Another year older, another wiser? When I was asked a couple days ago by my coworkers what were the highlights of the past year of life, I shrugged it off like it wasn’t a very special year.
Truth is, 26 was probably the most eventful year of my life yet, but I almost forgot about it.
I got a new job.
I took very important trips.
I became an uncle.
You see, there are many facets of our lives which hold great importance – our relationships, our careers and how we spend our free time. There’s more than just those three but I have had some big movement in each of those areas this year so it is scary that I almost chalked 26 up as just another year older.
I was getting to a point in my career where the toxicity of a dysfunctional work environment was making me miserable. I dreaded going to work, found myself with little motivation and hating the work I was doing. Before I let it crush my professional aspirations, I decided it was time to leave, and so I started a new adventure back at my alma mater. I knew if I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing, that I would need to make a career change. Luckily for me, I love the work that I’m doing and the people I get to work with.
Right around the time I was making a career change, I had a family trip planned to the Outer Banks. Kicking off our trip was Hurricane Irma, but what remained for the trip was themed nights, days at the beach and quality time with great family and friends. Getting away for this trip reminded me of the importance of family and the precious time we are afforded with those we love.
This feeling was reaffirmed when I traveled to Maui to see my best friend Kayla get married. It is just as important to nurture your friendships as it is with those who are your family. Spending this time with friends in paradise was probably the greatest blessing I have had in a while. We don’t get to see each other often as we all live in different cities with very different, yet important careers. But it was nice to put the pause button on life in order to spend quality time with some of the best friends you have – friends who have been through some very life-changing experiences with you.
Then there is the importance of travel. To get out of your own bubble and to learn and explore the many parts of this world that make it incredible. Its rich diversity of culture, food, sights, sounds, colors. It is all so incredibly beautiful to see something different than what you typically do every day and these trips, not only scratched my wanderlust itch, they also allowed me great quality time with the people who matter most.
Perhaps the biggest change in my life the past year has been becoming an uncle. My friend Eileen told me you will never be able to imagine what your life was like without her in it. There has never been a truer set of words than these. Tori is about to turn a year old, yes, she is a Gemini just like her uncle! She has a personality that has left me with some of those best smiles and laughs and it is just amazing to watch her.
So in the year of 26, I have taken on a new role, a new job and traveled to new places. It has been a better year than I gave it credit for and I’m glad I was reminded by a few of my coworkers just how monumental this year has been.
Just when you think nothing that big happened, take some time for a few milestone reflections and you will see what big things have happened to you and the things you have made happen, and you will be grateful.