The Beauty of Following in Your Thirties

I’m concluding my last night in Miami and it’s been a great trip. Tomorrow’s gonna hurt because I have an 8am flight to my next job in LA, so I’ll try to keep this short.

I’ve been to Miami before, and I’ve had both good times and bad here. The bad times consisted of blurry clubbing alcoholic nights that I felt forced to partake in. I had one trip here where I was dragged out to a club practically every night, and I had to buy a whole new clubbing wardrobe at the Miami H&M. If you know me, you’ll know I’m not a clubber- so I was following the crowd because I wanted to make friends and not function in complete isolation.

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This is the first time the city was really amazing for me, and it’s because I followed through with what I really wanted to do. The show that I worked was late-shifted, so there were days I started work at 4pm and got out at 11pm. This allowed me to go to sleep at 2 am and wake up at 10am, still getting 8 hours sleep while remaining a night owl. I was able to enjoy my free hotel breakfast outside in the heat of a sunny outdoor patio, and then meditate and then go running on the beach afterwards. I was able to rent bikes and swim and see the city and walk for hours by myself. I was also able to go out to nice dinners with close friends, and see some family I have nearby. I also didn’t end up drinking a drop of alcohol during this particular trip in Miami, for no other reason than I wasn’t around other drinkers. Instead, I had one of the best slices of carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life. In short, this trip was the anti-party. My visit had quite the goody two shoes, squeaky clean feel for a Miami trip…but it was exactly what I needed right now.

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And I loved this Miami. I loved it because it’s here that I really feel like I’ve gotten a small percentage of the feel of giving zero fucks about what people think (something to strive for always, but especially in your thirties). I hung out with the people I loved and enjoyed and was nice to the acquaintances, but didn’t go out of my way to follow what they were doing. Instead I followed my yearning for being with myself and the beach and talking to my closest friends. I fell into a nice healthy rhythm and felt amazingly self-sufficient, yet socially happy for a long stretch of time. It was an amazing balance.

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It gives me hope that you can follow what you really want to do and not have to be swept along by others….and even by the scary, uncertain parts of yourself. Sometimes my own feelings get in my way and I feel like I can’t trust myself or find balance. But here I just followed what I really wanted to do, while staying in touch with the people I cared about, and things fell into place. Maybe it’s the warm weather or the beach or the movement. Or maybe it’s something else.

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It’s Like Riding a Bike…In Your Thirties

I read this article the other day about an Irish journalist in Cork, Ireland, who’s learning to drive a car for the first time at age 32. 

I can relate.

Actually, I got my Driver’s License at age 17 and passed the test on the first try. So I’ve been a licensed driver for 13 years… however, I live in New York City so I almost never drive. It’s weird that there’s this major skill that other people find so easy but I find so rusty.

It was the same with biking. I never really got around to taking the training wheels off my bike as a kid. So as an adult, whenever friends of mine proposed going biking, I turned them down. Then, when I was 19 and studying abroad in Italy, there came a biking experience I couldn’t turn down. We were going to bike around the gorgeous, ancient city walls of Siena, Italy.

I seriously had no idea how to get the bike going, and my friends practically left without me. But after lots of trial and error and time, I was able to get the bike going…though I had no idea how to stop it.

“Coming through!” I screamed, “I don’t know how to brake!!!!” The confused Italians didn’t always understand what I was saying and would dart out of my path completely in fear. As I got the bike to go even faster, I sometimes screamed out “Attenzione!” which translates loosely from Italian to “watch out!”

After Siena, I didn’t attempt to bike ride again until I was 27. I whimsically rented a bike in South Beach, Miami, and painstakingly spent hours doing figure eights and teaching myself how to ride once again. I fell off the bike numerous times, cut up my legs, but actually got the hang of it by the end of the day.

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Attempt at a bike selfie in Miami

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Okay, we can actually see the bike here..

After the painstaking learning experience in Miami, I never forgot how to ride a bike again. Rumors are true…it really did come back. I started renting bikes in all the warm cities I visited for work… Miami again, then Houston, then San Diego…

San Diego biking for hours

San Diego biking… for hours. I was actually pretty good.

Today I was listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast. It’s a finance podcast, but he happened to be talking about running a marathon. He was saying how anyone can do it- if it’s a goal you really want to achieve you can just go online and grab a training schedule and follow it. Once you finish the schedule, you’ll be able to run a marathon. It’s just that simple. Other people are doing it and you can too.

I wonder how many easily achievable tasks are out there that seem impossible. It seems some “super difficult” goals are actually right within our grasp. We just have to decide that we want to achieve them.

Start right now. It’s never too late.

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