Happy Friday! Today’s Fabulous Female Friday features one of my closest friends, Kate! In one of my past posts, we got to read about Kate’s mom, Jeanne! Now, we get to hear about Kate! Kate and I met in college, and while we got along right away, I think I might have scared her at first? When I first met Kate, she was much more reserved, and I think I was less so than I am now, which made an interesting combination, especially when we traveled with a youth orchestra to Ireland together (and roomed together for 10 days). Despite my craziness, Kate still wanted (and wants) to be my friend, and I value every minute of it! 

Mrs. Kate Michalowski, Music Teacher and Freelance Musician

I am in my seventh year teaching music in a public school.  For the past three years, I have taught sixth and seventh grade band, lessons, and general music.  I also teach private flute to nine flute, ranging from ages 11 to 18. 

1.     When do you feel your strongest? 
After a run or a really good kickboxing class.  SUCH a shallow answer, I know!!! But it’s true. You feel like you can conquer the world when you’re on the other side of something so physical. 

2.     On your most difficult days, what keeps you going? 
Knowing I am being watched. Sounds creepy, right? Being a middle school teacher and now a mom, I feel like I always have a younger person watching to see how I react to things.  How do I act when I’m completely exhausted? Beyond frustrated? I know that I am constantly setting an example and it is really important to me that I set the right one, or at least try! 

3.     What do you value the most in yourself, you relationship with your spouse/partner, and your family? 
Myself-my empathy. I think sometimes this can also be my biggest fault.  I can’t help but think of how the person I am interacting with is feeling. I find myself constantly trying make everyone feel comfortable.
My spouse-I value our trust and acceptance of each other.  I am never more ME than I am with Brian.  I know he will always accept me-my flaws, my goofy moods and my whirlwind of emotions. I have peace when I am with him.
My family-our strength and faith in each other.  My family, like any family, has had some major ups and downs over the years. But through it all, we know that if one of us needs something, there will be a line out the door waiting to help. I think my grandparents would be so proud to see the family they built and how we’ve brought our own families into the mix. 

4.     So far, what have been your greatest accomplishment(s)? 
Becoming a mom is one of the top for sure.  I am in awe of the little guy Brian and I created and can’t believe I get to be his mom. Growing as a teacher is something I am really proud of as well, and maybe continuing to study and perform music.

5.     What advice would you give to your younger self? 
Be true to you and stop worrying so much about what other people think of you.  I feel like in high school I knew who I was but I was always afraid to REALLY be me. As if it would change the minds of everyone around me and suddenly I would be completely alone.  I got better about opening up in college because it felt like a totally fresh start.  But now that I’m turning the corner on 30, I feel like I really know who I am and what is important to me. Everything else is just background…and maybe if I knew that when I was younger I could have spent more time being me and less time seeking everyone’s approval. 

6.    What has been your biggest failure, and how have you overcome it? My biggest failure is STILL not accepting that I don’t have control over the future. I would like to plan out my life and know exactly what is coming.  I struggle to trust that what is meant to be will make its way into my life.  I overcome it (or constantly try to) by taking things one day at a time…sometimes one hour or minute at a time when it gets really tough.  


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