30 by 30: Part 2

30 Things I’m Glad I Know Before I Turn 30: Part 2


6. My body.

I know what I like. I know what I hate. I know what will happen if I put certain things in it. I know my chemical imbalances. I know when I feel good. I’m very aware of my physicality. I am a meat bag.

7. How to tell people how I feel.

Confrontation. Telling it like it is. Being blunt. Padding where appropriate and showing emotion as necessary.

8. How to forgive – both myself and others.

Letting go of grudges doesn’t just go outward. It also means saying to myself, “Yeah, you fucked up. Don’t do it next time, yeah? Yeah. Off you go.”

9. My hobbies.

I used to be absolutely paralyzed when people asked me about my hobbies. Especially after I stopped LARPing. I used to deal with a terrible anxiety about doing stuff other than what I thought I “should” be doing at a given point. By letting go of that, I now have a laundry list of interests: taxidermy, painting, felting, sculpting, traveling, photography, on and on and on.

10. How to have a day job.

If I had a dollar for every day during my twenties that I was angry about the office jobs I’ve had as a post-graduate, I could probably take a Caribbean cruise. Over the years, though, I’ve learned a lot of great lessons about how to handle not doing what you think you should be doing 24-7. I’m sharing some of these secrets in my newsletter, by the way.

30 by 30: Part 1

As I mentioned last week, I’m going to be turning 30 this Sunday, October 19. I am finding this milestone seems like a big deal to the person to whom it is happening (me) but to everyone else…meh. I also know, however, that I have a following of younger folks (who I love), so I’m making this list I will be sharing a little of each day between now and Sunday.

30 Things I’m Glad I Know Before I Turn 30


1. How to get a job.

Resume, interview, dress well, do your homework. Rinse, repeat.

2. How to have a car.

There are a few things to this one: I have bought 2 cars, had to take care of it and gotten accustomed to driving it. In all occasions. In all sorts of environments. Including Manhattan.

3. How to travel.

I can officially say I’ve gone places by plane, train and automobile. I’ve been to a non-English-speaking country. I’ve crossed America by roadtrip. I’ve been from New York City to Seattle. I’ve been everywhere, man.

4. How to get along by myself.

I love being alone. It’s fantastic. I can keep myself occupied, take myself on dates, the whole shebang.

5. How to do my own makeup.

Here’s a lady one. When I was a teenager, I hated makeup, and my mother and sisters could not get their heads around it. I could not understand why I had to put on globs of garbage to make myself look…not like myself. It wasn’t until my twenties that I realized that cosmetics are about you first. You feeling sexy or empowered or just interesting. Screw everyone else.

5 Tips to my Younger Self

The incredible Sarah over at Yes and Yes is bringing out a fantastic course called the Post-College Survival Kit. And check out her blog, because she is awesome. I wish I had something like this when I was in my early twenties because geez louise, y’all. If I wrote a memoir about the few years after college, it would just be, in Sharpie, “A Giant Hot Mess.”



You know which one you are.

To help Sarah on her quest to make other young adults super successful (or at least not insane), I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my own mishaps through post-college life. Were I to sit across from my younger self over a refreshing cup of beer for me and dehydrated marshmallows for her, here are the top five things I would tell her:


1. Life is way too short not to have pictures of yourself. You look awesome, or at least funny enough that you will laugh about it later. But stop running away from the camera. You will love these years, and you should document yourself better so you can look at how far you’ve come.

2. Money. Money, money, money. Girl. Save some money. Get a credit card, sure, but pay that off every month. You have great credit now, and that is awesome, but make some savings. Even a little.

3. Dye your hair now. You’ll regret later never taking the chance during college to have those dreamy violet locks.

4. Start cooking, while you have a plethora of time to experiment with it. Eat fresh foods. Stop stocking your fridge with frozen pierogies and deli meats. And no, mac and cheese microwave cups are not part of a balanced breakfast.

5. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, if you need it. And I know that everybody has basically treated going to a shrink like the last option, but you would be much happier if you had a professional sounding board. A little Zoloft never hurt, either. Ask me how I know, all these years later.

But, little Katie, you are awesome. You are going to have a great time getting older. You’re going to learn how to deal with the worst situations imaginable, including a car payment, and you’re going to have a lot of jobs you don’t like and meet people who will make you question your faith in the human race. But at the end of it? You’re actually going to have your shit together. And that is a big deal. Look forward to that. I know I am.

In the meanwhile, here’s a pamphlet about health insurance. Get on it.