What’s My Age Again?

No one should take themselves so seriously
With many years ahead to fall in line
Why would you wish that on me?
I never wanna act my age

-Mark Hoppus & Tom DeLonge

What’s My Age Again

If you really like my posts about faith that aren’t so navel-gazey…this might not be the post for you. Maybe it will be, I don’t know. Like the rest of my life, I’m just winging it here.

I’m listening to the Original London Cast Recording of Crazy For You. I know what you’re thinking, “recording of whaaaa???Crazy For You was an 1990s created stage show that was a “New Gershwin Musical Comedy.” And in the early 90s, when I was in middle school (some of my favorite years of my life), my friend Elizabeth had us in her old downtown Raleigh home and we listened to this alongside Hole, Sonic Youth and assorted others. Let me make clear, Crazy For You is a Broadway produced musical featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin in a new setting (Someone to Watch Over Me, anyone?). We were listening to Broadway alongside grunge. We attended a public visual and performing arts magnet middle school where we all studied dance and theater. This was totally normal. And I longed for that soundtrack and today, I bought it on iTunes. More than 20 years later.

I don’t know if I’m the only one of my friends who still has the same eclectic tastes in music and entertainment (I’ve also purchases Snoop Dogg’s Cool Aid, the Wadjda soundtrack–mostly for Grouplove’s Tongue Tied, Adult Swim singles and Lenny Kravitz in the last six months) but some days I really feel like an alien that landed here on Earth just trying to pass as human. I’m this close to downloading Hamilton even though I’ve never seen it because: Hamilton.

I’ve often found myself forgetting despite three active children ages 10-7, a marriage of 13 1/2 years, two cars, living in our second house and having a big-girl grown-up job that I’m not 19 or 13. It seems as though a grown-up would remember that when they call and ask for “Mrs. Herrett” that that person is me, not for it to take three minutes to remember it’s me they are asking for because I prefer to be called by my Christian name, Kristen. An adult might have set preferences like period-dramas vs my netflix current watch list which is a crazy mix of favorite sit-coms, current dramas, comedy specials and cartoons I watched as a kid. I was even born at the tail end of Generation X and just ahead of the millenials and therefore don’t really feel like either. I just registered to vote (after 3 ridiculous attempts) and for the first time did so “unaffliated.” Because, y’all, this election…

In anyone else, I would say these same contradictions simply mean they aren’t living to the world’s expectations but maybe to Gods and to embrace these little things that make us us. So why can’t I give myself a break? Because I am fallen. Just like we all are. And I struggle. I’ve been told this is a sign of progress that I recognize the struggle. I spent an hour and fifteen minutes Wednesday night telling a group of third-graders that sin is a conscious choice we make to turn away from God and then got in the car with my kids and let three four letter words roll of my tongue when someone cut me off in traffic. Yikes! Should I be teaching religious education to small children? Even my own children? I feel like a kid myself most days. I even have moments of “who are these kids and why do they keep calling me mama?” because I don’t feel all that qualified most of the time.

It’s not lost on me that all this is cramming the front of my brain ten days before my 37th birthday. I’m staring down 40 and this isn’t how I thought it would feel. The world’s changed a lot in my lifetime. I’ve changed a lot. And yet, I haven’t. When Blink-182 first released What’s My Age Again (in 1999 when I was 20) I felt like that was total stupidity,  who didn’t grow up? Yeah…listening to show tunes tonight made me download that song because…here I am laughing at jokes about Uranus with my kids and watching Garfield and so yeah, what’s this acting my age thing about again? What does that mean? How is my age supposed to act?