I tried to remember what I’ve done this past year. I would like my accomplishments to be big and obvious, like trophies on a mantel, each one a little shinier and more prestigious than the last.

I remember my twenty-sixth birthday. It was a bad day. I was so afraid of not being enough. Of not getting ahead. I am always so afraid of that. It’s an old and boring fear, even to me.

The truth is, it’s not just the past year, I can’t really remember what I’ve been doing for the last decade. I mean, I did things. Some of them were the big things that people are supposed to do at those ages. College, grad school, figured out a career. I wrote pieces I was proud of and some of them got published in places I was proud to be published. Sometimes someone I knew would tell me that someone they knew had sent them a piece I’d written, and they’d been like, “I know her!” And I would feel successful for a minute, and I’d think that I needed more of that, sort of like a drug. And also like a drug because afterward, I felt bad because I wasn’t getting it anymore. And I’d feel jealous because someone else got a big deal agent or an NPR interview or whatever.

I love to write. If I could somehow take that feeling of working on a book and strain it through a magical sieve and leave behind the chunks of ambition and everything money related and my insecurities about getting ahead that have been carded into the strands of my inspiration over the years—that would be liberating. Sometimes I can. It makes me want to write forever.

But the best thing I’ve done over the past decade is decide to spend my life with Bear.

And the best thing I did this past year was start to feel like maybe I was already doing enough.


It was a small, sneaking feeling. A kind of a suspicion, not confirmed because I am bad at believing evidence about myself. But it was that feeling that allowed me to even think about making a baby. It was that sly, faint instinct that allowed me to break a lot of my own rules about what I had to do before I had a baby. A baby has always represented the next phase to me, and I kept not feeling done with this one. But this past year, I realized that I might not ever be done with this phase, so I went ahead and made the baby anyway. It was stupid, probably, but smart at the same time. I think it was healthy. Which is funny, because she’s made me sick this whole time.

Making her was really very simple. You wouldn’t think it should be. To make a whole person. You’d think it should be the most complicated thing in the world, and I’d need like three PhDs and a stroke of pure genius. But instead, I just had sex. Ha! Bear thinks this is funny, too. We also make a lot of fart jokes. We think the word “poop” is funny, so we say it a lot. We’re not that mature.

But in all seriousness, I have been working very hard at so many things, and the baby was really easy, comparatively, which makes me wonder about priorities and identity and the meaning of life and why the whole world is set up the way it is. At first, because she just appeared inside me, from practically nothing, it seemed as though she didn’t count as an accomplishment. Sometimes I think it’s hard to figure out what the real accomplishments are.

And it’s strange how it’s something like that, like her, and not the things that I’ve agonized over and worked ferociously towards, that make all the difference. I mean, I know, people know that. There are lots and lots of books about it in the self-help section. Sometimes they are in other sections, too. But I always thought there was something sort of lame about that attitude—I thought it was for people who just can’t cut it.

I like how my baby doesn’t know anything yet. It’s so cool. She’s going to have so much fun finding out about everything.

I am still finding out about everything, too.

A few days after my birthday, Bear and I went out to brunch with my Australian friend Lucy, who’s been staying with us while she looked for a job here in NYC. We were celebrating, because she got a job. On my birthday! That was the exact day that she found out. And she said to us at brunch, “This is my biggest goal. To get a job in New York City and be able to live here.” And I was so happy to be sitting there, looking at someone who was literally living her own dream.

(Lucy and me, at brunch)

After brunch, we stopped by Bear’s office and he took us to the top of the building, where they were doing construction and the door was open. And then Lucy and Bear and I climbed out the window onto a little balcony, and we looked at the world. It looked like a big piece of the world, because you could see so much water and so many buildings. And I tried to figure out what my dream is. I don’t even know! But being here is a good start, I think.

(Lucy took this picture)

My twenty-seventh birthday didn’t seem like a big deal. It came and went in a moment, slippery and anonymous. It’s true, life feels much faster now than it used to. I feel like I’m always thinking in a way that people in their twenties aren’t supposed to think yet. Like the way I worry about dying, and I worry about the people I love dying, and everything always feels fantastically fragile. Because, after all, I only have one mom and one dad and one Jake and one Gabe and one Bear, and they are unbelievably, indescribably precious to me, all the time.

And also, my own life feels surreal and sudden, as I live it. Am I really here, right now? In this big, dirty, complicated city? Married? Pregnant? My life charges dramatically forward, dragging my startled mind behind it. And at the same time, I feel like me. Like I did when I was twelve and sixteen and seventeen and twenty-two. I am sixteen and pregnant, I think. Which is scary.

But I’m excited.

And to celebrate my birthday, I did something I’m not supposed to do, since failing the glucose screening test. I got the glucose machine ready, and the finger pricker, and the blood strips. And then I ate the damn cake, sitting at the table by myself. I hadn’t had any sugar in a long time.

Fuck yes.

It was good.

*  *  *

Are you surprised at where you are in life right now? Why or why not? I’d seriously love to hear.

Unroast: Today I love the way I look in a black tank top. So simple. I never want to take it off. Except every night, when I just want to be naked.

This is the post I wrote when I turned 25. I wrote this piece about turning 26. Sometimes I wonder if I ever learn anything.



Kate on March 21st 2013 in life, pregnancy, relationships

35 Responses to “27”

  1. morgaine responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    I was a Latin scholar in high school. I won a lot of awards, and everyone expected me to go far in academia. Deep down, I knew I loved the language but not the theory. I’ve never felt cut out for academia, for sitting and endlessly ruminating and feeling divorced from my body and my hands. I think being in my head too much exacerbates my anxiety disorder.

    I’m a model and fashion blogger now. It’s much more extroverted work, and I love it. I’m visible, literally and figuratively. I feel like I’m making more of a statement than I ever did holed up in my room reading Cicero.

    Next January, following up on an old high-school pipe dream, I will start attending tech school to become an embalmer. I think about it every single day, every single hour. There’s so much value in learning an honest trade. I think those close to me are somewhat disappointed that I won’t be writing books and translating Ovid and churning out magnificent ideas. I’ve been told that modeling and technical education are a waste of my mind. I see it more as integrating my mind with the rest of me. In modeling, I use my whole body; in embalming, I’ll use my hands. I no longer desire to live my entire life internally.

  2. Sarah S responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    I love the way you ended this post, Kate (the whole thing was good). Fuck yes, eat the cake. I have a ton of family events over the next couple of weeks, and I will be expected to eat cake at every one of them. I think I will be happy to oblige. :)

    I’ll answer your question, as it’s something I think about a lot. I’m almost eleven years older than you, and it’s only been the last few months that I was even aware of my biological clock (now a biological time bomb). At twenty-seven I was so sure of what the future was supposed to look like. I had a long-term boyfriend I planned to marry, I NEVER wanted children, I had a reasonably healthy lifestyle, and I finally won my first tenured orchestra position. I figured T. and I would be together forever, rescuing animals in lieu of kids, and I would quickly move up in the orchestral world (winning the first audition is always the hardest, right? Wrong.), leaving my less-than-ideal city behind.

    Now I’m thirty-seven. Blessedly divorced (T. turned out to be not very nice after all). Thinking about trying for a baby with my boyfriend (marriage is secondary for me at this point). Still in the same city, having never successfully won a position elsewhere. Mostly recovered from an eating disorder. My former self would think I’d lost ambition, needed to try harder for success and “perfection,” but I find I finally know moments of peace, can distinguish what’s important in life (it’s no longer being skinny and put-together, having a Big 5 job, or owning the finest wine glasses). I think they’re linked. I was NEVER going to be happy chasing “success.” Once I finally stopped, or rather, changed my definition of “success, I found I could find satisfaction and comfort in a messy, imperfect life that I call my own.

    I’m so impressed that you seem to have figured a lot of this stuff out so young. Congratulations! :)

  3. teegan responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    it’s a good thing you like the word poop, because you will worry about your kid’s poop at some point. it’s the nature of the beast. my advice is to find a mom friend or two (in addition to Bear) who won’t be bothered when you come to them and say, “it’s green! what do I do?”

    I know people say having a baby is not an ‘answer,’ that it won’t ‘fix’ anything in your life. But I can say that as I sit here, typing, nursing a kid and occasionally nibbling on the fingers of his little hand that’s drifting around, I feel like I’m doing something right. Not everything, but something. Every day, I have at least a few of these moments.

  4. TropicalChrome responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    I recently turned 49. I was supposed to set the world on fire, either academically or in the technical world. I spent a lot of time trying to do that.

    I wasn’t very happy. Many of the people who would be disappointed that i didn’t are no longer living. The only one left who matters is me, and I’m coming to the conclusion that happiness is a lot more important with a lot more roads to it than the narrow ones I was raised with. I’m surrounded by people who want the best for me, but a big part of that best is being happy, not being “somebody”.

    I am “somebody”. I’m me.

    I didn’t have kids, and after turning into the best weird aunt that my nieces and nephews – both of the blood and of the heart – ever had, I can say with as much certainty as I can say anything that I made the right decision for me. And their parents made the right decision for them.

    So yes, I am surprised where I am in life – I was right about some things, wrong about others, you never know until you get there, and it’s never too late to change course.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday :) . The cake looks delicious!

  5. Melanie responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Are you supposed to grow out of laughing at fart jokes and talking about poop? I’m 38 and I hope that NEVER happens. I am so much further than I ever thought I’d be in life right now, which is honestly that I probably wouldn’t still be alive at all. I own a home, I have two boyfriends who are amazing, one who is totally the love of my life and I know I’ll be with for a long time to come (I’ve never said that before of any man). I have a steady job and friends who support me 100%. I’m taking meds for the first time in my life, even though I should’ve started taking them in my teens. The adjustment has been rough, and I feel like the side effects are they are stealing my joy. But really they are just mellowing my hyperactivity and mellowing me out. I’m not used to mellow. It’s nice sometimes.

    Most of all, I like myself and I accept all of my MANY and varied flaws. They have become a welcome part of me. I work on the ones I can, and try to make peace with the ones that I know will be with me for the rest of my life. Just a few years ago I couldn’t have said that.

  6. Steff responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Awesome post. I love the picture of you looking out at the Empire State Building and the visual metaphor between your body and the skyscraper, as well as the implicit metaphor of the your “towering” inner fortitude (okay, having too much fun reading into things on the internetz today).

    You said: “And it’s strange how it’s something like that, like her, and not the things that I’ve agonized over and worked ferociously towards, that make all the difference.”

    When I discovered this site a few months ago, I sort of binge read through the archives and it seems to me that from your first article to this one, you’ve worked / reflected / wrote / lived ferociously to get to the point that you’re at now. This point right here. The point at which you’re going to have a baby. The point at which you feel you’re ready to have a baby (well, sometimes).That is a *huge* accomplishment and it wasn’t just sex that got you here. =P

    Personally, I’m 24 and everything about my life surprises me to the point that nothing surprises me anymore. Sometimes it seems that things just happen to me, and I don’t actually exercise any agency in this world. I’ve been moving between cities, heck, continents for years now, and my feet are getting a bit tired. I sort of want to settle (ugh, that word makes me shudder), but I can’t decide where yet… *sigh*

    Anyway, that cake looks flippin’ delish. I didn’t have cake today but I did have chocolate mousse. Yum. =)

  7. Ashli H responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Yes eat the cake! You deserve it :)

    I am very surprised at where I am in my life. I am 23 and married. No babies yet. I still feel like a baby myself. I can remember being a teen thinking I would never be 23, it would take forever to get here. AND I thought if I’m 23 and not married, I will die. (I live in a small southern town, where if you’re not married and prego by about 21, somethings wrong with you…. obviously not true at all.) …. Surprised but I am completely happy with where my life is right now. I have an amazing husband, wonderful family, a job I enjoy… As for goals, my hubs & I are saving to buy or build a house. And have a baby AFTER the house…. (should a baby be referred to as a goal?….) I am excited to see where life takes us.. :)

  8. tanner responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Funny because I wrote a piece about turning 25 a few weeks ago. It’s weird being this age because I still feel like a kid and keep wondering where I’m going to end up. In spite of those thoughts, if someone would have told me at 12 where I’d be right now, I probably would have been a little shocked. I guess I’ve done well for myself all things considered, but there’s still so much left to do.

  9. San D responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    “When I’m 64″, Beetles’ lyrics….”will you still need me?”…..I turn 64 in a month. Am I where I thought I would be when I was 27? No way. I was just diagnosed at 27 with ovarian cancer…so being 64 is, well, very surreal. That said, I can look back at my life and be very pleased. I had a career for 35 years that is now allowing me to be free. My blueprint for my life when I was growing up was simple. Life alone in an attic with a cat, teach during the day. Marriage seemed complicated and hard work (and well, yes it is), and teaching seemed ideal to me because I love learning and wanted to get kids excited about learning (and I think by and large I succeeded in doing that). I have lived way beyond the Emily Dickenson existence I imagined for myself. I walk every morning with my new friend, Ruth who is 79. We talk, laugh, and share stories about our lives. She has taught me that you are your same essence that you have always been, only aged like fine wine, or in my case probably, cheese (LOL). She loves my stories, and I, hers. Together as we walk we marvel at where we have been and where we are still going.

  10. KatieLilly responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Stunning as always! And yum, I want that cake! It sounds so, so, so silly (In my mind at least.) for me to be commenting on how my life is turning out (I’m only 22.) but at the same time I think that the idea of “What is my life, what will be my life?” resonates with everyone, no matter the age. I’m graduating college in 43 days and wondering what I will do with my life. My cousin (8 months older than me) is getting married in 2 weeks, has a steady job and a house…there has never been competition between us, but many times I get a passing feeling of “Did I miss a class about how to be an adult that she attended?”
    Even from my young, and therefore minimal, view…I think that where we are, is where we are supposed to be. My college experiences were vastly different than hers, and her post-collegiate life will be vastly different than mine. Neither one of us is “better” by being a mom, or a CEO, or a photographer, or a writer…but uniquely ourselves. Realizing that…it makes me so excited about the future, because I probably won’t end up where I expected! Learning that “Sometimes you cannot wait for the perfect time. Sometimes you have to jump.” is the best thing I’ve learned. :)

  11. R responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Happy Birthday! 27 was a good year for me. I hope that it will be for you, too.

    The older I get, the more I think that happiness is less about what we do and more about who we do it with. Picking your partner is, therefore, the single most important choice you’ll make in your life. I wonder why our parents spend so much time telling us that our education and our careers should come before our relationships?

  12. schoome responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    I had my first midlife crisis at 27 (and there have been a few since then) I’m about to turn 63 and I’m a bloke (two adult sons, two small white dogs and most importantly an amazing wife for 41 years). I’ve had many exciting periods in my life and a few terrible ones and yes, I’m amazed at where I am right now (like most of your commentors). I too only just ‘found’ you and I’m enjoying the ‘getting to know you’ phase. Life has a way of working out and generally speaking, you are in exactly the place you need to be right now. You are in for a hell of a ride and I know you are going to make the most of it.

  13. Mary responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    About to turn 31 myself in another two weeks (exactly!) and I’m surprised at where I’m at. Ten years ago, I was a nerdy introvert who didn’t want to go to college or try many new things, and worked full-time as unskilled labor – I’m surprised I even made it out of the house and into my own apartment at 19.
    I’m still a nerdy introvert, but I’ve also been a small-business owner with an actual storefront for over a year now, and it’s been surreal ever since the beginning. Three months in, I had to hire an extra person, and I could have hired a third after six months if I hadn’t been exhausted and going crazy with work. I’m not a great manager!
    But this year I’m definitely hiring a third person, buying another machine or two, investing in a computerized ticketing system, and committing to giving myself one day off each week. (I have a small tailor shop in Chicago.) Last year these things were big and scary. And they still are. But now I feel equal to it. I’m especially excited about not working eighty hours a week!
    Bigger than this, even, is acquiring the ability to roll with punches, fake being an extrovert, endure panic attacks at times while knowing they don’t last forever, and being open to new friendships, new people, new experiences, and new mistakes. I’m far better than I was ten years ago. And it is SO gratifying.
    I love that you ate the damn cake. And I love that you write such good stuff for us to read.

  14. damla responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    I turned 27 a short time ago too. I tried hard to remain an artist for a long time. So much energy spent in studio, or pacing around, talking to myself, thinking to myself, getting my MFA, adjusting to living in a different country, getting four-month sessional jobs at academia at a time and always looking for more work to sustain myself. After all this, I realize I’m not even sure if I wanna be that anymore. My goal, in the past year, has dramatically changed from envisioning a career or position to learning how to be more happy and peaceful. And be a goldsmith perhaps, and make a tiny pendant shaped like a popcorn (among other things).

  15. Quincey responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    This is my most favorite post of yours. Ever.

  16. Leslie responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    That photo Lucy took of you in front of a window, looking at New York…It’s an Edward Hopper! Oh poop, what a great picture!

  17. jen responded on 21 Mar 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    I turn 32 this summer, about a month after I’m due to give birth to our first child and ten full years after I married my wonderful husband.
    No, I am not where I thought I would be when I envisioned my adult life as a child, a teenager, even as a young married adult. I am so much happier and satisfied in life than I ever thought possible, but it took time to get here and to figure out what I wanted.
    I look at my 20′s and think they were a time of reflection and growing. I feel more settled in my 30′s, more confident in my own decisions. I love that you’re reaching the same conclusions. Happy Birthday!!

  18. Kathryn responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 3:28 am #

    I’m going to turn 27 in May, and I can really relate to this. As for my life right now: it looks NOTHING like I expected ten years ago. I thought I’d be living in the midwest, teaching kindergarten, enjoying life with a husband and possibly a family. None of that happened, and I’m on year five of life in Europe. It’s more beautiful, challenging, and adventurous than anything I even dared to hope for. Different than my dreams–and definitely better. Happy Birthday!

  19. Terri responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 10:08 am #

    Kate, this piece especially resonates with me as I inch closer to my 25th birthday in July. I’ve heard so much about the quarter life crisis and wonder if I’m doomed to face it. Like you, I have the people who has a friend who has friend that read my articles. I get the congratulations and the job well done, but it makes me wonder if I’m a fraud. I’ll be fortunate to be married before my 25th birthday. I am extremely active in my community as a volunteer. But then there are those days that I wonder is this enough? I always pictured myself being one of those girls who lights the world on fire and changes society as we know it for the better. I look at what I have done and think that I have barely begun to scratch the surface. But then there are those days when I say quietly to myself, “You are enough. You have enough. You do enough” Hopefully, my 25th year will be one of those in which my “enough” is more than I could ever imagine.

  20. Harriet May responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 10:48 am #

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot. That I don’t know what I want, so how am I supposed to go about getting it?? But I have a boy I love, and sometimes I feel like everything is right, and things will be fine. Even though I am 26 and haven’t figured out anything yet.

  21. Farida responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:01 am #

    do you know what kate? after you start caring for the baby you feel nthn is matter except your baby, to be a mother is the greatest job and achievement! enjoy this year it will be very exciting :)

  22. onebreath responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:07 am #

    I love reading the comments to this post almost as much as the post itself. People at so many different stages and ages who all feel touched and inspired by what you write – how wonderful. One of the wonderful upsides of our technological ere, I’d say.

    I remember an old boyfriend asking me if I had any regrets in life (we were at the ripe age of 20 at the time!). I confidently said “no!”. He replied that he thought people who said no to that question were simply lying or fooling themselves. His comment stuck with me (I’m 34 now).

    Though I think he’s wrong that we have to have regrets, I do believe that there are things in my past I’d rather not have happened, times when I wonder what would have happened if I’d turned left instead of right, times I’d love to relive. I’m slowly and carefully learning to love the woman I am now and being gentle with my past mistakes – giving myself the compassion that I freely give others. I figure that if I can learn to do that, to love and believe in my own worth, as cheesy as it sounds, it becomes less important “what” I do. At that point, living from a place of love, the “how” of my living will be the point.

  23. Amy responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    I am also 27.
    From a young age I had everything all planned out. I would go to a certain school, move to a certain city and be a social worker. I would get married and buy a house. I would buy an old abandoned church in the city and turn it into a community center for the arts; centered around art therapy.
    I’ve done 4 of those things. I have yet to get married or buy a church building to start my non profit. I’m not sure I want to be a social worker anymore.
    I have an artist friend who introduces me to people as her artist friend. Am I an artist? I wouldn’t say I’m not one. I feel like that’s not real life though. In real life I’m a social worker in real life. Right? I don’t know.
    I am also pregnant and am so excited to have my baby boy. And that’s going to change eeeeeverything.
    I have gone through a lot in the past couple of years and have come out farther ahead than I thought I would be. But I am very much aware that I have a long ways to go and I have absolutely nothing figured out.

  24. Kate responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    As expected, I’m loving reading these responses. Thank you.

  25. Jenn responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    THIS. All of this. Yes.

    I had my first at 27, too, and a little over 2 years later, my husband and I still occasionally look at each other and say “Wait, did we get married? Did we just have a kid? And then another one? And then another one?! Wha…When did that happen?!” It’s whiplash.

    I found having kids changed EVERYTHING (well, der), but the biggest change was in me. I find it freeing to have the majority of my time and energy consumed by someone(s) other than myself. I feel like my kids help me to not be as selfish, and make me feel connected to the string of mothers since the beginning of time who have birthed us all to where we are now. I have found a bit of immortality in knowing that pieces of my genes are going to affect the future.

    Oh, and I feel for ya with the glucose testing. I was diagnosed with my first, wasn’t with my 2nd, and am going to refuse to take the test with my 3rd (I quit eating most carbs and all sugar 6 months ago, and I occasionally still prick my finger, AND that amount of sugar would most likely just make me feel hung over, so NO). It’s so hard to be craving carbs and not able to eat any of the ones you want! So many things about motherhood are so difficult and challenging, but this sort of self-denial I found harder than many other things.

    AND I loved sleeping free during my first pregnancy, too! So much feminine skin! But then once I delivered and was nursing, my boobs leaked constantly, so I had to sleep in at least a nursing bra with pads. I’m still nursing through this pregnancy, so it’s been a while since sleeping free. Goodness I miss it! Maybe my 2nd will decide to wean before #3 comes along? That sounds nice!

    AND it’s good that you and your husband already can talk about poop. My husband and I didn’t before we had kids, so it kind of makes us laugh to get excited about getting our toddler to poop on the toilet!

  26. Rapunzel responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Congrats on eating the cake anyway. I didn’t have cake last year for my birthday because I was dieting (miserable and useless in the long run anyway), but I had ice cream cake this year. And I’ve had it almost every night since my birthday and now it’s just about gone!

    I didn’t think I’d be here at this point in my life. It’s severely disappointing. I didn’t *expect* to have a successful career or anything, but I guess I assumed I would be somewhat successful. And I sure as hell didn’t expect to be working at minimum wage shit job just to help us get by because my degree is nearly worthless at the present time.
    What I also didn’t expect was to be married though. I never believed I’d find anyone, anywhere, who actually wanted me. Nobody ever did before! But then I moved across the country and met Andy and that all changed. I’m at least happy that I was wrong about THAT aspect of my expectations!

  27. Jane responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Happy Birthday Kate! That cake looks SUPER FANTASTIC!!!! I don’t really know how to answer your question; I’ve never really had a particularly strong idea of where my future lies… but something I’ve been discovering over the last couple of years is that I can still (in my 40s, and hopefully 50s, 60s, and God willing, 70s and 80s too) find new ways to be me. While in most respects I do still feel like the same person I was at 15 and 25, there are things I do and enjoy now which I wouldn’t even have contemplated at a younger age. I really think I am getting better at being me, and I am looking forward to getting even better!

  28. Sheryl responded on 22 Mar 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    The idea of “accomplishment” has so much potential to drive me nuts. There are so many things I want to be and do and see in my life … but at the end of the day none of them complete me or fulfill me all on their own.

    What I’m realizing more and more as time passes and I go on living life is that living a life that makes me happy and checking of the boxes as the opportunities come up is enough. There are lots of things I always thought I needed to be accomplished and proud of myself but at the end of the day I can be happy without checking all those boxes off the list. Not all the things fit into a life that I would actually enjoy living and enjoying the heck out of life and being proud of what I do with my time even if it’s as simple as staying home and loving my husband whatever my career might be is just more important.

  29. Elizabeth responded on 23 Mar 2013 at 12:56 am #

    I find your writting thoroughly fulfilling, deeply insightful, refreshingly honest and curiously familiar. Thank you for sharing yourself in this way for strangers to observe. It is brave.

    You, courageous woman, will be a wonderful mother. This is clear.

    Thank you for walking me through my own thoughts.

    And, heres to the best year of your life! L’chaim!

  30. Kiannah responded on 23 Mar 2013 at 2:05 am #

    “And at the same time, I feel like me. Like I did when I was twelve and sixteen and seventeen and twenty-two. I am sixteen and pregnant, I think. Which is scary.”

    Have you read the short story “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros? I was rereading it today, with my own birthday just around the corner, and it immediately came to mind when I read that line.

    Happy 27th and again, thank you so much for sharing your…slice of life!

  31. Jessica responded on 23 Mar 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m loving reading all of these comments. <3 I recently turned 31. Where I am right now: married almost 11 years; mother of four; embarking on a musical career; finally taking myself seriously as an artist. We recently moved into a less than 400 square foot house with our 4 kids, and are planning to build a tiny house on wheels and take our home from Oklahoma to Asheville, NC, so I'm a little surprised by that, I guess, when I think about what my expectations were when I was younger. But some of my expectations hadn't been examined yet to see if they were a good fit for me. I love where we are. We're happy, and our life is an adventure. We unschool, which is another surprise. When I first heard about unschooling, I thought, "I could never do that." But here we are, and I would not want to be doing anything else. :)

  32. BekahJo responded on 24 Mar 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Kate… I’ve been a lurker for a long time. This blog was one of a few that helped to pull me out of a blue funk a few years back. I began to realize that as nice as being extremely skinny was, that wasn’t me. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life starving. I didn’t want my future daughter to model her behavior after me. (By the way, I actually have given birth to that daughter. :) So, I ate he damn cake. The damn carbs. All the foods I’d become afraid of. Seriously, who’s scared of becoming obese on a whole foods diet anyways? And I started to learn how to deal with the hard emotions that I could stuff down by just not eating.

    Fast forward a few years, and I’m happily married and have two kids. Yes, I’m only 21. Yes, it’s been hard. But God in his grace has taught me a few lessons in patience. And I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything.

    I know how scary gestational diabetes can be. I don’t pretend to be in your shoes, as I’ve never had a problem with blood sugar during eithe pregnancy. But, from the things I’ve read, and talking with my midwife, gestational diabetes sometimes seems to be hormonal and/or stress related. And the only real concern seems to be that you’re baby might be larger. I’m definitely not advocating that you change anything you’re doing. Or admonishing. I just wanted to share some of the information that I’ve been told.

    Congratulations on your sweet daughter!

  33. Allyson responded on 25 Mar 2013 at 11:45 am #

    I turn 30 in a couple of months, which seems weird…I still feel like a kid most of the time! Maybe the new decade will bring a bit more wisdom to my life; a girl can hope, right?

    I wouldn’t say that I’m surprised by the way my life is turning out, but I’m surprised by how unsatisfied I am with my professional life. I have a good job, complete with an impressive title, good pay, and great colleagues, but I see it as a job that I’m at least somewhat happy with for now, not a career. Basically, I have no clue what I want to do when I grow up, even though I suppose I technically am grown up.

    My goal as I approach my birthday is to find the balance between being happy with what I have, but still pushing myself to do more. I don’t want to be that person who has completely unrealistic goals which keep me from being satisfied with what I have. Even if my job isn’t perfect, it’s a small part of my life and I get plenty of fufillment from everything else. And if I never find a career that fits my ever-changing definition of perfect, I want to be okay with that, as opposed to always thinking I should be moving on to something bigger and better and feeling bored/stir-crazy where I’m at. On the other hand though, I don’t want being okay with that to turn into no longer striving to improve myself, professionally or otherwise.

    I suppose that was my long-winded way of answering your question with no, I’m not particularly surprised at where I am in life, but I am surprised by my feelings towards it. And I’m working on figuring out a career that I’ll feel great about, while also accepting and being happy with what I have now.

  34. Tulisa responded on 01 Apr 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Sometimes it better not to look at the smaller picture in fragments such as yea by year. It’ sometimes better to look at it as a whole and if you are happy then you have accomplished most of what you need in life.

  35. Ziba responded on 09 Apr 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Happy Birthday Kate!!! And congratulations on the baby!!!