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I had this realization only a few days ago. In one month I’ll be turning 26. Now, it’s not to say I’m not excited for it. I’m blessed to be given another opportunity to be here and I don’t take that for granted.

It’s funny, I used to hate growing up and getting older. But now I see it as such an accomplishment. To know that I’ve come so far and so down the road that I can’t sometimes even look back at my past anymore.

But there’s always this question lingering in the back of my head and lately it’s become more prevalent to me. What really are the best years of your life?

It’s a question I can’t seem to answer right away, or even at all for that matter. Maybe it’s because I can’t pinpoint a certain time in my life. Maybe it’s because the future seems so uncertain that I don’t know what tomorrow or even this year will bring for me. Or maybe it’s because I’m only 25 and I haven’t had the best years of my life yet.

I think we put so much pressure on ourselves when it comes to figuring out when our best years or times were. Everyone always says it was when they were in high school or maybe it was college for them. That was when they “peaked.” And, that’s great if that was what you consider your best years. For me, that wasn’t the case.

I really didn’t like high school or college. In fact, I was counting down the days until I could get out and be done. But that’s not to say my experiences are any better or worse than yours. Sometimes I wish I could look back in a yearbook or a picture from that time and genuinely say that I enjoyed that moment or memory. But the truth is, I can’t.

I think we do a good job at basing our success and happiness on a certain time in our life. As if we have this sort of internal calendar that tells us when we have to do something and making sure we’re on the right track and ticking things off in our head. It gives us this immense feeling of gratitude knowing that we’re on the right path to figuring out life.

But, what if we’re still figuring out life and our best years? What if we’re just not there yet? I want you to know that it’s okay. It’s okay to not have it all figured out right now. But what’s not okay is comparing your life story to someone else’s. The fact of the matter is this: the reason your story and theirs isn’t matching up is because you are you and they are them. And as much as you want to feel the need to catch up to them because you feel like you’re so behind, you have to go at your own pace.

Because you will get there. I think we need to take some time to slow down and truly see what’s going on in our own lives. We’re in the midst of an ongoing pandemic right now. Is this how I pictured my mid-twenties to be? Absolutely not. But am I going to dwell on the things I can no longer change or control and just give up? No. I’m going to take each day at a time and whatever happens will happen.

So, I can’t tell you what the best years of our lives are. Because in all honesty, I’m still figuring it out myself, and I’m okay with that.

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