Yesterday I celebrated my 28th birthday! Turning 28 is not seen as a pivotal birthday such as 16- because your ‘sweet’; 18- because your ‘legal’ ; and 21- because ‘all rights and privileges’ of adulthood are officially conferred upon you. However, turning 28 is, and was a major milestone; because it marks the countdown to the big 3-0.
During the final hours of my birthday my mind beginning to wonder back to previous internal monologues and soliloquies in the living room during the stale early morning hours.
Soliloquies and internal discussions in which I determined that I have to make it by 30.
Internal diatribes and out loud realizations that led me to proclaim by 30 I must—I will-– make it and that led my mind to quickly begin to bombard my chest with questions causing me to feel as if the walls were closing in around me.
What exactly does it mean to make it ?
What exactly is the destination to which I have determined I must arrive?
How will I get it there?
Do I have it in me to make the journey?
What is the it that I need to have in order to make the journey?
With the recognition of every question came another question. Few answers were made known but more questions arose….And within in instance, I was capitulated by fear…frozen…and it all boiled down to one essential question ” what will the next 28 years of my life look like? and how will I get there?” (Ok, so that is two essential questions!)
After a semi-brief panic attack and moment of paralyzing fear, I stilled my mind and brought focus to the fact that over the past 28 years, I have achieved a number of accomplishments, triumphant successes, and survival frets. Some shared by most humans and others unique to my life’s journey.
From learning to walk to learning to read.
From being the first person in my immediate family to earn not only a bachelor’s degree but a master’s and then a law degree.
From being entranced and in love with policy and politics to having the privilege to work in local government and help my community achieve long sort after policy goals.
No matter how small or great the fret, the thought of past successes only stand as a testament of the power of continued effort and determination. In this moment, and during the final hours of my birthday, it is when I realized rule# 7: make the pain worth it.
Life will continue to dole out your fair share, and sometimes seemingly unjustified-unfair share, of struggle, burdens, and failures. These struggles, burdens, and failures can leave you at a loss of words and at times at a loss of direction. However, take solace in the victories you have achieved, the skills you do have, the knowledge you do know, the connections you have made, and the fact that nothing is irrevocable except the willing capitulation to the status quo!
In short, keep going, keep striving, and make the pain worth it!
Follow me on twitter @AoAMillennial.