7,665 days, 183, 960 hours, 11,037,600 minutes, or 662,256,000 seconds; in case you were wondering, it all means 21 years. As I pause to reflect over the past year, I find myself consumed with many emotions. While some are greater than others, all are important fulfillments of the last 364 days of my trip around the sun. So many things have changed, arrived, departed, withered away, began –. In part, I find it humbling to reflect on an unbelievably, powerful thing called life. Life that began exactly 21 years ago today, down to the exact minute my mother gave birth to me; the exact minute of arrival for her last, and only baby girl: 2:10 p.m., November 6, 1987. Humility embraced that day in 1987 with the hands of a fortunate mother, and, into the present (2008), it flows within the veins of her daughter.
Despite residual rotation, this year has flown by like no other. Maybe it’s the time-old-tale that I’m getting older? Whatever it may be, I’m anxiously looking forward to the next 365 days of my life. Wait, no. I’m anxiously looking forward to the next days of my life. The days of my life that God grant me, whatever they may be. With age, wisdom follows: wisdom of growth, knowledge, change, truth, and experience. Wisdom of change that follows truth, experience that allows knowledge and growth that oversees all wisdom. No matter how many birthdays, trips around the sun, or hours passed, wisdom is ever-changing.
With life grows nurture and it’s amazing to see what each moment brings. This past year has been a whirlwind. I’ve picked myself up from the lowest point in life and rebuilt my foundation restored my foundation. Rebuild would mean to remove the old and restore with the new. My past has taught me a lot about myself, things that went unforeseen before. With nurture grows attachment and provides us with the security of our being. It starts in the womb with the mother and child and spans across life as our mother’s constantly face new challenges into letting us go, letting us grow up, molding into who we’ll become. We seek out to attach ourselves to things like us, as security. We form bonds, friendships, sisterhoods, relationships, faith, religion, and dreams. It’s attachment that leads us to long for something more — something that will always, always be with us.
Everyone asks how it feels to be legal; honestly, it feels the same as it did yesterday, the same as it did when I turned 18, and most of the days before that. I think the first "defining moment" in our history is graduating high school. It’s the true test that defines us first, the 13 year responsibility that we overcome, and it’s our first taste of freedom. Age is a number, and responsibility increases with each year that passes. If you think back to the timeline of your life you find that from age 1-18 your life is consumed by more firsts than ever at 21. Birth – You learn touch and feel, textures, attachment, cooing, reflexes, rolling over, crawling, holding your head up, Age 1 – Solid Foods and walking, Age 2 – More teeth, better food, first words, potty training, Age 3 – Learning shapes, colors, alphabet, numbers, Age 4 – Pre-school, Age 5 – Kindergarten & Tying shoes, Age 6 – Losing your first tooth, your 6 year molars, Age 7 – Start of sports and developing "self-image," Age 8 – we get the "big kid" scissors, Age 9 – you realize what losing a grandparent really is like, Age 10 – you get your first period and feel like a mutant, Age 11 – puberty is still a consistent role this year, Age 12 – You "father" tells your mom that he wants a divorce, Age 13 – you’re a pre-teen, nothing spectacular truly happens, just more school work and middle school sports, Age 14 – Your last year of middle school, you’re off to the big leagues now, Age 15 – Freshman year, you get your learner’s permit to start driving, Age 16 – You’ve been training all year for this, you get your driver’s license, take driver’s ed., your first relationship and (for some) your first job, Age 17 – You survived Sophomore Year Slump, Junior Prom, High School Graduation Tests, ACT’s, SAT’s, finally only one more year until you’re a Senior, Age 18 – You’re finally a senior, you get to take senior pictures, senior night, football games, bonfires, senior superlatives, senioritis, (for some) choosing colleges, senior prom, graduation practice, graduation picnic, and finally graduation. You get to register to vote, obtain a class C license and the midnight curfew is lifted. Age 19-20 – College work, Harder Professors, Real life, bills, leaving home, Age 21 – Buying alcohol.
It’s funny–Even through the farthest distances of vast space, the multitude of hours ticked away, and the seamless transitions of life, chemistry never changes. The harshest words, the unacceptable notions, and the vast conformity can’t keep fate from enduring what God has planned. Chemistry stands for compassion and love; besides God, Love is the only thing that remains the same.
Embrace change, defy odds. My new motto. November 4th marked another "defining moment" in history and all of our lives. A landslide brought on the closing of polls for the election. Some people were shocked while others were disappointed. Others were happy to see the change: the motto, "yes we can!" Everybody can use a little bit of "yes we can!" Defy odds, prove statistics wrong. Embrace change, embrace your dreams; overcome everything; be the landslide everyone talks about, make history. Be cultured, have culture, and be blessed.
My only thoughts come the dawn of my birthday: Embrace change, Defy odds.