The other day, I heard an analogy about different phases of life being like television seasons. There are new characters, new storylines, even twists and hardships that will ultimately be good for the plot. For me personally, this is more true than ever. Things feel different. Life is slowly getting back to normal in the wake of a devastating pandemic. I am getting closer to actually starting my career, the rest of my life. It’s sort of a weird, in-between space.
One of my best friends turns 21-years-old this weekend. This is my third year knowing and loving her. Through college, I’ve gotten to watch her grow from a crazy 18-year-old girl into her own; the confident, gracious woman that she is today. Freshman-year roommates can work out, here I am to tell the tale.
Birthdays tend to be a time of reminiscing and reflecting. I jokingly asked my friend if she felt any different as started her next trip around the sun. I expected her to laugh at me, but instead, she told me that she actually does. We all know that 21 is a big birthday for the obvious reasons. However, what she described was more. She feels more mature and more empowered like there are new opportunities (not just bars). Her philosophy was all about your personal new year. Our society tends to use New Year’s like the only time to start new habits and rituals for personal growth. My friend’s perspective examines individual growth, and how we personally change from year to year. April to April, May to May. I like this way of thinking because it’s kind of like a second chance. I think that there are always such high expectations for upholding things like New Year’s resolutions, which always end up falling through. Every person is so different as an individual; making different progress and requiring a different pace.
This brings me back to the season analogy. It’s easy to feel stuck in a rut at this time of the year (trust me, it will be a miracle if I make it out of this semester alive). However, it does help to remember that all of the hard things are ultimately a part of your journey. Character development, if you will.