Ms. Litster, tear down those walls... #chchchanges #continued

On the journey to being more self aware, it has come to my attention that I have been working on becoming a master mason... The walls I have built to protect myself from pain, embarrassment, heartbreak, and all the ugly things in the path of life, appear to be high, dense, and austere. Little did I realize that, while I was building a kingdom with a dragon and moat for my own protection, I also allowed myself to shut other out from the good things.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in need some pain relief, as well as peace and relaxation. While lying face down on the massage table, my massage therapist Tom asked me, “Why is your guard up today? You have something you’re holding onto and you have to let go.” {If you’ve been fortunate to meet Tom at Draper Peaks Massage Envy, you know that this is not an uncommon thing to have him read you} At first, I was taken aback; how could I be holding onto a feeling that would manifest itself as physical discomfort? I replied, “hmmm I think I’m fine... but that hurts!” Tom instructed me to breathe and focus on my emotions, and for the first time in all the years I’ve known him, it was dead silent. In the silence, I experienced clarity. My mind flooding with thoughts, body surging with feelings, tears running down my face and onto the headrest. As clear as day, I heard a loving and familiar voice in my head say, “Go for what you want! Stop letting the distractions get in your way. This is your chance.” We were only 20 minutes in to my 2 hour massage... It became a full on breakdown of what I needed to do to move on from these feelings I thought I had come to terms with.

The past four years have not been easy. There are things I have experienced and gone through that I didn’t think I could bounce back from. I’ve been scared, beaten down, hurt, felt alone, anxious, and honestly depressed, which I’ve never admitted out loud. There have been days where I wondered if I would ever feel happiness again. These items, issues, thoughts, experiences have been teaching moments, while also being a distraction. I would hold onto them and punish myself for not knowing better. I knew it was counterproductive, but I didn’t know how to move past it. In therapy I learned a technique; put the feelings or moments that would drag me down onto a lily pad and send it down the river. Recognize, Realize, Release, Relief. This analogy didn’t work as well for me as imagining a shopping bag, putting items that I didn’t need, then taking them to be returned. Same thing, whatever works for you.

Somewhere along the way, I forgot that it was okay to not have it all together all the time. I forgot that I could let things go and stop punishing myself for yesterday’s mistakes. The biggest distraction from reaching my goals has been me and my walls. No more.

In that two hour session, I poured my heart out. Some of it out loud to Tom, to the universe, some in silent prayer. I left with a lighter soul and a plan. The advice I heard so clearly was in the voice of my cute little grandma Litster❤️ She was never one to mince words... I know what I want for my life. I never thought I would be 35, single, never married, and childless. Remember when I laughed about serving a mission because there was “no way I’ll be 21 and single!” Bahahahaa, oh child please! To accomplish my goals, I have to let others in, stop self sabotaging, I have to be honest with myself and with whomever I share my life with. Walls down, open mind, honest heart.

Let’s see where this road takes me... Who knows? Where I’m going, I might not need roadsšŸ˜‰


Here we go... #scaryageapproaching

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love October... Month of Kortni is my favorite holiday, next to 4th of July and Christmas! This year, I’ve been in an all-out panic about this birthday. 35...Thirty-five... 3 - 5. That’s like a real adult age, full of adult decisions. I touched on this in my last blog, Onto the next. I know age is just a number, but that’s not a number I feel comfortable with haha! Just a few months ago, I was with some girlfriends on a bachelorette trip and was congratulated on having to be carded because I didn’t look old enough to be 21. Granted, it may have in part been due to our giggling and not just this youthful glow. But still, it was nice!

This brings me to the real topic. Learning to love yourself for who you are. I’ve said for years that you can’t find the right person until you become the right person. You have to learn to love and accept yourself so that you’re not dependent on someone else to gauge your self worth. This is tricky. There’s a fine line between loving yourself and being your own biggest fan... no one wants to hang with that person! The only time it’s appropriate to toot your own horn is in an interview; then it’s time to sell baby, sell! It’s great to be confident, self-aware, and humble. If you haven’t gained confidence yet, fake it ‘til you make it!

When I was deciding to write the post, I came across the above quote from Molly Mahar. It struck a chord with me. I am enough. Am I who I thought I would be? Am I where I thought I would be? Am I making all the right moves? No, not at all! But... I am enough. I am me and I am genuine*. I make mistakes, I fumble the ball, I allow interceptions. But I also know how to catch a pass, throw a ball, and make an occasional touchdown.

If this is what your 30’s are for, then I’m all in. Unless you ask me how old I am... 29, always 29!

This year is going to be full of challenges, filled with ups and downs, and I cannot wait to experience everything. I have 10 of the best kiddos, 10 amazing sibs, 2 phenomenal parents, my loving extended family, and my incredible friends and work family in my corner. I’ve got this. I love you all with my whole heart. Every day I wake up with gratitude, knowing that I’m never in this alone. Thank you for being you, for being a part of this crazy thing called life. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

Have a fabulous week!


* I'm genuine, except when using my "fake voice." Spence... I know you can hear it, even if you're not there.


Onto the next... #Change meets #MyScaryAge

It's been a while since I have taken the time to put myself out there... call it what you will, I'll just refer to it as "a break" {insert Ross Gellar's voice here}. These past 18 months have been, for lack of a better word, interesting. I've been fortunate to have some fabulous, and at times, hilariously ridiculous times. All of which have brought my team so much laughter, that they are keeping a running list lol. I promise to start sharing some of these moments this year. Through it all, change has been the only constant.

18 months ago, I moved out of Draper. Honestly, I didn't foresee leaving Draper anytime for anywhere that wasn't New York City... yet I'm in Cottonwood Heights, living with my sister Coco. Aaaannnddd I actually quite love our condo and little community. We've grown to be a tight-knit crew here, as we were hit with a flood 15+ weeks ago and construction is finally underway. These neighbors are pretty awesome; we have each other's backs. 

14 months ago, my role at work changed for the better. A different kind of stress, less clients but more impact. Also, a new team and new dynamics. It wasn't the easiest at first, but now we have our little quirks figured out. Honestly, our crew is pretty much the reason I love my job. Moving to a new channel added new challenges... a lot of travel and a lot of learning to depend on others. Valuable life lesson-- you really don't have to do it alone; it's okay to need help. This lesson is a work in progress. 

10 months ago is when I truly began to learn the lesson of letting go of control. My hands and arms were always sore with shooting pains, electrically tingly, all while going numb. I met with my doctor, who, after running through some tests, referred me to a hand and extremities specialist. My appointment with the specialist was, well, special lol. On a Thursday afternoon, I met Dr. Williams. He talked to both my sister and me about some of the exercises and tests he was going to run. Into the third of what felt like a bajillion tests, it was evident that he was concerned. When the tests were completed, he started typing quite quickly and said, "So, Tuesday should be good." I was kind of confused, looked at my phone and said, "Well, ummm, I have a few meetings on Tuesday. What time do I need to be seen again?" To which he quickly corrected me... "It wasn't a question. You are having surgery Tuesday morning at 7:45 am." He explained that I was already at risk of losing all function of my right hand due to both carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes. The nerve issues I had been experiencing were rapidly causing the blood supply to my fingers to slow. My hand was atrophying quickly. He then moved on to discuss my left hand, which was experiencing the same issues at a slower rate. Sparing you a lot of detail and more horrific nerve tests, I had two surgeries in a 4 week period. If it weren't for my family taking care of me, my BFF Laura dressing and redressing all of my wounds, and my work family backing me up DURING open enrollmentšŸ˜³, I don't know that I could have been able to get through it. Sure, it made 4th Quarter/OE, Thanksgiving, and Christmas a bit challenging, but we pulled through! I couldn't be more grateful. My hands and arms are about 85-90% back, which isn't too shabby. Onward and upward. 

You may be wondering what these three events have to do with the title of this post... well, here's where it all ties in. Change can be a catalyst. It forces us to make decisions that we may not have thought we were ready for. We may even have to scrap our plans and create a new one. All of this makes my anxiety spike and reminds me of how grateful I am for modern medicine... #blessyouPaxilandXanax

Next month is supposed to be my favorite month: Month of Kortni! However, I am stressing about reaching the milestone of my {duh-duh-duuuuhhhhnnnn} "scary age". We all have one, that age in mind where you should have your world figured out. That age when you shouldn't care about what others say/think/feel about you. That magical age where *poof* things should already be in place or be ready to fall into place. Well, honestly I am feeling ill-prepared to hit this one. 16 year old me was full of dreams, plans, and such surety that they would all fall into place. Awww, isn't she adorable and naivešŸ¤£? Bless her heart. 

I've been 29 for six years... Can't I stay 29 forever? I don't know that I'm ready to move on to *gulp* 35. This is an age that brings MAJOR choices and maybe even drastic change. I have to make life decisions about things I can't even bring myself to think out loud. Being single at, well um, 35 {woooaaahhh.} was not part of my plans. Not even version 3,689,341 of the ever-changing life plan was this a blip on the radar. However, I've learned {and am continually learning} that it's okay for plans to change. Life plans should be a living document, not something we write in Sharpie and seal in a laminator. Some parts need to be be written in pencil, other parts in fun colored pen. And the BIG things {like love your family, be a good person, take care of your fellow man, don't be a tool, say please and thank you, take your shopping cart back to the corral, etc} can stay in bold, black Sharpie. 

This is going to be an emotional adventure... I better get Dr. Robinson to be on standby lol. The key word is adventure. Let's shoot for a great one! #ImLookingAtYou35


Just a little perspective... #twothings

Coco Chanel knew a thing or two...
Sometimes it takes a rough day to put things in perspective. It is so easy to allow our insecurities to rule us! Think of all the times you have wanted to do or say something, but didn't follow through. Where would we be if we were able to accomplish the small stuff? How many life changing experiences have we missed out on because of our doubts? Over the past few months, this Coco quote has really hit home.
My friend Scott talked me into making myself believe that 2015 is the year that we become the best version of ourselves-- #OURYEAR! Between his prodding and knowing what I want and who I want to be, the changes have just kept on rolling.
This week, I started a new job with a new company. The opportunity came at an unexpected moment and was truly an answer to a silent prayer. I feel like I am where I am supposed to be at this moment of my life.
At the end of the year, I decided to truly put myself back in the dating world. It hasn't been easy! There have been some great experiences and some downright weird ones...oy gevalt! (If I wasn't Miss Baltimore Crrraaabbb) That being said, I think I'm headed down the right path. I just have to get out of my own way and start tearing down the walls that my insecurities have built. Maybe one day I will get this all figured out... Until then, I will do what I do best-- put on a smile, my best heeled foot forward, and fake it 'til I make it ;)


A Year of Firsts... #anotheryeardown

On the last day of being 31 and reflecting on the past year, I've realized that 31 was full of firsts-- some good, some bad, super high and mega low. Either way, I wouldn't change the lessons I have learned. This is the year that taught me that it's okay to put yourself first once in a while. I went to Disneyland for the first time and found out that my irrational fear of rides and people dressed as animals were just that, irrational! Starting at a new company, being the new girl... not something I am very used to. This year, I came to terms with my anxiety. I learned that you can't always do things on your own and it's okay to ask for, accept, and receive help. The biggest lesson I learned is what inspired this post...

On my drive home from work today, one of my besties from college and I had some time to talk about what we have both have learned from our trials. For years we had both felt that when you reach a certain age or a point in your career, you should feel comfortable in where you are. After the ups and downs that we have both faced, we came to the same conclusion: I don't want to ever be so comfortable that I accept things just as they are. I want to always be reaching for a new goal. Adversity is what makes you stronger and hungrier for more. Complacency is the enemy. The new plan: every time I reach a goal, I will add a new one to the list!

Since last year was full of firsts, I'm looking at 32 as a year for second chances and second beginnings. So long 31! Thank you to my family and friends for your unconditional love and support throughout my life, but most importantly this past year. I know it hasn't been easy, but you all made it feel effortless when I needed you most. You are the heart of my life's story. Thank you!! xoxo