Food, Shelter and Green Paper 

She felt trapped in a day that wasn’t her choice.

A day deprived of purpose but still remained the promise of food, shelter and green paper. 

The promise of these comforts envelop the courage to pursue what makes her radiate, what makes her want to wake in the morning.

Moments are filled with passionless movements and small ideals. She fights the feelings of nothingness and reminds herself food, shelter and green paper.

She lives in a world that is tilted but steady, with no fear of the unknown to follow her psyche. 

Each night, when the buzz of the world quiets, she drifts off to sleep with thoughts of tomorrow’s obligations tugging at her and remnants of her dreams idling quietly in the corner. 

Nights compound into months and her dreams become quieter.  

Food, shelter and green paper remain steady, tightening their reigns as her desire to dull the pain of unfulfilled dreams makes the card swipe for all of the purchases. The latest debt amplifying, dream killing trend. 

She finds a kind partner, falls deeply in love, and raises a family. Her family brings her joy, a feeling of fullness and more obligations. Her dreams are mute and her children give her a beautiful purpose to nurture. 

The world remains quenching for hope, love and health. The world remains rooting for the dreams to ignite and infiltrate the grey that most of us experience. 

Months turn to years. Years turn to decades. 

She is an aged expert at numbing her dreams with a comfortable retirement and an abundance of time. 

Her children are grown, on their own quest to face the fork in the road that often presents: stability or risk, expected or desired. 

Her partner loves her more than ever. Her partner fills his days with activities that compel him to wake. He loves her deeply but knows not one person can fulfill his deep, ever needing soul. 

She has time now. Her empty space awakens the quieted dreams. 

The duration of her years are spent unleashing these dreams to the extent she’s capable of doing. 

With the small slice of time she has left, she brightens the world, imprinting smiles, hope and camaraderie where she goes. 

She thoroughly enjoys every day living her truth. In her old age, she finally feels alive. 

She takes time to reflect. 

The smooth, constant river soothes her mind and body, allowing her the freedom to feel. 

She slowly sits into a comfortable position and stares into introspection, “My life has been fine.” 

“My final years will fulfill my awakening desires.”

As she sits alone, her eyes well up with tears and her heart sinks as she thinks, 

What if I listened sooner?”

She lets the sadness momentarily consume her, throb within her soul, as she stares into the flashing images of everything that could’ve been. 

The wave of regret runs its course. She breathes a deep and heavy sigh, remembers everything she has been lucky to experience: love, simply existing in such a beautiful world, her children’s growth. 

Her gratitude helps but does not save her from feeling trapped in the bitterness of suppressing her dreams… the bitterness of falling victim to the false security that we only need food, shelter, green paper. 

Fear gnawed at her life, paralyzed her from jumping into the unknown. 

Fear of failure is what makes self realization an exhilaratingly risky and fulfilling situation. 

Be in love and share your gifts. 

Life is but a paradox of good and bad, ups and downs. Do not stand on the side line and experience nothing. 

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” – Walt Disney 

With love, 

Kaitlyn 💚

Beauty All Around 

Phew. I haven’t blogged in a while and I sure do miss it. Memories of the past few months are blurs of stress induced ups and downs…

I find refuge from the whirlwind of the world during quiet moments spent outside taking photos of the beauty around me. The beauty that so often goes unnoticed when my mind is jumbled with the thoughts of tomorrow or what was forgotten today. 

Within these moments in nature my heart feels unfettered and my soul untrapped from the bad habit of not being present. 

I want to share with you my  moments of “freedom” from the rush found in a backyard, on the side of the road, or at parks with my Cheyenne. 

Here’s my little piece of tranquility for you, straight from small, rural Southern Maryland. 

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What beauty can you find in your own backyard? 

With love

Kaitlyn 💜

Lessons from the Fluff Monster 

“Whoever claims diamonds are a girls best friend didn’t have a dog.”

Meet Cheyenne “Shy”, my four year old fur child who epitomizes the type of humans I think we all should be. 

If she could speak human language, here’s the knowledge I think she’d bestow upon all of us. 

1. Do things that make your tail wag.

There are a select few phrases I can say that excite Shy: “outside”, “treat”. “go get it” and “good girl”. 

Other than that, she’s not  interested. The girl knows what she  likes. Anything she does do, she does with all of her heart. No ball or stick stands a chance against her fluffy inner drive.

2. Forgive and forget. 

There are days when I don’t give Shy chest rubs (her fave) or give her a good enough goodbye but her spirit holds no grudges. She’ll always greet me with a smile and wiggly butt, ready for love. She’s always open for companionship. 

3. Spread happiness. 

Shy knows no strangers. Her curiousity and open demeanor always makes us a few friends wherever we go. Petting this adorable dang face makes smiling a requirement for all who cross it. 

*Disclaimer: do not approach someone with a wiggly butt and asked to be pet. 

That’s just weird. Just be a nice human. 

4. Let your comfort lift others up. 

Although Shy can’t understand the complexitities of things that make me feel low, her simple presence gives me comfort. 

You don’t always need all the answers to be a good friend. Being present for someone is golden. 


5. Listen to your instincts. 

Need I say more? 

7. Don’t let bullies stop you from playing life. 

Shy is usually the less dominant dog around but she still tries to play with the pack in her own way. Don’t let the bullies keep you from participating.

8. Act happy.  

I like to pretend Cheyenne has deep thoughts when we’re laying around, but she’s probably just thinking about when I’ll throw the ball again or why in the world I try to talk to her. Regardless of what goes on in that head of hers, she’s always cheerful and ready to take on whatever adventure I call her to do (except the bathtub adventure). 


I can always rely on her consistent cheerfulness to make me happy. Even when I make her take selfies with me…


Despite the fact that our adored pets  perceive the world entirely differently than we do, they can teach us many lessons for life. 

What do you admire about your pets? 

With Love. 

Kaitlyn đŸ’•đŸ¶

Complacency Tragedy 

Complacency is one of my biggest fears. 

Merriam-Webster Definition: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. 

Unawareness is the key term. 

Self-awareness is a choice, a struggle and a path less chosen. A path that is full of fear and unknowns, letting people down and trusting yourself. It means throwing yourself into the abyss of the world and hoping that time and your bet on what you know about you yields your hearts desire. 

How do we discern between complacency and stability? Does the fear of complacency prevent the appreciation for what is? Does the fear of complacency curtail into a rollercoaster life of tragedies and triumphs, loss and gain? 

Does anyone ever truly feel at ease or is life a never ending quest for what’s next? 

Questions and no answers. There’s just glimpses of days and a plethora of choices while the clock tick ticks and images of shiny, “happy” lives bombard our screens. 

Are we happy or playing the roles of happy? Are we doomed with excess thoughts and deep thinking, in a world where we must do, repeat, do and keep up. Run, repeat, sigh, go, smile, dress up, run again, look right, be polite… remember this, don’t do that. 

Love is relief. Quiet, early mornings are bliss. Sitting under a tree is natural. Laughing with a stranger, in a pure and real way, is correct in a world of this and that. The things we’re innately drawn to do are what’s meant to be yet we’re so immersed in what we think we should be. 

Complacency. What a tragedy. 

With Love, 

Kaitlyn 

Our Children 

Bare feet in the grass, face towards the sun.

Knots in the soul delicately come undone.

Suns bare rage inconceivable to man.

Suns flourish blissful warmth that changes doubters to feel they can.

Earth looms with an almighty beauty.

Swishing, beaming, cracking, glowing, dying, growing, producing, shaking, splitting, cascading, burning, decaying

creating.

A symphony of creation and death that is intricately balanced to nourish our lives.

Your lungs breathe air from Earth to

create

your beautiful life.

Creation is steady until we poison the cycle.

Our everyday actions compound positive or good more than we can always decipher.

We must tread this Earth with a humble knowing that our connection to soil is innate.

Our souls and existence need the Earth, the moon and dawn’s break.

Our children deserve the Earth to

create. 

Our children need a cyclically untainted and beautiful Earth

to keep their souls awake. 

~ Kaitlyn Marie Fernald 

🌎🌾🌞 Happy Earth Day! 

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Donate to the Nature Conservancy, an international non-profit making profound, scientific strides to protect our Earth and your children’s future.

Great Blue Heron

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Great Blue Heron at Calvert Cliffs State Park. 

As I watched this bird through my camera lens at Calvert Cliffs, I made sure to tell everyone who walked by that there was a super cool Crane that they could see. One kind woman pointed out to me that this is a Great Blue Heron and not a Crane. 

I became intrigued to learn more and found that the Great Blue Heron spends 90% of their day foraging for food!  This bird just might be my spirit animal.

My apologies, Great Blue Heron… you’re totally not a Crane.

Learn more about this Great Blue Heron that is commonly found in Southern Maryland here.

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Grateful to Wake 

To wake with an anticipation to experience is a gift worth taking care of. 

To wake with energy and a desire to do, see, feel, and connect is a state of being that we should hold close.

Despite being tired, life’s obligations and unavoidable stress, we should still have a tinge of thrill that we’ve woken up to see another glorious day.

For far too long, waking for me was like straining to force a heavy weight off my chest. I had to push away my angst and anxiety before I could begrudgingly go about the nuances of my day. The thought of my worthlessness followed my every move, mocking my every thought, diminishing any attempt to be positive or find the love.

ClichĂ©s repulsed me. Anyone’s advice annoyed me.

The thought of the world being a void of nothingness drained my desire to truly experience… the thought of having no meaning was hard to carry.

Miraculously, I woke up today feeling content with who I am and my world has been painted anew.

In strangers faces I see stories instead of feeling my fabricated judgement reflected back on me. I see my slice of this exhilarating, complex and yet simple world I’ve experienced so far and all there is to come.  I can see again the many gifts I have that too many mothers, sons, daughters, and fathers do not: shelter, warmth, clean air/water, health, education, friendship, shelter, family and love.❀

I feel empathy for and inspired by those who have truly suffered a loss or tragedy because I was cascaded into the dark by menial despairs.

There is an immeasurable strength in those who have suffered and continue to foster love, to come back from the dark. 

I have a new perspective and eagerness to hold onto this light, to nurture it and make sure it stays close when I come face to face with whatever is to come.

Nothing radical has changed in my life. My continuance to do the tiniest things that make me happy has reignited my small flicker of a flame I have inside. The love and persistence of those I hold close have helped me come back.

The beauty of nature is the surest sign that there is something larger than ourselves and that the world is a good place.

It’s comforting to know that I exist on a giant rock floating in space that is absolute beauty.

How can we have no meaning? This beauty of the world is not an accident. 

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For those of you feeling heavy, I hope you pursue the little things that make you happy and welcome loved ones.

Hopefully you’re not in the “annoyed by clichĂ©s phase” but I have to do it…

The sun will rise tomorrow. 🙂 

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“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat the sunrise or hope.” – Bernard Williams

Can you relate to my experiences? What have you done to come back from the dark? I would love to hear your story!

With Love, 

Kaitlyn đŸ–€đŸ’œđŸ–€

Step to Self Acceptance

I believe freedom is self-acceptance and understanding of one’s self. But how can we objectively study who we are if we have never experienced the lives of others? I’ve often asked myself: How do other people feel on a daily basis? What do their inner lives sound like, if anything at all? How do I compare to everyone else?

Is it “normal” for me to be the way I am?

Mostly out of love and caring, I’ve been told the following phrases most of my life: too sensitive; get over it; stop overthinking it.

I remember the first time I was told to to K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid) after presenting a new project at work. My colleagues were certainly right about me over complicating the process, but it hurt me a lot (naturally) to hear that acronym.

Am I stupid for overthinking?

As a child, the night would serve as a source for my mind to wander, to think. The sun set and rose while my mind wandered on a pleasant and simply curious adventure.

As a child, I never thought of my natural tendencies to think as a crutch. No child sees their innate traits as crippling until someone tells them they are.

As I grew, I began to view my sensitivities and feelings as a weakness. Whenever I would well up with tears at the thought of anything, pour my heart out to someone, get “irrationally” excited about something just because or feel like I just wanted to be alone, I always felt like I was weak. I always have viewed my feelings as a frailty, an ugly trait about me that I need to push away.

Be stronger, Kaitlyn. Stop being crazy. 

I didn’t allow myself to do what I need to do as Kaitlyn which is feel, release, and renew.   

Eventually, my overthinking turned into a way to avoid pain.

If I can control every detail, I will prevent anything painful from happening. 

Overthinking and feelings can be the conspirators of my misery.

Feelings can be ignored longer by some than others, but not forever. For me, my feelings can overtake my breathing and grab my heart. They can make my sight a mirage and my world a fleeting vortex. My untended feelings can attack me in the middle of my day, just like that. They push those who love me away by causing me to be cruel or complacent; they can make me indifferent to life.

We cannot ignore who we are and truly be happy.  

You cannot drown yourself by viewing your innate traits as a crutch.

For those of you on the life long quest to search for who you are, my hope is that you do not let the outside world infiltrate the truth that you have inside of yourself. Who knows what normal is; why waste one more minute of this brilliant life trying to figure that out?

Be as you are. Be kind to yourself while you do it. 

With Love,

Kaitlyn

 

 

 

 

Power in Words

Truth #1: We’ve all fallen victim to words. 

Words said out of anger or insecurity. Words that have the clear intent to make us feel low, unworthy or irrelevant in the world.

Stupid. Ugly. Fat. Weird. 

Or the words that are said without sincerity. Words that give you false hope, happiness or sense of security. The kind of words that amplify your feelings until actions or lack thereof reveal the ugly truth. The truth to the betrayal that you subjected yourself to for believing them. The misleading words that burn your openness to ever hearing them again.

I love you. I’ll always be there for you. I understand you.

Words can brainwash masses of people to carry out unthinkable acts: Murder, suicide, hatred for fellow humans. 

Words can distort a person’s view of themselves for a lifetime. Malicious or misspoken words can haunt the psyche and latch onto a soul, sucking out the vibrancy of what each person on this Earth has. Hurtful words seep poison into the force that carries our ability to love, be fearless and see our worth.

Truth #2: We’ve all participated in the malicious use of words. 

I’ve gossiped to feel apart of a group. I’ve misused words and said things I don’t mean to save someone from how I really feel. I’ve certainly succumbed to anger and said things I regret. I’ve snapped out comments because of my ego.

What did I gain from these instances? Nothing. In fact, I lost a bit of myself each time.

I’m learning it’s better to be awkwardly silent than to respond with words you don’t truly mean or participate in a conversation that makes you falter from who you are when it’s completed.

Truth #3: No one is perfect. Communication is hard. 

There are a million and one ways that people interpret the words “love” or “fear”. Our perspectives have been uniquely built based on a myriad of things: experience, culture, environment, families, education. It’s inevitable that what we communicate is not received as we intend it to be. Understand your intent before speaking. Understand the power of your words.

Be genuine and use your words to plant kind seeds of growth for people you cross paths with.

Understand that those who have spoken maliciously towards you were fighting their own battles. Those that make you feel low are harboring their own issues, as we all are. Forgive and forget. 

We’re all in this life together.

With love,

Kaitlyn

Stand-Up Desk or Die

Co-workers will often comment on my stand-up desk and ask why I use it. To keep the conversation light, I usually answer with a generic “It helps me keep my high energy channeled.”

I feel it’s slightly morbid to say sitting at your desk all day speeds up your death, so I don’t. I’m getting better at biting my super dramatic tongue (kinda) – sometimes it’s fun to be dramatic.

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There IS a study that states sitting eight hours a day increases your chance of premature death by 60% and that sedentary living is the new smoking. Plus, “stand-up desk co-workers” really aren’t liked in the work place, according to a study performed by the University of Florida. Apparently, my stand-up desk lifestyle increases my co-workers disdain for me by up to 70%; the last thing I need to do is share death statistics with them
 because that’ll totally make people want to talk to me


I say “let the haters hate” and join the “annoying stand-up deskers”- you’ll be making a profound step towards healthier living!

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Here are a few tips I want to share from my personal experience:

  • You’ll feel awkward the first week. I remember it was difficult for me to train my brain to recognize standing as “work mode”. After a bit of persistence, I could stay focused for longer and feel more energized throughout the day.
  • You do not have to stand up all day. In fact, it’s recommended that you don’t. Personally, I usually switch from standing and sitting each hour.
  • Your feet might hurt as your body adjusts to your new habit. I keep emergency “grandma frumpy but oh-so-comfy” shoes under my desk so that I can slip out of heels and stand longer.
  • As you slowly develop this standing habit, your body will want to stand more! Things that are in motion, stay in motion. Personally, I typically can’t sit for longer than an hour before I feel the need to stand up! This change in my body only happened when I started standing at work about two years ago.

Basically, the short-term difficulties that come with switching to a stand-up desk are totally worth the long term rewards.

Standing up more frequently throughout your day increases your metabolism, attention span, and I would say your happiness! Here’s an excellent infographic that expands upon the oh-so-lovely “slow death” ideal: http://mashable.com/2011/05/09/sitting-down-infographic/#PSL7jmq6gkqb

Enjoy! 😊

Do you have a stand-up desk? What were your struggles getting started? Are you thinking about switching now?

With Love,

Kaitlyn

P.S.

I certainly cannot say that the stand-up desk is appropriate for every. single. person. given the varied and unique health situations that every person has. The purpose of this was to share my experience in hopes that it resonates with someone.