look at this. five years ago.
1st snapshot: i was exploring my first year of college life as an honor student in the deans college of forensic science, attending huge football games at milan-pusker stadium in morgantown, west virginia, frequenting the dunkin donuts in the neighboring town and clearly finding time to snap this dorm-selfie.
2nd snapshot: giving a final hug to my roomie and a big goodbye to west virginia. decided to pack up my bags and venture elsewhere. couldn’t wait to move to california.
3rd snapshot: blissfully enjoying the sunshine as a new resident/student in san diego, thriving on weekend trips to beaches and hikes and los angeles, working at a coffee shop right on the water, studying psychology and business (who knows why?), met a boy that made me feel things (never got him, though), made great friends, got a killer tan and went broke.
the worst part of this time: feeling like a complete failure for not staying at a 4-year university, hating my body to the utmost possibility, doubting who i was and what my life would turn out to be and, of course, going broke.
the best part: conquering freshman year, successfully moving out to strange land all on my own and making incredible friends that have, thus far, lasted since then.
look at this. four years ago.
1st snapshot: after going broke living in san diego for two months, i moved to wilmington, north carolina for six months. while i was there, i got myself the cutest best friend in the world. four legs, abundant snuggles, and the most unconditional love on the planet. my dog and i packed up again and moved back to san diego. we snapped this picture on the beach on my second-first day on the west coast.
2nd snapshot: me and two of the many friends i became close with while attending school in san diego (totally had the biggest crush on the guy on the left). this was such an incredible night and i remember meeting a girl at a bar who told me that she had never met anybody like me and things like that really stick in your brain.
3rd snapshot: here is a photo of my brother, me and my mother in stillwater, oklahoma. it is my least favorite state in this country but i was so proud to attend my brothers college graduation. he did it all in four years; excellent student, finished with no debt, got a high-paying job right out of college and met his future-wife. i remember being miserable the entire time. places like oklahoma really stress me out.
the worst part of this time: going broke again (it’s expensive out there, folks), my mother getting on a flight to san deigo, helping me pack up all my belongings and moving back to texas. i felt like a total failure.
the best part: blissfully enjoying my beach-life. working at the coffee-shop, the gym and babysitting. kissing boys at parties. running on the coast in the morning. creating some of the best memories to date.
look at this. three years ago.
1st snapshot: after the second san diego fiasco, my mother advised me that school/life in texas would be a good financial move. i didn’t want to move back in with my parents and i was really pushing to cover football so college station seemed like a solid choice. i am wearing football pads in this photo and leaning up against my adorable audi a4 (r.i.p. augustus).
2nd snapshot: this was my solid group of friends in that college town. we were weirdos but we had each others backs always. still friends to this day. well, most of us.
3rd snapshot: a selfie of my first day at my first ever internship. i wrote and reported for a texas high school football website. they let me talk on camera and everything. i loved the energy and excitement of covering sports and i knew in that moment, “this is what i want to pursue.”
the worst part of this time: totally losing my confidence, nearly going insane, dropping out of school/quitting my job and checking myself into an inpatient treatment facility for eating disorders (back in southern california). and constantly thinking i would never amount to anything.
the best part: going full-force on sports media and learning everything that i possibly could about it. i also began exploring my taste for older men, the art of working out and becoming more confident.
look at this. two years ago.
1st snapshot: moved to houston after deciding to attend the university of houston. quickly made friends and began to explore my new home. it’s funny because i spent so much time trying to avoid living in this city. little did i know, living here completely transformed my life.
2nd snapshot: this is a very secret bar in houston. at the time that i took this picture, i was dating my first-ever boyfriend and we sat upstairs and madeout on a couch. later we argued and he ended up sleeping on my floor, what a brat. however this bar resurfaces in my life every now and then when i really-really dig a man.
3rd snapshot: a picture of me covering a sports event at the university of houston. i quickly became the lead talent for all things athletics during my time at the school. i cannot describe the sense of purpose and happiness i got with a microphone in my hand talking to these guys. the athletes loved me, i loved them. this only got better as the time went on.
the worst part of this time: there was a lot that was really bad during this time. i paid my bills on time but i was always struggling with money. i worked 4 jobs (still currently do). lost my beautiful car that i loved dearly during the hurricane and flooding, my boyfriend was a terrible influence on my life and we fought all the time. i was miserable, gained a ton of weight, lost the vision for my life and became very depressed.. so much so that i wanted it all to end. seriously, it was dark.
the best part: there’s a lot that was really good during this time. i wrote and created amazing content for the atheltics department, landed a talent position for a sports show that aired on AT&T Sportsnet SW. i made amazing friends and connections at the school, started embracing my humor and intelligence instead of focusing so much on my appearance. i had my first boyfriend and experienced things like sex and sleeping next to someone for the first time (something i just thought would never happen for me). i did really well in school, paid my bills on time, became extremely close with my mother again, worked incredible internships for the rich eisen show and the dan patrick show, and learned things about myself that i would not have learned anywhere else in the world.
look at this. last year.
1st snapshot: i met somebody who changed my life (and i know that i changed her life, too). we lived in the same apartment complex and i remember how sunny and happy this day was. we realized that we were terrible at taking photos. this is the best one we got.
2nd snapshot: during my time at the university of houston, i was an active student. lead anchor for “in the game” (a sports show hosted by the student media center), lead talent for the athletics department, started my own sports show that ran out of the studio on campus, active member of honor society and was nominated by the school to be a member of the national society of leadership and success. this picture is from my induction ceremony into the nsls. pretty fun night and i remember i drank a bottle of champagne on the way to the event.. whoops.
3rd snapshot: this is a picture of my first day at texans training camp during my internship with a news station here in houston. i was the sports intern and i worked incredibly hard and did everything i could to soak up the experience. i learned an insane amount about the job, the company and the industry as a whole. the three-month internship turned into an eight-month internship and they even created a new position for me (an idea that i pitched, by the way. go, karli.)
the worst part of this time: feeling like a complete failure for not getting hired at the news station and not having any sort of job lined up at all, living paycheck to paycheck even tighter than before, constantly fretting about the future and being forgotten.
the best part: in mostly chronological order; dumped that dude who brought me down, began to find more reason to want to be alive, spent more time outside, started to take care of my body again, worked that internship with so much passion and perseverance, went on fun dates with older men (my favorite), moved to a new apartment with a new roommate, bought myself a new car (convertible bug, how cute?), graduated college (magna cum laude), cut out toxic people, became more of a “yes-man,” really-really began to love myself, and just started seeing the beauty in the day-to-day.
look at this. right now.
1st snapshot: me and my roommate. but also my best friend. these last few months we have become insanely close. we just get along. simple as that. it’s crazy. if we have a problem with each other, we address it, apologize and move on. we laugh and act crazy and talk about boys and life goals. our dogs are also best friends. it’s quite harmonious and i couldn’t imagine my life without her (seriously, if you’re reading this best friend, let’s re-sign this lease right now so we can keep each other for another year. love you immensely).
2nd snapshot: this is a lame selfie, but i cannot believe how much my body has changed in a year. it really came from focusing on my mental health. i have taken control of my eating disorders in a way i never thought possible. i’m just not ashamed of it anymore. i really dig me.
3rd snapshot: this picture is from the day after my latest surgery. the docs found more cancer cells in my body but removed them all. i feel extremely blessed. and on top of all that, the day was sunny. i couldn’t help but smile.
the worst part of right now: getting the scary health news, getting my heart broken by a man, working four jobs but still broke, no full-time job prospects, being in constant fear of getting sick again and not really having a plan for my life.
the best freakin’ part: there’s so much good to speak of. i’ve been blessed and i’ve grown in so many ways recently. i keep beating health news that comes my way. i keep beating my eating disorders. in august, i met somebody and fell in love for the first time in my life and it was an incredible experience (it ended about a month ago and was just excruciatingly painful. but feeling that pain was good for me. plus, it’s his loss anyways. boom.), picked up a new part-time job where i get to be around wildly successful people all day, workout like it’s my job, still close with my mother (see her once a week for date nights. just the best.), going on actual dates with men and exploring my city, walking dogs and earning money where i can, making people laugh and encouraging them to be the best they can be, being risky and wild and creating memories that i hope to carry with me forever.
as i typed this all out, i realize that the things that seem so important or, on the flip-side, world-ending, just aren’t that big of a deal. the people who hurt you, the events that you partake in, the laughs and tears, the struggles and successes and the tough lessons you learn are there to shape you.
simply put, i am not who i was five years ago. i’m not even who i was this time last year. the bad parts and the good parts of right now are not permanent.
i have the ability to change the bad and prolong the good. it’s up to me.
isn’t that refreshing?