Reflections on a Quarter Century

quarter centuryAs I drove to work this morning I was following the usual routine. Traffic, music, and well…. singing. Now, let me paint this picture… my singing is quite an involved affair. Seriously, how do you not do some seat dancing and steering wheel drumming to your favourite tunes? It would be rather unnatural for me. While stuck in the traffic, jiving to one of my favourite Switchfoot tunes, I glance over to the dude in the car next to me and find him staring with the largest smile I had ever seen, at my shenanigans. We exchanged a rather gentlemanly nod of approval and went on our separate ways, smiling.

As bizarre as this was, it got me thinking about what I really was celebrating today on my 25th birthday, turns out…

When I was twenty, I remember having a five-year and ten-year plan. So what was I meant to have achieved in these last five years? Well, get a degree; get an honours degree, and another one. Get established in a good career and a stable relationship. You know, the whole deal, starting to climb the corporate ladder, getting established into the rat race and make sure I start on this as soon and as quickly as possible to get ahead.

Looking back, my life looks a little different from what I anticipated. The thing I am most grateful for is that I have not only matured in years, but also in understanding.  I have come to realise a few important things that shifted my priorities. Life is less about money and more about contentment(not to be confused with complacency). Life is less about work and more about family and friends. Life is less about a race to success and more about defining what real success looks like for ourselves. Life turns out to be less about what I can make life mean to mean, and more about what I can make life mean to other people…

Just like my bizarre encounter today, life is in those small yet unforgettable moments that make us realise we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. My actions have a lasting effect on other people, even if it’s just a crazy white boy in a suit and tie, jiving to his favourite tunes at a traffic light.

Life is about finding a balance and living from a place of rest, not chasing a dream that is seated in an immature understanding of my identity. Life is a process of surrendering my plans and ideas in my head and pursuing rather that for which I was designed and tailor-made to be the absolute best at. Sometimes this may mean that I will not achieve or reach all of my crazy dreams and ideals. I am pretty sure I will still be happier than I could ever imagine.

Maybe life is a little less about me, and a little more about other people.


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