Life is Crazy and Writing is Hard

The most busy and awesome week of my life has been the week I moved out of my house and on to college. The night before I left, I wrote a post concerning transition.  The only reason why I know today’s date is because it’s a holiday weekend and I don’t have school tomorrow. I’m already procrastinating on my first paper of the semester. Rather, I’m taking much too long write a two-page paper. I’ll give myself credit for having completed a shitty first draft.    I didn’t realize I was still in summer mode. The first week of upper level classes flew by so quickly. I’m the junior-transfer student who has an academic advantage on other students, nothing more!

These past eleven days I’ve shaken more hands of more people than I’ve ever met at one time. Additionally, I’ve introduced myself to some individuals not once, but twice. Laughter has been unavoidable. I’ve said yes to some event or get together pretty much every single night since I arrived here. A football game, volleyball, dinner, sing-along movie night etc. At one point during these past few days I must’ve blinked because I feel as though I just arrived here. Only yesterday did I finally take out the very last cardboard box to the dumpster.

I’m becoming somewhat acclimated. It’s only under sixty-six degrees this evening and I’m shivering in my dorm room, ready to break out the sweatpants. I was actually able to sleep under all of my covers last night and turn off my fans. Progress.

While this new part of my life is thriving,  I  am failing recently to put forth effort into my writing, which I proclaim to love. My relationship with words is more of the love-hate type. Writing is certainly  easier said than done.  A recent trend in my posts has reflected an obvious struggle in simply sitting down and putting my pen to paper-or in this case, fingers to keys. There is no doubt that a resistance is present. And also winning.

 A Few Excuses I’ve Made to Not Write

  • Time-there isn’t enough
  • I’ll never stand out
  • My story isn’t important
  • I’m not progressing and growing
  • I don’t have money to invest into my website

The excuses mentioned above are hardly justifiable. Boy how I wish they were. To clarify, never do I lack a topic to write about. Many believe that writer’s block is due to the absence of subject matter. I’m learning that this is not the case. It’s pure laziness.

At lunch today, my friend Megan asked me “So are you just writing all the time?”

I was honored that she’d think I’m so disciplined as to maintain a disciplined writing habit. Unfortunately, I could not respond affirmatively and call myself an honest person.

*Gulp.*

I responded something along the lines of “Ummm… yes? Well, sort of, like if I’m not writing I’m thinking about what I’d like to be writing. I mean, lately, not really.”

Not exactly a straightforward answer. And lemme tell you, this isn’t the first time recently these encounters have occurred. I’m always thankful for friends who ask me these questions. The hard ones. Only hard questions provoke action.

I’m writing today because life is crazy and writing is hard-even when life isn’t so insane. I don’t have anything profound to share, but I tend to relate best with people who share their stories from day-to-day life.

There. You are all updated on my life. If you are new here, welcome. Old friends, it’s so good to see you again.

 

Until next time,

Kayla

 

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5 Apps Worth Using

After much deliberation and resentment, I’ve “joined the I-Phone family.” My plan was to be that cool hipster person with some sort of Android. It appears I’m too mainstream. Anyhow, I thought I’d share my thoughts on  some neat apps I discovered

1. Happier. It’s like Facebook except, well happier. It’s less of a social media site and more a way to share “happy moments.”

2. Werdsmith is AWESOME.  It’s keeps track of your word count, you can share what you write, set goals for writing projects, etc. AND their logo is a mustache, so if you’re into facial hair, Werdsmith is clearly for you.

3.Dictionary.com. This one is for all of my fellow nerds out there. I mean, it’s not only a dictionary, but a thesaurus as well. Did I mention it works offline?

4.OK DO THIS. Maybe I had high expectations, but I found Instagram a little anticlimactic. I mean, that’s what you do when you get an I-Phone, am I right? It’s possible it’s only a cooler experience for those who are InstaFamous-if you know what I mean. Anyways, if you enjoy Instagram (or if you don’t) OK DO THIS will blow your socks off. If you currently feel as though you are contributing to a pool of already large #selfie and #food pictures, this app takes everything to the next level.

5. Flipboard. Because everything that you used to read in the paper is now online. Why not create a personal, organized platform where you can read articles from papers, magazines, blogs, and social media sites? Like most apps, it takes a little playing around with to really understand it’s purpose.

P.S. I’m looking for a new Bible app. The You Version is great, but it keeps bugging out on me. Suggestions?

I am on instagram, and you can check out my feed at the bottom of the page. My username is kaylanbonar. I’d still highly recommend that you check out OK DO THIS. 

Thirsty

http://tap.unicefusa.org

Thirsty. 768 million people are thirsty. Oh, so thirsty.

The UNICEF Tap Project is trying to provide assistance to  those staggering numbers. All you need to do is put down your phone. It’s that easy. (Or is it?) For every ten minutes you don’t use or touch your phone, national sponsors partnering with UNICEF will give a day’s worth of clean water to one of those 768 million people.

This challenge was just too good not to share.

Some ideas for those of you who “must” use your phones during the day:

1. Do the challenge while you sleep. At some point in the day, your phone has to be put down.

2. Be strategic. Plan a block of time to answer your e-mails, update your FB status, post your Instagram pictures etc. You can start and stop, BUT, if you do, be sure jot down the number of hours/minutes you stopped at.

DO something with all the time you would’ve spent on your phone.

How long can you go?

-Kayla

P.S. I’m  currently at 2 hours.

2013: A Year In Review

Facebook doesn’t accurately highlight my year. Not everything that happened was declared in a status.,

32 Things I learned in 2013:

  1.  Graduation ceremonies are overrated.
  2.  I’m a very horrible party planner.
  3.   AOSS (Awkward Older Sibling Syndrome) is a very real and prevalent disease.
  4.  Summer quarter is no fun.
  5. Handwritten letters are a dying art. I’m still struggling to enter the twenty-first century.
  6. “It’s only awkward if you make it awkward” is a true statement. That being said, I’m guess awkward is my specialty.
  7.  I’m an ISFJ.
  8.  Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha is starting to taste like toothpaste.
  9.  Spontaneous trips to Chipotle with the siblings will be missed.
  10.  Facebook debates are immature.
  11.  Skype is probably my favorite technology.
  12.  Time and distance are the ultimate tests of friendship.
  13.  Awesome friends ask you challenging questions.
  14.  Chivalry is not dead.
  15.  I don’t recommend procrastinating on essays that are worth 10% of your grade unless you work well under pressure. (Thankfully, I do most of the time).
  16. Textbooks are expensive.
  17. God is very good to me.
  18. We have so many things to give.
  19. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness.
  20. If you want to hear God, you need to listen.
  21. Many people won’t agree with you.
  22. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry too much.
  23. Small acts of kindness have huge impact.
  24. God has a strange way of placing people in our lives. Sometimes it takes awhile to discover why they’re there.
  25. “EVERYONE” and “I’M THE ONLY ONE” are some of the most destructive phrases.
  26. Miracles happen.
  27. My sister picks out good Christmas trees.
  28. I don’t like being an adult.
  29. It’s OK to let go of those autographed Jump 5 posters.
  30. AT&T is annoying.
  31. His mercies are new everyday, not January 1st.
  32.  I cannot function without coffee in the morning.

Also in 2014:

  1. I chopped off all of my hair and donated it to Locks of Love.
  2. I graduated from Highschool.
  3. I got accepted to Washington State University. Go Cougs!
  4. Remembered  Windy<—read his story!
  5. Started this blog!
  6. Drank coffee with some pretty great people.
  7. I went 107 days without a single seizure.
  8. I had a successful  surgery .

I’ve always been somewhat on the fence about New Year’s resolutions. Nonetheless, here are some things I want to be more consistent in! (Not just in 2014).

  • Joy. In the worst of times, and in the best of times.
  • Writing.
  • Reading.
  • Pursuing God. He pursued me first! Before I knew Him, He wanted me? Why? Because our God is full of grace.
  • Love more.
  • Worrying LESS.

Have a fantastic New Year! I hope to see and hear from you during Coffee Shop Talk 🙂

-Kayla-

For the Fresh Peoples

I learn as I go. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten anything right the first time. I’ve learned more by making mistakes than I think I would’ve if I hadn’t made them.  I believe it is my duty to impart with some little snippets of wisdom.  From one fellow grammar Nazi to another, please, feel free to keep any corrections to yourself. I only drank one cup of coffee today.  WARNING: SARCASM INTENDED. STOP HERE IF YOU CAN’T LAUGH AT YOURSELF.

So, without further ado, here are a few things you should know about college:

  1. you no longer have the ability to be the teacher’s pet. you are ONE fish in one very large school.
  2.  friends will come and go. some people are placed in your life for a season. Others for longer. the latter are usually able to stand two tests which either make or break  friendships: 1) distance 2) time.
  3. i’m assuming a majority of you drink coffee or some caffeinated liquid. look at your class schedule. plan accordingly for caffeine crashes. if all of your classes are in the morning, by all means, help yourself to a cup of Joe, tea, your chock-full -of-energy drink of choice. If you intend on accomplishing your homework in the afternoon, you might wanna have a second cup after lunch. believe me. i’ve learned all of this by trial and error. don’t be that person who orders three extra shots of caffeine in their coffee. if you’re that desperate, there is a cure. it’s called sleep.
  4. summer classes. i took a fifteen credit load in the summer. entirely online. i spent 130+ hours on one five credit math homework. imagine a year-long math class, then a semester class and then a quarterly class and the an 8 week class. 130+hours for one class alone. plan accordingly so that you do not have to put yourself through something that stressful.
  5. you’re only human. not everybody places into calculus first semester the way ALL freshmen are supposed to. it’s OK. i placed into Algebra. i worked hard and received a B. better to work hard and receive a B than not work at all.   worth ethic will get you a LOT farther than 4.0’s.
  6.  in case of an emergency, take a tip from Gracie Lou Freebush. A.K.A, Miss Congeniality, Gracie Heart, Sandra Bullock etc.  and just S.I.N.G! Solar Plexus, Instep, Nose, and Groin 😉 Congratulations. You’ve just mastered your first self-defense lesson.
  7. ask questions.  find out EXACTLY what your teacher wants. make sure things are crystal clear. For example, does your math teacher expect things done a certain way? Let’s face it, most teachers prefer assignments done a particular way. if you can’t  ask  your teacher, ask the TA, if you can’t ask the TA, ask someone who has been in the class before, if you don’t know someone who has been in the class before, ask a different teacher in the SAME DEPARTMENT. your math teacher may know your English teacher, but his or her English skills probably won’t be that great.  don’t try to cozy up to your teacher so much that you become that extremely obnoxious person who sides with the teacher concerning everything. there is no such thing as a stupid questions. except, well y’know…..i just won’t go there.
  8.  english class. always give constructive feedback to classmates. the least helpful thing for a person to hear is “oh that’s cool,” or “oh that’s stupid.” Always answer the five W’s.
  9.  notes are important.  i’ve learned that the hard way this quarter. however, note taking is  only of good use to you if you a)  number the pages b) preferably keep them in a spiral notebook. neat writing is kind of pointless if you have half of your lecture notes in a binder and the other half somewhere on your desk.
  10.  you’re sharing a room with someone you’ve either never met before, share nothing in common with, will only keep their room clean until the first day of school starts, or is TOTALLY AWESOME. Be prepared for anything. you can only stalk a person on Facebook so much. the “e-harmony” of roommates only works so well. how do I know this? i talked with a friend at a going away party and she said her current roommate is actually on the waiting list for a  single room. #awkward.
  11.  amazon isn’t always cheaper. i recently recoiled in horror at this terrible revelation. i found out that one of my school textbooks is actually half the price at the school bookstore than online. this is the first time it has happened in five quarters so…..
  12.  if you aren’t the type of person who annotates and underlines frantically (like me) you should try renting books.  so step 1) figure out how you best retain information.
  13.  so, sometimes you can find the older version of a textbook for a lot cheaper simply because it’s a different edition. e-mail your professors and they may let you make copies of material not included in the older editions. not many people do this. mainly because they’re too lazy to make the extra effort and ending up spending more money than they’d like. and honestly, not many teachers are happy with their salaries and may therefore sympathize with your insane materials cost.
  14.  hopefully you are at school for an education so, try to come away educated. harsh, but y’know.
  15. Finals: UGH.  here’s my best advice. Set a tentative game plan. take out your handy-dandy planner schedule out the week preceding finals carefully. follow that as closely as possible.  then be prepared for that entire plan to completely failed. so after plan A fails, choose the class most vital to your degree and make sure to not fail that one class. 
  16.  academic integrity. let’s get serious.  you can bet I’ll write a separate post on this issue because I feel so strong about this issue. don’t cheat. please. it’s not worth it. i know “everybody” is making the decision to Google answers to that take home test. well guess what. you are not everybody. i could probably be an honors student if i weren’t an honest student. life isn’t fair. the bell curve isn’t fair. but YOU MUST think about how the decisions you make now will decide your future. don’t fall into that peer pressure. here’s the deal, many times people will try to justify cheating simply because things aren’t communicated clearly between your professor and the class-directly. look at your class syllabus. look at your test and/or homework instructions. if something seems fuzzy, clarify with your teacher. ASK if you can use extra. there’s nothing wrong with that.
  17. student accounts : “welcome! you’ll need our services for the next four years of your life at (insert school name) please expect delays from day one of account creation. we no longer communicate via paper. WE’RE ADVANCED. therefore, from here on out, we’ll have our IT department open 24/7, because the best part about our services is that nothing EVER works perfectly. expect unexpected changes to occur with each  log in and lack of communication and understanding from your teachers. we’re hoping that these dire circumstances will increase creativity among our students, who we desire to be as well-rounded as possible.” sincerely, The Team at ( insert name of school and account type).
  18. scholarships. brag away, because we all know that YOU are the reason YOU are here today. i.e 2.0 G.P.A, that one time you did that one thing with ASB. ahh but here is an idea! my third cousin twice removed was one-quarter Cherokee Indian. SCORE. no. just no.
  19. FAFSA. congratulations you are just rich enough but just poor enough that this one $5,000 Stanford student loan POSSIBILITY will hardly make a dent in the $200,000 + you’ll be paying for school. welcome to the middle class. WE ARE THE 99%.
  20. Need a Monday pick-me-up? Watch a Blimey Cow YouTube video. They recently started doing podcasts as well!
  21. Find your jam. And crank it up.

-Kayla

eldest of eight, recent High School graduate, current community college student and future transfer at God-knows-where (He does)

Jeremiah 29:11

Books, Books, and More Books!

115. That is the number of books on my shelves–or in my Kindle– I have read or am super-duper close to finishing. 40. The number of books in the Left Behind series  for teens by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins. I read them all in a matter of months. Unknown. The number of books I’ve ever checked out from the public library. 9+. The current number of books on my reading list this summer. 1179. The number of pages in The Count of Monte Cristo. The longest book I have read thus far aside from the Bible. 5. My age when I illustrated my grandpa’s self-published book–The Little Angel Gets A Big Job. 2. The number of attempts I made before finally finishing Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. 6. The number of Bibles I own. 1. The number of books I want to write in my lifetime. (At LEAST). 3. The number of boards on my Pinterest dedicated completely to books. Yes, I am a nerd 4 life.

Currently Finished and/or Currently (Attempting) To Read:

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Finished. Incredible.

Forgotten God by Francis Chan. You must read this book. You absolutely must. It’s convicting, encouraging, and thought-provoking. In the best ways possible.

Les Miserables by Victor HugoThe struggle is real. I’m only 241 pages in. And I started forever and a day ago.

Jesus The King: Understanding The Life And Death of The Son Of God by Timothy Keller. (Previously titled King’s Cross). This is one of those good books that I need to just  sit down and read. It just hasn’t happened.

Summer 2013 Summer Quarter College Reading List:

License to Thrill: A Cultural History Of The James Bond Films by James Chapman

License Renewed by John Gardner

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Note: These books are actually a requirement for my History 255R class I just wrapped up this summer titled: Bond…James Bond. Who would’ve thought one could earn 5 college credit for learning about a fictional character? These are the questions I asked myself at the start of summer quarter. Well, the end has come and gone (thank heavens)! Not only am I NOT a Bond fan, but my favorite book wasn’t even written by Ian Fleming himself. Sad day. My advice to you: don’t take an obscure specialized class. It’s code word for fan club.

7: an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker. Ugh. School was crazy so I still haven’t finished the last 8% of the book. That sounds so wrong. I can’t get used to this whole Kindle thing.

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. LEwis

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

How did I fall so behind in this precious series?!

Spontaneous reads:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. One of few books in the “young adult” genre that isn’t about zombies or vampires.

2. The Great Gatsby by Francis-Scott Fitzgerald I almost cried. So. Sad.

3. This Side of Paradise by Francis-Scott Fitzgerald.

Just starting:

1. Rooms a novel by James L. Rubart

Praise for rooms: “Rooms is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year. If you like The Shack, I think you’ll like Rooms. If you didn’t like The Shack, I bet you’ll love Rooms. This story got under my skin and it’s going to be there for a long, long time.”

–Randy Ingermanson, Christy award-winning author of Oxygen

My curiosity is officially aroused. I read The Shack and I’ll be honest: I did not enjoy the read at all. There, I’ve spit that out. Whew! Let me just say I found it very controversial. But hey, that’s exactly why I enjoy writing. Not because I enjoy controversial things, but because I enjoy discussing anything and everything.  Read it for yourself, and tell me what you think!

Journalism 125 Textbooks:

I would jump up and down with excitement, but I can’t do that while sitting.

1. News Reporting and Writing by Missouri Group Twelfth Edition.

2. Associated Press Stylebook Tenth Edition.

Always Reading:

1. My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. This devotional is so inspiring. Chambers does an excellent job writing in-depth snippets of goodness. It’s one of those books I don’t want to read through because I’m afraid I won’t want to read it over again!

Always Loving:

“The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all others, and in all conditions of human life.”

John Quincy Adams

What are you reading?

-Kayla

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee!

According to Wikipedia,  since its grand opening in 1987, Starbucks has whet the parched tongues of coffee consumers by launching an average of 2 new coffee shops,  every single day. There are now 20,891 of these coffeehouses in 62 countries. Almost half of these are in the United States. That’s a lot of coffee floating around. I live in Seattle, where coffee is an idol, and people just can’t seem to get enough. There are enough coffee shops–not limited to mainstream chains–within a five-mile radius of my house to fulfill any avid coffee lover’s dreams.

Unlike the average high school or college student, I refuse to drink more than one cup of coffee a day–with exceptions– and have never paid for an extra shot. I pretend to like drip coffee, when in reality, I always stir in a bit of hot coco mix and powdered creamer. I was convinced coffee had more of a psychological effect than anything else. Until I went to Starbucks with a friend one Tuesday. At four O’clock in the afternoon. The problem is not coffee at four o’clock in the afternoon, the problem is the caffeine. I ordered a caramel macchiato! My friend on the other hand, ordered a straight drip coffee. Now that was a sight to see.

Regardless of the insane numbers of Starbucks populating the area, the one I suggested we go to was probably the most crowded. That was a bad decision on my part. However, we successfully found a table. There is something about the atmosphere of a coffee shop that is inviting–be it crowded or not. It’s not the coffee that makes it a good time, it’s the people you’re with and the conversations you have. Just give me some spare time and I could talk and listen for hours on end. The jokes, the laughter, the honesty, the memories, and even the unplanned call from the mother of the kid you’re supposed to be babysitting, they are all things which make a good cup of coffee a good cup of coffee.

Rian Aditia once said, “There’s nothing sweeter than a cup of bitter coffee”— (Click to tweet)

This is my exhortation to you: make some time in your schedule, go grab a friend, and drink some good coffee 🙂

Now be filled, and go grab some coffee!

Much love,

Kayla

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