Being on 7 different planes in a week will give you some time to think (especially when you are dumb and forgot reading material on the last one).
Fortunately, I had a lot of This American Life to listen to, including a fascinating one about people who have survived near death experiences. This led me to think about life milestones. A few random ones from my very short quarter century on earth:
I say it a lot, but I know I’m a very lucky girl.
I noted in both “on 24” and “on 25” that I felt like I needed to slow down. In some way, I do still think that’s true— I still cannot believe I’ve been on island for 6 months. It honestly seems like only yesterday I decided to come out here. I wish there were some way I could slow time and grasp my life here a little more. That said, I have no idea how to do that.
What I do know is that I finally feel like I’ve started to get a good grip on what I want to do with my life. The “on the cusp” feeling I felt for most of 24 is starting to fade, and I’ve finally started to get a very high-level, broad sense of what I think I’m good at, and where I want to go. That leads me to my charge for 25:
Find the courage of your convictions.
I’ve often felt like I had a hard time taking a true stand or speaking out about things I felt strongly about. I used to constantly crave context or try to see a story from all sides and not make a strong judgement call. I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers, and hated causing controversy about things. Mostly, I like making people happy. Being in a support role, I think that’s a good quality to have and hold on to.
That said, I think I’m finally starting to feel at ease making a few ripples in the water when I think it’s necessary. More and more, the summits and reflections and discussions I’ve had on the work I’ve entered have led me to realize that to truly be a leader, I need to start self-advocating a little more. No, I don’t think I know everything about… anything. Still, the very few topics I know a little something about? It’s time to start boldly sharing, collaborating, and trying to make change.
So, that’s 25. Let’s do this thing.