Kayla Albert

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Writing Notes: A Deeper Look at Loneliness

When I was in 8th grade, I used to write notes to the new girls in school. These notes, with hearts above the i’s and perfectly curved cursive, written during lesson plans I wasn’t paying attention to, were an attempt to distance myself from the misery of my first year of middle school. That was when I marked the start of my long-standing relationship with loneliness. During these first few months, I tried to escape loneliness with frequent trips to the nurse’s office, carrying tales of fabricated illnesses – a rouse to get a phone call home and the chance to escape another solo walk down the long and intimidating hallway of my school. Loneliness convinced me daily of my separateness, chiding me for even…

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A Little Bit Dramatic: 5 Ways True Love Should Never Feel Like Lust

(This post originally appeared on EliteDaily) My last relationship — one that spanned nearly a decade — went something like this: a blissfully happy beginning with no fights, a tumultuous middle punctuated by a few breaks and breakups and a life-shattering ending with several incidences of cheating woven in. This love was a battleground, and I spent years down in the trenches, operating from the faulty premise that relationships needed to be fought for every single day. I was on a roller coaster of emotions, from one dramatic incident to the next, and things between us seemed incapable of running smoothly for an extended period of time. Instead of seeing this as a reason to pack my bags, I chalked it up to being the…

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Financial Infidelity: 5 Reasons to Keep Money Separate in Relationships

(This post originally appeared on Elite Daily) I memorized the phone number after about the third call. From that point forward, I wrestled with anxiety every time I saw it light up my caller ID. The call came once in the morning and at least once more in the afternoon. Sometimes, it would come as late as 8 pm. The caller was looking for payment on a credit card issued in my name, one I had naively handed over to my boyfriend because his poor credit could afford him nothing more than a small, prepaid debit card. By the time the card was maxed out, and the charges were compounding due to missed payments, our relationship was on the outs. Despite the shaky ground we were…

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A Fear of Being Noticed (and a Fear of Being Unnoticed)

A few days ago, as I mindlessly stepped into the shower with one hand occupied by a large bottle of body wash, my foot slipped, causing my face to careen into the side of the hanging soap dish. The tumble, while relatively minor compared to the catastrophe it could have been, immediately made me burst into a loud, ugly cry. Aside from the painfully large bruise on my shin and a knot above my left eye, it wasn’t the unexpected ass kicking that prompted this sudden burst of emotion. I woke up that day, and the three days prior, with a gnawing sense that I was generally sucking in all areas of my life, and the shock of physical pain seemed to suddenly bring all…

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Why Your Plan Isn’t Always the Best Plan

A few years ago, I struggled with a constant, nagging feeling that I wasn’t actually living my life. I didn’t have the community connection I craved and week after week would pass looking exactly like the one before. I had this deep-seated fear that everyone was experiencing fulfillment that I could never quite tap into. So I became attached to the art of planning. If things weren’t going to happen spontaneously for me – as I was convinced they did for everyone else – I would make a valiant effort to fill my calendar and say “yes” far more often than I said no. I imagined my future to be filled with realized goals, and I created smaller plans to fill larger plans. For all…

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Finding the Excitement in the Missing Puzzle Pieces

For me, goals have never been concrete mile markers but fluid ideas of what I want my life to look like. They may not be formally documented or discussed, but in the mind of a perfectionist, they are serious business. Turning these ideas into a tangible reality is messy. I tend to be on a constant roller coaster of confidence and self-doubt, wrestling with the notion that there are some things I can’t control and others that I may not be doing enough to try to control. Most of the time I trust in the process. Other times, I’d much rather have a breakdown over all the things that just don’t seem to be moving in the way I’d like or deem necessary. Yesterday, when…

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You Can’t See the Future (and That’s a Good Thing)

When I was in the midst of a life-shattering breakup, I didn’t lay awake at night wishing for the relationship to return to solid ground. I didn’t even wish for him to have a change of heart. Instead, I prayed for the ability to see one year into the future. I simply needed to know that eventually, at some point I would be in tact – breathing, enjoying life and as far removed from the painful present moment as possible. Unfortunately, we can’t glimpse into the future. And we can never be certain that on this date, one year later, we will be in a better emotional, physical, or mental state than we are today. I, however, was. I gained perspective over that period of…

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Changing My Relationship With Time

Since leaving the 3.5 walls of my cubicle and the comfortable paycheck I received in exchange for spending hours in what felt like a timeout corner, time has taken on an entirely new meaning. Time used to be what I wasted as I wrestled with the gnawing feeling that I would never feel passion towards anything work-related again. Time was what I counted as I waited for the next Friday to appear. I hated time and its insistency that it could only move at a glacial speed. Now, with no walls surrounding me, time is something I’ve come to both respect and fear. Days that used to feel like years suddenly disappear at lightening speed, leaving me with the pit of anxiety spurred by a…