On Turning 30

Another year older today.

Big, consequential birthdays call for some introspection and retrospection. The last ten year have been eventful, a series of ups and downs. Times have changed, and so have I. It’s hard to believe I’m still here. How did I get to 30? Some of you probably didn’t think I’d make it this far, and I don’t blame you for holding that belief. And to those who’ve joined me along the way, I thank you.

I look in the mirror and see myself, perhaps, as 25 or 26. I think back on myself as 23, and I know that my judgement and temperament (in relative terms) has matured over time. On the other hand, I like to party, to have fun, and my energy level is relatively robust. I like to think I look a bit young, too. I’ll credit my voracious consumption of spinach. Frankly, when I speak with someone 29/30 years old, I need to remind myself that I’m the same age as him or her.

Looking back to 2007, right before the financial crisis, I was a very ambitious and aggressive cutlery salesman. Perhaps my professional life peaked when, at a knife sales conference in St. Louis, other knife people wanted my autograph and to take a picture with me. (Yes, that happened). Thereafter, I lived in Israel for a year, including a formative six months on a kibbutz. I lived in New Orleans, went to Mardi Gras twice, graduated law school, began working in real estate, and accumulated some funny and memorable stories along the way.

Perhaps historical evidence would provide that I’m a man of extremes; there’s been periods of time where I’ve studied and worked very hard, and there’s been stretches in which I’ve partied really hard. Financial and professional success are important to me, but, at present, perhaps what’s atop my priority list is to make good memories, to laugh, to experience “fun” things, and to enjoy my fleeting youth. There’s a tendency to get caught up in the pursuit of money, which is OK, but I’m also aware that time is not unlimited. Sometimes it’s worth doing something for the sole purpose of an intangible benefit — for humor, fun, or for the story.

Okayyyyy. Thanks. Onwards.

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