Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What this Generation X Person Has to Say

I liked the "Generation X Doesn't Want to Hear It" blog post. I don't identify 100% percent, but that's because I wasn't raised in this country, remember? I don't get all the cultural references, but I get most everything else.

I am most certainly a "GenXer" and now that I am teaching again (after 6 years away from university classrooms), I can feel my "obsolescence" very keenly. Last week the year 1989 came up for some reason and one of my students was saying "I wasn't even born!" I wanted to scream (but just said it calmly, if frustrated), "Really? I was a senior in high school in 1989." :(

Unfortunately, the main result is that I am getting terrified of getting older and older. I look at frail old ladies and I want to sit down on the ground and cry in despair. I know I will be them one day. I don't know why I'm so terrified of that idea, but I am. I imagine in my mind how that will feel like. Inside, you remember the little girl you were, she's still there, but outside you're this very old lady, all wrinkled and white haired. An old lady that nobody talks to. That's my greatest fear: utter and complete invisibility. (and I so wish I had a daughter. but maybe my sons will take care of me. The old lady across the street is moving in with her daughter. the moving truck came today and I went over to say goodbye).

OK, that's too depressing, let's move on, shall we? I do feel jaded like that article describes, though. I didn't grow up here, but growing up educated poor in Brazil wasn't easy. When I was growing up inflation was so high -- THOUSANDS of percents a year -- that it was insane. They cut three zeros out of the currency twice in a year. I remember a bit before that, though... when it was not as bad. And then, in the year I got married (1994), they were finally able to beat inflation. Phew! What a relief. By then I was an adult, though... so I grew up in a country in constant financial instability.

I am too attached to things and have a horrible, paranoid relationship with money because we never had any. I know I was privileged because my parents were educated (both had master's degrees), but they had low paying jobs as educators & church employees. When we moved to the big city from a rural area (boarding academy), we learned (my brother more keenly than me) that we needed to buy the right kind of sneakers and backpacks. I had rich friends who had experienced countless things that I could only dream of (most related to this country here -- they had traveled to the U.S. many times and even to Europe, etc) and that was hard.

I really wish, from the bottom of my heart, that I could figure out a way to feel more at peace about money, and not to want to have things. Sigh.

As for the crisis, for the recession... whatever. We're OK. We are resilient, but, yes, the article is right, we are also tired.

I am forty and I don't have a real job and K is just starting a real job. It just took us so long to get here.

Well... I don't know what the point of this post is, really. I feel bad whining about my childhood trauma with money. It's a big thing for me, though. And I need the "cheap therapy" -- though I'm seriously considering getting real therapy, particularly for my ADHD.

OK, gotta go. I want to post some more "musical" posts soon.


perrie said...

I still have trouble saying my new age (42) out loud--I trip over my tongue when I try to say it. How is it possible? I still feel like I'm in my twenties, and it's jarring to remind myself that I'm not.

Aliki2006 said...

Ugh--sorry my comments keep appearing under that account!