On Turning 30: It’s The People You Spend That Time With

It’s funny.

I started writing this long post about turning 30. I talked about the Philly Geek Awards this year, the new book and signing with a literary agent, publishing an essay that will probably be the most famous thing I’ll ever write, all the traveling I did and the new people I met… and I stopped.

Because as I prattled and rambled… it just didn’t seem like enough. I was overwhelmed with the need to mention this friend or family member or coworker.

Suddenly the highlights I wanted to talk about had nothing to do with writing, travel, work… it had to do with simpler, but just as meaningful, things. Springtime picnics in the park and flea markets in the Fall. High fives with my nephew and boozy backyard BBQs with my closest friends. Epic paintball battles and quiet evenings writing in coffee shops.

And it hit me.

What really made me happy this year, and what generally makes me happy all the time, is sharing moments with the people I adore. So really, if I have to sum up the final year of my 20′s, I can do that with photos. Of them. Of you.

I flipped through my Facebook photos and Instagram (which are generally the same thing, I know, shut up Mikey), and found my favorite pictures and moments. This of course isn’t to say there weren’t more. This year was full of so many lovely days. But these are the best photos. So here they are, the happiest, and sometimes simplest, moments of age 29.

Thanks everyone. Without you, the journey is pointless. Bring it on, 30.

Springtime rummage sales and farmers markets.

Paintballing in Maryland, “research” for my book.

Sunglasses and Summer.

The Legend of Zelda Symphony.

Beers and BBQ, arguments over hipster clothing attire.

Walks through Rittenhouse with a small gentleman.

Birthday celebrations at Tattooed Mom

Fall walks to writer’s group.


One of my favorite married couples on a Spring day.

A sea turtle waves hi to my Mom.


Meeting heroes.

Basement writing group meetings.

Nervous laughter and smiles.

VICTORIOUS laughter and smiles.

A surprised baby in my house.

Sidewalk chillin’.

Rock climbing with awesome coworkers.

Little moments of wonder.


First dates.

Storytelling and firepits in Kensington

Surprise visits.

A first communion.

Building video games at Shake Shack

More boats.

Friends visiting strictly for coffee.

Backyard armor building

Rooftop glam.

Bike rides to buy Magic cards.

Friends and found kittens.

A first reading.

Northern Liberties BBQs.

Parties with these guys.

Daytime 4th of July traditions.

Annual 4th of July picnics with a plethora of friends.

Battling blogs in Foursquare.

Smug faces despite epic losses.

Rooftop drinks in the Spring.

Late nights at Cosi writing.

Meeting new babies.

Game of Thrones and themed dinners.

Early writing group meetings.

Paper boats for a special birthday.

Visits from best friends.

Fancy evenings at Cook.

Dinners on boats, just cause.

Climbing mountains cause we could.

Walks with this vixen through Old City.

A talented friend’s art show.

Surprise flowers in the park.


Trips to NJ to eat fancy food and make silly faces.

A pie eating contest in Northern Liberties.

Marshmallow roasting in Point Breeze.

Being in awe that this woman loves me.

Watching a childhood friend get married.

Afternoons writing in Shake Shack.

Podcasts in bars.

Late night blog writing

And endless more events and evenings that weren’t photographed. It’s been a good last year of my 20′s. Thanks everyone.


Pete Schuster

Happy birthday bud! I still have 5 more years till my time strikes 30… not to brag or anything…


Oh, you youngins. GET OFF MY LAWN. <3


I believe I made this strictly on my choice of shirt.


This was delightful and heartwarming :) You’ve got a good thing going, Mr. Smith!


I was not in a single picture that made this list. This means 2 things: 1. your list sucks 2. we need more Helen & Eric Smith fun time outings. This will be our new years resolution and we will begin working on it in Las Vegas. You’re welcome.


We will definitely fix this post-Vegas. If we don’t die.

Dr. Rudolph Masciantonio

Great pics, Eric! Thank you for posting them . And Happy Birthday!

Polly Math

We clearly spend way too much time together <3


missed this one.


chris wink

<3 congrats on being happy.. that says plenty :-)

Also, obviously that communion photo is the best. too wonderful.

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