Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Big 3-0

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. The occasion was somewhat bittersweet. On the one hand, I have a lot to be grateful for--I'm happily married, have two beautiful and healthy children, and enjoy a good career. On the other hand, being "young" has been such a huge part of my self-identity over the years that turning 30 is a bit of a shock.

I've been "young" ever since I was a kid. I always wanted to do things as early as possible. I went to high school when I was 12, and Stanford University when I was 15. I got used to being around older people.

Now, I am the older people, and the fact that I'm 30 instead of 33 hardly warrants mentioning.

And of course, I'm reading a biography of Alexander the Great, and realized that by the age of 30, he had conquered the known world. Of course, he died at 33, so perhaps I shouldn't emulate his example too closely!

Ultimately, the best advice I got came from my (older) sister, who advised me that I was only as old as I acted or felt. I reflected on all that I had accomplished in the past 10 years (graduating from college, getting my first job, going to business school, getting married, starting three companies, meeting tons of fascinating and wonderful people), and decided that the best thing to do was to resolve to make the next 10 years even more productive.

And I do promise that I'll be back with some thoughts on Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Moore's Law, and immortality....

2 comments:

Ben Casnocha said...

Happy birthday! Yeah, i'm with you on doing things as early as possible. I don't buy the "you have your whole life to do XYZ." Look, I say, every day, all day, people cross the street and get hit by a bus. Or get killed in some freak accident. Or get paralyzed and are confined to a wheelchair their whole life. Life *is not* that long in my opinion. And given that I'm studying environmental science concepts that reference "225 billion years ago..." I'm like "shit, I'm going to come and go and I'm just one incredibly tiny dot." That's why, Chris, I support your goal to make your next 10 years as productive as possible. Sorry for the rambling, but enjoy big 3 O. I'm sure 4 O will be here in a second. It feels that way to me.

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Hi,

I totally agree with your post but then I'm an easy going kind of gal :)

Jessica
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