Tag Archives: personal

Typical New Years Reflection Post

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This post I made in July, 4 days before my birthday (the most painful day of the year for me), sums up my 2013.  Everyone knows I’m such a worrywart, and I always freak out like the sky is falling, but I truly went through more stress, personal drama, and difficult changes this year than I’ve ever had to deal with before; I felt like my world fell apart multiple times last year.  But in the end, I ended up gaining so much more.  With every loss I suffered, I gained an even more valuable blessing in its place, bringing me another step closer to where I want to be.  I have so many reasons to be happy, and I’m truly so grateful for everything I have.

I went into 2013 just hoping that I would continue to grow.  While I definitely learned so many things about life, love, and the art of happiness, the moments that were most impactful include both the times I felt I hit rock bottom and the best of times.  I will probably never be 100% satisfied with my job, and there will always be times when I feel frustrated, overworked and undervalued… But I am always grateful for every raise and every email from a client praising me for my work with my boss CC’d.  I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at Cicero that have enabled me to build such a marketable skill set that will allow me to be a strong and valuable asset for my next company.  And though my DWI is a huge, expensive pain in the ass and waste of time, I’m lucky to have such amazing people in my life who didn’t judge me because of it, and helped me understand that it may have actually saved my life.  Also, on a less significant level, I felt so grown up when I finally replaced my 240 with a beautiful Lexus, haha :).

And while I went through the biggest heartbreak I’ve ever suffered this year, I ended up capturing the interest of someone I have always been attracted to, but never even thought was attainable.  When we started dating, I had to make a conscious effort to stop myself from falling because it was just too good to be true.  But it’s been so easy to trust him over time, and for me to see more ways in which we match.  Conversation just flows naturally between us, not only because we share similar interests, but also because we both love having engaging discussions and keeping our minds stimulated.  I admire his passion for the things he loves and the people he looks up to.  He works hard in everything he does, and is enthusiastic about succeeding and continuously improving himself.  There hasn’t been a single day that’s gone by since we’ve been dating that he hasn’t told me that I’m beautiful…  Not to mention that he has Brad Pitt’s face and Jesus’s abs.  He’s perfect.  This kind of amazing shit only happens in movies, I swear… Brian is my greatest gift of 2013.

There is one thing that stayed constant, though – in spite of all the mistakes I made this year, I never lost the support and love of my family. I could never feel lost knowing they’ll always be there for me no matter what.  I am so lucky to have been blessed with such a wonderful family.

In a nutshell, I wouldn’t have had 2013 go any other way.  I suffered losses, and made costly mistakes, but in the end, I would re-live it all over again just to be in this very moment, writing this post while taking a break from my segmentation report, with the sound of my family doing fireworks in the background and my puppy sitting in my lap.  I truly have so much to be grateful for, and I have been armed with so much potential to achieve anything I set my mind to.  These challenges I faced this year have only given me perspective that has strengthened my ability to love and show compassion to others.  2014 is MY year – the year of the horse.  I can’t wait to see what the future brings, because it just keeps getting better and better.

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Work in Progress

The following is a draft of the mass email I’m going to send to all Utah State Delegates before the upcoming convention – I’d appreciate any critique, suggestions, etc. And please don’t laugh too much at me for being so cheesy.

Dear ____,

Hello there! My name is Kathleen Villanueva and I am running for National Delegate. I’m reaching out to YOU in request of your support for me to represent the First Congressional District or the State At-Large this September at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The reason I am running for National Delegate is because I want to get involved in doing something meaningful for our community as well as become better acquainted with how residents like you feel about important issues facing our nation and our state.

As you know, our interests as Democrats in this red state of Utah are constantly challenged and disregarded. One of the things I feel is most important for everyone to understand is tolerance. We all come from different backgrounds and believe in different things, but it doesn’t mean that our opinions don’t matter. The values we believe in as laborers, people of color, innovators, entrepreneurs, the disabled, veterans and the LGBT community of Utah need to be represented at the federal level. In our diversity of culture, skills, beliefs and experiences lie the keys to change and opportunity that we would all like to see in our communities and in our country.

I was born 21 years ago on Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and I have lived in Davis County for 17 years. I attended Hill Field Elementary, Layton Elementary, Bluff Ridge Elementary, Central Davis Junior High, Syracuse Junior High and Northridge High School. I recently graduated from the University of Utah in Political Science, Economics and International Relations, and ultimately I hope that someday in the future I may be someone who can work to foster growth and development for the Beehive State. But for now, I would like to represent our community and cast my vote for President Obama because I am confident he will continue to deliver positive change and make progress in this country with our best interests at heart – and I won’t be able to have this opportunity without your support.

I will continue to communicate with our community beyond Convention to ensure that constituents’ concerns continue to be addressed by the folks who are obliged to listen to them. I kindly appreciate your support and I would be more than happy to meet if you wish to have a more detailed conversation with me. I am very interested in learning more about what is important to you, so please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much! See you at Convention!

-Kat
kathleen.villanueva@utah.edu
Mobile: (801) 888-1707

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Work/Life Balance

Something I really need to learn.

I feel like I stress and burn myself out when I overwork myself. But I feel useless if I don’t inundate myself with a million different things. Such a stupid problem to have.

Apart from my part-time public polling job I drag myself into every afternoon at 4pm, just because I need to generate some sort of income to support my compulsive coffee addiction, I am also involved with policy development at the SLC Mayor’s office, running for National Democratic Delegate, studying for the LSAT, applying for an ambassador program with the Philippine Embassy and helping out with MG Peter Cooke’s campaign for Governor. I might also potentially get involved with Jay Seemiller’s campaign for U.S. House, just because they offered me some extra money I could use.

I don’t know if I’m overwhelmed, but I feel myself just sitting and staring into blank space in deep thought lately. It’s such a waste of time when I clearly have things I could be doing. So what do I do about it? I do what I feel will make the best use of my time – I write about it.

….

I’m so weird.

The things I wish I had more time for include exercising for more than the 45 minutes I can squish into my schedule per day, and I wish I had more time to actually make my lunch at home so I could eat healthier. I wish I could volunteer with Obama for America because I feel I could potentially meet some really cool people that way. I wish I could take an LSAT prep course, but they’re just so expensive and to take a course would cut into work – which means no money to pay for the course in the first place. And of course, I wish I could see my friends more. I’m lucky if I even see Candice or Aly once per week. I see Estée probably once per month. And I don’t see anyone else. I wish I had more time to customize this blog, but I just don’t have the time, so I have to leave it with its default boringness. And I especially wish I even had more time to actually do my hair. I don’t remember the last time I actually did it.

I wish, I wish, I wish!

I feel like a big reason I try to take on so many different projects is because I keep comparing myself to others who are graduated. Some people were able to get really good jobs working for members of Congress, moving to other parts of the country for Teach for America programs, or moving out of the country to teach English and some are working in other agencies like the Department of Labor. But some people are just waiting tables or working at ski resorts and are just as happy. And I envy those people so much. Why can’t I just be happy with where I am? I have serious issues. If what I’m doing isn’t meaningful to “society,” then it’s not meaningful to me. It’s really not a good thing. I need to get over myself. I wish I could just be happy.

Well… I guess back to work I go. It’s always my decision to bite off more than I can chew, but I guess I’m just going by the mindset that’s driven me and gottem me through the past few months – good things come to those who hustle.

 

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My Run for National Delegate

I may be going way over my head for doing this, but I really, really want to go to the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina this year to vote for Obama.

The candidate list came out today. Holy moly, there’s a lot of people running this year. I hope playing the card that I’m “young and would like to get involved” will help me win this election. I will probably have better luck in winning in the First Congressional district in which I live, rather than At-Large. I want this so bad because I know it would be a rewarding experience and it would put my name out there. I don’t want to fly under the radar anymore. I know I’m young and I’m just starting out, but I already want to be doing something meaningful for my community. This might just be the best way to get my foot in the door.

Wish me luck!

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Isn’t it weird…

… To think that where you are at this very point in time is a sum of all the decisions you made over the course of your whole life?

That who you are today reflects how you chose to spend each and every day in the past?

And that what you’re doing right now is going to affect who you are tomorrow and every single day after that?

How freaky.

I love and hate when I have random epiphanies like this. First, because I feel like it’s something everybody should know. Second, because it makes me hate myself for ever spending time being negative when I could have dedicated that energy to being happy and working productively.

I really wish I weren’t such a worry-wart. I envy the people who can stay positive through anything. But I think I’m slowly but surely getting better at being optimistic.

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:)

Now that I actually have something positive to write about, I would hold back from discussing it in fear that I might jynx it. I’m such a loser!

Just heard the best news I’ve received in a long time. Fingers crossed.

And – here’s a new favorite I’d like to share, drawn by my favorite political cartoonist of all time, Pat Bagley. http://shar.es/pIWeP

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Grassroots Politics

[Before you read any further, I have to let you know that this is just another post where I am blabbing about my own personal drama.] I have to be completely honest. I just got finished crying my eyes out before I finally pulled myself together so that I could look half-decent before my second job. I’m just having another one of those days. My internship ends in about 5 weeks, and I still don’t have a full-time job lined up. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy listening to people’s responses when I conduct political opinion polls, especially with the upcoming election. I don’t know if I’m just expecting way too much for myself, but I just feel like I should be doing a lot better. I’ve been networking pretty aggressively and I’ve got some really good leads now, but another obstacle has arisen. I was offered to work on THREE Democratic campaigns, but the problem is that Democrats are cash-poor. I would be working for free again. I literally broke down again for the 582nd time this year.

After wallowing in my sorrow for the hour break I have in between my internship and my job, and after gaining my composure and re-touching my makeup, I walked into work with a half-ass smile on my face and forced myself to man up and look at the bright side of this. (I am such a baby, I even annoy myself.)

The advantage of not having a full-blown career yet is that I get to enjoy the flexibility of an internship and part-time job. I can request days off whenever I need, and this allows me to get more involved with outside activities. I probably would not have as much time to invest in my campaign for National Delegate if I had an already-established career. I’ve already requested 4 separate weekends off for delegate stuff. I still have time to volunteer with a campaign, which can still provide me with substantive experience and help me become acquainted with more connections, so ultimately it would still be rewarding. I’ve also had plenty of time to meet with political candidates and learn more about them and about the issues that are currently being discussed. And it’s been really fun!

I still don’t know what I’m going to end up doing in about 5 weeks when I wrap up my internship, but regardless, I should definitely take advantage of the extra time and flexibility I’ll have if I don’t find a job. This gives me an opportunity to be more involved in ways I probably won’t be able to in the future. And hopefully working on campaigns and volunteering will help me gain viable experience and meet new people who will get me closer to finding a job I can finally be happy with.

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Why I am a Democrat

Living in a country with a two-party system isn’t easy. It doesn’t offer any flexibility for the voter by forcing them to choose one side or the other. I constantly grapple with this problem on a daily basis just when reading about all the different issues these parties are arguing about, and I really wonder if there is a Democrat out there that is a pure Democrat or a Republican that adopts the entire Republican platform.

I consider myself to be a moderate because I have mixed views in so many areas, but since I feel it is important to be affiliated with a party, I chose to be a Democrat.

Originally, I thought of myself to be a Republican. I believed in human nature – every man for himself. I believed in the Horatio-Alger Myth, where working hard will ultimately get a man to achieve the American Dream. Those at the top are there because they worked hard to get there and similarily, those at the bottom are there because of the choices they made too. I thought welfare spending was a waste of money because people would give into moral hazard and become reluctant to find a job. I guess you could say I was pretty “hands-off” when it came to the economy, and I believed in pure capitalism. You work for your money, so it should all be yours. I was elitist and an asshole, but it all made sense to me.

But as I was exposed to the wonderful, terrible and messed up world of politics and economics, I started to change my mind. I guess I’m still an asshole, but a more enlightened one in that I realize that the way the world works isn’t black and white. There are a ton of gray areas where you could see both sides of an issue. As an econ major, I learned that the average American income hs been stagnant for over 30 years, while the very top 1% of American incomes have gone up by over 200%. I felt as if the Republican ideology didn’t care about this. While I was in Washington, the Republicans didn’t put together one jobs bill. Instead, they would tie jobs into another bill that is important to them, like the Keystone Pipeline. When the Super Committee was trying to cut $1.2 trillion out of the budget, the Republicans wouldn’t budge when it came to tax reform and they refused to raise taxes on the top 1%, who I feel could clearly afford to pay their fair share of taxes. Instead, Republicans wanted to cut spending in all departments. This is when I realized that the GOP is the Rich Man’s Party.

The problem with not giving a damn about anyone but yourself is that everyone in society is interconnected whether you like it or not. A lot of our most successful entrepreneurs went to public colleges on government financial aid, and now they want to cut spending in higher education. Many Republicans formerly served in the military, but don’t want to be bothered with policy that assists veterans in assimilating back into civilian life after being overseas. A lot of them also never had to deal with discrimination and fail to acknowledge measures to create equal opportunities for minorities, women and the disabled.

I think a real problem in our system is the intolerance of people’s differences, and the lack of willingness to see things from a different point of view.

It’s easy to be selfish, and ignorant to the lives of others. But it really is important to be open-minded and understanding toward people’s differences. This is why I’m a Democrat – because I care about the interests of everyone, even those who I don’t understand. I was lucky to get into a good college and have parents who worked hard to pay for what my minority scholarship didn’t pay for. But not everyone is this lucky, and some people have to work right out of high school to support themselves or their families. Being raised a Catholic, I’m pro-life and I would never put myself in a situation where I would have to get an abortion. But I know people make mistakes, especially teenagers being raised in this type of generation, and if they feel that now is not a time they are able to support a child, they should make the decision they feel is best. I have always had health insurance and my mom would send me to the doctor’s office for everything from a mild cold to preventive care, and this may have made a difference in my health that I may never realize. I think it’s important for everyone to have an opportunity to have health insurance just as I do for anything else.

I’m not very good at organizing my thoughts. I’m not a very strong writer. But I just wanted to explain why I decided to align myself with the Left and why I feel what it advocates is important. Our system most definitely is not perfect because human nature is not perfect, but in order to get closer to a better future, I’ve always thought it was important to ‘be the change you want to see in the world,’ as Ghandi said. And whether you agree or disagree with what I believe, I hope you all do the same.

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