Category Archives: Personal

Holy shit.

 

It’s been over a year since I’ve last posted.  I spent 10-ish minutes re-capping the last year of my life and the big changes I went though, but decided against boring the internet with the details.

Overall, it was my first permanent move away from my family, moving to a foreign city where I didn’t know anyone, starting a job at a company that was way out of my league, and figuring out how to be happy when it felt like everything was just working against me.  Skipping over the bad parts where I cried almost everyday, gained a bunch of weight, treated poor Cody (the only person I knew in the city) like shit – I’m happy now.

I am making significant progress in paying down my student debts.  I am finding balance between work, physical fitness, playing with Charlie, and building/strengthening relationships with Cody and my new friends out here.  I initially started in a role that wasn’t a great fit for me, but am now in a place where I wake up and am actually excited to get up in the morning.  I’ve also secured new mentors who inspire me everyday, and — I have mentees who look up to me as well.  It’s insane.  I have so many reasons to be thankful and I couldn’t feel more blessed with the way things turned out.  The first 10 months in Seattle were quite a struggle, but I’m finally starting to feel things fall into place.  I look forward to what the future will bring. 🙂

7 Stages of Grief as a Grad Student

  1. Shock & Denial: “This prof is such an unreasonable prick for assigning a 30-page group paper and 20-minute group presentation.  Oh well, it probably won’t be too hard.” (7 weeks before due date)
  2. Pain & Guilt: “I should probably start thinking about that assignment soon.” (5 weeks before due date)
  3. Anger & Bargaining: “Fuck this classist education system – I shouldn’t have to get a Master’s to prove I am capable!  If I work on this shit for one hour a day for the next week, I can still finish it early…” (2 weeks before due date)
  4. Depression: “I hate group projects!  My employer is a clear example that executives don’t collaborate in real life.  Why did I even decide to get an MBA?  How the fuck did I get accepted into the program?  I’m such a stupid, stupid bitch.  I should have bought a Birkin instead.” (1 week before due date)
  5. The Upward Turn [Up]: “OMG, I selected a topic and wrote the title page!  I deserve a fun weekend. TURN UP.” (3 days before due date)
  6. Reconstruction & Working Through: “I am almost finished and it’s only 11:20 pm!  Most of my friends aren’t even done yet, so I’m in good shape.” (Night before due date)

6b. “I just want to cry myself to sleep.  Why did I waste so much time writing a blog post that wasn’t even that funny or original?  Maybe I should ask for an extension.  Maybe I can call in sick tomorrow to work on this.” (4am, 30 mg of adderall and 4 cups of coffee later)

7. Acceptance & Hope: “Meh, that wasn’t my best work, but at least I’ll pass.  Nobody cares about GPA anyways.  & at least BAE loves me and has revenue potential to support my dumb ass.”  (3 hours before submissions are closed)

8 more weeks until I graduate and get promoted to SVP of Analytics!… Right?

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My First TV Interview

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On Wednesday, immediately following the State of the Union, I had the opportunity to interview on Utah Matters, a political segment on KJZZ Channel 14.  I joined my friend Marcus, who is the Chair of the Utah College Democrats, and two leaders within the Utah College Republicans.  We discussed topics including the minimum wage, fairness and equality, “free” community college tuition, the national debt, and tax reform.  With all the different people they could have brought in to respond to the State of the Union, I thought was really neat for the program to feature college students.  I had the opportunity to do some interviews when I went to the DNC back in 2012, but none of them were a full 30-minute segment like this one.  I never would’ve thought I’d have this kind of exposure at such a young age – it has been amazing and I am so grateful.

One of my biggest weaknesses is presenting – I have such a hard time articulating my ideas clearly and intelligently.  It was an incredible chance for me to learn a lot about I present the opinions that matter to me most under pressure.  It was also a great way for me to evaluate how I really feel about different issues, because the answer that came to mind first reflected how I truly felt about the topic I was asked about.  I know that the best way to improve a skill and overcome a weakness is to practice until it becomes second nature, but putting myself on the spot was probably the best thing I could do to overcome my stage fright.  It’s funny how something so scary can also be so much fun, and I hope I get more opportunities to do more interviews in the future.

With every new opportunity or big accomplishment, I reflect on where I am now, and where I started.  I am nowhere close to where I imagined I would be at this age, but I am still very proud of where I have come so far.  I am learning so much and meeting so many incredible people along the way.  I have great mentors and a wonderful support system, and I couldn’t be more grateful for my current situation.  I still have big ambitions, but I have learned to be patient – the thing that matters most is that I continue to give my all everyday.  I know it will all pay off.

 

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Love Defined.

Until today, I have never before heard such a beautiful definition of love. I cried.

“You said that the wonderful thing about falling in love is that you learn everything about that person, and so quickly. And if it’s true love then you start to see yourself through their eyes and it brings out the best in you. And it’s almost as if you’re falling in love with yourself.”

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Today

I am feeling so many different emotions.  I feel blessed that I was able to land a 5th round of interviews with Goldman Sachs.  I am grateful for the endless support I’ve had from the people who believe in me more than I do myself.  Because I’ve never worked so hard to prepare for something like an interview, I feel accomplished.  I skimmed the 160+ pages of the Goldman Sachs 10-k Report, wrote up answers to questions I’m not even sure I’ll be asked, and reached out to current employees I barely know for advice on the interview process.  I even mailed thank-you letters to each person I interviewed with, and each letter was uniquely tailored to the conversation I had with each individual.  And I’m thinking this might be the last round that determines whether or not I got the job because the number of people with whom I meet each round is dwindling.

I know I’ve said this before, but I mean it even more now when I say I’ve never wanted something so badly in my life.  I feel like this career would just open up a whole new world of opportunity for me.  Everyone talks about how hard it is to work at Goldman Sachs, but I already work hard, and always have.  I feel like such a good fit for this company’s culture, and the fulfillment of their goals are ones that would be a dream come true to be a part of.  In this role, I’d be able to harness my unused potential – I’d be challenged, I’d learn new things everyday, I’d continue to grow.  And if I work hard enough, maybe I’ll even be able to transfer to an office on the East Coast, or anywhere in the whole world.

I’m also feeling very scared and nervous.  In the past, I’ve broken down into a million pieces whenever I’ve come up short of meeting a goal.  Failure is something I’ve never been very good at dealing with.  While I’m still very worried about being rejected, this time is a little different.  If anything, I just received 5 weeks of the most intense interview experience anyone could ever have with one of the most prestigious institutions in the world.  That’s definitely something I’ll always be proud of.  And they can bet their bottom dollar that I will try applying again.  They must like me after all – they’ve called me back five times! 😛

I just wanted to remind myself of the hard work I’ve done to get to this point.  All of the failures, hard times, and mistakes I’ve made brought me here to this very moment.  I wouldn’t take any of them back for the world.  If things work out for me and this role, I will know what it feels like to have everything I could ever want.  Each stepping stone towards my future career goals and happiness means the world to me.  On the other hand, if things don’t work out, I just want to have these feelings recorded so that I’ll remember not to lose hope, and not to give up.  I’m making progress.  Two years ago, I couldn’t even get an interview.  This year, I’ve already had seven with Goldman Sachs.

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The Art of Happiness

This year has been so impactful on my overall outlook on life, understanding of love, & definition of success.

One of the things I wish I could change about myself is how I’m constantly over analyzing and trying to make sense of things. I wish I could just roll with the punches, take things one step at a time, and be happy with what I have. Instead, I’m always trying to think in the long-term, yet a lot of the choices I end up making yield short-term returns.

I’m good at a lot of things, but one of the things I’m really bad at is taking charge of my own happiness. I think it’s because finding happiness isn’t a skill – it’s an art. It takes real creativity to see the beauty in everything and to realize the positive side to any situation. If everyone thought logically, no one would be completely content. We are all going to have goals – even once you reach a certain point, you’ll still want more. There will always be something missing. The important part is that you realize where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. Being happy is a choice, not something that comes naturally.

The other day, a friend of mine told me something really sweet.  She said:

“Gosh Kat, you’ve worked hard as long as I’ve known you, and now you have the perfect life.  I’m so glad to see that you have a sexy, well-paying job, good relationships with your friends, and now you have the perfect boyfriend – you have everything you’ve always wanted.  You inspire me to get my act together and work toward my dreams.”

This felt really good to hear.

But while I know I am in a great place, and I have a lot to be thankful for, my life is not a fairy tale.  I may project it to be perfect, but it isn’t, because I’m not perfect either.  I’ve made plenty of selfish mistakes, hurt dozens of people, and spend a good two minutes every single day regretting some things I can no longer change – and it’s probably safe to say that I’m still paying the price for those decisions.  I just don’t share how broken I truly am because I think it’s important to always stay as positive as you can be.

Behind everyone’s success story is an equally unglamorous one.  Nothing in this world is free – the most rewarding aspects of life require lots of hard work, discipline and commitment.  The two people in a happy couple went through a lot of struggle, past failed relationships, and heartbreak to get to the point of stability and understanding where they are.  An athlete may have been born with natural talent, but also needed to make a lot of sacrifices in order to train to the level of skill they are now.  The CEO of a prosperous company could have possibly led multiple failed start-ups before finally creating something that could compete in the market.

My point is, life is life.  Realize that some people get dealt better cards than others in this game of life, but ultimately it still takes a lot of strategy, skill, and commitment to facilitate the best outcome for yourself.  You’ll have to make trade-offs and give up a lot of things you love, but just keep telling yourself that in the end it’ll be worth it.  You’ll make decisions that you’ll regret, but it’s important to accept that what’s done is done, and move on.  You’ll have times when you feel like a complete failure, but you also have to realize your self-worth and look at how much you have accomplished.

I think the people who are successful and happy are the ones who are just as proud of their accomplishments as they are of surviving hell and back to get there.  It’s important to stay humble, and remember where you came from – everyone is working as hard as you are to create their happy ending, and the degree to which you are able to accomplish your goals depends on your personal drive combined with your family and friends who make up your support system, and sometimes just pure luck.  Opportunities don’t always just fall into your lap, but when they do, don’t take them for granted.

Consistent with all my other posts, my thoughts are all over the place…  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m thankful for every aspect of my life.  I wouldn’t undo any of the mistakes I’ve made over the last couple of years, and I wouldn’t take back any of the challenging times when I felt defeated, because if none of it happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  But I also wouldn’t wish the pain I felt on anyone else… Some people, like myself, just need to learn everything the hard way.

And at this point, I think I’m the best person I ever was because of it all.  I’m still working toward building my own happily ever after – I may not deserve it yet, and it’ll take me a lot more work to achieve than all the other good people out there.  But I’ll get there, because I know I’m capable of getting anything I want.  I think that’s something to be proud of. 🙂

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At the end of the day…

Family is all you will ever need.  ❤ ♡ ❤

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Let Freedom Ring.

As our break from complaining about America to celebrate America comes to a close, I just wanted to reflect on what the meaning of Independence Day is to me.

We are so lucky to live in this country. While we are definitely not without our conflicting views regarding different issues, I’m just thankful we are even able to have that freedom to disagree with each other and to even disagree with our government. And I’m thankful that [IN THEORY] we have a system in which out of every contention and dispute, we are able to reach a consensus that makes sense for the majority of Americans and get one step closer to a more perfect union. Relative to the other political systems out there, ours definitely serves as a model for other countries.

But freedom isn’t free. There were (and still are) many heroes who fought to protect our liberty so that we could live our comfortable lives here at home. Many didn’t return home, and many of the ones who did were deeply impacted by the unimaginable and were never the same again. I am so grateful for every person who has served in the United States military and sacrificed so much for their country, their families, and people like me who they’ll never even meet.

To all you service men and women: While Independence Day is the most appropriate day to show appreciation for all you’ve sacrificed for our country, please know that we always feel thankful. Though we will never be able to completely understand what you went through, please know we will never forget the invaluable contributions you made to the well-being of our country as well as our own personal prosperity.

Well, back on the grind tomorrow – Let freedom ring. 🙂

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Moving On

When faced with a tough decision,

sometimes it’s better just to ignore your heart,

trust your intuition,

make a decision, stick with it,

and don’t look back.

There’s no reason to waste time sulking about it.

Don’t ask questions, don’t ponder “what-if’s.”

Don’t wonder about what could have been…

The best thing you can do now is move on and press forward

and be thankful –

Thankful for the things that are going right,

but even more thankful for the things that are challenging

because this is how we grow and become better people.

And of course, don’t forget to pray.

What is meant to be, will be. 🙂

“Good things fall apart so that great things can come together.”

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Unprofessional, but Insightful Relationship Advice

I think I just realized why “women go for assholes.”  This post is long, and starts off really weird at first, especially where I start talking about how awesome I am, but I think it’s worth the read.

Being 22 years old, I realize I’m not a relationship expert or anything.  But in my experience, I’ve been lucky to have dated some really great guys who treated me well and were nothing but good boyfriends to me.  Yet, it never worked out, usually due to me losing interest.  We’d stay friends because we didn’t end on bad terms, but most of the relationships I’ve been in ended this way.

I’m not at all implying that these great guys are doing anything wrong – But I think it might just be part of a system-level dynamic that they’ll eventually become more of an “asshole” over time as they realize that they need to start standing up for themselves rather than waiting on every aspect of their girlfriends’ lives since they keep getting left behind.

There were only two relationships that took me months to get over, and in those two instances my heart was broken.  But I recall thinking, “Why am I so upset?  All he ever did was make me cry when we were together.  We never got along.  All we did was argue.  He treated me like shit.”

But I’m starting to realize that these guys weren’t intentionally trying to make me upset all the time or fight with me.  They cared about me, but they were looking out for themselves too.  And I’m starting to realize how important it is to have this quality in a boyfriend.

I think I’m a pretty good catch.  Not to toot my own horn anything, but I think I have a fun personality, I’m multi-talented, I have a fun family.  I’m pretty smart and I’ve accomplished quite a bit at my young age.  And while I don’t think I’m beautiful like Lilly Ghalichi, I’m okay-looking in my own way.

Having these characteristics gave me a relatively easy life.  I was charismatic without even trying, as long as people knew my background and who I was.  It was always easy for me to make friends and meet new people because I’m a likeable person.  I never had to worry about any drama (or even if there was any drama, it didn’t phase me at all), and I have never been single for more than 3 months since I was 15.  And no matter how hard I try to put on a front that I’m “independent,” and I handle everything on my own, I know it’s not true.  I’ve always had a great support system – my family, friends, AND boyfriend – to help me through every challenge I’ve ever encountered.

Because of these aspects of myself, it was pointed out to me that I was spoiled.  I don’t like being uncomfortable, and it’s easier for me just to run away from my problems.  I don’t like dealing with confrontations, and I have a hard time facing stressful situations because I’ve never really needed to in the past.  I’ve always had people to take care of me, or I’ve always had the option to run away.  This is why when I got back from DC last year without a job, I could hardly handle the stress.  I’m just so used to getting everything I want, and when things don’t go my way, I fall apart.

I’m selfish.

I was never with a guy because I wanted to make him happy – I only ever dated a guy because he made ME happy.

That’s not a real relationship.  Even though I’ve had probably a dozen boyfriends now, I don’t think I ever had a real, genuine relationship, because I have never done my part.  All along, I thought I was an amazing girlfriend, but I’m realizing now that I have only ever thought about myself.  I haven’t been fair – it needs to be about the other person too.

But sadly, I have to say that I’m probably not the only girl out there who is like this.  This is why girls are attracted to assholes.  We leave the guys who treat us right, but we cry over the guys who break our hearts, not realizing that we don’t want a guy who will let us walk all over him and give us everything we want.  Rather, we want someone who will stand up for himself and put us in our place when need be, whether we realize it or not.  The guys who actually communicate when something isn’t right are the ones we label as “assholes.”  When they’re just trying to tell us something important because they care about us, we think they’re constantly starting pointless arguments and we don’t understand that they’re actually doing what they’re supposed to do.

We’ve been spoiled.  We have all had experience with the wonderful type of guy who sends us flowers every week just because, who texts back immediately and who answers on the first ring, who apologizes to end a fight that wasn’t even his fault, the guy who can’t stand to make us cry and who will do anything to make it stop – But don’t you wonder why it didn’t work out?  These aren’t the types of guys who help us improve ourselves.  I partied and interacted with others like a single girl my whole life until those two guys told me I needed to get my act together.  I freaked out, thinking they were crazy, I just wanted to have fun, they’re unreasonable all the time, and they didn’t trust that I knew my limits.  When in reality, I really needed to be told things I didn’t want to hear.  I can’t just be spoon-fed for the rest of my life – I need to be told when I’m not treating others right, when I’m being selfish, when I’m not seeing the bigger picture.  These are probably things I should be able to realize on my own, but I’m one of those girls who hardly ever needed to think about others because people were happy just keeping me happy.

Some girls aren’t like me.  Some girls were able to find love at a young age and marry their high school sweetheart.  Different people have varying levels of compatibility.  But I’m sure there’s a lot of girls out there who are in the same boat as I am.  Rather than getting upset when he doesn’t agree with you, just listen and keep talking until you both completely understand each other.  Don’t run away or go to sleep before the argument is resolved.  This is probably the biggest mistake I ever made in the relationship that meant the most to me.  I was never willing to face him in arguments because I hated being wrong, I hated not having my way, I hated that he didn’t understand where I was coming from.  Yet I actually didn’t understand that he hated fighting with me.  He hated seeing me cry.  But he really cared about me, and that’s why he was raising his concerns.  If he didn’t care, he wouldn’t say anything, and could care less whether or not our relationship or I as a person improved.

As soon as I realized this, it all made sense.  It’s like a switch of clarity in my brain was flipped and I completely understood the source of all the turmoil in our relationship.  I understood why I was so upset and torn when I haven’t experienced a painful heartbreak in years prior, thinking I was already desensitized to breakups and that I could move on without worry.  I get it now.  Moving forward, I know what I need to do to fulfill my role as a girlfriend.

And now I understand why I loved Branden so much and always will – He genuinely cared about me, even though I didn’t understand the extent to which he did until now.  It turns out that the guy I thought was the most illogical, irrational person alive was indeed actually the most reasonable person I’ve ever met – he just really sucked at communicating it to me.

It took a lot for me to open up like this, and admit everything I now realize I was doing wrong.  I hope my mistake is relatable and I hope I can help others improve communication in their relationships too by sharing this story.

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