I don’t really want to be turning 30 again. I truly believe what I wrote about midlife being a time when we have more time, more confidence and more resources. And given this, it is not surprising that once we pass 46, we are happier.
I have largely come to grips with the underbelly of aging, the image in the mirror. But this weekend I was at The New York Times Social Media Summit listening to 20 and 30-somethings expounded on how Twitter and its brethren have forever changed traditional news gathering as we know it and, for a moment, I could not help wishing that, once again, I was turning 30 and here is why.
1.There are jobs that I would love to do, give my eye teeth to do, and most of them have the words “social media,” “digital,” or “online” in the job title. My only regret is that these jobs did not exist when I was 30 or even 35.
2. If I was turning 30, I would have stayed in contact with so many people who I misplaced throughout my life as I moved all over the US and overseas and back. Facebook would have allowed me to hold tight to friends in a way that letter writing just did not make possible . When I realize that my kids are still connected to almost everyone they have ever known, I cannot help be a little jealous.
3. If I was turning 30, I would have learned HTML rather than French as a second language. Every single day I wish I could code, and the last time I wished I could speak French? 1996.
4. If I was turning 30, I would welcome each new social media revelation. I would have been thrilled to learn about Storyfy, Mahaya. Instead, each innovation leaves me in a panic as I try to navigate new waters.
5. If I was turning 30, I would not have been surprised to be given a name tag that asked only for my Twitter handle rather than my name. It would not make me nervous to be known by this moniker alone.
6. If I was turning 30, I would have been excited to learn from the CEO of The New York Times that Twitter will always have the news first. When there is breaking story, the first thing to do is not turn on the television but rather turn to Twitter. Old habits die hard.
7. If I was turning 30, I would not waffle over the decision of whether to stay at home with my kids or stay in the workplace. Knowing what I do now, I would pour my energy into finding a part-time job and, though I know it is never easy, straddle those two worlds for the years in which my children are at home.
8. If I was turning 30, I would have had a moment of pause and then relief when founding editor of the Huffington Post, Roy Sekoff told the audience that, “My entire career is a succession of things I did wrong and learned from.” I would have felt a huge amount of weight lifted from my shoulders and felt free to take risks I had never imagined.
The woman seated next to me in the audience was bursting with pregnancy. She looked blissfully happy and awkwardly uncomfortable at the same time and I could not help thinking that If I was turning 30, my children would not yet have been born and I would be able to relive that incomparable moment of meeting them all over again.