Although every day is a good one to reflect (for a short time), New Years and birthdays are milestones that naturally lend themselves to such introspection and analysis.
In one week, I will make the unnoticeable shift from 22 to 23. (And to be honest, it will probably pass largely unremarkably. Due to the craziness that will ensue the next four weeks as packing goes down in a big way, I can’t take any extra time off. I have an idea or two, but we’ll see how they evolve.)
I am still young enough to look forward to adding another tick mark to my age. To announce “twenty-three” when people occasionally ask my age excites me. While 22 still bears the vestiges 21’s associated immaturity, 23 describes an individual solidly into her twenties. Of course, age is still quite relative and varies based on experience. The other day I caught myself saying I would do something if I were at a museum with friends instead of adults…as if I’m not an adult? Sometimes it seems like I can’t quite decide.
Or at least adulthood comes along unsuspectingly. From my perspective, life just keeps chugging along and while I can distinguish different levels of maturity and growth, the changes largely happen unobtrusively. Even the world around us changes gradually, even if in retrospective the milestones are distinct. I was looking back to see any old blogs about my birthday and was amazed and amused to realize that five years ago Hulu didn’t exist, and when I went off to freshman year of college without the benefit of TV in my room, I was planning to rely on my parents to tape it for me.
As I contemplate how often and drastically my perceptions and goals change, I wonder if the completion of a “bucket list” I started in June is even possible. A few weeks ago, I decided I should complete it and post it come my birthday. And I think I will still post it, but not as a completed document. It will evolve; items will be crossed off, and I will allow myself to change my mind. While steadfastness is an admirable trait worth emulating, it’s also imperative to realize that people do change. And perhaps it will be interesting (to me, at least) to see how my list of life goals develops over the years.