By Jessica Chinnadurai • November 01, 2016•Writers in Residence, Careers, Other Career Issues, Law School
October is one of those months that always seems to be full of exciting events. As a baseball lover, albeit a diehard St. Louis Cardinals fan, even I can appreciate the recent ordeal of the Cubs making it to the World Series (though I’m sure that’s only because of the soft spot I have in my heart for Chicago). Reflecting on last month, some of the top highlights included: my best friend since 8th grade getting married, one of my best friends from law school celebrating being cancer free during Breast Cancer Awareness month, and another one of my best friends officially accepting his first job outside of the state - an adventure/opportunity he has waited a lifetime for.
I love these moments in peoples’ lives. I love them because they’re milestones. More often than not, they’re a big deal, like all of the ones mentioned here. And they don’t even have to be milestones in your own life in order for you to feel the need to celebrate them just as much.
This got me thinking: where does society’s affinity for milestones come from? I think it’s because milestones, in a way, seem like you’re overcoming an obstacle or embarking on not just a new journey, but the next challenge. I’ve always thought of law school as both – a journey and a challenge. And there’s a bit of unsureness with these moments. Stepping onto a fresh path, or taking a risk and just allowing yourself to be drawn by the pull of what you know is best for you.
There’s also an indescribable joy in sharing these milestones, in making sure the people you love know that their support or mere presence in your life has helped you achieve something special. My friend who accepted the summer job outside of the state felt compelled to acknowledge the support of his family on social media, by saying “I would like to thank the people who have helped most to propel me to where I am today. This milestone and many others would not have been possible without them.”
My friend who announced she was recently cancer free also wrote a beautiful message on social media. Something she said has stuck with me to this day: “Throughout this entire ordeal, I was reminded of something my dad has said since I was younger, ‘This life you live isn't yours.’ Yes, your trials and triumphs are happening to you, but they're not always/only for you.”
It’s hard to believe that 2016 will be over in two short months. If someone asked me to look back on the year and talk about what my biggest milestones were, I probably wouldn’t know where to start. But I think that’s a common issue most of us face: underplaying our own successes. I wrote about something similar back in April when I said that giving and seeking validation is okay every once in a while. But this is about acknowledgment. Milestones, after all, are marks of where you’ve been and also of how far you have to go. It’s time we (myself included) step up and realize how significant these moments are in our lives and how many more we have to look forward to.