Was chatting about tomorrow's undoubtedly tear-provoking events with CityMom, when she brought up something that got me all worked up even more. She and a friend had been discussing Obama's staff members, and how young they all are. Mid-30s, mainly, and many of them younger than we are. The man himself only has a couple of years on my partner, a factoid he has already glumly noted (the partner, not Obama).
Age is not the sticking point here. It's that, well, they are where they are, and I'm picking up Legos and trying not to blow my latest freelance gig, for a boss who is younger than I am. They're always younger than I am now.
So, how come I'm not a star player in the new administration, or even somebody's boss, dammit? I did all the right things. Showed talent at an early age: Check. Attended fancy professional graduate program: Check.Racked up experience with every major network, and some newspapers, too: Check.
But there's that little thing called life that intervenes. My messy life, to be exact. Sidetracking into advertising because, hell, I thought it would be fun. Taking some time off to (cough) find myself on the West Coast and then go gallivanting overseas. Eloping and, later, having kids, and making the fatal career mistake of moving to the 'burbs, a hefty commuting distance away from any major newsroom. Maybe I was scared to try too hard, or just plain indecisive. I don't have time or money to see a shrink, so we'll never know.
Perhaps Obama's staff members didn't let life intervene. Maybe they were really, really focused, and didn't trollop down every brightly lit new path just because the old one had proven tough going, a trait I'm starting to see is perhaps key to nabbing the plummy roles.