The Anti-wisdom of 30

April 30, 2015 § 3 Comments

Today was my last day of my twenties. A lover of middle-aged BAMFs, I’m more inclined to want to hit the fast forward button than to dread 30 like some of my peers. But the best place to be is always in the present, so I wanted to share with you where I am with myself rather than where I’m going.

I hate the “Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 20” Internet fluff articles because the thing about getting older is that you start to realize how much you don’t know. I knew a lot at 20, or at least I thought I did. Now I know a little about my own life, and I know that I want others to tell me about theirs. Listening to others forges a little venn diagram of our humanness that teaches, comforts, and challenges us. So I listen about half the time, and I don’t shut up the other half. But the balance is tipping.

At 30, I feel more gratitude than disgust when I think about the time I wasted on the wrong dudes. More pride than shame that I dropped out of divinity school when I knew it wasn’t right for me. Amusement rather than embarrassment that I have never really used my history degree. Patience instead of frustration that I still struggle with self-doubt and self-involvement.

So I guess that’s the catch, right? There’s no wisdom that I can share with you if you’re 22 because you just have to make the mistakes. You will do the dumb things. Date the wrong people. Maybe even get the graduate degree you’ll never use. It’s okay to be a quitter, but it’s also okay to not quite have the courage to quit and then learn from the experience.

Over the past 8 years, I’ve moved from Boston to Nashville to New Orleans to Austin to Tennessee and finally to DC. I’ve had a lot of jobs. A LOT OF JOBS. Consignment store lackee, domestic violence crisis hotline answerer, children’s book reviewer, newspaper reporter, 8th grade English teacher, juvenile justice researcher, substitute teacher, test prep tutor, diabetes researcher, vocational rehabilitation program coordinator, adult living skills trainer, family therapist, STEM classroom camera operator. And we can’t forget that one job I had where I got paid $50 an hour to read People magazine to Korean immigrants. That was the best one.

You see, I’m an excellent quitter. I won’t spend too long fighting something I don’t enjoy. I won’t leave friendships on life support that should really just end. I’m also, FINALLY, learning that there is no shame in being goofy. That all the facets of myself I spent so many years trying to hide, like fangirling, were actually the best things about me. And slowly but surely, I’m learning to not compete so much with other women. I spent so much of my 20s sizing up my appearance, intellect, status and self-worth with other women, and now all I want to do is cheer them on.

So that’s it. 30 is not just halfway to 60, as much as I joke about wanting to reach BAMFdom. There is nothing I should be or have or know because I’ve reached a multiple of ten. I am all the Kathleen’s I’ve ever been, and I’m learning to welcome them as company rather than embarrassing relatives you block on Facebook. And I’m excited for the versions of myself I’ve yet to meet, because they always seem to add just the right plot twist in my story.

Goal Setting Fangirl Style: The BAMF checklist

July 8, 2014 § 1 Comment

I wanted to talk a little bit today about how to use your fangirl nature in setting and meeting the goals you have in life.

So often we think of fangirling as a central impediment to accomplishing what we want in life. I mean, it’s hard to see how watching so much tv in a row that Netflix feels like it has to intervene and ask if you are alive and want to continue (Yes, Netflix, the answer is always yes for fuck’s sake). Or how the emotions invested in crying over screencaps and gifs and fanfiction can be redirected to life stuff.

But it can! If you’ve read my book, then you already probably know a lot about how to change some of your thinking about fangirling as it applies to your life. But most of the exercises in the book are big-picture thinking, so I wanted to give you a few simple daily tools you can use to power your motivation with fangirl fuel.

Tool #1:  The BAMF checklist.


We all make to-do lists. Ladies in particular love them. We make them in boring staff meetings, when our professor is droning on forever, or when we’re riding the bus home. But a visual or verbal reminder of a character that inspires you can make a huge difference when you’re outlining your tasks for the week.

I have 7 things that I want to accomplish every day. They include making my bed, flossing, taking vitamins, etc.  I have much bigger goals in life, but I also know that if I keep up daily healthy habits, I’m more likely to accomplish them and look fabulous doing it. 

The problem with daily habits is that they suck. So I slap a different screencap of Diane Lockhart from The Good Wife on my weekly BAMF list, and voila. My motivation isn’t just to get shit done anymore. I see the cap and think, “OH GOD. If I don’t pack my lunch and save money I’ll never be that fabulous.” Forget whether this is actually true. The screencap MAKES it true. 

This is probably my favorite tool because as a stats geek, I can quantitatively track my improvement from week to week. When I first started, I was hitting maybe 40% of the tasks every week (gold stars help too!). Now I’m averaging around 70%. 

So think about what favorite person, real or fictional, will get your ass in gear. If you can connect your desire to live better with your passion for a character, then there’s no telling what you can do. 

Stay tuned! I’ll be posting more goal setting tools in the coming weeks. 

Holiday BAMF Gifts To Give Yourself

December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

You don’t need other people or much money to get some BAMFspirational presents for the holidays. Over the next few days I’ll be posting some ideas of gifts you can give yourself to start 2014 off right.

Gift #1: The BAMF Talisman

Find a necklace or a pendant that symbolizes a powerful fictional lady or an interest you have, and keep it close on the days you need that extra push. I have a few, including the two dollar F21 necklace below that makes me think of Laura Roslin.


American Horror Story “Supreme” Necklace (on etsy)


The Walking Dead Michonne Katana Necklace


The Sunday Night Blues

December 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

We all get it. The anxiety of the upcoming week plus the sluggish feeling you get from marathoning 17 episodes of The Good Wife in two days (oh wait maybe just me). 

Sunday nights shouldn’t be a time for beating yourself up about how you spent the weekend or what’s in front of you this week because you put it off last week. Take a deep breath, take out the pizza box, and find some BAMFspiration. Don’t make a list of everything you have do to this week. Pick one thing you’ll conquer, and more important, pick out what you’re going to wear tomorrow so you’ll look fabulous doing it. And yes you can still catch The Walking Dead for god’s sakes. 


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