thought of the week: what a precious privilege it is to be alive

it still feels surreal to say that i am typing this blog post from my new apartment in the bay area. misu is settling wonderfully into our new space and while i miss la and many of the people in it, i am confident i made the right decision both personally and professionally.

today is august 15th. i have been pretty emotional for the last week. while that can be attributed to a variety of things, the closer we came to today’s date, the more heightened my emotions got. i realized that before last year, today’s date was not significant to me. now, it is a date that is forever imprinted in my head and heart. one year ago today, i was transported to the hospital and woke up over two weeks later. it ended up being a 35 day stay that felt like it would never end yet so much has transpired in the 11 months after that in some ways, it feels like five years have passed.

i don’t think most 31 year olds anticipate five week long hospital stays, ventilators, needing to learn how to walk again and just relinquishing independence and control. while i would not wish what happened to me on even my worst enemy, the lessons i learned (and still carry with me) are immeasurable. the most important lesson will sound cliche but has reshaped my worldview – put simply, it is remembering that nothing is owed to us and to not take a single thing for granted.

i came across this quote and it summed up how i have approached each day in the last year perfectly.

“when you arise in the morning, think what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” -marcus aurelius

i am grateful to be alive each and every day. i am substantially more intentional with my breathing after having to relearn how to do so on my own. i am thrilled to be able to have free thought and to use my mind to do meaningful work with people in need. i have actively enjoyed things i hardly noticed before. the best part is the love – i have not hesitated in telling the people i love how important they are to me and i have allowed myself to be open to receiving love in a way i did not previously think i was even capable of. the last year has been the healthiest year of my adult life and i wouldn’t change a thing.

when you wake up each morning, what are you grateful for?

xoxo,

k.tap

thought of the week: say no without guilt and yes without fear

happy friday! i realize that most of my blog posts this year have included some kind of statement about how long it has been or how i am going to get back into a groove. after further reflection, i probably won’t be back into a good groove until june (when i have some time off). after that, my schedule will allow for more of doing things i love (like this) and i am thrilled about that. i hadn’t realized how many things i’ve been unable to do due to my current work schedule, commute and level of exhaustion.

that all changes in just a couple of months.

anyone that knows me can tell you that i am not someone who works somewhere for a short amount of time. i invest years. part of it is because of loyalty but i’d say the same amount is due to me wanting to figure out the ins and outs to be able to create meaningful change that makes a lasting impact. oftentimes, that requires more time than just a year. well, i started a new job back in august but was hospitalized after only being on campus for a week. needless to say, when i came back in mid october, i felt incredibly behind. i have been fortunate to work with the best team and they never once made me feel guilty about the extra responsibilities they took on in my absence. it is to the point where i feel like they can look at me and read my mind. we are able to be unfiltered around one another and when you spend as many hours per week working as we do, this is fucking crucial. i’ve told them frequently that they are people i would choose to be friends with even if we did not work together. that is part of why receiving a message from an old supervisor turned mentor turned friend back in march really rattled me.

i am a planner by nature. i think in one, five and 10 year increments. receiving a message about a position at my alma mater that she thought i would be a good fit for might have been flattering but more than anything, it was anxiety inducing. i questioned if it was even worth looking into. i feel like i’ve just gotten back into a routine of sorts and now, i might be flipping that upside down. millions of questions zoomed through my head:

what would i be walking into? what would moving back to the bay look like? who would i be letting down in the process? what message does this send to the institution that could have replaced me but instead, held my job for months while i recovered from covid? how would my family, especially my mom, receive this news? would i have more or less balance if i am stepping into a role that didn’t previously exist?

my interview took place a couple of weeks later (at the start of spring break). it was tough to figure out who to utilize as a sounding board because i didn’t want to be convinced of a particular decision because of someone who really wanted me to stay in la or someone who really wanted me to go to the bay. god bless my clinical supervisor because she was one of the only neutral parties i had. when i anxiously told her many of the questions that had been running through my mind, she listened, slowed me down and then asked me where the questions were rooted. it took some digging but i realized that i was not questioning myself because i was unsure if it would be a good fit, i was questioning myself because of guilt.

together, we outlined all of the ways both personally and professionally that this would benefit me. so frequently, i focus just on what a new job will do for me professionally. at this stage in my life, it is imperative that i also focus on what that means for me personally. coming face to face with that reality reminded me of this quote:

“be so deeply committed to your growth that you’re willing to say no without guilt and yes without fear”

i got the offer and i accepted it. i know that this will make me grow in a variety of ways, some that i don’t even know yet. now that it’s been about a month since i accepted, i finally am at a place where i no longer feel guilt. i move in july and couldn’t be more excited about it. it is truly a beautiful place to be.

are you in a place where you can say no without guilt and yes without fear?

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: be consistent

how are we already in december? these posts started off being called “thought of the week” because i was posting them weekly. getting back into a groove/blogging regularly post covid has been more challenging than i thought it would be. i have missed writing, however, my days are far more packed than they used to be between having a new job, commuting 30 miles each way and going to personal training three days a week after work. by the time i get home, i am wiped out! misu and i curl up on the couch and often fall asleep with bravo blasting in the background. the time change certainly did not help in the energy department. it is pitch black by 5:30pm and i am often yawning before i even get home. with that being said, i had three goals for thanksgiving break: getting a sleep schedule together, thoroughly cleaning my apartment and spending quality time with friends i do not get to see often enough. i am proud to say i accomplished all three and as a result, am feeling both rejuvenated and so excited to get back to blogging regularly.

last week, i had dinner with my best friend, his wonderful wife and two of her friends. we talked about everything from favorite outdoor activities to what we were binging on television to thoughts on covid to how to go about finding the right therapist (something all of us had in common was valuing mental health). over a plethora of tacos and margaritas, we talked about not only our experiences in therapy but finding the right therapist. something i said at dinner (that i also tell my clients) is to be able to differentiate feeling uncomfortable (because it is unfamiliar) versus feeling unsafe. if therapy is something that is a brand new concept, there is a chance it won’t feel great initially and that’s okay. doing the work is what is most important. this quote summed things up perfectly.

“you’ve relied on time to heal your wounds, but time alone isn’t enough. i hope you learn to hold yourself accountable by practicing what is right for you even if it feels uncomfortable or unfamiliar. i hope you adopt a habit of consistency when it comes to how you treat yourself.” -billy chapata

what are you doing to treat yourself better? i will be answering that very question along with many others soon on my next instagram live – questions with k. tap. it is on sunday, 12.12 at 11am pacific standard time. dm me your questions and i look forward to connecting with all of you then!

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: to-do lists are crucial

i am all about list making. on any given day, i have three to-do lists. there are the tasks i need to accomplish in a work setting, things i need to get done around the house and things i want to do for myself (meditation, a long bath, online shopping, etc.). i love writing them out so i can draw a line through each thing once complete. when on the go, i will make these lists in the notes section of my iphone. something i have been thinking of recently is whether or not there is a better way to categorize my to-do lists.

i came across this tweet during the summer and starting in december, i will be making a sincere effort to have this approach:

“i started dividing my to-do list into 1) things i have to do, 2) things i want to do, and 3) things other people want me to do. life changing! i often don’t get to 3 and i finally realized omg, is this what it means to have boundaries?! 🤯🤯🤯” -jenée desmond harris

on the days where i have felt like i am not accomplishing enough, when i take a step back, there have been times where i have made more time for what others wanted me to do instead of what i both needed or wanted to do for myself. in the class i am currently teaching around mental and emotional health & wellness, we recently had a discussion centering around mistaking self prioritization for selfishness. the two are not synonymous, even though we live in a society that would try to convince you of otherwise. there is no need to apologize for putting yourself first.

i’m curious – how do you make your to-do lists?

xoxo,

k. tap

thought of the week: you can decide

last night was my first instagram live since being released from the hospital due to covid. while i was definitely a bit nervous, it felt good to get back into a groove and connect with so many of you. i had multiple questions about my experience with being hospitalized, what recovery was like and how i was coping. if 2021 has taught me anything, it is this powerful message from maya angelou:

“you may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” -maya angelou via InHerShoes Movement

having covid, being hospitalized for 35 days and having to learn how to do the most basic things felt like i had been hit with a ton of bricks. initially, there was a complete loss of control. however, what i did have control over was how i responded and what i chose to do with my new lease on life. there is nothing more empowering than that.

xoxo,

k. tap