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Turning 30 In A “Young Industry”.

Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty.

~Robert Frost


I’m turning 30 this week.  I have been composing this post in my head for about a month.  First it was going to be all about how fabulous it is to be 30 and how much better life is and all this really positive stuff about how age doesn’t matter and at least I have more money than when I turned 20.

But then I started thinking about how my mother told me that I should start thinking about another career because advertising is a “young industry” (pearls of wisdom, I know).  And how some companies will hire a 20 year old ‘social media expert’ because they can open a Facebook page.  And how all these old school writers used to say that you are your smartest in your early 20′s and after that you pretty much better forget about saying anything intelligent anymore.

In fact, there are sites I can’t be a part of  (20 Something Bloggers, goodbye….) and audiences that I understand less and less every day (MTV shows, I just don’t get you anymore…)  but on the flip side, I am discovering magazines and sites daily that are delicious and wonderful that I would have thought were pretty pointless at 20 (like The New Yorker)

But should I leave the social internets to the college kids?  In a way I kind of have.  I’ve moved away from the game I used to play of “bet I’ve heard of more sites and social platforms than you have” and into a “let’s see what’s right for your business and apply some of the social lessons and tools I’ve learned in the last 5 years” frame of mind.

If you are brand new to social media then it does seem like a lot. It seems like you have to know every site launch and new thing but when it’s not your first rodeo you can look at a client’s idea and tell them based on the way it’s been moving how you think it will turn out.  So in short, 30 is making me happy that I am old enough to trust my instincts (and have some instincts to trust), it makes me sad that I no longer am in the MTV audience and can’t stay out 2 consecutive nights in a row, and some things (like my love for Sour Patch Kids) just never change at all.

P.S. – I am not without some vanities about turning 30 – For my birthday I’m buying myself all new face creams to keep away the wrinkles (I decided against botox because I’m too scared and didn’t see enough wrinkles to deal with the pain yet)



18 Responses to “Turning 30 In A “Young Industry”.”

  1. Daniel Hoang says:

    Happy Birthday, your 30′s will be even better than your 20′s. You’ll be even closer toward your prime. I enjoy life even more because I know myself more in my 30′s than in my 20′s.

    Also, the face cream will really help. All those years of partying in our 20′s will soon catch up to us. :)

  2. Grace Boyle says:

    Happy (early) birthday. I am really looking forward to my 30′s. It’s a little bit of a ways off, BUT in my 20′s there was a lot of up and down, tumultuous, change, and uncertainty.

    I know that will exist throughout life, but I like staying in with wine and a good book versus going snowboarding all day, then going out two nights in a row with no sleep.

    You’re wonderful! And yay for growth and maturity.

    PS. Derek who runs 20sb is 30 and he still is an active member ;)

  3. Royce says:

    Aww happy b-day C-Mac… you will always be able to hang out with the hip kids, don’t worry. It’s just that we all will define what’s hip as whatever we are currently doing, and we will continue to define “the kids” as “us”. It’ll be good times.

    Keep on advising companies in a mature and professional way, and you’ll end up as the expert in effective marketing campaigns, regardless of how hip they seem. And please keep entertaining us on Smile. k thx bye

  4. caitlin says:

    Thanks Daniel, Grace, and Royce! You guys make me feel more in the ‘fabulous post’ frame of mind!

  5. Ryan Paugh says:

    You’re the prettiest 30-year-old that I know. So, yeah.

  6. The Dirt Man says:

    A few quotes sans proper citations, and my own lame interpretations:

    “30 is the new 20″
    This is the “glass is half full” quote. It’s crap though. ‘Cause, 30 is better than 20, pretty much any way you measure it. Sure, you’re 10 years older, but you have more $$, you no longer need a fake ID (or need to flirt with the brain-dead bouncer to get past the velvet rope), and you’ve (mostly) ditched the nonsense into which you were indoctrinated as a kid. Oh, and you no longer think that “size 4 = fat”.

    “30 is the new 40″
    Well, if we have a half-full glass, then we need a half-empty one. But, this is also crap. This was made up by 40-somethings who are either joking or are envious of your (relative) youth. 30 is better than 40, pretty much any way you measure it. Sure, maybe you’ve got a little less $$, but you’re probably not yet through your second divorce, you don’t know, or care, what a “rolo-dex” is, you don’t get all teary-eyed nostalgic for mix-tapes and “Breakfast Club” and you don’t find yourself skipping every Friday night out in order to taxi ankle-biters to soccer games Saturday morning.

    “30 is the new 30″
    My personal favorite. One part “the more things change the more they stay the same (or, as that late 20th century philosopher, Butthead, would say, “The more things change the more they suck”), one part, “that which does not kill you makes you stronger” and one part “hot yoga? that sounds fun!”

    Happy 30th :) Dig those Blue-corn enchilladas!

  7. caitlin says:

    Dirt Man – Love your interpretations! My favorite is the ’30 is the new 30′ too. Makes me feel like it’s a milestone that stands on its own. One thing I’ve noticed though… in the comments here everyone has been super positive. Offline? Different story – I have to tell you guys that I have heard some pretty hilarious ‘meltdown stories’ from people’s turning 30 experience. Seems it’s memorable for everyone for sure!

  8. Royce says:

    Two questions, C-Mac attack:

    1. What are your birthday celebration plans other than buying new face creams?

    2. I just got an Amazon recommendation for the following book: “Social Media Playbook for Business: Reaching Your Online Community with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and More” by Tom Funk. Have you ever heard of it? I feel like you could’ve written this book, but with a much more fun and creative title.

  9. I turn 29 this year and I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I had kids young so 23 was the new 30 for me and 30 will be the new 29. :)

  10. Emma says:

    Face creams achieve no measureable results: just use a moisturiser with a built-in sunscreen. Take the not inconsiderable amount of money you would have spent on face creams and invest it. Yourself 30 years from now will be very grateful.

  11. The one thing people don’t seem to tell young women enough is that as you get older, you just feel better – stronger, smarter, tougher. And things that would really bother you earlier in your life just don’t anymore. I’m ending my 30s in March. I have really grown over the last 10 years and at times that was really tough. But I spent my 20s building my career, my 30s building my family and taking my career to the next level, and I intend to spend my 40s paying a little more attention to me.

    So my advice would be to not think about it too much. It’s just a number. Just be.

  12. Rachel says:

    Thanks for sharing, you’ve help give me some clarity on my own feelings

  13. I turned 30 in November and it’s been good to me! Everyone keeps saying that your 30′s are better than your 20′s and so far I would have to agree! Not sure how I feel about turning 40 in 2020 though?!

  14. Noel says:

    I love your thoughts about being able to trust your instincts.I turned 30 just under a year ago and I feel like it’s the first year that I’ve truly (and only) learned to listen to myself and what’s right for me, not what the rest of the world says. That doesn’t mean I do it every day, but I’m getting better at it. It’s sort of like riding a bike: it takes practice but once you nail it, it’s so liberating.

    Happy Almost Birthday!

  15. cspeedland says:

    Hello Wish u a happy birth day with a bunch of Face daffodles

  16. Sue Thompson says:

    You don’t know me . . . just bouncing around. But I wanted to let you know: face creams do nothing. NOTHING. You’re a advertising professional, so don’t drink your own industry’s Kool-Aid. Nothing topical prevents wrinkles OTHER THAN SUNBLOCK. Botox is not painful to most women, who have a much higher tolerance to pain than men, and anyway, it’s no worse than a few minutes of anything else you find uncomfortable. Start now and you’ll find you need less when you’re older. Congratulations on 30. You’ll be surprised at how much smarter you grow with each passing decade–including finding out that all of the statistics about getting older (such as being less happy, as your friend Penelope felt necessary to point out), do not have to mean anything for you. Be happy in every decade. They all have wonderful surprises.

  17. caitlin says:

    Thanks for the help on getting into turning 30 everyone!
    Sue – Thanks for your comment about just going for it with Botox – I’m such a sucker for good advertising! :)

  18. Molly says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! I’ll definitely let you know how my birthday goes and how things change. I think we’re in a perfect spot being 30. We’re still technically Millennials and quick to adapt to any new forms of media, but as you said, we’re also not quick to recommend those new products to clients just because it’s new. Getting to this point has been an uphill battle so I’m hoping that 30 is a big turning point to all my struggles and hard work! Looking forward to reading your blog!

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