Hi, I'm Kat.
I’m sick and tired of the way ‘About’ pages are written these days - which probably says a lot about me in and of itself :)
‘About’ pages typically house a long list of accolades, accomplishments, and job titles meant to instill ‘trust’ or ‘respect’ in the reader. Whenever I read another glowing laundry list of personal triumphs I always find myself wondering - ok, that’s great, but what really happened?
Maybe it’s because I’m in the business of storytelling, but I’d much rather hear about the craptastic shit sandwich that someone was served up and how failing, falling, losing, leaving formed them into the person that they are.
I want to know about how they found the magic in the mess.
In an effort to test out a new way of ‘Abouting’ I’m going to take you on a little behind-the-scenes journey of triumphs and tribulations that led me to where I am today.
I gave 'Mr. Popular' a bloody nose.
Rewind to 9th grade. New school, weird new body, seemingly permanent mortification. The school arranged a 'fun' get-to-know-each-other camping trip at an adventure camp in the mountains of New Mexico.
There is a pool, thus adding magnitudes of stress about said weird body. Eventually, I manage to peel my comfort towel off and walk towards the pool.
'Mr. Popular' sneaks up behind me and unties the string to my bathing suit top. Completely topless, I swing my arm around and hit him in the face, dislocating his nose and sending blood flying into the water. Entire class looks on in horror and amusement.
The Mess: I should make myself small to ensure I'm never noticed again. (Also, string bikinis are the devil)
The Magic: When someone intentionally hurts you, it has more to do with them than you.
I learned to sing.
I have a good singing voice and music has always been a huge part of my life. I was in every choir growing up (despite my crippling stage fright). Singing always had a way of calming me down and clearing my mind.
Somewhere along the way, people started assuming that I would become a professional singer. Without asking myself if that's what I wanted, I began to take on that assumption as my own.
I was accepted into the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. The moment I stepped into my first music theory class, I felt something inside of me shut down. I was surrounded by incredible talent and everyone wanted it so badly. I felt like a fraud. For the first time in my life, music lost its healing power and began to feel like a heavy, shameful weight. I fell into a depression and dropped out after 2 semesters.
The Mess: That's it. I blew it. I'm a giant failure.
The Magic: You can love something and be really good at it and that can be enough. It doesn't have to be your livelihood, it can just be life-giving.
I lost my voice.
The years after I left school were some of the most painful of my entire life. I was doing everything I could do to make myself as small as possible. I wanted to hide, to disappear. I hid in bottles of alcohol, abusive relationships, debt, soulless friendships, and toxic work environments. I was a spinning top, lost and flailing.
I'll never forget the time I went home for a long weekend. I was slowly killing myself and had to be somewhere familiar. I took a long shower and when I got out, my mom was sitting on my bed. She looked at me with the sadness of someone watching a train wreck in slow motion, powerless to stop it.
"You don't sing in the shower anymore."
We cried for a long time.
The Mess: I am irretrievably lost.
The Magic: Sometimes you need a trusted source to hold up a mirror and show you what you're running from.