If I’ve learned anything about life through all the trials is that the hardest moments are usually a tipping point toward whatever is next. The morning I find myself uncontrollably sobbing is usually right before I take a step in the right direction. Today is that day.
The thing is, I really suck at talking to anybody about the million things running through my head until I’ve already been a little broken by them. Until they’ve fully run their course and I find myself running out of the gym at 7 am because I can’t hold back the tears. I refuse to cry in front of strangers and to accept any kind of pity or concern from them. There’s this echo of my mother’s voice whispering that no one owes me anything. That I have to fight the tears and figure it out.
I coach myself with that destructive voice although it has evolved to be better for me, I’m proud to say. It’s particularly loud right now because after months of silence after demanding boundaries, I reached out to my mother to find out if her home was in the path of Hurricane Irma. She, and her home, survived with little damage but that simple text message was enough to send me into a whirlwind of self-doubt. The road to all growth is 3 steps forward, 1 step back, against my will.
To compound this feeling, I have surgery this week on my hand to have my thumb joint replaced. Talk about a bad week for mental health.
I realize how badly I suck at updating people on what’s really happening in my life and part of it is that silent punishment. Telling myself only those closest to me should know what’s going on in those dark corners of my brain. So today, I’m taking a lesson in vulnerability while I’m already feeling exposed and sharing what’s really going on.
I’m thinking about mortality and blessings. Disasters and suffering. Hope and faith, not just in a traditional way but in the sense of a great power. Family and abandonment. Friends. Contradictions.
As I dial the digits to find out what time I’ll be going under tomorrow, I just want the people I love to know I love them and appreciate their voice in my life when my own voice is too demanding and unkind. You’re my reasons.
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.