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I’m feeling 18-22 (and it’s great)

I’m a big believer that the things you love when you are a kid don’t necessarily have to disappear once you get older. Hello — I’m an adult reading young adult books all the time, I’m a frequent visitor to Disney World and it’s not because I’m a mom, and I’d always prefer to spend money at the movies to support a Pixar or Disney film over an Oscar-nominated drama. (That’s what RedBox is for!)

Since I turned 30 in February, I’ve used the word OLD so much to describe myself and I know it’s a word I need to eliminate from my vocabulary. I shouldn’t care. I still get carded when I buy beer. My desk at work has plenty of Muppet-y knick knacks. I listen to Disney music every single week. But I’m still insecure about my age. I’m not even sure if it’s about the number. It’s more about knowing you are in a different place in life than others, and not knowing how to bridge that gap exactly — worried that they think you are an old lady when you really spent your weekend watching segments from The Muppet Show and comparing your cooking skills to Elmo’s. (For the record, I’m better.)

Anyway, while I work through this unforeseen, totally self-inflicted thing, I’m super in love with the fact that so many pop culture obsessions from my teenage years have survived the test of time and still exist! It’s like that rule about fashion. Style is cyclical. It all comes back around. Isn’t life cozy? It’s so surreal to have the opportunity to revisit these familiar things, and realize — hey it’s totally okay to still love this and you know what — it’s still awesome.

This is EXACTLY how I feel about these three things:

girl meets world: I cried all through the first episode of this Boy Meets World companion series. Cory Matthews is a dad and a teacher and the series follows his daughter with a great dose of nostalgic nods to the original series. It’s been hard for me to keep up with the show in real time but I caught an episode (“Girl Meets Pluto“) last weekend and, if possible, it made me adore the series even more. The new cast is putting together a time capsule, and Cory is determined to dig up the one he, Shaun, and Topanga put together when they were kids. I cried. (Also if you are a “Boy Meets World” fan, you have to follow @BenSavage on social media. He posts some awesome pics.)

Credit: TV Line

Credit: TV Line

hilary duff. It’s been seven years since Hilary Duff came out with a new album, but it’s really been eight since her last original album. I remember rushing over to Target that morning, sitting on my parent’s front porch and writing a review for one of my college classes. This week has been like reliving my college years and then some because HER NEW ALBUM IS AMAZING AND WORTH WAITING FOR. It’s basically the only thing I’ve listened to all week, and then some. (See: “My Kind” and “Breathe In. Breathe Out.”) Hilary is the ultimate life role model. She takes a break, does her thing, and returns stronger than ever. (I’m very tempted to rewatch The Lizzie McGuire Movie soon.)

Hilary Duff, Breathe In Breathe Out

vanessa hudgens. Another Disney Channel kid. I loved Vanessa in the High School Musical franchise, I shipped her with Zac Efron so so much, and I was obsessed with her first album. (So so good.) This year, she made her Broadway debut in Gigi and I was finally able to catch the show this past week. Despite lackluster reviews (the writing! the writing!), Vanessa was completely charming and her voice sounded amazing. I was sort of overwhelmed with pride afterwards like I was watching a friend I grew up with accomplish something wonderful. Like with Hilary, I was thinking: look how far we’ve come, Vanessa. LOOK HOW FAR WE’VE COME.

Look how far we’ve come indeed. I love when life becomes this mishmash of things I used to love and can learn to love again. Up next: this Full House reboot. Who else is excited?

July 7, 2015 - 1:22 am

Wendy @ Book Scents - I know I’m not “old” (i’m turning 27 this summer) but sometimes people will slam me for liking certain things and I’m like really? does it matter that much? why is a certain “thing” restricted to an age when we can enjoy it but not after that age? that’s just dumb. I always like to think age is just a number — which it is!

As for hilary duff, I didn’t even know she came out with a new album! I need to check this out asap because i really loved her back in the day! umm lizzie mcguire was a fave! about vanessa hudgens… I was SO SAD when she and zac efron broke up. that’s so awesome about her being on broadway though!!

June 28, 2015 - 12:23 am

Retrospectively Reading (17) | The Reading Shelf - […] “I’m Feeling 18-22 (And It’s Great)” @ Rather Be Reading […]

June 26, 2015 - 12:02 pm

Jamie - OH MAN I’ve been having the OLD crisis lately as I approach 30 in October. I’m not ashamed of liking things that maybe people might think “i’m too old for” but I definitely go through waves of “I DON’T CARE” to feeling a little insecure about it. But mostly I think of how happy those things make me and I’m like EH…DO YOU SELF…DO YOU.

and omg GIRL MEETS WORLD…Will and I started watching it when it first came out and watched like half of the season but got behind. MUST CATCH UP.

June 24, 2015 - 10:43 pm

Jaime Lester - I am 32 years old, and basically the only books that I read are young adult books, and middle grade thrown in sometimes too. Oh, the looks I get. It did bother me a few years ago, but I just don’t give a crap anymore. Just because I am not a teen or even in my twenties anymore doesn’t mean I am an old fogie. And I don’t love the books that I love because they make me feel young again. I love them because they are dang good, and even in my 80’s they will be dang good! I think it is the grown-up in me that can appreciate it as much as I do! And I am, like you, a huge Disney/Pixar/Animated movie fan, as is my 31 year old best friend. That is another thing that I am dang proud of! Also, and the last thing that I will mention, is Full House is coming back! I loved it when I was a little thing, and I am excited about seeing everyone again! I loved this post, and I look forward to hearing even more of the things that people say you shouldn’t love, but you love regardless, at our ripe old young age!

June 24, 2015 - 10:57 am

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - You and me both, Estelle. I think I’m never going to stop being 18-22 at heart. In the year before I turned 30, I think I realized that, and I made my peace with it by starting a YA book blog. =) Now I have friends who range from 15-40 in age in the online world, and I’ve realized that age really doesn’t matter so much anymore. Sarah is 6-7 years younger than me, but we get each other, and I’m so SO grateful I met her.

That said, I am really glad that I also have close friends who are my age, because, like you said, I am in a different place than my 18-22 year old friends, and it’s important to have people who really get you in your professional/personal life.

I’m still on the fence on Hilary’s new album, but I wish I’d seen Gigi – Vanessa Hudgens was adorable in the one number they did at the Tonys, and I just love her. (Were you also deeply saddened when she and Zefron broke up?). I haven’t watched Girl Meets World, but I never really watched BMW, so I can’t say much to that…however, I did just go meet up with the bunch of 17-22 year olds who created Green Gables Fables, and while I didn’t feel OLD, I felt the difference in our lives so much…the weight of my responsibilities (can’t just go away for awhile because I have a house and cats and a husband) felt a lot bigger. But I wouldn’t choose not to have them, you know?

June 24, 2015 - 12:47 am

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - I’m 33, and I remember that turning 30 definitely shook me a little. There’s something about moving up into a new decade that makes one reflective about the years that have gone by. Even though I’m now into my 30s, I definitely still have moments where I pause and wonder if I’m content at the place where I am in my life. I have a lot to be thankful for (a loving husband, an adorable little boy, and a roof over my head that I am privileged enough to own), but there are other times where I worry that I could be further along in my career and whether I made the best career and schooling choices thus far. At the same time, I’m also a child at heart and I firmly believe that growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional! I can also be found busting out the Disney playlists, and rejoiced at being able to watch The Little Mermaid with Marko a couple of weeks ago. He loved it (which means we’ll get to watch it over and over and over again!) and adorably refers to Ariel as “Mama Fish.” So, even though I’m getting older in years, I still get to hold onto all those childhood moments by living them all over again through Marko’s eyes.

June 22, 2015 - 9:19 pm

Leah - ♥ ♥ My heart can’t handle all the awesome! Pop culture will always be filled to the brim with nostalgia – whether it’s tv shows/music/fashion from our childhood or decades before we existed. I think it’s fascinating watching the ebb and flow (although when I was entering high school bell bottoms/flared jeans were making a comeback and NO THANK YOU) and I love that its resurgence means I can share in the excitement with my nieces (Jurassic World especially!)

June 22, 2015 - 11:31 am

Alexa S. - Macky is still semi-yelling at me to watch Girl Meets World, bu since I haven’t seen Boy Meets World in its entirety (I know, I know!), I feel like I should do that first. But yes to Hilary Duff’s album (which is fabulous. I love Confetti!) and to Vanessa Hudgens (who I wish I could have caught in Gigi) and to FULL HOUSE REBOOT (*spazzes*)! Love that these things that are part of your childhood/my childhood are circling back again 🙂

June 22, 2015 - 11:05 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Joining the 30s club is weird isn’t it? When I turned 30 it was weird. but this year I turned 32 (just a few weeks ago) and I’m struggling with this a lot. Although I truly don’t think it’s old, I am insecure about certain things in my life. But enough about that.

I also love “kid” things. And I listen to Disney Music all the time! I have to check out Hilary Duff’s new CD.

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