Thanks to my family members and close friends, I have been crowned with the title of “old soul.” Seriously, I constantly talk about how I was “born in the wrong generation,” obsess over the “Brady Bunch” and go to estate sales with my mom.
Tired of jokingly being called the “mom” by my friends when I leave my friend’s house before 11 p.m. because “I have a really early start tomorrow morning,” I set out on a journey to complete many firsts that I felt were typical GenZ things: listening to JuiceWRLD, trying kombucha and taking pictures just for Instagram.
Listening to rap (at least I think that’s JuiceWRLD’s genre) for the first time was a roller coaster — I have no desire to listen to his rap songs again, but his slower songs were something I could see myself playing while jamming out with my friends on a Saturday night with all the windows rolled down.
JuiceWRLD and Benny Blanco’s newest release, “Graduation,” was my first JuiceWRLD experience. And boy, was I appalled. While I listened to Benny Blanco sing (or more like scream) the song, I couldn’t help but wonder if the beginning of the song was copyrighted — most of the lyrics were snactched right out of Vitamin C’s classic, also named “Graduation.” Then JuiceWRLD started to rap. And things went from bad to worse. The words had no meaning, and I couldn’t understand anything he was saying.
Still hopeful, I listened to my friend’s recommendations, “Robbery” and “Lucid Dreams,” and much to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. Even though he sounded like he had just run a marathon, I appreciated the emotional depth of the song as he sang about his breakup. The slower tempo of the songs made me believe it was something I might even listen to on the way to school every once in a while.
Now onto step two of my journey of trendiness — kombucha. Kombucha seems to be the staple drink in every teens’ lunch so I knew I would have to try it. Six dollars later I had two bottles of Health-Ade kombucha — Pomegranate and Cayenne Cleanse.
Before I took my first sip of pomegranate kombucha all I could think about was how it would wreck my digestive system. It smelled like cat pee mixed with apple juice so my expectations were low. But I persisted, and gulped down a sip. To my surprise, it tasted like nothing and burned my throat when I swallowed it.
The Cayenne Cleanse kombucha scared the living daylights out of me considering I think mild salsa is spicy. I couldn’t even imagine what cayenne kombucha that reeked of ginger would do to my insides. But wanting to get the full kombucha experience, I was able to hype myself up enough to take a sip. I was instantly slapped across the face with flavor — it burned like there were 100 mini fires in my stomach, and I loved it.
I only had one more step to complete my “trendy girl” experience — taking photos solely for the purpose of posting them on Instagram. I could only imagine how awkward this would be because of my little-to-no experience in having my photo taken. The last time I had an official photoshoot was taking family pictures when I was 8 years old, and now I practically run when I see a camera pointed at me.
I had to enlist a few friends to help me pick an outfit they deemed Insta-worthy — a jean skirt and crop top — and our location of a hill off of Jefferson and W. 17th St. in KCMO. I tried to do whatever poses were natural, standing while trying to “smolder,” and constantly asked my friends if I looked stupid or awkward.
After a while, I started to enjoy it. It was fun to wear something other than leggings and a sweatshirt and to mess around with my friends and take weird pictures. In a way it boosted my confidence and left me wondering why I hadn’t done this before.
Branching out was an uncomfortable, yet rewarding experience for me. I learned that trying new things can help you realize what you were missing before and that being trendy doesn’t have to be awkward — it’s fun. Discovering I don’t hate all rap music, kombucha isn’t poison and getting pictures taken of yourself can be a confidence-boosting activity.
What was most rewarding though, was being able to prove to my friends and myself that you can teach an old dog new tricks.