Saturday, July 7, 2012

Acting My Age ...

This was taken at the "Art of Video Games" exhibition on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C.
A few weeks ago I was out at a bar with some friends, including a few people in their 20s. We got on the topic of how old I was, and I made them guess. A few of them thought I was in my late 20s, which was certainly flattering.

But lately I’ve been thinking how dumb it is of me to want to be mistaken for someone younger, or to even care if I look younger than I am. It’s not just about vanity or being stuck on some number. When I’ve thought about it at length, I realize it’s been more about wanting to go back to that moment in my life when I never questioned I was inventing the world, one idea at a time. That was definitely when I was fresh out of college, working at a dot com in the '90s in Austin, Texas. And the guys I was hanging out with a few weeks ago ... they remind me of that time. I’m in awe of what they’re creating for social media.  They are wicked-smart, relentlessly creative, exceptionally talented people, not to mention generous and authentic with their knowledge and how they share it with others. I get around them and learn new ways to solve problems in my own social media projects for higher education.

The thing is, though, I haven’t exactly dropped off the face of the earth, with being on the forefront of well-executed ideas myself. I don’t know when I started second guessing that, or why I don’t do a better job of celebrating what I’ve built along the way. My younger friends certainly don’t doubt what I’m doing and have never made me feel like I should be worried about it. I'm still dreaming and inventing all the time.

There are circumstances that make my age what it is: I make it a priority to take good care of my body because I want to be healthy and strong as long as possible. My creativity is alive and kicking, and something that can alternately make me feel like I’ve lived a thousand years and like I’ve just been born, depending on what I’m developing and experiencing. My work in digital communications for higher education certainly feeds my need to examine and respond to all the amazing innovations that are happening right now, and transforming how we relate to people, brands, markets, places, products. That’s timeless, and changing too quickly to make me feel bored or stagnant.

My birthday is coming up later this summer, and usually that induces some major epiphany related to reinvention. This time around, I think I’m going to sit back and assess what’s going on with my career, my health, my life and just feel thankful. It’s been a challenging but incredible year, in terms of what I’ve survived and done and discovered in my 30-something-year-old world. I need to honor that more.

1 comment:

Linda T said...

Nice thoughts, Becky. And I love the picture taken at the Smithsonian - I assume you took it.