much food and alcohol consumed and special moments I’ll treasure.  However I leave feeling a little blue.  I love these 3 so fiercely that sometimes I am consumed with an overwhelming urge to move closer.  I know I must follow my own path but living so far away is very difficult sometimes.  As you all know, I love my little island oasis with all of my heart, but seeing my sisters once a year is brutally hard.  I know it would have given my Mom so much joy to see us together again.  We are so much like her that it made me feel like she was smiling down on us; listening to our chitter chatter, laughing her loud laugh at our jokes and being so proud that we’ve carried on some of her traditions. (Check out our sister trip at the slideshow below…sorry for the repeat Hawaii pics, WordPress is weird like that). 

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Long ago my Mom and her sisters came up with “pillow prizes” which were thoughtful little gifts left on your pillow when staying the night with a sister.  She then would give us girls “pillow prizes” when we came home from college or came to stay with her.  It became a thing.  Rightfully, we HAD to carry on the tradition.  I had bags made by an artist on Etsy and they were a hit!  Not only with the girls, but with many other women admirers we encountered.  Mom would have been so proud of me.  🙂  Amy and Maggie came up with “SistOR Olympics” for Becky and I; making us do goofy things such as braid each other’s hair, have a dance competition, and see who could carry on the most authentic “Southern” conversation.  We even went on to quote hilarious Mom-isms and Dad-isms from our youth.  Wow, did we ever have fun with that!  I can still hear her saying, “Lyin’ like a big dog!” and “Good Boogalooga!”  Oh how I wish she could have been there with us, pizza in hand, seeing a bit of herself in each of her girls.  Miss ya, Momma.

As much fun as I had seeing my sisters, I came back with a racing mind.  I’ve always considered us to be so much alike that I almost never knew how to separate myself from them.  I lump us all together as a solid unit, always saying “WE act like this, WE think like this”.  But that is no longer true.  We are four very distinct women now.  Though we easily slide back into our “roles” and our typical group dynamic, I really noticed the differences between us.  Perhaps it’s distance from each other or age or simply just the ebb and flow of life but I can honestly say that we are no longer so similar.  At first this made me a little sad…did it mean that we weren’t as close anymore?  Did it mean that without Mom we had forgotten who we were or where we came from?  But as I ponder over it more, I can see that no…we have simply just grown up.  I know I have changed tremendously over the last year alone, how could I expect to be the only one?  There is nothing wrong with change…it needs to happen and it needs to be welcomed.  I am proud of the person I am becoming and only hope that they are as well.  I think that’s one of the biggest challenges in life, after all.  While I always want to keep some similarities to my dear sisters such as their hilarious sense of humor…it’s okay for me to be Katie.  Just Katie.   While I have a long road ahead of me and many faults to tackle, I can honestly say without a doubt that not only am I a work in progress, but I am progressively working on myself.  And that is not something to be blue about, THAT is something to celebrate.  🙂


8 Responses to ““When you are through changing…you are through.””

  1. Faye Julies said

    awww, I love you Kate. I’m so glad you got to see your sistORs. whenever you talk about your mom I get a little teary. I can just imagine how proud she would have been to see you all together as close as you are, acting all silly and fun as she’d want you to be. You HAVE to make her proud with all that you do and all that you are, because you make ME proud. I love you Blossom 😉


  2. maggie said

    Ahhh….sistOR! 🙂 I read your blog and as always loved it. Well said as far as our sisterhood dynamics we are all growing up and we all are different but I love it! As long as we are all open minded and accepting of our differences they will just be another beautiful thing to love about each other. Thank you Katie I know that we can always rely on you to keep traditions. You and Amy are quite lovely that way and it always in the end makes me feel closer to mom. Shout out to little sis Becky for braving to go first on the hostess she did amazing and well I’m proud of us all! Now that I tried to take over your blog Kate (sorry I ramble) I adore you and love reading your blog so keep writing and watch out Hawaii because that’s where our next sistOR party is!! Yippee!! Love you so much Katie even more than that I like and respect you! Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings for you. Love ya bunches and bunches 🙂


  3. Melanie Tapp said

    Lordy, I’m crying like a baby. I feel like i’m sitting there talking to you while you write that… makes me miss you guys so much! ALL of you!


  4. jeanie said

    Loved reading about what is happening in your life. Growning and changing is a wonderful part of life.


  5. Lo Valle said

    I know how hard it is to blog. I’ve failed at it many times myself. But I do enjoy your posts, and hope you’ll get to do it more. Maybe we can motivate each other. Do you ever write in a context other than academic, blog/journal, etc.? I ask because we’re trying to start up a writing group on Sunday afternoons, if you have time in your busy schedule to stop through sometimes 🙂


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