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All the Cupcakes and the Ones We’re Hungry For

December 11, 2018

It’s been awhile. In fact, I’ve only written on my blog twice this year. As the year wraps up, and so do projects and lingering tasks, I’m feeling both reflective and prospective (I used to find that word, so there’s a 2/3 chance it isn’t used correctly). I want to share an idea that’s been really in my face lately, and it has to do with cupcakes. Delicious, sparkly, dreamy cupcakes.

Pretend with me for a moment, and let’s look at all the opportunities there are for us to explore in this one life we have; we’re talking vacation spots, marketing plans, haircuts, houses for sale, people to spend time with, business names, website layouts, paint colors, etc. And now let’s act like all of those things, that huge vast variety of goodness that’s out there for us, are all cupcakes. They’re all frosted and topped with sprinkles, some have cookies sticking out, some are big, some are small. Every time someone gives you the idea for something new to bring in your life, it’s a shiny cupcake. And cupcakes are treats, right? Cupcakes are fun, right? We should take advantage and indulge in all the cupcakes there are, RIGHT? WE’RE CRAZY TO PASS UP ON A CUPCAKE, RIGHT??

That’s what it feels like. We see five people we know and love standing around a cupcake they’re salivating over and we think “well, I should probably take advantage of this cupcake, too!” I used to be a binge-eater and serial dieter, and the most radical thought that helped change my path was author Geneen Roth asking me to pay attention to my hunger. “Are you hungry for that large pizza you’re about to devour? Are you hungry for this salad you’re eating out of shame?” Because at the end of the day, if you’re eating for something other than hunger, it doesn’t matter what the actual food is, you will be left unsatisfied.

So the simple but big thought I want to share is to encourage you to inquire about, engage with, listen to, and trust your hunger as it pertains to all the cupcakes in this world. Because when you eat a cupcake you’re hungry for, you truly enjoy it. You smell the sweet cake as the bite comes towards your lips, you swirl the frosting along the roof of your mouth, you savor the last few crumbs. When you eat a cupcake you aren’t hungry for, the frosting tastes plasticy and sickly sweet, your stomach gets fuller and heavier; the experience is completely different.

“Start building your email list!”, “please sell your ornaments online! I’d buy one!”, “you should really teach a class on the iPad”, “this job pays crap but is great exposure!”, “I bet you could pull off a side shave”…all cupcakes that I almost said yes to that I’m so relieved I didn’t. As enticing as they looked, it turns out I wasn’t hungry for them.

There are endless cupcakes out there, and you may indulge in ones that are totally different from the ones your friends are enjoying. There are cupcakes you will never taste. This isn’t a sad thing though. This means there will always be more cupcakes once you get hungry again, it means you’ll never get bored with what’s out there, and also, it means you can trust yourself. No one can tell you when you’re hungry, and no one can tell you what you’re hungry for. And finally, saying no to a cupcake doesn’t mean you’re cupcake-less, it means you’re making room for the right one. The one that’s so perfectly you, the one that requires your hunger to be enjoyed. We have a finite amount of hunger and what we can achieve in this life, don’t waste it eating cupcakes you aren’t even hungry for.

So cheers to way less cupcakes in 2019, and may each and every one be enjoyed to the fullest.


Cover Photo by Alexandra Kusper on Unsplash



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  1. Diane says:

    What a truly great analogy for this thing we do, especially in the age of social media. I love it. Thanks for sharing

    • Dylan says:

      Right? It made a lot of sense to me too, Diane. So many people want us to do more more more (and just master efficiency) instead of being choosy about what we’re doing.

  2. Lizzie C says:

    Yaaaas! Love the analogy. One that I can embrace and explore. Thank you, wise friend. All the feels to you. Happy ChristmaKwanzUkkah. ????

  3. Love it! Thanks for writing and sharing.

  4. Yes, girl, YES!! ????????????????

  5. Dylan, I enjoyed your illustration in the winter edition of Magnolia so much, I finally tore it out to keep. It’s hopeful simplicity struck a chord in me, like Judy Garland clicking her ruby-slippered heels. “There’s no place like home.”
    Just wanted to reach out and let you know I caught the magic of your artwork. Thanks and Happy New Year!

    • Dylan says:

      Hey Mindy!
      Apologies in my very late reply, but thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you loved the Magnolia spread! It’s a really special piece, and I’m grateful to people like you who let it into their heart <3

  6. Anni Z says:

    This is some of the best advice out there, especially for artistic creatives who want to make some money doing what they love or just want to make a name for themselves. The cupcakes are so enticing that it’s easy to lose sight on what’s important: doing the art. I love the analogy. Have a cupcake every now and then. But keep focused on what you like doing, not on what everyone else is doing or recommending. Oh, and Dylan’s Postcard class on Skillshare is a cupcake worth indulging in 😉

    • Dylan says:

      Hi Anni! I’m so glad my analogy made sense to you – I think it’s really important too! It can feel like we need to bend a certain way to fit our world, but really, we get to decide our shape and space. Thanks for stopping by <3