I spent my last days as a 24 year old making memories. Surrounded by amazing friends doing hoodrat stuff, meeting new people, trying new foods and going new places. Then it happened. I turned 25. At a rooftop bar enjoying drinks, we twerked our way into the next morning making sure to watch the clock at 11:59 so that I could remember that moment forever.
Mid rump shake, grinning from ear to ear and awaiting the plethora of birthday calls and text I went from feeling like I had all the time in the world to thinking, Shit! I’m already 30. Since then I have constantly been reflecting on milestones and checkpoints and praying that I’m doing life right.
There are different milestones we experience like learning to walk, to read and pee in a public restroom while squatting. No matter how small the milestone may be we are always proud to have made it. Along the way of these milestones we set different checkpoints for ourselves. These are times we want to have accomplished those milestones in our lives. For example some people hope to graduate college at 22, obtain their Master’s by 24 and get married by 26. Travel to 6 new countries with their spouse and then start a family at 28.
Once we reach those specific points in our lives we are constantly checking to see if we are on track making it over the milestones we have set for ourselves. When we are headed on our journey smoothly we want everybody to know. But in those moments where life isn’t quite working out and we are standing at a checkpoint with no milestone in sight we feel defeated. It becomes easy to feel like we are failing at life because we have put pressure on ourselves to create these imaginary timelines of when and how life should be lived. All so other people can think, “Damn they got their shit together!”
I have no shame in admitting that I set checkpoints for myself and 25 was on the list. With so many of my peers sharing their bomb ass lives and milestones like getting married, buying houses and taking extensive trips out the country I look at my life as a 25 year old mama and try to figure out what I have to show for being on this Earth for quarter of a century.
If you are an Unapologetic Warrior and you aren’t where you want to be in your life remind yourself that it isn’t too late. It doesn’t matter if you are 25, 38, 76 or 85. What I have been trying to get myself to understand is that milestones and checkpoints don’t determine my worth. It would be awesome to have all the things I wanted by 25. But, the reality is that things don’t always happen in the ways you want them to.
It’s up to me to continue to work towards those milestones without the limitations and constraints of checkpoints. Don’t get me wrong, when you have a goal in mind it’s a good idea to be able to measure when it can be tackled but also understand that because the program is always subject to change there has to be room for adjustments.