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Sean Schmidt: What It Means To Be 30…

30 years around the sun. 30 years of celebrating the joy of consciousness. 

For the past 6 months every time I mentioned turning 30 to anyone, it was always met with the same reactions, “oh are you ready,” “welcome to the club, this is a big one” and so forth. 

And I get it, it’s a big milestone in anyone’s life. You have officially been on earth for three decades, and in American culture, 30 is seen as a passing into a new stage of “adulthood.” 

For some 30 means it’s time to settle down finally, and for others, it’s just another step in figuring out what the hell we’re doing in life. There is no right or wrong answer, and we should never feel like were boxed in to make decisions. 

I will say that my 20’s have been a crazy mix of emotions: sadness, joy, frustration, clarity, empathy, humbleness, realization, happiness, and so much more.

Defining Your 20s

In my mind, my 20s are defined by two distinct sections, 20-24 years old, and 26-29 years old. The first four years were such an amazing time to discover me.

It was my last few years of college, my first real experiences with traveling on my own, a general idea of what I wanted to do with my life professionally, and then finally the start of my post-secondary school life.

It was also a time to really party. I experimented with drugs for the first time, drank shots heavily, dated around, traveled to festivals, stayed out all night, and celebrated new freedoms. There was still an innocence left to me, that I will always remember.

The Magic of 25

The magic year of 25 will always be one of my favorites. It was in this year that I decided I wanted my own business, and it was right around the time I discovered my love for electronic music. This new love and a new sense of creativeness and entrepreneurship really started to blossom in 2015.

Out of that love came River Beats. Still to this day, I wonder what the hell I was doing when I first launched this company. It is so funny who leaves lasting imprints on your life decisions. For example, a solo trip to Chicago that featured a random Uber ride during November 2015, is stuck in the forefront of my memory.

That ride and trip, in a nutshell, went something like this: “Well, why haven’t you started the company yet? There are 7 billion people on this planet, and you think your idea is unique? Time to get it live if you ever want it to succeed” – This is a terrible paraphrase, but you get the picture.

My late father was a catalyst in River Beats’ start, and I will always remember our conversation when I told him I wanted to start a business. His confidence in me motivated me even more, and his advice on taking on a loan to get started real propelled me forward.

I mentioned taking out a 2,000 personal loan to get started, and he looked me dead in the face and said “what the fuck is $2,000 gonna get you?” That was him telling his 25-year-old son with no business background to go for it. It is always good to have a dreamer and a devil’s advocate in your corner.

Five years later and we are still here, a young start-up still looking to establish its place on a global scale, but where we started and where we are today will always be one of my favorite accomplishments.

A Four Year Plan: 26-29

The last half of my 20s have been defined by what I would call the realization of life. As time continues on, I’ve realized material things don’t matter, and living in the moment and enjoying family and good friends is what life should be about.

I experienced real pain and loss for the first time throughout these years. My beloved grandfather and my father both tragically passed within three months of each other in late 2017 and early 2018. I lost friends to drugs, while others slowly drifted away with time and space.

While that pain has been so dramatic in my last few years, I’ve tried to keep it from defining me. When you look back on your years as a teen, or throughout college, you realize why it was so enjoyable: Life really hasn’t hit you…yet.

And although that stage of life is over, it means you need to prioritize what is important to you: Family, your significant others, travels, friends, and your professional career become your main points of interest.

The Chance to Level Up

So ultimately what does 30 mean to me? A good friend texted me on my birthday and said welcome to the club, this is your chance to “level up,” and that notion stuck with me. For me, the 30s are the time to really define what my middle adulthood and late adulthood will look like.

It’s not a time to mourn my 20s, but rather a time to celebrate the growth I endured through both pain and joy. If you think about it, its silly that as 18-22-year-olds we are tasked with figuring out “who we are,” without really experiencing the world.

I see my 30s as eventually being two distinct sections just like my 20s. The difference is, the story is yet to be written. Here is a list of things I am most looking forward to enjoying over the next few years

  • Continuing to develop and grow River Beats into a global multimedia company.
  • Advancing the mission of my family’s long-standing business, Ecole Classique.
  • Continuing to help individuals grow through my coaching efforts at Crossfit and my baseball teams
  • Living in the moment with my entire family
  • Traveling to new and far places to continue to grow my horizons of the world
  • Loving on my wonderful girlfriend
  • Taking care of my mental health and advocating for my friends mental well being
  • Learning new things and allowing constructive criticism to help develop me as a person and a professional
  • Continuing to “level up” both personally and professionally

In conclusion, my 20s will always be something I look back on with joy. The number of new friendships and the amazing memories I created with loved ones will always be my favorite part. Whether those relationships fade away or continue to foster into larger aspects of life doesn’t actually matter.

Cheers to being finally “apart of the club,” that is, until the club moves into their 40s….😃

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Life Coach, Teacher, Baseball coach, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Dreamer, Nola Shipfam..all of the above.

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