Bridging the (Age) Gap

“Switchfoot frontman and guitarist Jon Foreman celebrates his 37th birthday today!” read the caption on the photo posted by a local radio station on its Facebook account last month.*

I like Jon Foreman. He’s one of the most inspiring musicians I know. I love the music that he and his equally talented buddies in Switchfoot make, and I admire the articles he write every once in a while. Despite my admiration for his work, I must admit I don’t know much about his personal life. I don’t know when his birthday is or even what his full name is. So, when I learned about his age, I was quite surprised!  What? We’re only several years apart?!  All along, I thought he was much older than I was.

Learning about Jon’s age made me think about the ages of some of my other favorite musicians: their ages were all in the line of three… just like mine now! How is that possible? I mean how is it possible that we are all in the same age bracket now? Why are our numbers so close all of a sudden? When did that happen?

I am not in denial; I know I am not getting any younger, but how come when I was younger, say, when I was in my early twenties, Jon Foreman and my other favorite musicians seemed older, but now that I’m older and they’re older too, our age gap doesn’t feel as far as I once thought it was. Even the gap with my sister, who’s almost a decade older than I am, doesn’t feel as distant anymore compared to when she was 20 and I was 11.

Why is it that when you are young and you compare yourself with the older people, the age gap seems so wide, but as you grow older, it can feel as if the distance isn’t that far after all? Is it because the younger one and the older one could now be sharing similar experiences in their lives? For instance, a child and a young adult may have completely different life experiences, but by the time the child reaches 38 and the young adult 48, by then, they would have had some similarities – finding and losing jobs, getting into relationships, etc.  Does that in a way bridges the gap between them?

I suddenly remembered this scene from the movie, Big Fish, where a younger version of Helena Bonham Carter was talking to the character of Ewan McGregor:

JENNY: How old are you?

EDWARD: Eighteen.

JENNY: I’m eight. That means when I’m eighteen, you’ll be 28. And when I’m 28, you’ll only be 38.

EDWARD: (a little wary) You’re pretty good at arithmetic.

JENNY: And when I’m 38, you’ll be 48. And that’s not much difference at all.

(Eager to get off this subject…)

EDWARD: Sure is a lot now, though, huh?


Clearly, I can relate to this conversation. How about you? Have you ever felt like this before?


*Note: There are a number of entries that I haven’t been able to work on these past several months due largely to time constraints, a lack of focus, and even at times, laziness. The succeeding posts are part of that backlog.

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