One year at a time

When I was 23 I picked up a book on the bargain rack in Barnes and Noble and flipped through it. It had various lists and pieces of advice. On each page it listed every year of your life and gave one piece of advice for that year. 22: Graduate from College. I was a year behind, but not bad. 24: Waste this year. Ok, already caught up. (I don’t remember the real order, but i think this may have been the book.)

I flipped to 25 and it read, “Change the world.” It seemed a tall order for a 20-something, but then it listed all the amazing people who had changed the world at 25. (Granted most of them didn’t live to be older than 40.) The list made me feel a little guilty, but more than that, the book as a whole (joke that it was) reinforced the idea that each year of my life had the potential to be hugely significant, even if I stayed in the same job, or same town, or same school; each year could mean something.

I’ve spent  the second half of my twenties thinking about 20-somethings, talking about 20-somethings, working with and for 20-somethings and falling more and more deeply in love with the possibility of this decade. It’s not magic, it’s not the center of a life, but the 20s are significant, hugely significant, and how we spend them defines us in powerful ways.

So for folks trying to make the most of each year starting with a two, this is a good little photo article with some advice that I would give if I were the kind of person who gives advice. 

I guess, in summation, you don’t have to change the world, but you should always be letting the world change you, one year at a time. So, here‘s to thirty and who we’ve become.


One response to “One year at a time

  1. What you wrote made me think about my own journey in my profession- occupational therapy. When I first started out, I was simply content of passing all the necessary requirements, finding a steady job, and having relatively smooth sailings for my career. Little did I know, however, I was in for a roller coaster ride. While I have accomplished a lot in the field, I also had a lot of setbacks.

    Towards the end of my student stage in occupational therapy, I began to realize that my setbacks are actually great gifts for a role that God has planned for me- being mentors in professional development for others who will be occupational therapy students. While my accomplishments have garnered respect for the students I am mentoring, my setbacks actually allowed me to relate to a diverse range of occupational therapy students.

    I personally would say what I have experienced over the last 4+ years has changed me- one experience at a time. Some of these have impacted my approach to treat my clients. Some of these have impacted my approach to mentoring OT students. One thing I do come to appreciate God for- there might have been a lot of twists and turns in my life during this time, but I am thankful for God providing me what I need to get through during my hard times… as well as providing me with things that I might not have wanted at the time, but actually beneficial for my career.

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