2014: Katy in Review

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monster dash kansas city01. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Strap in, friends…..

  • Published my first national magazine story in Delta’s Sky magazine
  • Met AJ and Howie of the Backstreet Boys
  • Traveled to New Orleans, San Francisco, LA and Denver
  • Flew first class on Virgin Airlines
  • Watched Wrestlemania from private box seats
  • Sat backstage at a WWE pay-per-view
  • Attended my first comic convention (Planet Comicon in KC)
  • Attended Wrestlemania Axxess
  • Returned to full-time office employment for the first time in 4+ years
  • Ran my first-ever race (a one-mile relay) and my first 5K (dressed as Ultimate Warrior. Yep.)
  • Attended my first Weight Watchers meeting
  • Secured my first corporate writing retainer (while self-employed as a freelancer)
  • Wrote my first magazine cover story as a freelancer
  • Attended an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago
  • Watched an interview segment with my husband on a WWE DVD
  • Helped coordinate an SMCKC breakfast featuring WWE’s Social Media Director, the phenomenal Corey Clayton

02. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more?

I made a valiant effort (many of them became irrelevant mid-year because of my employment change). And absolutely!

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Tony and Tricia welcomed sweet Elin into their family! Such a happy day!

04. Did anyone close to you die?

Although I never had the chance to meet him, the death of the Ultimate Warrior hit me and Rob incredibly hard. Rob had gotten to know Warrior after the two started working together, and I will forever be grateful to him, his family and his amazing agent for making Wrestlemania 30 the experience of a lifetime.

We also lost several close family friends, all of whom are deeply missed.

05. What countries did you visit?

The US! I did more traveling this year than any other year before, which means I’m slightly better at packing. Not much, though.

06. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

More health-related achievements and less anxiety.

07. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 6, 2014, WrestleMania 30. I’ll echo Rob when I say that this is a day I will never, ever forget. After working a grueling schedule at Wrestlemania Axxess, we were back at the hotel, preparing to go to WrestleMania, only to be told that we were going to watch the show from the Ultimate Warrior’s private box seats. Thus began the whirlwind of the WWE friends and family experience, which included a police-escorted bus to the Superdome and an incredible party during which I saw too many current and former superstars to count. The show itself was utterly spectacular. The thing I’ll remember most about the entire stretch, however, is feeling a level of pride in Rob that I hadn’t yet experienced. In fact, I spent a lot of the time alternating between the biggest grin ever and wanting to cry my eyes out. Seeing someone you love achieve their dreams after so many years of hard work, setbacks and obstacles is truly a miraculous thing to witness, and I’ll treasure those feelings and memories forever.

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

In addition to several health milestones (more soon), I landed a full-time job as Online Content Marketing Manager at DSI,  a Kansas City-based software company. The job opportunity came to me out of the blue (thanks, Scott!) and, although I wasn’t necessarily looking for full-time employment because of my freelance business, I was drawn to the company and the work. I’m happy to say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. My coworkers are some of the best I’ve ever had, the management team is superb and I’ve had a chance to not only showcase my skills, but also push myself to triumph over a sizable learning curve.

Health stuff: in a nutshell, this is ALWAYS my biggest battle. I’ve been overweight for most of my life, and although I’ve made short bursts of progress here and there, I always backslide–and nothing sticks. This year I recommitted to Weight Watchers and started attending meetings (w00t, J&J!). They made such a huge difference in terms of my learning and accountability. Additionally, I continued workouts with the best trainer in KC (Cheryl!) and pushed myself to achieve fitness milestones I never thought I’d accomplish, namely my two races. I’ve lost nearly 20 lbs. so far and my goal is to lose another 55 in 2015, along with running at least 3 more races. It’s time to work!

09. What was your biggest failure?

I could always be more organized, but I don’t consider that a failure — just an opportunity for improvement!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Knock on wood … just a few minor colds.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tickets & accommodations so that Rob could see the “David Bowie Is” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. I still dream that he’ll have a chance to see Bowie in concert, but this was seriously the next best thing.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Our cats, Monkey and Korma, set the bar incredibly high. They’re really hard to top!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Liars, schemers, manipulators and people who don’t treat others how they deserve to be treated. I learned some difficult lessons about true friendship this year, and that sometimes you have to take several steps back to preserve your worth and emotional sanity. Rob once asked me a brilliant question: “Are you the lead in your own story or the sidekick?” We only get one chance at this thing called life, and if you’re not doing everything you can to make the most of it, you’re doing it wrong.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, food, clothes, Sephora, books, magazines and booze.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Rob’s success. Wrestling. Running my first 5K. My new job. Summer of Riesling. IKEA opening in Kansas City.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

“Ticking Bomb” by Aloe Blacc

This was one of the songs used for the WWE pay-per-view, Payback, which Rob and I attended in Chicago. I loved this song the first time I heard it, and hearing it thump over various WWE PPV promos made it even better. I downloaded it on iTunes and cranked it while we were on the train from downtown Chicago to the airport — something about the lyrics and the beat made it one of those songs I could listen to over and over and over. See for yourself:

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?

Happier.

ii. thinner or fatter?

Thinner! By nearly 20 lbs.!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Telling the people I love how much I love and appreciate them.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying about things beyond my control, or that haven’t even happened yet. <—Stealing from Rob

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

We had a wonderful family Christmas in Columbia, followed by a lovely dinner with Rob’s mom and stepdad. Next year, my mom and stepdad will be in mid-Missouri, too, which will be the best!

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Continued to love Rob more every day.

23. How many one-night stands?

None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Parenthood. Newsroom. Scandal. Monday Night Raw (most of the time). Downton Abbey.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I hold some grudges, yes. They shall remain nameless ;)

26. What was the best book you read?

I can finally answer the comic/graphic novel part of this question! Rob introduced me to “Locke and Key” and it was FANTASTIC. Creepy, mesmerizing, thought-provoking — I devoured the series!

The best book I read was “Unbroken” (thanks for the stellar book club pick, Jamie!). It’s not the lightest, happiest of reads, but it’s beautifully and brilliantly written–I laughed, I cried, I wanted to yell and smash things. Eagerly awaiting a chance to see the movie.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I hate this question. My musical tastes don’t lend themselves to much discovery. I did enjoy listening to Haim, and I continued my love affair with Pearl and the Beard. Also, I reignited my love for 70s rock and I’ve built a pretty epic Spotify playlist.

28. What did you want and get?

Continued professional and personal success.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Dang. I don’t watch many movies anymore. I was really pleased with the film version of “Divergent.” And “Blackfish” caused me to have an epic meltdown that included me sobbing into the phone to Rob, “WHY DO WE DO THIS TO ANIMALS? I HATE EVERYONE! CLOSE ALL THE ZOOS AND WATERPARKS! FREEEEEEEEE THE WHAAAAAAALES!” So, yeah. I’ll leave it at that.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 and Rob and I worked his live painting display outside of Summerslam in L.A. It was hot and tiring, but I had a blast! Oh, and Rob gave me the best present EVER: I met Stone Cold Steve Austin and he wished me happy birthday :) :) :)

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

The vain answer: Losing more weight. The heartfelt answer: Spending more time with my favorite people.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

#Bighairdontcare. Duh. Also, an accessories evolution. My statement necklace collection rocks. Oh, and I’m on a quest to build the largest-ever collection of KC T-shirts. I have more than a dozen so far.

34. What kept you sane?

Rob, my family, the Besties in Black, wine, books, Monkey and Korma.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

The Backstreet Boys … 17 years and still going strong! Also, some wrestlers that I won’t name ;)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The continued disappearance of women’s rights. Why do people think they have the right to dictate what someone else does with her body? Newsflash: You don’t. So cut that shit out.

37. Who did you miss?

My grandparents and far-away friends.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Oooh, yay. I’ve been waiting for this question. Her name is Patrice Farrell, and I jokingly refer to her as my “work BFF.” Patrice is my coworker at DSI and the first person who came up and introduced herself to me when I started. Now I’m fortunate enough to be on the same team as her. She’s incredibly smart, delightfully snarky and one of the hardest working people I know. She not only makes work fun (and less daunting) — she’s also an amazing person. We assembled a team (Wrasslemania) for my first 5K, the Monster Dash. Not only did she dress up as a simply fantastic Jake the Snake Roberts (and her wife, Megan, made for a dreamy Hulk Hogan), but she ran with me the. whole. way. Since this was my first 5K (and my training was admittedly sporadic), I wasn’t so much fun to run with. I ran in spurts and, whether walking or running, I was slow. But she stayed with me, even though she’s way faster and in better shape than me, and when we crossed the finish line together, I knew that I’d always be grateful to her for being a wonderful person and an even better friend.

Honorable mentions: My other new coworkers: K Cobb, GVH and Justin, as well as the DG team. Also Angela (@acomicbookgirl), who I was thrilled to meet while in LA. Meeting Twitter friends IRL is THE. BEST.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

It’s cliche and not terribly exciting, but hard work really does pay off. I saw it so, so many times throughout 2014, not only with my freelance business and my full-time career, but also with my health, with Rob’s success and with so many of my amazing friends and family who accomplished their own personal and professional milestones. It’s not always easy. It’s not always fun. But if you have a goal that you’re working toward and you truly invest time and effort, it will pay off. It also helps if you have a support network that can help keep you motivated, listen to you vent and make suggestions that you might not otherwise see. And once you start achieving your goals, take some time to savor that feeling. I do a terrible job of forging on to the next thing, always focusing on what’s ahead instead of what I’ve done. Stop that! Your journey is incomplete if you can’t look back and appreciate how far you’ve come.

And on a different note — I mentioned it earlier, but I have to come back to that poignant question that Rob posed to me so many years ago. Are you the lead in your life story? If not, the time to change that is now. It’s not always easy — in fact, it can be downright painful (and I’ve shed the tears to prove it). But if you’re not the principle focus in your own story, who is? Surround yourself with people who lift you up, make you laugh, make you want to be better and who are simply fun to be around. And all the while, don’t forget who you are and what you want to accomplish. Your life story needs a main character–and that’s you. It’s time to step into the spotlight and live the life you want and deserve.