My Life in California

Happy weekend, guys! I’m finally feeling like myself again after a doozy of a cold last week, I hope none of you get it. Tis the season, right? I’m sitting here, sipping on my first cup of coffee in a week (I KNOW HOW THE HECK AM I STILL ALIVE?) and I realized I haven’t given any blog updates on how things have been going since the big move. So while this happy caffeine buzz lasts, I want to share a little about what I’ve been up to since moving to California about a month ago!

The San Francisco Bay Area sure is beautiful. I’m in love with the green hills all around, the palm trees that line some of the streets, and the views of the bay. I live in the East Bay, and so far I love it. To be fair, I do miss home (Colorado will always be my “home”)…but it’s helped that the winter here is so mild. People have been complaining about the 40s and 50s here, and I’m just happy I don’t need a winter jacket.

My Life in California // Imperfect Chevron

I bought this pretty little plant baby, and I love her so!

I’ve been settling in to my new job, and it’s very fulfilling and challenging. My coworkers rock, I’m slowly building up to a full caseload, and I’m learning so SO so much. It’s hard, pretty much all the time I feel like I’m flailing, but I know I’m where I’m supposed to be right now. It’s so good, to finally be working and actually loving what I’m doing, and I’m really grateful for it.

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One of my coworkers brought back these amazing Harry Potter enamel pins from Universal Studios. See? I fit in so well with these people!

I’m back to ballet again, I found a great studio in the Bay Area that offers tons of adult classes. It’s pretty intense–a lot of local professional dancers take the class, and everyone is amazing, but it’s been so cool to be in class with such talented artistic people. I love watching them in class and trying to imitate their artistry (and failing miserably, of course). Ballet just fills my soul with joy!

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My daily mantra…and my coffee vessel of choice

Weekends have mostly been spent relaxing, studying, and exploring the area slowly. I don’t really have friends here yet (other than my coworkers), so it’s been a little weird and lonely at times…but I know I’ll meet great people eventually! I think it just takes time to really integrate yourself into a new community and get out there and actually meet people. It’s something that can be sort of challenging for me, because I’m definitely an introverted person. It takes me a little while to warm up to new people and really be myself. So I’m trying to really push myself in that area. Work in progress, right?

I’m still trying to find a good balance of how I spend my time…right now I’m learning so much and having to study in a lot of my free time, so I haven’t had as much time to participate in my hobbies as I’d like. I’m trying to learn French so I can go to Paris with my family later this year, and I’m hoping to carve out some dedicated weekly time to work on that. I’m also not getting as many creative outlets as I’d like right now–there are times that I really get the itch to create, and right now I just don’t have a ton of time to fulfill the need. Again, work in progress.

My Life in California // Imperfect Chevron

Just a selfie to demonstrate that I’m happy here. #Shameless

Anyway, I don’t want to go on and on and bore you to bits. I just wanted to share a little of what my life has been like since I uprooted myself. As hard as it’s been to be alone in a new city, starting a new job…I really feel like I’m meant to be here right now. It feels right. I’m happy here right now! Thanks for letting me gush on for a while there. I’m trying not to be too doofy, but California is treating me pretty well so far.



Back ‘en pointe’

If you know me really well, you know that I’m a dancer. Well, a ballerina, more specifically…Anyway, I danced my whole life, and in high school I was in the company at my studio, which meant I danced 6 days a week (and loved it, by the way). I chose not to major in dance in college, though I took a class with dance majors at my university. It was a really bad experience, and it’s much too long to go into in this little post. But that class was enough to send me running from ballet for a while, and I actually took a 3 year hiatus from it altogether. It was a lot of learning about who I was without dance, but it definitely got old.

Last summer when I was on break from school, I decided to go take the adult ballet class at my old studio, and from the first moment I stepped into the building I felt that electricity running through me that I used to get in ballet. And I haven’t looked back! I will never, ever, take a long break from ballet again. It fills my heart and feeds my soul in a way that nothing else can. And now that I’m an “adult” in the ballet world, the competitive aspect of ballet is gone. It’s just about enjoying myself, challenging myself, and laughing the whole way. One of those lofty goals I always had in my head was getting back to pointe work, and this summer one of my friends started up with her pointe shoes again and it really pushed me and inspired me to just do it! Yes, it would be hard and painful, but why not just do it?

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

I’m really happy to say I’ve started doing pointe again, although just at barre (and with a firm grip on the barre, I’m a total fraidy-cat)…but it’s so fun! Just to do something because I want to do it, not because I have to do it. Just to do it for myself. It’s really refreshing and special. And it also hurts. But the feeling I get from ballet, the electricity I’m getting from doing pointe work again…it’s worth it, it really is. I love ballet, and I’ve gone on way too long gushing about it, but I’m going to share a couple pictures of my pointe shoes because, you know, they’re beautiful and I love them so. And yes, I did take dorky pictures of myself in my pointe shoes wearing jeans, because I’m just that cool.

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

I guess I’m just so thankful every day that I’m getting to live this life, that I’m able to still dance and that it still fills me up with love and light and joy. I cherish it. AND I’m so thankful that my old studio has such an incredible adult ballet program, and that the instructors are the most inspiring and wonderful, caring people.

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

Back en Pointe via Imperfect Chevron

Thanks for letting me gush about this, it just feels like such a big deal to me and I wanted to share something positive among all this negativity that’s out there right now. Find what makes you happy, and do it! Always.


Life Update: Summer Sun

Now that I’m back home, life is good. I’m settling into studying for my NBCOT exam, spending time with my pets, and helping my family keep up with the chores. I’ve been keeping pretty busy, and I’m really enjoying the summer (my favorite season). Last weekend was so good, you guys, my family took lots of long walks, set off some little fireworks to celebrate the fourth, and cooked a really nice meal. And this week is “birthday week” for me, and I’m getting kind of nervous about turning 24…that just sounds like a real serious age. Anyway, here are some photos from the last couple weeks around here. Hope you and your family had a wonderful 4th of July!

Summer Sun via Imperfect Chevron

I painted our old porch swing this punchy orange color

Summer Sun via Imperfect Chevron

the views at Chataqua park in Boulder are worth the killer climb to the top!

Summer Sun via Imperfect Chevron

the lake near my house hired a goat farmer to maintain the grass this summer, and I have loved watching these goats munch along

Summer Sun via Imperfect Chevron

Summer Sun via Imperfect Chevron

this little turtle was right along the path. nature is so cool.

Summer Sun via Imperfect Chevron

that gorgeous mountain view.


Breaking Bad (Habits)

This post is a bit of a personal one, and I debated back and forth a lot before I finally decided to write it. Let me start by saying that I think that each and every one of us has one or two (or several!) bad habits that we’d like to break, and while they might be a source of shame or guilt, I think sharing your goals of breaking the habit can be really empowering. Once you tell people you’re going to do something, I think you’re way more likely to stick with it. Right? Ok, so here we go.

I am a nail biter. Have been for a long time, and I think it developed as a nervous energy/anxiety habit, because every time I’m stressed or overwhelmed I notice I start to gnaw my nails to shreds. You guys, I think it’s a super gross habit and I’m really embarrassed with how junky my nails look. As someone who plans to build a career as a hand therapist, in which a lot of the job requires using your hands to manipulate and heal, this bad habit is not ideal. So I’ve decided it’s time to break the cycle.

Because my habit is fueled by anxiety and stress, I don’t think that sheer willpower alone will get me through it. In looking for solutions, someone suggested I pay for weekly manicures. I liked the idea of having a consequence to motivate me, but I’ve never had a manicure in my life (nail salons kind of creep me out, I know I’m weird) and I’m a broke grad student who can’t really afford the luxury right now. So I decided to try out some at-home gel nail polish, and create a daily log to track my success.

The Polish

Breaking Bad Habits via Imperfect Chevron

I chose this Sally Hansen Miracle Gel and topcoat because it doesn’t require an LED light to dry, it’s budget-friendly, and it had good reviews online. It was a little more expensive than nail polish I typically buy, and I realized that if my nails don’t chip right away I’d be more motivated to keep them looking good. So each week, I’m going to spend an hour on my nails. I chose a nude color polish so that my nails look clean and classic, and I didn’t want an outrageous color bringing attention to the little nubs at the end of my fingers.

I’ve also been using the app, Way of Life, to keep track of my progress. Each day, you simply open the app and log if you followed the rule for that day. It takes less than 30 seconds to log, and I like that you can look at the overall 6-week trend (when I make it to that point, it will be amazing!) as well as your weekly progress. I think it’s also helpful in that you don’t have to look at it being this huge goal, you can just take it one day at a time. It’s like, I know I can make it through one day without biting my nails. And then I just start over the next day! Sometimes you kind of have to trick your brain into it, you know?

I think I’m off to a pretty good start, I’ve made it a whole week without biting my nails! If you have any other tips or ideas, please share!


Currently I’m…February

It’s been a busy month! I can’t believe it’s already almost March. It’s most definitely time for a “Currently I’m…” post. Here’s what my life has been like this February.

February update via Imperfect Chevron

That’s a quick update about what I’ve been up to this month. I’m looking forward to warmer weather in Spring and my move to North Carolina at the end of March. I’ll also get to see my parents next month! It’s going to be a good month, I can tell.


Currently I’m…January

The past 2 weeks have gone by in a blur. I moved from Colorado to Florida, started my first full-time clinical rotation in Occupational Therapy, and spent this last week soaking up as much knowledge as I could from my wonderful supervisor.

Things are a little overwhelming for me still, but I’m hoping that with each day I gain confidence in myself and in my knowledge. I’ll share more about my experiences in Fieldwork (clinicals) in a later post.

Here’s a little bit about what I’ve been up to in January so far:

January 2016

What have you been up to in January? Tweet me @kellytraut. I’d love to hear from you!


Currently I’m…November

After a 6 week test streak (yes, it was as horrible as it sounds), I’m finally feeling a little less stressed. This semester has challenged me mentally, physically, and emotionally, and while I still love the career path that I’ve chosen, I couldn’t be happier that there are only 4 weeks left.

But enough about school! I can’t believe next week is already Thanksgiving–I’m having my bestie from California over for the 2nd annual Thanksgiving pizza party. Since neither of us can fly home for the short holiday break, it’s nice to have someone to hang out with (read: someone I force to watch “Keeping Up With The Kardashian’s” reruns with me while stuffing our faces with homemade pizza). It should be a good holiday! What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

November Currently