If you really think about all the “ages” a person can be, there are so many that are insignificant when viewing it from a milestone perspective. At 16, you finally get to drive; 18 you legally become an adult and can vote or smoke (or 19 for smoking depending on where you live). At 21 you can purchase alcohol, and even 25 holds a milestone for hotel and rental car purposes. 40 and 50 aren’t really significant from any extra privilege stance but are milestones in themselves for how “old” someone is getting. I remember joking with my dad about turning 55 because he could begin getting senior discounts at many places.
Tomorrow I turn 27. A very insignificant birthday from a “milestone” perspective. However, there are two things that make it significant to me. For one, I never thought that I would, in some ways, be starting over when I turned 27. I would say for about the past two years, I had no real question about where my life was headed. I knew what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, and who I wanted to be with. Now in the face of uncertainty in one aspect of my life, I find myself questioning many things about my life that are unrelated. I find myself second guessing every decision I make, even the smallest ones. The other day I drove to three different restaurants for lunch before settling on what I wanted. I found myself obsessed with picking the right place, like it was essential that I only eat at the place I wanted the very most. I liked all of the restaurants and would have been content with any of them, but I couldn’t let it go. Throughout the last two months, I’ve been amazed at the ability of my emotions to take over my life. I’ve never been an overly emotional person but I find myself incapable of making some decisions because I can’t get my own emotions out of the way. So, that is one way that 27 will always be significant to me. The age at which, my somewhat settled life took a major shift.
Secondly, 27 is significant because it’s a new year of life. I’ve been reflecting on this quite a bit lately. What’s the big deal about birthdays? There are many cultures in which birthdays are never recorded, remembered, or celebrated. What makes them so significant to us? I can’t tell you why they are important to everyone, but I can tell you why they are now important to me. Each birthday represents another year that we have completed on this earth. It’s like we have our own mini-new years. Tomorrow, at 7:42am, I will have been alive on this earth for exactly 27 years. In that moment, I can thank God for the blessing of allowing me to complete another year in His service. I’m not promised 28. I’m not even promised the day after my 27th birthday. It’s something we take for granted most of the time I think. I know I do. We aren’t guaranteed any day. So we should be thankful for everyday but I think it’s appropriate for our birthday to be extra special. We’ve completed another year of being alive.
For these reasons, I will be thankful tomorrow for a series of new beginnings. For God blessing me with the opportunity to begin a new year of life…and the opportunity to not let my uncertainty and insecurity control me anymore. I’m looking forward to my birthday tomorrow. With God and the right attitude, I think 27 could end up being the best year of my life so far.