Hey, you! Yes, you. Thank you for being here, and thank you for reading this. It's so exciting to have this website up and running. Over the past 4 years or so, I've been on such a crazy journey through my writing. I honestly just want to congratulate myself for how much I've grown, and speak some things into existence for what I hope to accomplish in the future.
When I started writing, I was scribbling journal entries into a tattered notebook, pouring out my thoughts very messily. Those spilled thoughts were eventually shaped into poetry, and before I knew it, I had a journal full of poetry. I was honestly embarrassed to show anyone, because I had an inherent fear of judgement. However, I soon gained some confidence to begin posting some on a blogging website, but I knew I wanted to have my own website at some point. A couple years later, I bought the rights to my own domain and launched karatyler.com. It was a huge step for me, but I eventually stopped posting as much, and I wasn't as in love with the platform as I once was. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing now. I completely redesigned my website, and am going to rededicate myself to this because this is what makes me me. My writing, my poetry, is what I love most about me, and I'm ready to share more of it. I want to create something I'm proud of, and redoing my website was my first step.
With my old website, I really didn't think anyone cared about my writing, honestly, so I became a bit complacent and stopped posting as much. I considered deleting the website all together, and when I went on to my edit page, I glanced at my analytics and realized that a lot more people read my work than I had previously thought. Not to say that numbers should be a telling point of whether you do something you love, but for me, it was something I needed in that moment to show that people care. Having you guys flood me with messages about my writing after I post something means the absolute world to me. Nothing fills my love tank more than knowing I touched someone, so if you've ever sent me a message, or retweeted a link to a poem, thank you. You're the reason I'm doing this. You're the reason I'm running with this and not looking back.
This past year has been a really good one in terms of personal growth with my writing. I had my first ever feature in an independent magazine. The magazine sold out, and that's just an amazing milestone for me. I've been featured on my university's blog a couple times now, and I'm currently writing not only one, but two books. I want this website to not only be a way for me to showcase my poetry and photos, but also as a way for me to connect with you guys. And that's what I'm here to speak into existence.
One of my best friends is my uncle. I'll attach a photo of him, he's the cutest. He's just this amazing man, and I'm always hyping him up to my friends and just sharing how much I love him and how great our connection is, even from across the country. I was visiting family in Nashville this past summer, and he took me to his little coffee shop in East Nashville, called The Portland Brew. The moment he walked into that coffee shop, employees were coming out of the back to say hi to Uncle Kevin; everyone knew him. Not only all the baristas, but every single person sitting in that shop. How does someone have such a good sense of community in a city as big as Nashville? I wondered. His sweet friend Hayden came and sat with us. We began to talk, and he said something along the lines of, "You're really lucky to have an uncle like Kevin. He's wonderful, he loves people and people just love him right back." And then it clicked. Sometimes all you need to do is pour out your love and heart to others, in all that you do, and people will feel that energy and want to be in community with you.
I want to find that sense of community in my own circles. On my college campus, in my church, in my social circles. I know I have the heart to love people unconditionally, I just sometimes have a hard time finding the confidence to be bold in pouring out my love. Like most people, I have a fear of rejection and therefore I'm less likely to extend my hand out to someone in friendship. I'm currently reading a book (suggested by my uncle, of course) which read, "We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both. Not at the same time." And that kinda hits home for me.
That being said, I want to speak this into existence. I will put my heart to good use. I will be bold in my connections, and work on showing my love, to whoever I feel needs it: whether that be my family, my best friend, or a complete stranger. I will rediscover and reinvent my sense of community, and I will use this website as a way to connect with others. I will surround myself with likeminded people, and not worry so much about rejection. I will trust that the universe will put people in my life that I need, and not worry about the people who steer themselves away from my direction.
If you'd ever like to get coffee, please let me know. I'd love to meet you. I'd love to talk with you. I'm so excited to see what this website will bring, and I'm so ready for the opportunities that it will bring.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you.