As told to Brandi Lytle
Kat, founder of Kat Joseph Blog, is an incredible woman who has overcome many trials during her life.
She is a self-proclaimed “gypsy soul. photographer. dreamer. rape survivor, beautiful soul seeker, and lover of all things travel.” She longs for “deep connections” and desires to “shed light” into this world.
As I read Kat’s story about losing joy while chasing the “American Dream,” I wondered how many others have lost hope trying to achieve this ideal, this expected life…
What difficulty were you struggling with?
The “American Dream” lifestyle is pressured onto everyone. The idea that you go to college, get a good job, get married, buy a house and then have kids is just the way it’s “supposed to be.” This dream stole my joy for more years than I can count. You see, this isn’t my dream. Throw in life and trauma, and there was just no way I could live up to this unreasonable expectation.
Why had you lost your joy?
I lost my joy when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to finish college. I had to take a medical leave because my anxiety was just way too high. I couldn’t sit still for longer than 10 minutes and would have to bolt out of class. I had this belief that I was a failure because I wouldn’t have a college degree and it’s what you were supposed to do. Add to all of that, that I have lived in a different city every year for the past 10 years and I can’t even name all the addresses I’ve had. This “American Dream” just got harder and harder to grasp.
What good thing (no matter how big or small) helped you to start focusing on the positive?
My art is what has kept me alive and passionate about life. No matter the struggle or thoughts in my head, I could always express it through photography, which has been a huge outlet for me. Not only an outlet, but it’s turned into my job and I couldn’t love it more. I love that I am able to be creative every single day and that I’m not bound by other’s expectations.
What would you like to say to others who are going through the same struggle that you have overcome (or are in the process of overcoming)?
I turned 30 this year, and I couldn’t be happier with where my life has taken me. I have traveled across the U.S. two times in the past five years. I’ve seen more of our beautiful country than most, and I’ve had life changing experiences. I’ve found myself and become completely and utterly content with where I am. I have dreams of having a family and raising lots of sweet littles, but my dream doesn’t look like most. I plan on homeschooling and fostering and living a life not bound by how you are supposed to live, but rather by how you want to live. I want this freedom, for myself and for my future family.
Beautiful one, are you struggling with living the “expected life” or are you enjoying the freedom of making your own way? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
And please, consider sharing Your Good Things Story. You never know who you will inspire!
Photo Credit: Xochi Romero on StockSnap.io