I’m a half century old today. I was going to add a joke about how I was a teenager only yesterday, but it’s not true. When I look at the above photo—that’s me at 15, in my bedroom in Queens with my old IBM Selectric typewriter—it feels like a long time ago. It sounds weird to say I’m 50 but I can’t say I didn’t earn it.
One way you know you’re getting older is you start noticing more and more what a different world the current generation is coming of age in. I feel like I have an advantage over my parents in that I expected this to happen. My dad, born in 1922, was amazed and a little dismayed by how much American society had transformed during his lifetime, and for my mother—born in Brazil, raised in Argentina, emigrated to the U.S. at age 23—life was one long culture shock. I grew up knowing the future would be different in ways I couldn’t predict, so I’ve found the changes more fascinating than anything else. And I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.