I used to think I had to do everything I wanted to do in my life before I turned 30. Now, as I leave behind my 20s and move into a new decade, instead of feeling like a closing, life feels like it is opening up. And I’m pretty delighted by the surprise of that.
“Slowly is the fastest way to get anywhere,” performer Andre De Shields said, and that’s one thing I’ve realized is true. And maybe it’s not even about getting somewhere fast, which suggests a predetermined destination, but rather about ambling along and enjoying what is meant for me while I have it because it is real and mine, and this right here, now, counts. Being desperate for life, grasping and wanting everything all at once, is maybe a strength and a weakness of the 20s, and as we go along, we learn to recognize it for what it maybe is, this fear, building the faith to realize we’ll be OK. And much of the time, better than that.
And that’s the grace: From my 20s, I have become a more patient person. I have learned to choose myself, so I don’t need other people to. I have learned to put in the work for the opportunities and people I want in my life, and after that effort, to let go if they don’t come easily, as gift. I have learned how to say yes to what gives me unfiltered joy, even when it is different from what society and my generation tell me I should want. I have learned how to release my own time frames and the goals I’m supposed to check off and love my specific life. This wisdom is hard-won, and I am proud I know it.
Because even slow movement is movement, and after all, it’s also OK to sit down and rest awhile. Some of the things I wanted most are now the things I’m happiest didn’t work out, and freedom feels often like space. The world spins, but we can’t feel it; we are new every second.
And so, in this issue, we explore movement. The newness that comes with it and all we have learned that we bring with us into the unknown. We celebrate emerging, awake. Here, we meet three makers who utilize the movement of travel to inspire the jewelry, leather and camping gear they create. We learn about books from every country we might read so we can explore even when we’re stationary. And in our photo shoot, we think about the ways human bodies move and how they mimic nature. We hope you are delighted by the motion and rest of every turn.
Because here’s a public service announcement: You don’t have to do everything you want to do in life before you’re 30. And a second one: It’s OK if every part of your 20s aren’t the best years of your life, because, although a lot of it is beautiful, a lot of it is also pretty darn hard. Heed the words of Billy Joel (lyrics that took me to Vienna in my early 20s, and I am grateful): “Slow down, you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile, but then if you’re so smart, tell me, why are you still so afraid, hmm?” And yet, it is exceedingly beautiful and necessary, this unbridled ambition of the 20s that helps us risk and feel, succeed and fail, delivering us to the threshold of the next decade, ready.
“I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I’m on the right path,” my friend Ashley has been saying, and that gives me great hope. I don’t need to be sure; I just need to keep walking. And resting, when that feels right.
This is faith, and wow, it’s really fun.