Twenty-four was one of my very best years. I completed a triathlon. I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. When I recently completed a set of reflection exercises in reading the book, Designing Your Life, 24 was my go-to year when the booked ask me to answer the question: What was the happiest time in your life, and why?
To be honest, while those two big physical feats during my 24th year made it oh so special and memorable, it’s bigger than that. Twenty-four was that golden age when I lived without fear. I wasn’t worried about what I was going to do next or whether something I was attempting would work out. I was extremely uncertain,
but that uncertainty was coupled with an unwavering confidence that I was right where I was supposed to be. That’s an empowering feeling. It’s also pretty surprising that I felt that way, considering that I traveled around as I lived in a tent, and I ate peanut butter sandwiches in the Australian Outback most days. For most people, those would have been sure signs of rock bottom. For me, it was heaven.
I can’t say that every year that followed was equally in balance. Twenty-five to thirty-three were joyful years in other ways. I met and married my incredible husband. I made some of the best friends both at home and abroad who have changed me forever. I forwarded myself personally and professionally. I (just about) completed an MBA program.
But today, at 34, I’ve found my way back to that elusive fearless state once again. In starting a business, in looking at the next 10 years ahead, in embracing the unknown with open arms, I’m back. And when so much is unknown, it is tremendously empowering to rely on the only thing that is for sure: I have what it takes to figure it out. There is no doubt in my mind that I was made to live in this space always. I missed 24-year-old me, and I’m excited for this unexpected reunion.
So what do I know for sure? Not much. But I do know that 44 is going to be a dynamite year.
Anna is the Founder of OutGrowth, a company born out of a dedication toward experiential learning, sustainable business and community engagement. You can follow Anna on LinkedIn or learn more about OutGrowth by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org