Posts Categorized: Whirlwind Life

Living Through the Chaos

August 13, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 1 Comment

My life has been absolutely insane the last month or so. I can’t even tell you everything that has gone on because it’s just so crazy. I am exhausted, but pushing through and just trying to get through the month so that my class starts and I return to work on a normal basis.

In a nutshell, the last month or two has consisted of:

– Getting my California drivers license in 4 weeks. I went from having a month until my permit expired to having three behind the wheel lessons through a local school, driving with various friends and parental figures and testing behind the wheel at the DMV the day my permit expired. I passed and it’s crazy to think that I’m now a licensed driver.driving

– Booked tickets to Nashville for the fall to see my girlfriend! I cannot WAIT. We’ve booked tickets, a hotel, a rental car and have made a couple tentative plans for things to do. I cannot wait to see her, to hold her and just be NEXT to her again. We’ve also begun to iron out plans for a spring break trip to Florida in March.

– Went through a major reading slump that I’m STILL trying to crawl out of. Summers are usually the time I get to read the most because I’m not being  held back by school and work, but I just haven’t had the focus this summer. It’s been extremely frustrating but I am slowly but surely coming out of this.

– Had a close family member be rushed into the ER via ambulance early Saturday morning. She was admitted for the day due to what later turned out to be a bleeding ulcer that caused blood loss via vomiting blood, etc. It was terrifying. I’m STILL terrified. It’s been a rough weekend – she was taken BACK to the ER Monday for IV fluids and ended up staying for a blood transfusion.

The exhaustion has finally caught up to me and I’ve been feeling worn down today and finally crashed for over an hour this afternoon and feel like I can sleep another twelve. We are hanging in there, but it’s been a rough weekend.

– Signed up for a library card! It’s been such a blast being part of my local library and I am thrilled with their YA selection. If they don’t have what I’m looking for, chances are I can request it from another local library to pick up at my library. It is AMAZING. The library is just down the street from me and has been my favorite since childhood. I’m so happy to be back!

What am I reading now? HEIR OF FIRE! I am currently a little over a hundred pages in and drowning already in the feels. I cannot wait to see where this book takes me and I am so thankful for Nikki because she’s letting me borrow her ARC! Thank you! ♥

I am off to get some things done around the house, but I promise I’ll check in soon – I’ve got ideas brewing in my head for reviews and fingers crossed for a book tour that I signed up for. I can’t wait to get back into my routine and share with you stories of my wild life and the books I love so much.

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Better Not Bitter: My Coming Out Story

May 18, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 4 Comments

“Forgive, sounds good. Forget, I’m not sure I could.”

 

That simple line from a song became something of a theme song to me back in the spring of 2007. I screamed to that song. I sobbed to that song. I sat in a numb daze to that song. For days, hours on end. It was the perfect song for what I had just experienced, and even today – seven years later, it still fits in so many ways.

I had made the choice to come out to a group of people that had been an huge and important group in my life. I had been a moderator on the Jeremy Camp message boards for a few years at that point, I spent hours on there – helping out, hosting discussions, being an encouragement to young girls. Yet at the same time, I knew the time had come where I was sick of hiding who I was, sick of feeling closed off, exhausted with feeling like I was living a double life because I couldn’t be myself. I knew that I was potentially getting myself into deep shit, but I knew more than anything that I had to do this.

I couldn’t keep living a life where I couldn’t be myself.

Believe me, I knew going into this that it could turn into a big disaster, but I didn’t ever think it would turn into what it did. Did I question myself? Yep. Did I nearly delete the entire post I had written, spilling everything out, full of complete honesty just before I posted it? Yep. Was I terrified? Beyond terrified. I knew that I would face backlash, that I wouldn’t be accepted and that I could very well lose people I considered friends.

I was ready for that. I knew what I had to do.

I did it. One evening, I sat down and wrote probably the most emotionally raw, honest post I’ve ever written anywhere. I came out as gay to over a thousand girls in the section of the board specifically meant for women and young women to converse. Even now, I can still feel my heart racing when I think about that moment. Everything seemed to slow down and I walked away from my computer not knowing what to expect.

When I woke up the next morning, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. Initially, I was relieved (and crying) to see that some of the ladies there were accepting of me. They still loved me, they still cared about me. Did they all agree? No, but they still cared about me. They still wanted to be a part of my life. It wasn’t until later that things started to change drastically.

It wasn’t until a few hours later that everything really began to unfold. I logged back in after doing errands and things around the house to find a private message calling me a liar, that I was unfit to be a mentor, much less a moderator because I was a liar. Shocked, I closed the message and took a peek at the post I had originally started. It was bad, because of how bad it was – I blocked out most of what was said. Seven years later, I don’t remember many of the replies I was given aside from a select few. I’m not sure I want to. What I saw was enough.

Monday rolled around and when I logged in to do my daily moderator duties, shit hit the fan.

Not only was my moderating status removed (look, I knew there was a chance it would happen and I had accepted that), but I was beginning to see the tendrils of something very hideous and hurtful unfolding on the message board, by none other than one of the site admins.

He posted on the general section (accessible to well over ten thousand members, plus those who are not even registered on the board) of the board a huge, detailed post of what I had done. It wasn’t done politely, it was explicit and very bluntly titled “who loves the homosexual more?”. He insisted that he had emailed me and told me exactly why actions to remove my status were taken, yet I never received any e-mail, PM from any of the other staff members. Not a word.

Until he made that post.

He continued to publicly go on in that post about how it was okay to hurt the “homosexual” but that they must keep “them” in prayer because Satan has a hold on all of us. For a community who is based on loving all as Jesus loved THEM, this was far from it. It was sickening. It still is. Seven years later, it still disgusts me. Another staff member posted how sorry she was that she never got the chance to get in touch with me, to help me “heal” and to “shine”. For years, she had my contact info. Phone number, e-mail addresses, etc – nothing. It was all a joke to her, a way for her (as well as the other admin) to make themselves look better than me in any way possible.

In the following days after everything started to unfold and take shape, I was:

  • continually publicly humiliated
  • harrassed
  • stalked on various platforms
  • threatened

I was constantly begged to return. I had members stalking me, finding me everywhere they possibly could (several who found me on Facebook without knowing anything other than my first name). I was harrassed. I was told that I was a liar, that I was going to hell, that I would be stoned to death for being who I was. The public humiliation lasted for weeks.

The stalking? Lasted for years.

A long time friend asked me shortly after I came out, “why did you do it? You must have realized what possibly could have happened.” I did. I had seen how they talked about the LGBT community, the hate, the intolerance. I knew what I was going up against.

My reply to her?

“I was just so tired of hiding it. I was tired of keeping my mouth shut about it, especially when heated conversations about homosexuality came up. I knew it would be hard and I knew some really nasty things would be said, and I accepted that. It’s happened before to others. I just didn’t expect that the other staff would handle things like they did.

Most of all, I was just tired of having to hide it from everyone. After four years of doing that, it had finally gotten to the point where I just couldn’t do it anymore. ”

I was tired of hiding it. I was tired of not being myself.

After seven years, I still get angry. It still hurts. I still feel betrayed. I still have night terrors about the entire situation, but I can also say that I’ve moved on. I’ve grown. I’ve changed so much in the last seven years. I’m a better person today than I was on the day I came out. I’m stronger. I’m happier.

I am not ashamed of who I am. I am not backing down from the choice I made. I don’t ever regret coming out to them. I stood up for myself, and countless others who were (and are) in the same situation for others. I made a difference. It took a long time to see that, but I made a difference.

It took seven years, but I know that by finally opening up and sharing my story – I’ll continue to make a difference. I want my story to help others, to encourage others to be themselves. Coming out isn’t easy, it’s something you do so many times in your life as I’ve learned over the last few years. What I do know is that I want my story to reach out to others, and I want to be able to help others. That has never changed since the moment I took that leap to come out on the Jeremy Camp boards.

Seven years later, I’m better, not bitter.

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Life has been crazy, but I’m here, hi!

May 17, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 0 Comments

Hi everyone!

I can’t even begin to explain how crazy life has been lately. For the most part, I’ve thrown myself into work other that a much needed week long vacation (more about that soon!) and taking care of my dad for a week after he had major surgery just a couple of weeks ago. It also doesn’t help that as soon as I have a blog post idea in my head, I sit down to write it… nothing happens. Frustrating!

With summer quickly approaching (hello poolside reading!) and time off in chunks – I’m ready and excited to throw myself into reading on a more frequent schedule than I am now and blogging! I miss being able to write and to connect with everyone, so this summer I am pretty determined to get back into the swing of things and stay there.

So what have I been up to?

About a month ago, I got to spend an amazing week with my girlfriend. You guys. It was just perfect. So much laughter, a lot of smiles, big big big, life changing conversations. We laughed until we cried (and until it hurt), we had movie dates just about every night, a friend of mine did our photos and just… enjoyed the time together after too long apart.

One of my favorite parts was being able to go back to Monterey (cute story: we had our first date there last July) with friends and just explore and spend time together. at our beachThe weather was absolutely perfect while we were and we got a real treat when we saw a pack of dolphins hunting in the bay for lunch/dinner.

We have a lot to look forward to – some big and exciting things – and I am working extra hours when I can to save up so that I can go see her in the fall. I miss her like crazy, but our facetime dates help. I am so excited for what our future has in store for us and our big plans!

I haven’t been reading as much as I would have liked – to be honest, I come home most nights after work and just flop down and I don’t want to do anything. My focus has been bad lately, but I am really excited to be on a blog tour/review a book next week!

I don’t really have plans for the weekend aside from working a bit tonight (AKA I’m curling up on the couch when kids are in bed and reading) and possibly some grocery shopping, but it’ll be a laid back weekend with lots of time spent with my girl.

I miss everyone and I hope you are all doing well. Let’s catch up – what have you been up to lately? Anything fun planned for the summer? What books are you looking forward to reading?

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The Whirlwind Life of Katie #1!

February 8, 2014 Katie A Whirlwind Life 0 Comments

Out and about exploring Folsom Lake!

Out and about exploring Folsom Lake!

How did January go by so fast?! How is it almost the middle of February?!

January was an interesting month for me, to say the least. There were ups and downs, a big reading slump just after the start of the new year, big choices to make and a whole bunch of other stuff to get through. The month went by too fast and I still find myself sometimes thinking it’s still January. OOPS.

SCHOOL: I was supposed to start pre-algebra at the end of January because I had to retake the class. I snagged the only class available to me – a 7am class that was four days a week. I hated getting up that early, but if I have to retake it… I have to take whatever class I can get. I went into it with high hopes for the semester and knowing I’d work hard to pass this time around.

HAHAHAHAHA.

I knew within the first ten minutes of class for the day that I was in some deep shit.

It turns out that my professor for the semester was pretty much refusing to teach in class (and it was a lecture format course!) and straight up told us the following:

1. He’d assign  homework but he’d never collect it, OR correct our errors.

2. All grades were only based on exams, so for someone like me with horrible text anxiety? NOPE.

3. Our ‘study guides’ were copying word for word the vocabulary out of the chapter section with no actual math problems to review.

Needless to say, I dropped two days later and it was the best choice I could have ever made for myself. I was feeling burnt out on class anyway and needed a break, but I was also not going to allow myself to stay in a class where I wasn’t being taught the material and would fail. I was hesitant because I need to take the course, but I did what was best for me.

I took my book back, got my $70 refunded and dropped the course.

WORK: It’s been good – hectic, but good. I had to miss two days at the beginning of January because I was really sick, but I am back to work and haven’t had to take any time off. I think I have the next two Monday’s in a row off, which is really nice. I’ve done two late nights this week and they’ve worn me out.

Best part? I got a raise at the end of January! I’m STILL so excited!

WHAT I READ: The only two books I read in January were THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green and ME SINCE YOU by Laura Wiess. Both books were amazing, yet emotionally draining and devastating. Both were well written and realistic and made me feel like I’d been punched in the gut multiple times. Still, I loved both books.

I wanted to read more but then I got hit with a reading slump.

The end of the month came in with INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi, which I finished earlier this week and absolutely adored. I’ll leave that one for my next monthly wrap up post.

OTHER (RANDOM STUFF): I got to hang out with friends a bit in January which included – going to dinner a couple times, planning my girlfriends perfect Valentine’s Day present, the niece is officially walking now and the best part? My ugly, uncomfortable and stupid cast came off! One of my favorite adventures of the month was exploring Folsom Lake (dry, dry, dry due to drought here in California).

The lake is incredibly dry, we actually WALKED on the lake bed.

The lake is incredibly dry, we actually WALKED on the lake bed.

Over all, it was a decent month of abnormally dry and warm weather here and I’m currently bundled up inside with hot tea while we face our first “big” winter storm. I’m going to curl up in bed with some breakfast, a good book and hot tea.

How was January for YOU? Anything fun and/or exciting happen? What did you read? I’m hoping your year is off to a good start and I’m looking forward to catching up with you!

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