By Katharine Luckinbill
Tomorrow, April 19th, marks the first anniversary of this column and my first year as an officially published writer. Over the past year, I have been included in some of your funniest, most moving and most honest moments, and every single one has been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of. Each of you let me into your lives and entrusted me with advising you on everything from whether you were too old for a bikini wax to coming out of the closet for the first time. You wrote in, tweeted, texted, emailed and commented with your own thoughts and advice. You made the column what it is and for that I am truly grateful.
When I first applied for this position to the fabulous Kate Torgovnick, I had no idea how much I would grow to love being your “Dear Kate”. I also had no idea how difficult it would be sometimes when I was thrown a truly hard-hitting question and had to be absolutely unbiased to give you the best advice possible. I did not ever take it lightly that your final decision could very possibly rest in my hands. I truly hope that I have done right by all of you – as you have done by me.
So – looking back on the best thing that happened in my life this past year I wanted to share some recaps of my favorite seven columns of the last year with you and how they helped me in my own life through writing each of them. (Also peppered in will be some of my favorite graphics from the whole site over the past year)
Number 7 (Nov 29 2012): Dear Kate – I’m stressed to the point of insanity, help me down from the ledge!!
In this column I helped a young girl named Katie figure out how to deal with some big-time life drama one thing at a time through breathing exercises and de-stressing tips. At the time I wrote this column I was also in the midst of some truly trying times and it reminded me to do each one of the things I was advising her to do and get back some me time. I got through my tough times by helping Katie and that’s the best gift a writer could get.
Number 6 (Nov 1 2012): Dear Kate – Political Peacocking on Facebook really gets my goat, how do I deal?
In this column I got to have a little bit of fun and blow of some of the steam I too was starting to contain about people constantly parading their political views publically on Facebook. These kinds of columns are silly and not as serious, so when I get to do my Google image search for memes and gifs and someecards I really get some entertainment. I know it’s a favorite column when even I want to go back and read it just for a giggle.
Number 5 (Aug 9 2012): Dear Kate – My boyfriend is the complete opposite from me, can it work?
I liked writing this column particularly because it was asked by one of my gay male readers. As you might assume, that isn’t exactly our target audience on Kate-Book.com. Though both the question and the column could be applied to really any relationship where the two peas in the pod were an edamame and a garbanzo. The column also highlights a theme that runs through almost every column I wrote this year – COMPROMISE. I think this word should be added to the constitution, the pledge of allegiance, and the NRA annual agenda. We could all be practicing a little more compromise, love, patience and compassion in today’s crazy, unpredictable and scary world. Plus – who doesn’t like a Paula Abdul video from 1989 at the end of an advice column?!
Number 4 (Jun 7 2012): Dear Kate – My boyfriend says feminism killed chivalry, is he right?
This column really got my brain cogs turning because I really wasn’t sure when I received the write-in how I felt about it. This was one of those questions that I sat with for days mulling it over in my head before finally something sparked and I could write. Sometimes these end up being some of my proudest work because once I start writing I can just go for a while and let the stream of consciousness take over. Plus – it reminded me that I certainly wasn’t getting enough romance in my own house! (I got flowers shortly after this column went live)
Number 3 (May 31 2012): Dear Kate – How to deal with an attention seeking friend
This one was hard! The question was written in by an actual friend of mine about a mutual friend of ours. And while I agreed with my friend who wrote in, I didn’t want to run the risk of offending my other friend. Fortunately, our mutual friend is so oblivious to her own pattern of “Vague-Booking” that she was never the wiser. Also I got to promote the term “Vague-Booking” – which is hopefully a more widely used term in part from this column.
Number 2 (May 17 2012): Dear Kate – I’m gay but not quite ready to come out
Okay, did I say the previous column was hard? Erroneous. THIS one was hard. Like whoa. Not just because of the very obviously sensitive subject matter, but, especially because the person who wrote in used the question as a way to come out to ME. I was so moved, so emotional, so affected by their honesty and bravery and self-awareness and self-reflection. This was my second favorite column to write because, above all others, I felt like maybe I could really make a difference in someone’s life for the better. And not that it had anything to do with my column – but this person is now living a fully accepted life as a gay person and even starting to date! I couldn’t be prouder.
Number 1 (Apr 19 2012): Dear Kate – My boyfriend is pressuring me to give up being a vegetarian
Well this one is my number one choice for an obvious reason – it was my debut! But for two additional and less known reasons:
- It was my Dear Kate “audition” column.
- It was the first time I felt truly confident that I could write professionally if I wanted to – which has been a lifelong dream.
With this column I got to utilize (for the first time) my ability to rationalize, be unbiased, offer tools and resources, and help someone solve a problem that otherwise they may have struggled with for some time. The selfish part of writing this column is that I absolutely love writing to you and helping you (hopefully) with your questions and concerns. It fulfills a desire to help others that I have always had and I thank YOU all for letting me have that.
Looking forward to another awesome year of “Dear Kate” questions.
Dear Kate is a column that runs on Kate-book.com every other Thursday at noon. It is written by the wise Katharine Luckinbill, who you should follow on Twitter. Got a life, friendship, family, dating, or relationship question that you’d like Dear Kate to answer? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you out!