Let’s start at the beginning. Hi, my name is Karen.
When I first sat down to write this About page, I did what I normally do: I set out online to find examples of what other people put on their About pages: how they formatted it, what information they included, how they organized it, etc. I read some articles that outlined “The Top 10 Ways to Make Your About Page Awesome” and “How to Make Your About Page Stand Out” and then I got discouraged. Not because I felt like I couldn’t implement the techniques, but because I had spent an hour on this and hadn’t written a word.
This kind of perfection is exactly the thing I’m trying to avoid.
You see, this is a story about a long and meandering journey with no real direction or aim. This is a compilation of my account of what goes on in my life and mind. Some posts are opinion pieces when I get worked up about a particular heated topic. Some posts are updates about the routine going-ons of my life. Some posts are reflections of my inner spiritual journey. Some posts are accounts of my latest vacation.
It’s inconsistent and imperfect, but it’s the most authentic thing I have to give.
I have imported my previous blogs from different times in my life, so my record goes back to what looks to be my junior year in high school. Sometimes I post a lot. Sometimes I take long breaks with no explanation. Sometimes I change my opinions and disagree with what I’ve previously written. I reserve the right to change my mind. I reserve the right change myself. I reserve the right to grow.
This is what I have. This is an account of who I am or was at different seasons of my life. Feel free to go back in time to gain an insight about who I was (or portrayed myself to be as the case may be) years ago or feel free to stay up to date with where I am in my life now. That choice is yours. My choice is to open myself up and to express myself in whichever messy, inconsistent and (sometimes) impulsive way suits me most at the moment.
I currently reside in Austin after growing up in the suburbs of Houston. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and then from Texas State with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Sociology (one of my all-time favorite loves) where I specialized in gender and religion (or gender in religion as the case may be). Now, I use that degree doing workforce data anlaytics and making cool data visualizations at my day job. I met a pretty amazing guy named Evan and we eventually got married in January of 2013. He has his degree in Aerospace Engineering, so I pretty much married a Rocket Scientist.
When we decided we wanted to expand our family, we went to the Austin Animal Shelter and picked up this beautiful Siberian Husky named Kya (after a character in Avatar: The Last Airbender). She is one of the objectively best dogs I have ever encountered minus the occasional “getting-her-head-stuck-in-trash-can-lid” or “eating-food-off-the-counter” incidents. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love her.
To top that off, we are always surrounded by a ton of family (they all live around here….my parents live in our neighborhood) and great friends with which we spend an inordinate amount of time.
I am truly incredibly blessed and grateful for all of these people who allow me the ability to be who and where I am today. Many of these people will show up in blog posts because they are an integral part of my life.
About the Name of this Blog
Living My Imagined Life
The name of this blog is inspired by one of my all-time favorite quotes:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have [always] imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
I am a thinker and a dreamer, but I’m not always the best doer or followthrough-er. I can so easily get caught up in my head, in my research, in my colorful fantasies, in my grand ideas and plans (and believe me, I have tons), but oftentimes I find myself paralyzed by insecurity and anxiety. As a rule, it’s difficult for me to “go” and it’s almost near impossible for me to “go confidently” anywhere, let alone down the path of my fantastical and whimsical dreams. But Thoreau’s message reminds me that the life in my imagination is a life that I can life fully by following my own inner authority with great trust. I add the word always in the quote myself because I like to emphasize that this is a lifetime yearning that I have. It serves as a lifelong goal: to fully live out the authentic life I have always dreamed about.
Look For The Light. Chase It Everywhere.
This is the other mantra of my life that is borrowed from the breathtaking poetry of Tyler Knott Gregson. I was first introduced to his work when I noticed one of my friends kept reposting some of his love haikus on her Tumblr. I fell in love with his words, his beautiful, simple, elegant, truthful words. They spoke to me in the way that only poetry seems to be able to do. Then, sometime in 2014 he posted a very simple picture: the view you get if you lie under a tree and look up and see the light and sky streaming through the leaves. Under it were the words.
“Look for the light, chase it everywhere.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
Do you ever have moments of profundity that occur in the most mundane of cirmstances? Something inside me clicked. Something inside me knew in a very visceral and deeply-rooted way that this was what I needed to do, needed to strive for. So much of the world is dark and terrifying. Even my own thoughts can turn into the stuff of nightmares. But where there is dark, there is always light. I view light in the same way I view divinity. Light is universal, fundamental and symbolizes illumination, goodness, the ultimate reality and clarity. It’s everywhere. So I look for it. I chase it down wherever I find beauty and truth, whether it’s in a Catholic mass or Sufi poetry or a nature hike or a flower springing up from an abandoned building or a look from my husband or a lick from my dog or a dinner filled with laughter or a quiet moment before a big party or the brief fleeting gratitude that fills your heart when you stop and think about how very fortunate you are to be here in this marvelous, fantastic, whirlwind of a life. It’s fitting that I walked down the wedding aisle to the instrumental song “Child of the Light” a year before I had the words to express this personal ideal. The life I have always imagined is full of the beautiful light of life and I will forever follow where it leads me.