Friday, October 28, 2016


I sat down in front of my computer today—the big, desktop one I bought myself shortly after getting laid off from my job last year—and figured I should write something about turning 31. Today is my birthday, after all. First, I reread the emotionally fraught post I wrote for this occasion last year. I remembered how wild and uncertain the months leading up to turning 30 had felt. Then I thought about everything that's come after, trying to find symbolism or a "full circle" moment in something... Anything.

To tell you the truth, this year has been rather emotionally quiet, certainly compared to the year before. While I was 29, I felt the acute gut punch of real heartbreak for the first time. I grappled with the mixed emotions of losing my job, again. I accepted my parents' exciting new life in Sun Valley by walking around our Seattle house in the dark and crying into a piece of chocolate cake. I got a lot of piercings.

And as for being 30? I think I can say with assurance that it's been one of the most selfish, productive and challenging years of my adult life. Deciding to try and build a sustainable career as a freelance writer has taken up most of my energy, and without even fully realizing it, I put a lot of other things on the back burner.

If my front burners were turned all the way up to high, attempting to cook up a proper job situation without burning out, my back burners were still simmering delightfully, keeping the rest of my life warm—but not hot. (How do you like that for an extended metaphor?) Right alongside the ups and downs of working for myself there have been occasional romantic adventures, exciting trips and most especially—a new apartment to call home. Thirty didn't bring me as many sea changes as 29, but I'm glad for it. Far and away the most rewarding moments of the year centered around my professional accomplishments—like styling two segments for the Today show and working at InStyle magazine.

Although I lament getting older as much as the next girl, I really do feel like at this point, now that I've moved past the growing pains of my early and mid 20s, every year has been increasingly more fun, more interesting, more challenging and more rewarding. I think I must sound like a terrible Hallmark card by now, but perhaps I'm just becoming sentimental in my old age.

On that note, I am most especially looking forward to my traditional (four years running) #Birthdayween party at 169 Bar in Chinatown with my favorite people. Get in the spirit with my updated Spotify playlist, complete with on-theme guilty pleasures like "Monster Mash" and Katy Perry's "Birthday."

Photo by Bekka Palmer

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