I can’t tell if I am inspired or jealous by people my age who are incredibly successful. If we’re being honest, I can tell and the verdict is “jealous,” but if we’re trying to be a better person, we’re attempting to be inspired.
It’s somewhat easier to look back on historical figures who were successful at a young age, because I figure with the lifespan what it was, they were basically well into their 40s before experiencing success, in relative terms. Adolescents was not a thing observed by society as an excuse to take longer in “finding yourself,” and the times were just different. Right?
But young people who are successful right now: completely different beast.
Let’s just take Mark Zuckerberg, shall we? A current day version of someone roughly my age (fine: slightly younger than me) who is more successful than I will ever be, ever. We’ve been hearing about Facebook going public since tagging photos became a thing. It’s finally happening this week, and Facebook has priced its IPO at $38/share, which means it will raise $16 billion. Billion. Then I read something on CNN about it’s “market capitalization” (do not care to look up what this means) equaling $81 billion (billion!), the company actually being worth $107 billion (billion!!), and Mark Zuckerberg’s share in the company being worth about $19 billion (BILLION!!!).
Let’s be real - I only have a cursory understanding of how the stock market works - but I do know that all the information above means that Mark Zuckerberg, who turned 28 this week (HBD MZ!!!), is worth more now than I will ever be, ever.
This, I will admit, is an extreme example. The guy is an actual genius. With my genetic makeup (sorry mom and dad!), this was never in the cards for me. I can barely keep up with slight changes to my profile layout: I was never meant to be a technology innovator.
But then there’s Lena Dunham. (Ok, ok - calm down. Not an open call for your opinions on “Girls.” Which I know you have. Because everyone - inexplicably - does.) Lena Dunham turned 26 this week (HBD LD!!!) (I wonder if she and Mark had a joint birthday party). Before creating and starring in that hit HBO series we’re all tweeting about (which I would deem enough to declare my life successful), she wrote, directed and starred in an Independent Spirit Award winning film, Tiny Furniture. That was when she was 23ish. Yes, when the rest of us were assistants, and the truly successful were coordinators.
I will continue to repeat to myself that life’s not a sprint, or a marathon, but a journey - and you can’t lose at being on a journey, right? Ugh, leave it to our generation to build in a failsafe excuse for mediocrity.