There are two types of people in this world. Actually, that’s a lie. There are MANY types of people in this world, but for simplicity’s sake we’re going to squeeze them into two buckets.
The Pessimists and The Optimists
Scratch that, let’s go ahead and put them on a spectrum.
Most days, I sit wayyyyyy over here.
As a true-to-form optimist, I tend to see the best in situations (most days). I’m a walking heap of hopeful and I sprinkle sunshine in my morning coffee.
I’ve discovered, though, that it may in fact be possible to be optimistic to a fault. Let me explain.
I believe that all people are inherently good. I once got into an argument with my college roommate about Hitler probably having at least one redeeming quality. Yeah, I stood up for Hitler. Do you see where I’m going with this optimistic to a fault thing? I’m optimistic that all people, somewhere deep down, are good-hearted. I trust most everyone until they give me a reason not to.
I always expect the best outcome of things, or at least I hope for it. I’m all about the idea that positive energy brings positive outcomes. But the truth is, being so hopeful all the time can be a good way to make a letdown become a major letdown. The more you build up the chance that something wonderful could happen can make the heartbreak of things not going how your planned even harder.
At times this may be a disadvantage...
like applying for jobs you aren’t qualified for or day dreaming about coincidentally running into your celebrity friend-crush and having them realize how cool you are and then magically becoming bffs. But really, Jennifer Lawrence, can I please just bump into you on one of your trips home to Kentucky already? I think we’d be great pals.
I dream, a lot. And not very realistically, I might add. I love to think about my future home, traveling to exotic places, making millions while working from home and raising my twelve perfectly behaved little children in our antique farmhouse mansion. (Okay fine, maybe just four moderately-behaved heathens.) The problem is that I’m dating a realist that likes to remind me how the world works. As an optimist, sometimes I don’t want people to bring me down from my daydream. It’s like having a bouncer kick you out of the bar right when your favorite song comes on because you’re “getting out of hand” and dancing with deli meats is “frowned upon” in Kroger. (So I like dancing in grocery stores, what about it?) The truth is, every optimist needs a realist in their life, or at least someone to remind them that good things take time. Even though you might want to accuse them of just being pessimistic and killing your vibe.
how else are you supposed to have life goals if you don’t day dream a little? There’s enough negativity in the world, sometimes it’s healthy to think about the possibilities the future might hold. If it’s your daydream, make it one worth dreaming about.
Listen, being an optimist isn’t always easy. And, I’m definitely not saying that it’s always right.
This world takes all kinds of kinds. As an optimist, you might find yourself disappointed at times. Things may not end up like you hoped, people may not always be who you expect, and your dreams may be too big for others to grasp.
But seeing the good in people, situations, and tomorrow is never a bad idea.
Life happens, and maybe your perspective will ebb and flow as it does. It’s a spectrum.
I'm an extrovert, people person, and social butterfly maybe to a fault. I get my energy from others and I’m happiest when I’m with people, friends or strangers.
A side effect of my constant longing for social interaction has lead to my self diagnosis of a severe case of FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out.
Missing family functions, parties, impromptu hang outs, game nights, or basically anything remotely exciting or fun gives me a major FOMO flare up. Having friends and family in different parts of the world is great, but only adds to it because, unfortunately against my truest wishes, I can only be in one place at one time.
Perhaps you or someone you know is living with similar symptoms of severe FOMO. If the following applies to you, fear not for you are not alone.
14 Signs of Severe FOMO
1. A piece of your soul dies when you know you’re missing out on a party or event… but you continue to torture yourself by constantly checking Snapchat and social media to feel like you’re a part of it.
2. The first time you have to miss out on a tradition, your heart silently breaks. The first family holidays away from home are arguably THE WORST.
3. You sacrifice things like sleep for the sake of social interaction... It’s 11pm when your friend calls from the bar summoning you to join, but you have to get up early for a work meeting… You can sleep when you’re dead right?
4. You are the go-to person of your friends when they need a wing(wo)man for the night because they know it’s extremely rare for you to say no.
5. That being said, people always assume something is terribly wrong if you deny an invitation to do something.
6. You have a hard time focusing on something if you hear laughter in the other room that you aren’t a part of. “What happened? Did I miss something? Fill me in. I want to laugh too.”
7. Normal people have nightmares about dying or monsters, but you have nightmares about losing your keys and showing up to a party after it’s over.
8. You repeatedly check your calendar for free weekends to visit friends, but finding a job to fully support your travel desires is next to impossible. Your mason jar travel fund on your dresser keeps you hopeful.
9. Sitting at home doing nothing on a weekend gives you anxiety because you know there is fun to be had somewhere that you may be missing out on.
10. You struggle with resisting to text people so you don’t become a pest and incessantly checking in on what they’re doing to make sure they aren’t having fun without you.
11. You have to consciously remind yourself that some people need breaks from social interaction. You mean, not everyone wants to hang out and talk to me all the time? Weird.
12. You love living in a new city and making new friends, but you can’t help but internally weep when you see your friends in pictures back home at your favorite old local spot.
13. Lying on your death bed in pain isn’t even enough to sequester your inner desires to muster up the strength for Sunday-Funday brunch. What if they sip on mimosas and take a basic group selfie without you?
14. The only way to numb your FOMO is to plan something exciting or fun to do as a distraction. Spontaneous roadtrip anyone?
My fellow FOMOers, we're in this together.
Oh, I just had a brilliant idea...
FOMO support group anyone? Sunday? I'll bring the mimosas.
I am a proud California native, perhaps obnoxiously so.
My family has been cattle ranching on the Central Coast for 7 generations.
WHAT?!?! California has more than just surfer bros, Kardashians, and Google?!?!
Why yes, we do. MUCH more. Thank heavens for that.
Yes, there are things about it that I don't miss (like the cost of living and lack of Cracker Barrels), but I will forever be a champion for the beautiful golden state. It has something for everyone whether you prefer big cities, rural farm life, sandy beaches, snowy mountains, or barren deserts. The agriculture is abundant, landscapes are stunning, food is delicious, wine is divine, and the weather is just simply perfection (most of the time).
I have a confession to make though... California I'm cheating on you and there is another state that has recently stole my heart. When I moved here for work about six months ago I had no idea what to expect, and whatever few expectations I had were completely blown out of the water. Nestled between eight surrounding states, the Bluegrass State of Kentucky is an absolute gem and is wildly underrated. It undoubtedly has a piece of my heart, and here are just a few ways it stole it.
I quickly learned that my California definition of barbecue and the southern definition of barbecue are VERY different. To me barbecue is a verb and a noun. Anything that you barbecue on a grill is called barbecue. Kentuckians basically told me to swerve, "You crazy Californian, you've got it all wrong. That's just grilling. If it ain't slow roasted, it ain't barbecue." Well, you learn something new every day, don't you? My only request is that Kentucky join the west coast in our love for tri-tip beef because I'm having massive withdrawals. I know that some people will argue about Kentucky being the best state for barbecue, and to them I say, "Sorry, give me a sec. I'm busy stuffing my face with delicious, tender, slow roasted brisket."
I'm a wine lover through and through and a sucker for German beer, but the heavenly delight of that golden fluid... I CAN'T EVEN. I've only scraped the top of the bourbon barrel, if you will, but I'm aspiring to Pappy Van Winkle levels before I die. High hopes, I know. The only thing that leaves me perplexed is this "dry" county nonsense.. Prohibition was soooo last century. And what the heck is a "moist" county? It is rarely ever okay to even use that word as a descriptor... for anything.
Fireflies/Lightning bugs Whatever the heck those majestic glowing creatures are called.
My coworkers were BAFFLED by the fact that my first time seeing fireflies was my first day in Kentucky. Sure California has the beach and God's gift to mankind (aka In-N-Out Burger)... But no fireflies. While people here probably get over the hype by age 10, with no shame in my game at first sight I was a full grown adult giddy like a little kid on Christmas morning. Bucket list item: √Check. Thanks Kentucky.
Maybe you've heard that Kentucky is the horse capital of the world? Did you know that Kentucky is also the largest beef cattle producing state east of the Mississippi River? As a hub for both horses and cattle, there is some beautiful pasture ground across the state, and it is SO GREEN. Crazy what rain can do, right California?
Listen, I know it might be weird, but one of my favorite parts of the horse and cattle country here are the fences. The wooden plank fences in the rolling hills of the lusciously green Bluegrass GIVE ME LIFE. And don't even get me started about the old rock wall fences, especially the ones along Paris Pike. It's like classic southern charm with a dash of European and I am in love. I do miss the abundance of classic old rusty barbed-wire back home, but you can't have it all.
Y'alls and Drawls
As endearing as "hella" and "right on bro" are, I think I prefer southern drawls and Kentuckyisms much more. I'll admit, I'm still trying to break my California habits like saying, "Shut UP!" when I hear something that surprises or excites me. Baby steps.
I am slowly learning the "correct" way to pronounce things like Louisville (Loo-vull) and finally got over feeling the need to cringe when pronouncing Versailles (Ver-sales). Even when you are insulted here it sounds like the sweetest thing you've ever heard. I know by now what "bless your heart" REALLY means, but I can't help but want to sincerely respond with an "Aw, thank you. That's so sweet." I'm secretly hoping that the southern accent will wear off on me, because I don't think I will ever get sick of it. Y'all are fixin' to make this Californian never wanna leave!
I don't know if I'm actually obsessed with Kentucky, or if Kentuckians are so obsessed with Kentucky that it's contagious. Either way, I'm hooked. And PROUD. Kentucky has a surprising 120 counties (CA is more than 4x the size of KY and only has 58, just sayin') and each one is as unique as the spots on a Holstein cow. Kentuckians don't identify with their hometown, but their home county. I finally caught on, "Hi, I'm Kiah from Fayette county." Am I doing it right?
I live in Lexington, so yes, I tend to favor UK blue. Is it because I'm a huge CATS fan or because I don't want to be the ONLY Lexingtonian not representing on game day? Let's just say I've invested in some spirited garb to blend in with the locals. When I walk into a local store I find it hard not to want to buy every Kentucky themed item there is. Do I need a Kentucky shaped cutting board? No, nobody does. Unlike the perfect cutting board shaped state of Colorado, a Kentucky cutting board is awkward and narrow at one end with inconvenient funky ridges. Do I need to spend $40 on a burlap pillow that I will never use just because it has an adorable Kentucky patch on it? Probably not. But I WANT IT. Because, well, Kentucky y'all.
One of which is Jennifer Lawrence, who I just really want to be friends with. #goals
But in all seriousness...
Southern hospitality is most definitely a thing. A real life thing. The people here are INCREDIBLE. I moved here knowing 1 person but I felt at home almost immediately because the people are generous, welcoming, and sincere. You know that at-home feeling you get when you're in the town you grew up in and you see 12 people you know on a short trip to the grocery store? It feels like that, but everywhere. As a total people person, I LOVE that waving at people and striking up conversations with total strangers is a normal everyday thing here. The casual hour long conversation I had with a preacher the other day while getting my tires changed was nothing out of the ordinary, and that's awesome if you ask me.
Being away from home is hard, that's a fact. I hate having to miss family functions in sunny 75 degree weather while freezing to death in a Snowpocalypse.
I will forever preach that "West Coast = Best Coast," but I thank God every day that fate brought me here, the wonderful state of Kentucky.