End of a Decade

Its the season of Thanksgiving! A time of reflecting over one’s year, celebrating life, and the expectation of what’s to come with the promise of a new year. And with the coming arrival of a new decade there is a lot to be reflexive over.

I had the opportunity to meet with a colleague over drinks last week, and we were talking about our perspective life stories. He asked me something to the effect of, what has been the narrative of my life thus far? Pretty deep especially after a long workday, but I’m a professional networker so I navigate the question appropriately. After taking a moment to ponder I share that over the course of my life up to this moment I have always taken on more than was required of me.

That notion manifested itself in my life in different ways but ultimately up until recently, my life has been a never-ending feedback loop. I overachieve in some aspect of my life, I get praised for doing such, I enjoy the feeling, I do it again, so on and so forth. On one hand that’s great because at the beginning of the decade I remember saying to myself that I want to be great and that I know there is more for my life than what I was currently experiencing. So my experience in this decade has been the product of a self-fulfilling prophecy. But on the other hand, what has that desire for greatness cost me? My “normalcy”, and my youth.

When I was younger all I wanted to do was be an adult, and now that I’m an adult all I want to do is remain young. I think that has become a quality of my personality. Over this decade I’ve adopted the idea of age as a concept. I remember speaking with a member of my cohort in graduate school and getting into a conversation about revolutions around the sun, and whether or not that constitutes age. In other words, what makes a person young/old: fragility in one’s body or fragility of mind/spirit? Long story short; this decade I can identify myself as having always been an eagle amongst peacocks.

When you look at a peacock, they have these beautiful feathers and they dance around trying to impress everyone around them, and they always get all the attention because of how much noise they make metaphoric or otherwise. Eagles on the other hand, are known for their ability to soar through the skies. Not the most majestic or beautiful bird aesthetically, but they can can soar to an altitude of over 10,000ft/3048m and fly at speeds of up to 100mph/160kph. Peacocks are not flightless, but they cannot put up those kinds of numbers.

That being said, as one could imagine it’s a lonely world for someone with an eagle mindset. Cause I mean lets face it, most of my peers were not of the same inclination as it related to life goals and aspirations. I shared that with my colleague and how its been difficult navigating my life from that perspective especially because that whole time I wanted to sustain whatever inkling of normalcy and youth I had in conjunction with my peers. Fact of the matter Is, I was definitely not normal and well above average.

Over the last 10 years i’ve climbed mountains both literally and metaphorically, and I have seen two of the seven wonders of the world. I’ve been to well over a dozen live concerts, and I’ve seen Beyoncé live five times alone which is no easy feat hahaha! I’ve been to three different continents, seven different countries, and have gone to the olympics games (see: Tales From Abroad Vol. 2). I’ve created a name for myself, and left a legacy for myself in the people I’ve had the opportunity to mentor. I’ve paved the way for others, got to impact policy at institutions, and have received more honors and accolades than I would dare to numerate. I earned my Master’s and have spoken in front of thousands. And just to put this all in perspective, I’m currently 4 months into being 24 years old. I’ve done more in the last decade than a lot of people get to do in their entire life.

When I look back over this decade and think about what its been like soaring, I cannot help but to be grateful. Not every moment has been awesome and there have been plenty of times where I decided to hang out with the peacocks and I end up damaging myself and those around me. There are things that happened over the last decade that I still beat my self up over. One of the things I want to commit to as this Thanksgiving season goes into full swing this week, is as we get closer to the new year, I want to focus less on the negatives of previous years. That is a challenge for me especially with my brand of overachievement. Self-deprecation historically has been my motivation; That’s not healthy and it has proven itself ineffective.

I do not want to continue to give the enemy a foot hold in my life when God has been so good to me. I mean I’m living in that truth right now. I currently have my own apartment, a wonderful network and community of people, a decent job, and this blog which I’m head over heals about. The next 10 years are going to be better than the former, and that’s because I’m going to be better.

Sometimes it takes a top down view to understand and grasp the things we experience. How has the last 10 years been for you? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

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