So I'm just going to come right out with it. I'm getting old.
I know, I know, I'm not THAT old. But the truth is that I've honestly never FELT old. I guess that one of the main things is that I've mostly always hung out with people who are older than I am, so no matter how old I've gotten, they've always been one step ahead. I guess there's nothing like old friends to make you feel young!
It's been the same at work, as well. I was hired right out of college into a lower-level management position - I pretty much skipped the entry level job. Immediately I was at the young end of my peer group. Sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot, but there was really never anyone younger than me in the group. This has pretty much continued in my career - until this week.
I was in Vegas for a Marketing Summit. On the plane right out, I watched the Hot Tub Time Machine with my boss - which he found hysterical because of many of the 80's-90's references, and I found hysterical because - well, it's a hysterical movie. But we spent some time laughing about how the majority of the movie took place in 1986 - when I was all of 4. Fast forward to the meeting, where I was once again generally younger than most participants. It wasn't until we got to the session on Social Marketing that I started to feel a little uncomfortable.
Our corporate office recently hired a "Manager of Social Media". Now, of course this in and of itself is interesting, and I'm pretty proud that we're trying to stay on the "edge" of this important shift in the world of marketing. And honestly, this kid is pretty sharp. But you know what - he's just that. He's a KID! Seriously, probably right out of college - 23, maybe 24 years old. He wore a lime green shirt and a white tie and his presentation was full of youtube videos and no capitalization. I leaned over to my boss to say "Whoa, what's up with the no capitalization thing?" and he bust out laughing and pointed at me saying "Ha! You're OLD!"
And it hit me like a ton of bricks. He was right. There was some shit this kid said that I'd never even HEARD OF. And again, I mean, he's great - seems like a really intelligent kid and I know that he's going to be a huge asset to our company. I just couldn't stop thinking about how much older I am than him. I'm the one sitting at the table going "Huh? What now? Could you repeat that? Do you mean I can find this on the, what did you call it - the IN-TER-NET?" It was crazy, dudes. Totally, totally crazy.
That night we had dinner with a fellow franchisee. He brought along one of his new employees - another marketing manager fresh out of college. She was so nice - very articulate and pretty and again probably about 23 years old. I mentioned to her something about being away from my husband and she looked at me and said, "Oh wow - you're MARRIED?" and I was like OMG. Seriously. I am the old married lady at the table. When did that happen?!?!
So I guess the moral of the story is that hanging out with old people is good for your self esteem but no matter what you do, time keeps ticking away and sooner or later you're going to be faced with someone younger than you, so at least try to humble about it.