Milestones. What would you say your last one was? Was it personal? Work? Family?
Sometimes you see them coming, you work towards them. And others sneak up on you seemingly out of nowhere with a funny way of making you pause and reflect. Either way, they are a line in the sand with a before and after.
If I was to speak about a personal milestone, I think people would expect me to say turning 30. But really it was the few years leading up to it. The day and the number just marked the beginning of a new decade; the milestone was the growth that led up to it.
It was a great day, the belated celebration the following month as well. But there was more to this birthday than the typical ‘here we go, another decade…’ kind of thing. The funny thing about milestones is that they’re not always pretty, not always marked with a party and a celebration, sometimes they’re marked with tears and growth- growing pains. And sometimes you don’t even realize you’ve come through one until you stop and look back at where you’ve come from. I think that sums up the lead up to 30 for me.
Turning 30 didn’t come as a surprise by any means, but some of the things that I was processing in my late 20s were definitely unexpected. The number 30 in a lot of ways has no bearing on any of that, but then I think about where I was this time 10 years ago when I turned 20… It’s when I look back on that person that I see how far I’ve come and how 30 is a milestone for me, even if I told myself it was NBD. But it isn’t really because of the number or the age, it’s the transformation that came that for me is the true milestone.
Sure, I celebrated my 30th with some of my nearest and dearest, but I also woke up on the morning of my birthday and the day after, and the day after not really feeling any different. 30 whoop whoop… But something I really noticed about this birthday in particular was a looking back and a looking forward. I took stock of the past, all of the versions of ‘me’ I have been for the past decade- I entered and left this one as an adult- then looked forward to the decade ahead, of the person I hope to continue to become.
I’m not the same person I was then, or the different versions that came between then and now. I’m all of them, a sum of all the parts. I’m here because of where I came from, just as I’ll be somewhere in the future, reach another goal, because of where I am now. I’m not sure what the next milestone will be but I’m excited for what lies ahead. Milestones, in whatever form they take, always seem to leave us changed, if even only a little. We grow, we celebrate, we move forward. Whatever your next one may be, I hope you celebrate everything that led up to it, even if there was more blood, sweat, and tears than confetti and party hats. Even the hard times deserve celebration in their own way. Here’s to the next milestone and the one after that. And the one after that. May they be a part of an amazing- if not crazy- journey. <3
Shoes- My own