My first Kate Spade bag

My first Kate Spade bag came to be in a spur-of-the-moment, flurried decision-making, impulse buy that turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me.

As a teenager, I adored Kate Spade bags. They were fun, colourful, sweet—I’ve never had a ‘sweet tooth’ as they say, but ‘window shopping’ KS online sure satisfied a few pearly (off-)whites—and quirky af. To own a Kate Spade bag would be some sort of adulthood-entering marker (obviously in a very fun and un-adult way), and would mean that I had experienced success.

I carried that love for Kate Spade with me into adulthood.

On a girls weekend away to Melbourne in 2016, I walked into a Kate Spade outlet with a mission to not walk out empty-handed. I ended up purchasing a gorgeous pair of drop bow tie earrings that I have worn on countless occasions since. I was so excited at having purchased a KS item that I could cherish for a very long time, but, still, it wasn’t a bag. (I just couldn’t afford it at the time.)

During an overwhelmingly anxious period of being sucked into some unknown existential black hole (that I’m still in, to some degree) last year, I had a moment of clarity. I came to learn that no one—I repeat, NO ONE—can ever treat me as badly as I treat myself, and that, by showing myself more kindness, I could allow external sources of kindness to seep in, and recognise and reject negativity and mistreatment.

I came to this realisation while walking around Westfield Sydney and, within ten minutes of allowing that realisation to marinate in my head, I locked eyes with this beautiful floral bag in the Kate Spade window display.

I really am not a material person (my book obsession and red lipstick collection aside), and I really don’t know or understand what happened on this day, but my eyes lusted and, naturally but unconsciously, my legs followed. The next thing I knew, my hand was pointing in the direction of the bag, my mouth was explaining to one of the lovely sale assistants that I need that bag, and then my once-penny-pinching fingers were prying my credit card out of my wallet and inserting it into the Eftpos machine.

I was in and out of that store in five minutes. Probably even less.

I considered returning it time and time and time again by the time I had made it to the shopping centre exit because I couldn’t believe I had just made such a big impulse purchase.

But then I stopped. Why couldn’t I splurge on myself? Why did I have to second guess my gut instinct? Why can’t I just let myself enjoy this, dammit! It’s not like I’m doing this every day! And then I recognised it: kindness, acceptance—to myself. For so long, I had been kind to others, while neglecting and being unkind to myself.

Buying this bag was one of those ‘girl *finger wave*, you deserve nice things and should treat yourself’ defining moments.

Since that moment outside the shopping centre, the road to self care has been long, winding, and far from perfect. I’ve still got so far to go—it’s one of those ‘life project’ things—but much progress has been made.

I’ve since purchased another Kate Spade bag—and I plan on doing so again and again and again in the future—and (in an impostor syndrome kind of way) feel a little more adult each time. (And the success thing? Still working on that, but I think the self-kindness thing is a good start.)

Kate Spade brought a splash of colour, sparkle and self-kindness into my life, and I’ll forever be grateful for that.

May she rest in peace.

She leaves a little bit of sparkle wherever she goes.—Kate Spade

Anyone who is struggling can call Lifeline for help at any time on 13 11 14. You don’t have to suffer alone.

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