Birthday Thoughts + Imaginary Wish List

In exactly one week I will enter the last year of my twenties. After spending most of my life always wanting to be older, because I’ve always felt so much older than I really am, for the first time in my life I feel a slight twinge of anxiety over becoming a year older. My previous goals of what I wanted to accomplish by 30 and where I’d be in life – like have kids and maybe own something – are so different from what I think is possible now, so I can’t help but I feel a bit of a fire lit under my ass to work harder at being where I want to be. I momentarily (like, 20 times this year) thought that maybe I had to give up this freelance hustle to be a more responsible adult for my future, but I reject that with 1,000 karate chops inside of my heart. Never has the notion that “if an opportunity doesn’t present itself to you, make one” meant more to me than right now. But besides all that, I’ve never loved life more than right now, moments of worry and all. Reflecting on who I was just a handful of years ago, I feel no anxiety over how much wiser I get with each year. All the new and wonderful people that enter my life. How even the worst things* that happen can teach you how to be a better person.

I feel more ambitious than ever, ready to grow. Twenty-nine, let’s do this.

Let’s also take this opportunity to indulge in being wanty. An imaginary wish list of beautiful things, pictured above.
necklace: Palomarie | beaded plant hanger: AMRadio | sunnies: Karen Walker | bag: Benah | windchimes: Caravan Pacific | boots:  Sam Edelman

Actual birthday presents to myself: Dusen Dusen pretties from Myrtle, which you can see here.

*It’s been one year(!) since Will’s diagnosis and I owe you all a post on how he’s doing. Soon, soon. Short answer: ace.


  1. Meredith says

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful discourse on life and age! I am 23, and (perhaps like you) struggle to find contentment in *right now*, rather than wanting to do be at the next step or be older, assuming that things fall into place with passive time.

    So, happy birthday, and happy 29! PS Love the wind chimes.

  2. says

    Great post. I’ve got 6 months before I hit 29, and I’ve jumped into “grown-up” mode. My boyfriend and I are house-hunting, and then plan to get married after that. A couple of years ago I was certain I would just live in my little apartment alone forever and never get married. Now I can’t get out of that apartment fast enough!

  3. says

    amen, sister! and happy birthday.
    i constantly have to remind myself that no one is going to give me permission to create my own opportunities…freelance hustlin’ is a brave and is a continual uphill battle. i basically always want to give up. but then i just don’t.

    from all the way over here in texas: you’re doing a really great job, kate!!
    drinks on me in austin next month!

  4. says

    I enter the last year of my twenties today and have been having the same feelings. My goals for the coming year: acquire a job that I won’t dread going to every day, move into a larger apartment/house, and eat clean and exercise consistently.

    Like you though, I’m very happy with life right now and appreciate what I’ve learned over the years and the people that have come into my life. But I’m ready to start making things happen rather than waiting for them to! I think twenty-nine will be a good year. =)

  5. says

    I have a feeling your 29th year is going to be a great one! (I also didn’t realize how close our birthdays are). loved your commentary on opportunities and making them for yourself…damn straight!

    happy almost birthday. xoxo

  6. says

    A lovely post for a lot of what’s been on my mind as I leave 29 (eek!) in two weeks! I will say though, that for some reason turning 29 felt harder than turning 30 does so far..unless I have a last minute crisis. I think it will all just be a great productive year for you.

    And so happy to help with the birthday treats. If you splurge more, I’d go for the Benah bag–I’ve thought about adding them here because they’re just so classic and special. Happy Birthday!

  7. says

    Happy Birthday!

    How sweet to see our work on a blog that we’ve followed forever… we’ll have to work something out so you can get one of these ‘wants’ :)

  8. says

    I feel the same. My 25th birthday is right around the corner & instead of basking in the greatness of my accomplishments I can’t stop fixating on all I haven’t done yet. My whole life I’ve imagined myself being this age & finding a place to stay put & begin to settle down, but every year I realize (& people keep reminding me) that’s not who I am. Our expectations for ourselves vs. the actualities of our lives – it’s a strange battle.

  9. says

    happy early birthday kate!! i hope you manage to get at least one of your dream-gifts for this bday. :)

    (i’m turning 30 this year, and all i want is a big surprise party with all of my friends…which i kind of feel won’t happen unless i plan it myself….which i refuse to do! haha. fingers crossed my bf can pull it off?)

  10. says

    I turn 29 on Saturday, and I’m totally right there with you on the fire under my ass thing. The only thing I’m feeling any kind of twinge about is being so far from starting a family, but I also feel like it will happen when it’s supposed to, and I’ll probably look back and be like “whoa, I couldn’t have handled it then anyway!” :) On a lighter note, isn’t being an October baby the best? Happy early birthday!

  11. says

    Happy birthday! I know what you mean! I felt the exact same way when I turned 29…I’m now 34, and now I really feel the pressure, but at the same time I’m very optimistic. Things are starting to fall into place, and I feel like I’m on the right track. This is the happiest I’ve been in years! I could never give up on my dreams. I want that family I’ve always wanted and I’m working towards it, but that’s all the more reason to keep going. That’s one of the things motivating me to work my butt off! So yeah. I remember that fire you’re talking about. And I use to wish the same thing about being older, that wish came true. Now I’m trying to reverse it, it aint happenin! It doesn’t work that way unfortunately.

    Well, hope you have a good birthday! I’m a new follower stopping by for the first time!

    Have a great weekend!


  12. says

    Happy Birthday Kate!

    I felt very much like you when I turned 29 in August this year. On my birthday, I felt bombarded by what I ‘should’ be doing with my life. There are so many expectations about getting older, from both yourself and other people. And I can’t say I’m scared about getting older (I’ve always felt ‘too old’ for my age as well), I’m just feeling a bit of pressure from the outside world sometimes! But all I want to do is be true to myself, and I figure the rest will figure itself out as I plod along in life :)

    I’m so happy Will is doing great!

  13. says

    a little (fashionably?) late, but i hope you had an amazing birthday! mine flew by on saturday too, and it looks like you had an amazing time karaoke-ing (at least from what i saw on instagram). we’re 29! last year of our 20s, woo! i’m excited, but these last five or so years have me thinking less about what age i am numerically, but how far i’ve come (and yet still to go!) in life. happy belated, again!

  14. Jeni Prats says

    Thank you for posting the above blog entry. I appreciate and enjoy knowing something about you. Your blogs affect me deeply and I look forward to receiving them every day.


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