The other day, I was watching a talk show on Russian television. In it, they interviewed a popular rock musician. I had no idea who he was. (Apparently he’s very popular in Russia, and is known for very unconventional shows and stunts.) I was about to turn off the TV, when the discussion veered into more philosophical direction, and the talk show host asked him that if he had a chance, what age would he choose to be again (he’s 49).

He pondered for a few seconds before replying that he would’ve liked to be 32 or 33 years old again. The justification he gave is that’s the age when a man initially begins to assemble his own wisdom and understand what he really wants in life. Now, he’s a pretty successful guy. He’s a sex symbol. He’s been married four or five times. He’s got lots of female fans who’d do anything for him. He could’ve given an easy age like 25, an age where there’s no doubt he was easily swimming in pussy. But he didn’t. He gave an age he was just beginning to figure out what he really wanted. Everything before didn’t really matter.

That immediately resonated with me because that’s also the age where many disparate things have started to come together into something bigger. It’s the age where the knowledge I’ve been accumulating over the past years have gradually began crystallizing into valuable wisdom. It’s a beautiful time in a man’s life.

As I look back on my life, I remember crossing various age milestones. The first milestone was when I turned 27. 27 is that special age when you’re no longer in your carefree early/mid 20s, but still haven’t hit that big 3-0. It’s a transitional age. It’s the age when you just start to contemplate what you’re going to do once you turn 30 and beyond. Are you wasting your time? Are you going on the right track? Will you be able to achieve what you always wanted?

Next came the age I was fearful of the most: 30. But, once I turned 30 (I remember the birthday like yesterday), nothing really happened. I always thought that life radically changes on the midnight of your 30th year on the planet; that somehow being 30 was some big deal where you’ll have to rise up to new challenges and satisfy new expectations from others, that you’re no longer some young 20-something whipper snapper. What I discovered, however, is that there isn’t much of difference between being 30 and, say, 27. None at all. At that time I was living in Brazil and going out with guys who were 27 and younger. I didn’t feel old at all. 30 is still late 20s.

It’s the early 30s — 32 and 33 especially — where, I believe, a man begins to formulate certain viewpoints about life. 33 is that sweet spot where you’re no longer the kid in your late 20s or 30-31, but yet haven’t reached 35 (the midpoint to another crucial milestone, 40). Maybe it’s because the libido slows down a bit and, as a result, one shifts his focus on to other endeavors, endeavors that are more important than hooking up with a random girl in some bar or club.

For me, 33 was the first time in my life where I truly began to assemble my own picture of how the world really works. Like a huge jigsaw puzzle, The Big Picture began to slowly present itself. Like tectonic plates, my priorities began to slowly shift and align with bigger and more impactful goals.

Life begins at 33.

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James Maverick

James Maverick

James Maverick used to work in a cubicle as a code monkey in Silicon Valley. Then, in 2007, he quit his job and a one-way ticket to Brazil. Ever since, he continued to travel, visiting over 85 countries and living in more than a dozen of them. He loved his location-independent lifestyle and has no plans to live in America.
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