I looked at the words and considered what they meant. I guessed I was a big girl.
The milestones only continued from there.
Thirteen years old marked the beginning of my teenage years. At 16, I received my drivers license, and at 18 I legally become an adult. I exited my teenage years at 20, could legally drink at 21 and turned a quarter century at 25.
I used to believe my youth would end at 30.
I have watched my parents jump “over the hill” at 40 and blow out candles at their golden years of 50.
These age milestones seem to continue from birth until death. And, for better or worse, we expect these milestone years to be the big years of our lives.
As I spoke with my friend about this a few nights ago, she agreed. But, this question remained: what about the time in between?
She added, “We’re not trained for life between the milestones.”
This week, I sit on the horizon of my twenty-ninth birthday and cannot help but reflect back on the journey of my twenties. It has been a wild ride full of travel, flourishing friendships, failed relationships, confusion, excitement, happiness, restlessness and peace. I have asked countless questions.
I still don’t have all the answers, but I have made more sense of this chaotic decade than when I started blogging about it four years ago.
All my moves have helped me better understand the type of city I want to live in long-term. I now know what kind of job leaves me fulfilled and what happens to my sanity while working a job that doesn’t.
I have come closer to understanding what I want in relationships – with friends, partners and food.
The fact that I can declare any “adult” decision with certainty, realize that I have found answers to year-long questions, have reached destinations I did not know existed…these, to me, are the bigger milestones of life.
Many of these realizations have come to me at the lost year of 28, while I question my place at 29. I have reached many milestones in my forgotten years.
So, maybe we’re not supposed to receive training for the times between our age milestones. After all, what would then happen to the concept of ladybugs? These tiny, free-spirited insects remind us to loosen our grips on those areas of life we cannot control, and to trust that tough situations always work out in the end.
Trust, patience and letting go are all values we cannot learn through verbal training. These are values we must learn on our journeys.
Here’s to the last year of my twenties – to the complicated ride, the answers I have taken years to find, and the ladybugs that continue reminding me to let go of those questions I cannot immediately answer.
Here’s to living another year by ladybugs.