Felicitations Newsletter #5
Stop calling me names, zoomers!
Someone called me a “boomer” last week on Twitch.
a) I am NOT A BOOMER. That is WAY out of my birthday timeline.
b) Screw you.
So naturally afterward, that one comment by an anonymous user led me to re-evaluate my entire existence.
At the time, the user was referring to an pop culture reference I made about “LA Law” or “Ally McBeal” (I MADE AS A JOKE!), or maybe it was a commentary on how I couldn’t figure out how to use something in the video game I was playing? I can’t remember actually. Regardless, that person was trash. But the whole incident made me paranoid. Like, am I’m truly getting out of touch?!
After some consideration…the answer is yes. Yes I am.
I am not hip anymore. I am not 22. I will never be 22 again. Until I retire or something, I’ll never have large swaths of the day to keep up with what’s popular. I don’t have the urge to get out of my comfort zone for fun anymore, or God forbid, find joy in the idea of “meeting new people”. (Actually that one, I never was into.) Especially since becoming a parent, it feels suicidal to consider just “hanging out” on a weekday afternoon. There’s a grave looming in my future, and I can see it approaching over the horizon. SO HELL NO, YOU CAN’T TAKE AN HOUR TO ORGANIZE YOUR HARD DRIVES, FELICIA!
The scarcity of time in my life means I have to winnow my attention down to the bare essentials. Which means, sadly, I don’t have the bandwidth to experiment, explore and keep up with what my peers are doing. (Plus, my peers aren’t that hip anymore either. They’re old too.) To entertain myself, I gotta dig into what I already know works. I can’t risk spending an hour on a TV show that makes me yawn, or order something from a menu that I haven’t ordered before when I know I like the spinach frittata already, stop tempting already, sourdough honey pancakes!!
Yes, it would be awesome to know what hip band is popular right now, (I AM obsessed with Rosalia, who is 27 so that makes me partially hip?) or have the time to start watching anime and alleviate one of my nerd blind spots, or consider watching the 4 hour Justice League with any attitude but “ARE YOU KIDDING ME, 4 HOURS?!?! <insert maniacal laughing>” but it’s just not happening. This is middle age.
HOWEVER, my ego can’t handle this fact now that I’ve started thinking about it. Because I’ve always defined myself based on being ahead of the curve. I don’t know if I’ll ever get ahead of it again (nah, I won’t), but at least I want to to keep up in areas that matter. I don’t want to have to shrug when I see Us Magazine anymore and say, “gosh I have no idea who that reality star is.” You know, the areas that MATTER!
I think the challenges we face as parents and/or being someone in their late 30s and forward, is keeping up with all the stuff that already exists in our lives, but also making sure to keep growing. It feels like the last priority when we’re drowning in obligations, but personal growth can’t stop or we’ll never really understand who we are or who we could potentially be.
Here’s a ten dollar analogy: When you’re 22, you have a storage unit that only has a few boxes in it. There’s plenty of room to shovel more stuff in there. In fact, it feels IMPERATIVE to constantly be shopping for new stuff (and people) to store! But as we get older, our storage unit starts to fill up. So we give up. And unless we make efforts to throw out some old stuff in order to put new stuff in, we’ll be overstuffed and full of unused holiday decorations for the rest of our lives.
Exercising this kind of self-awareness is HAAAARD! But necessary. Because there’s nothing more cringy than people my age making fun of their boomer parents on FB because they have 20 year old expired mustard in their cabinets. We can’t let things in life go and pass us by because…well, for one, I don’t wanna really be a boomer! Now or in 20+ years, which is technically how old I’d have to be to be one, JUST FOR THE RECORD!
So I took a few steps. First, I cleaned out my cabinets. And yes, I found some 4 year old expired mustard. Whew, bullet dodged! Then I started unsubscribing to things in my mail with this cool app Paper Karma because all the lawn decoration catalogues I was getting for some reason were starting to tempt me into investing in a lot of squirrel statues, which just SCREAMS boomer to me. (I still might get them actually, they’re cute).
And THEN I made some efforts to cultivate new media and material in my life. Not just to “keep up” for the sake of looking hip, but to expose myself to new things so I don’t stagnate. I mixed up who I follow on Twitter. And what blogs I subscribe to on Feedly, my RSS reader. (No one under 30 knows what an RSS reader is, but whatever).
I also subscribed to a few “New Music” playlists on Spotify. And started watching more TikTok. I definitely have some ideas about how to do a smoky eye differently that might really benefit my “look”, so yay! It’s working already!
As for learning who reality stars are…screw them. I never read US Weekly outside a salon before, and I don’t care about it now.
Bottom line, I did a little evaluation sweep of myself, and started to feel rejuvenated. Because new ideas cultivate new passions. And I started being reminded of a few things I’d like to build toward in my life, like learning Spanish and playing violin again. I’ll need to be careful with what I invest my time in because it’s more precious to me than it was when I was 22, but that’s okay. Winnowing is good. Being ruthless with time is good. Growing stagnant isn’t.
Make no mistake, I’ve earned my years on earth. I like being comfortable with who I am now. And not caring about leg hair as much. Or impressing anyone with my actions BUT myself. I am happy I’ve grown up in all these awesome ways. But that doesn’t mean I’m done growing.
As I move forward, I’ll be more conscious of exposing myself to new things, and keeping up with what younger generations are interested in. Even if the new stuff doesn’t draw me in, it’s important to be a part of the world at large, if only because we might be exposed to something that could inspire us in new ways.
Also if anyone ever calls me a boomer in chat again THEY’RE BANNED, YOU HEAR ME?! BANNNNNNNNNED!
WEEKLY RECIPE: I love this Milk Street website (I pay for a subscription) and I’ve been making my way through this list of dishes. The risotto and the Vietnamese meatball recipes are GREAT.
Scientists have released more accurate models of how they think the ancient Greek Antikathyra Mechanism worked. It’s so cool to see this brought to life!
I really want to go to this hotel in the middle of the creepy sci-fi Spanish desert.
A history professor made a Bayeau Tapestry creator to make your own design. Be respectful with it! I clearly was. ;)
Personal Links (Also Interesting):
My Twitch streaming schedule is HERE. I’ve been having too much fun playing as southern belle Cherryclaire Dinwittie on the GTA:V roleplaying server. If none of that made sense to you, prolly not your cup of tea. But to see me and my friends improv, check me schedule! I also wear a terrible wig.
I also guest starred on the latest Hello From the Magic Tavern episode, 6 year anniversary show, such a blast.
Lastly, subscribe to this newsletter so you get it in your inbox every week pls.
Lastly, Substack as a company is now being revealed as the kind of company I am having second thoughts about. Read here for more details. Look for possible changes in how this newsletter is published in the future.
See you in two weeks, and on my Discord channel in between for chatting and friendship! <3