June 10th, 2020
I think a lot about age.

I'm 29.

Often, I'll see someone who has become rather successful at 24 years old (an example).

Or at least, more "successful" than me (in my eyes).

I wonder how it is they got to that level faster than I could?

Did they learn quicker? Did they start earlier? Are they smarter? Worked harder? Did they know what they wanted earlier in life? Did they have better mentors? Did they have some sort of advantage? Luck?

Ok, let's get the cliches out of the way: "comparison is the thief of joy", yada yadda...

Many people I know go through life (and jobs) with some level of expectation of success and improvement. We all graduate high school at the same time. We all graduate college at the same time. Then become doctors, lawyers based on the timetable that society has decided - or traditional workplaces promote us at a predictable rate (manager, director, etc).

But for entrepreneurs, artists, writers, politicians - most of those "expectations" go out the window.

Through this crazy thing called the internet, I know of 16-year-olds who are building profitable businesses, 19-year-old YouTubers with millions of followers, etc.

I think as we get older we start to notice age more.

I remember as a kid when I used to watch professional sports on TV and my dad would always comment: "What! This guy was born in 1980! I can't believe that!!".

I'm starting to become that guy. One of my favorite artists is Travis Scott. I looked up his age the other day, and what!? This guy is actually younger than me? It feels so strange to look up to someone for years who's been younger than me?

It's funny, though, because I've also experienced the opposite of this.

When I was 19, I worked at the Apple Store. I got promoted quickly and was able to go to this all-expenses-paid trip with other Apple Store employees across the country who also just got the same promotion.

I was the youngest person there, by at least two years, with many people in the training likely at least 24 years old.

Since everyone was strangers and living in a hotel with $100 per-diems - we quickly started to make friends.

When we went out to dinner, they found out I was 19, and everything changed.

The group I made friends with started forming a clique, and started ganging up on me. They emailed Apple corporate relations and got my rental car revoked - because of some fine print of the contract that I was too young to have a rental car.

They got my rental car revoked because they wanted it for themselves, and when they got the car, they threw my shit all over the parking lot.

It really hurt my feelings.

That training was three weeks long - and all I wanted was for it to be over.

I remember getting back from the training, and hanging out with my "real" friends - wow that was such a relief.

All the resentment and angst I had was gone in a second, remembering that we get to choose our friends - and I would never surround myself with people that judged me because of my age.

And it's funny - because one of my best friends at the time was 24. But he's a great dude, and my age or his age didn't matter for our friendship. 

Age doesn't matter. Everyone has a journey. 

I've been early to some things, and I've been late to others. I will assume the same in others.