September 14 2016

We often filter what we remember in a light that is positive for ourselves. Is that wrong? What if those memories were actually full of kind memories? What if someone’s favorite memory was something kind that you, a complete stranger, did to make their day, week, month or even year? I have many memories of people that have sprinkled my life with kindness - family, friends, strangers and locals. I think those experiences makes me a more kind person.

Tonight I am surrounded by family and friends that have supported me through many good and many tough times. They have kept me from wallowing in my own negative history and provided many experiences of kindness to help heal the wounds. The kind memories are what I WANT to filter. As an ambivert (google it, it’s a thing) I often need time to myself to think and process. Even when I am in that mode, whether literal or simply known in my heart, I know that my friends and family “get me” and support me.

It is often hard to balance the need/want to be out and about with the necessary time to reserve my energy. Over the last two months, I have worked a full time paying job, completed a significant volunteer project, fit in two short vacations to refuel, and managed to somehow remember to nourish myself and my cat. This is not unique to just me. We all face the pressure to do it all and be everything to everyone.

Through all of that I’ve learned the following:
- Sometimes “I can’t.” is the right answer.

- Sometimes “I can’t” is the wrong answer.

- Most of the time you won’t know which is which.

- I have broken, burned, built and rebuilt bridges in the process.

- Found new inner strength that I hope will push me into finding:

o a new career, life purpose, and rekindling the relationship that took quite the ride (some good, mostly bad) in the whole process and deserves much respect and time to heal.

To best sum it up, when life sets you up to knock out a home run, take the chance but don’t forget to manage your relationships along the way. Be kind. Be human. Be loving. Be honest to yourself most of all. In doing all of that, remembering the positive memories, is only remembering, and not filtering.


Katie E. Auten
[email protected]
Greensboro, NC

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