It’s one degree out but the sun is shining and the air is crisp. I’m riding my bike on the West Side Highway going north towards the George Washington Bridge, to one of my favorite spots in NYC: right after the underpass of the bridge, up a steep heel, there’s an opening on the left hand side with a view of the bridge, the river, the trees, the skyline, filled with only the sound of silence. I listen to Roar by Katy Perry as I ride. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love this song.
This is the first bike ride of my thirties. Everything I did yesterday, I did for the last time in my twenties, and everything I do today, I’m doing for the first time in my thirties. Ten years ago I turned twenty. I had just come back from Boston where I visited my very first girlfriend and we had broken up. I had spent six months in the Navy Seals at that point but was dropped a crew, so I had four months to spend at home. I had all of the army and training in front of me. A lot of fears and unknown. For my birthday we went to see Mystic River.
I look back at the last decade, I look back at my twenties, and these are the things I think about: I finished training and became a Navy Seal. I fought in a war. I wrote a book. I fell in love twice and was loved back. I traveled 30,000 kilometers for ten months in a 4×4 with a rooftop tent all around Australia; I took 17,000 pictures. I went to Rome. I went to London. I went to Cannes, Zurich, Arosa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya. I went to Florida, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Austin. I moved to New York. I made short films in Israel. I made short films in New York. Those who were my best friends when I was 20 are still my best friends. I’ve made new friends along the way. I completed a year of film school. I took the SATs and wrote essays and was accepted to NYU. I began studying at NYU. I taught Krav Maga. I saw 700 movies in the movie theater. I had a short film in festivals. I produced a movie. I spent a summer shadowing my dad. I did a road trip with my mom. I celebrated with my family and friends through birthdays, weddings, holidays, births. I saw an amazing addition to our family. I had birthday chicken wings and Dr. Pepper twenty times with my best friend. I started a production company. I grew my hair.
I ride hard. I can’t help but smile. I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m genuinely happy. Life is beautiful. I have love for the people in my life. I have friends and family I would lay my life down for. I am extremely fortunate; a fact I don’t take for granted. Turning thirty is an amazing feeling.
The next time I write a reflection of a decade, I’ll be forty years old. Everything I do from this day to that will dictate what I’ll write ten years from today. This decade starts now.