I have a birthday this week, and 32 is a pretty cool age to be. I absolutely love it. I have a stronger understanding of what really matters, while certain lifestyle changes have taken effect and priorities have evolved. Most of these developments were in-process over the last few years and have simply become more entrenched, while others are newly blossoming areas that add to my personal growth.
Here’s just 4 of those attributes:
1) I’m more introspective than I’ve ever been.
Excluding my close friends, a common misperception that other people have of me is that I’m the uber-extravert who is always out and about, multitasking, hosting events, constantly mingling, around large groups of people, and always seeking external stimulation. I don’t blame them for thinking this since I’ve spent many years in the “fast lane” and that’s what folks tend to see on social media or what I usually share in public conversations. However, according to Eysenck’s Personality Test I have a 67% level of Extraversion. This means that I certainly lean toward the social settings, but the other 1/3 of my personality focuses on mental energy and is okay with solitary activities.
An old friend of mine commented on my last blog, “It’s super interesting to watch you grow into a more reflective dude. You’ve always been smart, driven, and articulate. Now there are new layers showing and it’s very cool to see.”
He’s absolutely right. I’ve always been one to get lost in my thoughts, and I’ve had a decent ability to analyze my own mental and emotional state. However, the last several months I’ve become even stronger at it. Recently deciding to live by myself is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, and has catapulted my ability to break away from the noise and experience a greater internal focus. So even though I receive a lot of energy through active involvement with others, I really value the alone time I have now.
With fewer distractions, I find enjoyment in setting aside time to regularly read books, writing these blogs, and going for a run or walk through the streets of DC. I’m happy going to the movies on a whim, wandering through museums, shooting hoops by myself, and simply laying and listening to music indefinitely. I’ve always been an active traveler (most times going solo on international trips) and I plan on continuing this lifestyle for as long as I can.
All in all, while I’ve always been (and always will be) adept at engaging others and being entertained in a group, I’ve always had (and always will have) the desire to “go off the grid”, reflect on my life, and enjoy the simple beauties and intricacies that surround me. The only difference is that now, I fully embrace.
2) I value my personal health more than ever.
As illustrated in my last blog, I’ve witnessed quite a bit of family members experience health issues. I want to avoid this as best as I can. At the age of 27 is when I recalibrated my lifestyle toward healthy eating, exercising regularly, and improving my overall personal and mental health and well-being. Nowadays I’m more disciplined and focused on it than I’ve ever been.
To give you a breakdown of my days: During the week, my diet is healthier than 95% of the world. I eat a very clean, well balanced, high-protein diet and I drink 100+ ounces of water per day paired with a shot of apple cider vinegar and multivitamins. I avoid all forms of caffeine, all dairy (with the exception of eggs), and anything with added sugar. I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had fast food – it would wreck my digestive system now anyway. And, I virtually never drink alcohol during the week but will rarely do a happy hour every once in a blue moon.
Physically, I walk everywhere within 1 mile (sometimes farther) – the beauty of living in the city – and I make it to the gym about 3 days per week. Some weeks I reach 4 or 5 days. I also play basketball or go for a run to mix it up; and every once in a while I toss in a yoga or fitness class. If I don’t stay active, then I will start to feel like a blob and have to get off my ass. I’m glad I’m wired this way, and it keeps me sharp in the other areas of my life.
My vices kick in whenever I have free time to be out with friends on the weekend. I have to live a little and experience the great restaurants and energy that DC has to offer. And when you have friends who also enjoy being out in the city and feasting on various cuisines, that’s just the way it goes. However, I still tend to stay within pseudo-healthy parameters.
My friends and I have a tendency to get carried away with drinking while enjoying each other’s company; but even then, I balance it out with 1 glass of water per drink. Recently, I have been mindful of cutting off any drinking past midnight (or even staying out past midnight most of the time). The key is to actually be enjoying the moment and to personally be engaging, all while avoiding getting sloppy and losing composure. I’ve certainly mastered this.
Clearly, I’m by no means a health freak. But I’ve managed to be in great shape at 32 by prioritizing it. It has paid dividends. And I most certainly intend on staying this way…while also enjoying the fruits of life.
3) I have purposely slowed my life down.
I made it a goal a few months ago to take a step back and create a simpler, easier life for myself. I spent the last several years with a go-go-go mentality, and occasionally suffered from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I was always trying to be better, increase responsibilities, climb the ladder, accomplish goals, make things happen, and establish a better future for myself…all while maintaining an active social life.
Sure, I’ve had the capacity to do it all and still could. But I learned that this was at the expense of other areas in my life. I put less energy into relationships than I should have, I grew 1,000 new gray hairs, and I was struggling to keep myself (and my mind) from being pulled in a million different directions. I knew this wasn’t sustainable in the long run, and I knew I needed to slow down. This was the only way I was going to be able to experience optimal growth.
In the last few months I’ve divested myself from a few things – including my stake in a restaurant, my ownership of a beach rental, and living in my DC house with roommates. Additionally, I’ve ended my 7-year run as the President of Metro Event Specialists, and even removed myself from personally doing “day-of” wedding duties with Troyal Events (I capped it at just 5 weekends this year). Let me tell you something, it feels incredible! It actually blows my mind to realize just how many things I had going on the last few years, and I rarely bothered to flinch.
Now I have more time than ever to really focus on the important people in my life, my personal health, and simply digesting the world around me. My vision has never been clearer, and my mind has never felt more relaxed. This has really enhanced the first attribute on this list. Definitely.
4) I don’t waste my time chasing women.
Thanks to my Mom and Dad I’ve been blessed with great genes, and I’m well aware of what that translates to in the modern day, hookup culture we live in. However, I don’t spend a great deal of time hunting after chicks; it’s a minor form of entertainment for me nowadays. Additionally, when I’m out with my core group of friends, we tend to naturally draw female attention. It’s just the way we are. We bring a certain social dynamic, diversity, and energy to the table.
With all of that being said, finding women to have sex with nowadays is the easy part. Actually feeling connected to one is the challenge. I’m at a stage now in life where quality matters more to me than quantity; whether it’s a one-night stand, a seasonal fling, or something more. I’m very adept at reading people quickly, and if I don’t sense a strong connection or chemistry within the first few seconds then I’m usually tuning out that very instant.
While I love all types of women, the majority of them actually bore the shit out of me (sorry ladies!). I have zero hesitation ending dates within 15 minutes, I have no qualms with ghosting, and I fall victim to zoning out during many conversations. In the virtual world, the dating apps generally hold my attention for about 2 minutes and then I move on to my daily life. Needless to say, I don’t spend a lot of my time just going on a date for the hell of it. I have to sense chemistry or potential there. Then again, when you’re a guy that would probably be fine never being married or having children, maybe I just have a harder time with this. Any Life Partners out there?
Lastly, I also don’t believe in leading women on. If I feel like a connection is waning, then I’ll let her know. On the flip side, if a connection is there but she’s been hesitant or seemingly needs me to push her to the next level, then I will usually ask to see her one more time and let that experience decide the outcome. If I never receive that opportunity, then chances are she’s not in a place where she knows what she wants right now anyway. I’m not chasing after it. As one of my old friends used to say, “A tale as old as time.”
…or maybe just 32 years old 🙂