“Dear Anna Kai (and Anna Kai’s Gatekeepers):
Hello! I have a “Finsta,” so my profile may be mistaken for a bot account. That being said, I’m emailing a short note of gratitude for the reel you uploaded today.
Briefly, I’ll be 43 in a few months, and I’ve failed incredibly in every area of life from the personal to the professional…I’m further behind in my forties than I was in my twenties, and most days, it’s beyond challenging for me to see the light at the end of the long tunnel.
Your response to Instagrammer (REDACTED) brought me to tears, and, I wanted to say Thank You for pushing out this deeply uplifting video that nudged some of us to dream big in 2023 and beyond.
My Dearest Bad Biddie,
You didn’t ask me for advice, but since the original spirit of my account was “unsolicited dating tips”, here are my two cents anyways.
The last time I felt like my life was “on track” prior to this year was back in 2017-2018. I was working for a real estate company in the city that I loved, making enough money to save some and still take myself out to all the fancy vegan places NYC had to offer (I went through a vegan phase), and was booking enough small TV roles that I had qualified for union healthcare benefits. I didn’t feel a sense of hopelessness even after my then-boyfriend left me, because I knew I had a purpose and as long as I had that purpose, the rest would fall into place.
I met my now-husband, Dave, shortly after, and I never could have imagined that, despite the fact that God finally answered all my freaking prayers and brought the least Chadiest-Chad into my life, I was about to have the worst few years of my life to date. I struggled with an intense period of anxiety and OCD, my real estate job started to lose its’ charm, and despite a smattering of tiny wins in acting, I hadn’t really made much of anything more than a mediocre side hustle out of it all. And then came 2020.
The pandemic upended life (duh), and Dave and I fled the city to live with my parents out in suburban Pennsylvania for four months in an effort to social distance from, literally, everyone. I left my real estate job, acting opportunities ground to a halt, and, quite frankly, I did nothing for four months except fret about the existence of humanity and watch reruns of One Tree Hill. When the world started opening up a bit that summer, Dave and I left NYC, for good, and moved to Connecticut to be closer to his office so he wouldn’t have to take non-COVID-friendly public transportation from the city everyday.
And so there I was, out in Connecticut with a husband, but without a job and without a purpose other than finding ways to dodge the “what do you do?” question whenever I met someone new. I turned thirty in October and spent it with my parents and my husband to little fanfare, and never could I have imagined that life would look worse at thirty than it did at twenty-seven.
I realize you are forty-three, which is obviously a greater number than thirty, but then again, we’re never really talking about age, are we? We’re talking about the expectations we place on ourselves to achieve by a certain age. As I was graduating from college, I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t “make it” as an actress by thirty, I would quit and settle for a salaried job (I think I could be good in sales?). Thankfully, I’ve always been too stubborn to keep stupid promises I made to myself that I never should’ve made in the first place. Life didn’t end at thirty. I started a home decor blog. It failed. I transitioned to a style blog. It also failed. I got a callback for a recurring role on a network television show. I didn’t book it. And then, on September 1st, 2022, I uploaded my first GRWM video on dating, and, by the grace of God, it didn’t fail.
I never really saw the light at the end of the tunnel, to be honest. Even as recently as last summer, I remember taking our dog out for a walk, looking at our beautiful neighborhood and wondering, is this it? Is this my life? Am I going to be a Connecticut housewife forever? Why can’t I be grateful for this life? This house and this neighborhood and this husband and this dog that I could’ve never imagined would be mine when I was an elementary-aged kid growing up in the poor section of town wondering if maybe one day I would get my own room. I looked around at the women who were so fulfilled by being mothers and being married to well-to-do men and wondered why I couldn’t just be fucking happy.
To answer my own question, and maybe some of yours: everyone has a different purpose in life. Some of us were born to be badass mothers and CEOs of the family home, some of us were born to be CEOs of companies, and some of us were born to fail wildly at crazy dreams that no one, not even ourselves, would have thought possible to achieve. And then, there are those of us that want it all, and in wanting it all, we’re giving ourselves more opportunities to fail, to get our hearts broken. But, the funny thing about wanting it all, and going for it all, is that even if we miss the mark a bit, we usually end up where we need to be, even if where we need to be looks very different from where we imagined. I’m reminded everyday that, I’m not on my own timeline, I’m on God’s timeline, and it’s a better one than I could’ve made for myself. I didn’t make it as an actress in my twenties because I had to live the stories I now tell you all on social media. I didn’t book that recurring role because if I did, I wouldn’t have made my first GRWM video, and I didn’t settle for someone else’s purpose in life because it wasn’t mine to own.
Keep going, because the minute you settle, the minute your soul dies. Too many people walk around physically alive, but dead inside, because they’ve killed their own hope for anything better than what they have. You don’t need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, because you are your own light. It’s not over, it never was, and you’ll never be as young as you are today to go for whatever the fuck sets your soul on fire.
Your internet hype woman