When Kidults Make Big Decisions

Posted on June 22, 2010 / Thoughts

The other day I was sitting at a conference table and was suddenly hit by a reality that I almost never reflected on. I was at the Aon Building, standing at a conference table that belongs to one of the most influential Public Relation's companies in the world. I was surrounded by a bunch of kids, the oldest of us was 27 years old and we were about to make some big decisions.

While presenting our ideas I suddenly lost my train of thought. I hesitated for a few moments and experienced reality in it's more raw form. I'm 26 years old and I was presenting my companies design's to a million dollar company...and not only that, but it directly effected a government based program to be run in our state. For 3 years I've been doing this. I've been communicating with clients, presenting ideas, producing awesome work but never did the realities of our generation hit me like it did that day.

My mom used to tell me that one day I'd grow up (I thought she meant physically...because I'm definitely a kid at heart). She told me that one day me and my friends would make decisions that would affect the world around us. She would remind me that we are shaping the future of the world. But when you're a kid that doesn't make sense...well the idea does, but not until you see yourself changing the world does it actually become a reality.

While standing there I almost blacked out. I looked around the table and noticed a bunch of kids who grew up in some neighborhood, had some friends, "tried some stuff out", experienced high school, made fun of kids, went to college, binged on alcohol, and did everything kids did. Yet those kids, myself included, were the ones sitting around a table about to make some big decisions.

I was sitting a table with specialist in their own regard. They were PR pros and we were interactive masterminds (yeah, i'm gloating). We went to school and trained for this. We've been doing our jobs for a few years and "knew" the ins and outs of the industry. But we're the same kids who mocked the others, the same kids that tried out those illegal activities, the same kids that engaged in sexual activities in our parents basements. The people I grew up around had grown up. I didn't know these people though. They were clients. And we treated each other like clients. But as I spoke to them and presented our ideas I could see the kid in each of them. I could see how the world really depended on us. We were actually affecting the world. We were making decisions that would change the world around us.

And while I am confident in their and my own skills, I was suddenly amazed on how important we were in the world and that our generation has reached a milestone in our lifetimes. Standing at that table, starring that group of people in the eyes made me realize that we're not the future--we are the now--we are the world as you know it and we are going to change it to our will.

(disclaimer: don't confuse the term "kidults" with Benjiman Barber's term from his book Consumed, which is an awesome book)