This site contains the archives of my travel blogs from 2010-2016.

I'm now blogging via Medium. For other life updates, including opportunities or requests to collaborate, visit my personal website.




Thursday, November 06, 2014

Marking One Quarter of a Century

My 25th birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks.  I never wrote down specific goals or even thought about what I would have hoped to do or experience or accomplish during my first 25 years on planet Earth, but looking back, I can say that I'm quite content with the journey thus far.

Many people, in their mind's eye, stop growing older after a certain age.  The years pass by, but their identity is frozen in time; they continue to perceive themselves as that one ultimate age.  My mom always thinks of herself as a 24-year-old.  It seems to have worked well for her because now, at almost double that, she can still pass for 30.   As a kid, I always wanted to be 17.   It seemed magical in my imagination, and I truly felt invincible as I lived that year out in Belgium, Bosnia, the US, Australia, and China.  In fact, that year went so well, I didn't easily move on.  I've continued to think of myself as a 17-year-old out exploring the big, wide world.  Until now.

Twenty-five is a big marker in my mind.  One quarter century.  I want to do something extraordinary to kick off this year, so I begin to scheme, with 12 days left to come up with a proper celebratory plan.

Meanwhile, my past few weeks haven't been the easiest: Full of philosophical brooding, a lot of questions for myself, a bit of self-doubt at times.  I've been waking up wondering: Is anything I do today really going to make a difference in the world?  It's a daily cycle:  Questions, Temporary Depression, Long Walk, Prayer, Praise, Encouragement, Meaningfulness, Enthusiasm for the day ahead, Excitement for my present work.   At first it took a full day to come around to a place of peace, but has become progressively shorter.  As I found the rhythm, wrote out the script that I need to read every morning, the process has been reduced to something I think about over my morning tea.  I've found solace in the small opportunities to make a difference, like listening to friends and encouraging them as they go through their own transitions; helping my brother and new sister-in-law organize their new home.

I know many, many of you, my dear readers, are much more mature in years, wisdom, and experience than I, and I'd love to learn from all the skills and perspective you've honed over the years.  It would be an honor to receive some words of advice, encouragement, warning, counsel, or anything else you would like to suggest as I move into this next season.
Your messages will reach me at shiraheden@gmail.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!


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