I turned 34 this year. I'm not old. Thirty-four isn't old. However, it isn't young. My blood pressure is high. I have noticeable sun spots on my face. My finger nails aren't bright white and thick anymore. My teeth are staining. The point is, my body is aging. I'm ok with that, it's just that I didn't realize these changes would pile on all at once.
Something else that's surprising is just how out of touch I am with today's youth. One of my high school students recently asked me if I listen to rap music. I responded "sometimes", which is true thanks to the magic that is Pandora and iTunes Radio. He followed up with "old rappers from a long time ago, or new rappers?" Ouch. He just instinctively knew I must be an old school fan, and he was correct. I struggled to name some modern rappers, and could only come up with a couple. The only reason I could even name them was because they are sometimes written about online due to their romantic relationship drama. I've tried to like modern popular music, but it just doesn't seem like it's authentic or developed. Most modern popular music sounds very processed to me. It's difficult to enjoy when I can't connect and don't appreciate auto-tune or other electronic scrubbing.
Another area I struggle to connect with is current slang or phrases. I speak academic English because I work in a school. My social English is limited to, again, that which I developed when I was younger. Today I asked another student if he was going to have a party for graduation and he bashfully responded "Naw, I'm not 'bout that life." I honestly have no idea what that means. Is he not into parties? Does he dislike celebrating life's milestone achievements? Perhaps he dislikes balloons and music? I'm at a loss here. Rather than ask him to clarify, I just felt old.
Tomorrow morning I'm going to the doctor to inquire about my blood pressure and some other age-related health concerns. While I'm there, I'm going to request a prescription for some current rap music and a glossary of urban language. I'm bout that life, I think.