I still can’t believe that I turned 25 yesterday. The notion that I’m a quarter-century old is still leaving me reeling, but it’s not from being afraid or blind-sided. More like astounded. 10 years ago, I thought that I wouldn’t survive to my 20th birthday; 5 years before that, I didn’t think I’d make it to my 25th. Yet, here I am, having celebrated my 25th birthday and feeling just a little bit wiser for all the time spent and the miles traveled, and I’ve found that over time my fear has waned while my enthusiasm and my strength has grown.
I’m more excited than ever about the prospects of the future, despite all of the negative things happening in the world. While true that America is slowly spending itself off a cliff, that Israel and Palestine are edging closer toward a conflict that may spill into the rest of the Middle East, and that China, Russia, and India are all encountering their own social, political, and environmental problems… I am personally unaffected. None of it impacts who I am as a person, what my desires and dreams are, or what I can do with my life. I’m finally at a place in my life to where I am comfortable with the idea of putting money away for a few years and taking my time to travel and see more of the world that I live in. I’m much less afraid of failing in front of other people and much more interested in taking both intellectual risks as well as some physical risks in order to advance and to grow.
Beyond the bounds of the familiar and the comfortable; that is where you must go. That is where the magic happens. — Unknown
Metaphorically-speaking, I feel like I’m standing on a new horizon. I’m able to see quite a ways into the distance, and I see a great number of possible paths I might take and I notice that they are not as distinct or disconnected as they initially appeared from afar. Many of them cross-over and inter-connect in many different places, some of them run parallel to each other, and others still look as if they twist and turn like a contortionist. The best part about being able to see all of this is the fact that it doesn’t bother me in the least. I am happy to able to perceive these things, and I am unafraid in the knowledge that no matter what happens, I will either try it and fail with the grace that I am able to allow myself, or I will succeed and enjoy it thoroughly.
I suppose that’s what maturing really means: accepting your faults and foibles and being able to see past them and take that risk anyway. It’s being afraid of the water and jumping-in head-first in spite of the fear. Beyond comfort and familiarity is the place where the truly great stuff happens.