this is 38

Wait. Hostess went bankrupt?

That’s impossible.

I mean, yay that Americans are making more of an effort to be healthy. But Hostess is a big part of our culture. Twinkies. Ho Hos. Ding Dongs. Freaking CUPCAKES.

Hostess CupCakes forever

Where would we be without those delicious swirly-iced cupcakes? Hostess CupCakes are an icon. I was so relieved to find out that Hostess will still be making everything. They just tried to acquire too many other brands, is all. Now I can cancel my plan to stockpile all the cupcakes I could find at CVS.

In the midst of worrying about the lifespan of Hostess CupCakes, something occurred to me. People my age don’t generally worry about this kind of stuff. They’re worrying about way more important issues, like saving to send their kids to college or doing home repair. You know. Grownup stuff.

But here’s the thing. One could really only classify me as a grownup because of my age. I’m 38. Well, technically I’m 38. My internal age will always be 16. The kids I went to high school with have kids of their own now. They’re living in houses and driving cars and bulk shopping at Costco. They have this whole suburban life with carpooling and bake sales and mowing the lawn. Which, like, blows my mind. Because that life sounds middle-aged. It’s the life I expect my friends’ parents to be living. Not my friends.

Very few of my friends have kids or are even married. We get together to go for walks or to play board games. We go to the movies and museums and concerts. We have three-hour dinners at amazing restaurants. We talk endlessly about finding our soul mates. Of course, our lifestyles are heavily influenced by living inΒ New York City. If I were anywhere else, I would probably be married with two kids by now. But I love it here. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or have read my books, you know that I am passionately, hopelessly, crazy in love with New York. NY + SC = TLF. People in other parts of the country give me weird looks when they find out that I don’t have kids or have never been married. But I love this life I’ve created.

My point is this. You are the architect of your own destiny. You can create the life you want and live it proudly. Even if it’s different. Even if people give you weird looks. Following your heart is the most important thing. Your life doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. For me, that means being 38 and shopping in the juniors section. And writing with glitter feather pens. And appreciating Hostess CupCakes.

“You are what you think.” – Buddha

21 thoughts on “this is 38

  1. I’ve joked that I am probably the oldest of your readers (I’m 31). I know EXACTLY what you mean here.

    By the time she was my age, my mom had a husband, a house and two daughters (she had my brother at 33). One of my best friends from college has two kids, a friend from high school has four. And so on and so forth.

    I’m single. I rent. I don’t have kids and I don’t plan on it (nothing wrong with kids, just not for me). I live in a city, I’m still chasing my dreams and I love it.

    Like you, if I had stayed in my small town I probably would have a very different life. But I chose not to stay. I knew I wouldn’t be happy.

    And I love Chicago like you love NYC, so I know it was the right decision.

  2. I know exactly what you mean. Everybody I went to college with is married and has kids now. It freaks me out. I’m only 26! I still want to have the freedom to do fun and silly stuff. There’s no rule that says you have to do things at a certain age. I really believe you’re only as old as you feel. Who cares if other people think you’re weird? Being “normal” is overrated!

  3. I’m 37 years old. I have a kid, I drive, I pay bills. But I don’t feel like a grown up. To me, grown up means being boring and sitting around discussing politics and mortgages. I rent as well. I have no desire to climb the corporate ladder, but I feel like kind of a failure because I’m not this huge career woman, a director or something making six figures. But I also know enough about myself to know that I’d be very unhappy in that role. Well, not with the money, but I am no one’s manager or director or executive. No way.

    I’m still finding myself. It’s cool that you seem to already have done so. πŸ™‚

    • I think we’re all constantly finding ourselves to some extent. I have friends in their 30s and 40s who still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. Even if you’re lucky enough to love your career, there’s always stuff to work on. Like finding balance! I don’t think I’ll ever get there. But I keep trying…

  4. I’m 22 and am not in college. *gasp* I walked across that stage in high school and didn’t want to go back to learning in a classroom. The way I see it, there’s still time, but after over a decade of studying and studying and studying… I’m enjoying tv and books in a way that I wasn’t able to do because of all the AP and extra curricular activities. There’s nothing wrong with me, it just wasn’t what I wanted in my life, yet.

    • I’m sure you’ll appreciate college much more when/if you do decide to go. Sometimes I have fantasies of going back to college for a PhD. But then I remember all of the work involved and I’m like, Yeah, no, I’m good. What I missed out on was the social aspect of college life. I was always in class, working, or studying. If I could do it all over again, I’d try to fit in some activities.

  5. I am in still in high school. (I’m 17! A senior!) Anyway, thank you for sharing this! It’s nice to know how other people look at life sometimes. This really inspired me and changed my view on certain things. :]

    • Awesome! And yay for senior year. I remember very clearly how everyone kind of mellowed out senior year. It was like we all realized we probably wouldn’t see each other again after graduation, so what was the point of being nasty anymore? That was the only year of junior high and high school that I was hardly tormented. Senior year was a relief in SO many ways. Enjoy!

  6. I love this! I live by the idea of “follow your heart.” Do what feels right. I’m 24 and have never dated much and some people might think that’s weird, but I’m living for me and it’s awesome.

    And glitter pens will rule no matter how old I am.

    • There was this statistic on Sex and the City that a woman is more likely to be killed by a terrorist than get married after 40. Or some such hoolarkey. A lot of people think it’s weird that I’m not married yet, but I don’t. Why should I settle? I’ve had some incredible boyfriends, but if I’d married any of them they’d be driving me crazy by now. I write books about soul mates because I feel so passionately about them. The only man I will marry will be my soul mate. Keep living for you and you’ll find yours, too.

  7. ha! me too! when i read your title i was like holyshoot?! and immediately began planning, like, OK….i gotta go to rite aid or cvs or something. for the cupcakes. but whew. THANK GOD, MAN. and as for the soul mates thing i totally agree…but truthfully, it’s always been weird for me. some girls i know literally plan out….
    ……oh, at 17 i’m losing my virginity or
    i’m marrying at 26…
    and i’m just like whaaaaat? i don’t even know what i’m eating for dinner, and you got your frickin life planned to the date? and um. we’re 16. whoa chill. i’m also a firm believer that the only way to ensure you get what you want, you have to chase after it (pursue your dreams and everything), but certain things… just kinda let it happen.

    • This might blow your mind, but I was engaged senior year of high school and was one of those planners. All like, Yeah, I’ll be married by 23 and have two kids by 27. Now I don’t even recognize that person. I am SO THANKFUL that my plan didn’t work out! What informs those kinds of plans in your teens often contradicts the person you will ultimately become. I had issues to work out back then. As I worked on becoming a more enlightened person over the years, I understood that my early plans to have kids came from my own fears and traumatic experiences I was going through at the time. I’m happy to see more clearly with time πŸ™‚

      • whoaaa!! i totally did not expect that!
        it’s funny because your teenage self’s “ideal future” is my mom’s past. like exactly. she was married at 23, had two kids at 27 (twins! my bother josh and i) but your life now is kinda my, i don’t know, dream future? i think partially why i enjoy your posts so much is because you actually write about your life and your day to day stuff, and that gets me thinking about my future…….and who i want to be. i think i might know what i want to do, but i don’t really care about how long it takes to get there so long as i do. eventually. unless i’m, idk, 100. then it’s time to rethink my philosophy.

        • “i think i might know what i want to do, but i don’t really care about how long it takes to get there so long as i do.”

          Excellent perspective! The important thing is to find your own happiness and help make the world a better place. Whether it takes you one year or ten, I know you will get there πŸ˜€

  8. I love that you’re so confident! It’s true, we can make whatever kind of life we want, but I often forget that. I’m almost 20 and I’m not in college yet. High school traumatized me (and I’m not using that term lightly) so I have been almost afraid to go back to school. I’m happy that I am taking time off, but it’s really hard when all my friends from high school ask me “What college do you go to?” I’m almost ashamed to tell them I don’t. Reading this reminded me that nobody is the same, and we shouldn’t expect them to be. Thank you! πŸ™‚

    • As someone who was also traumatized in high school, let me assure you that college is a different world. True, you will still see cliques and immaturity, but that’s true of the world in general. People will leave you alone to do your own thing in college – one of the reasons it’s so much better than high school! Going to college when YOU are ready to be there will make the experience may more enjoyable.


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