In every relationship we have throughout our lives, whether it be with our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, or romantic partners, we will encounter milestone moments that mark a new adventure to experience. In reflecting back on my life, I often look back on my relationships and reminisce about how they have made me into the person I am today. Our parents have guided us since infancy, teaching us our vital life skills, guiding us through our roaring teenage years (sorry Mom and Dad...), and supporting us as adults. Our siblings gifted us with the pleasure of having a companion at all times, and although we fought, we know we have the best bud for life. Our extended families have our backs more than ever as well. We turn to them in times of need or refuge and laugh with them in times of celebration. Our friends have acted as siblings we wish we had but yet are somehow always there to back us up, bring up our spirits, and show us a good time. Lastly, our romantic partners offer us a glimpse of what love is like in a different form. A form that takes on new meaning within itself through every stage. We learn to love someone even in hard times, support someone in their moments of success and failure, and have fun with someone like best friends. When you reflect on the relationships you've experienced throughout your life, what comes to mind? How do you feel they have shaped you? Is there someone in particular who has shaped you the most?
I have recently undertaken the mentality that life is an opportunity for continued growth and change. What we become is vastly different than what we thought we would be, and who we are today may change from the person we are tomorrow. Be open to this change, let it in and embrace it. Change is not always a bad thing, it comes knocking at times we need it most when we need a fresh start, and when we need a new adventure...let's face it, life gets boring sometimes, and we need to switch it up. Thus, milestone moments are the moments we have in life that allow for these changes to occur. That may be changing careers, going to a new school, making new friends, or breaking up with a toxic partner. Change is hard and scary, but once you capture the power to look beyond the fear, the world is your oyster.
A significant milestone moment for me was when I decided to pursue my career in psychology. Now, my dream was to be a pediatrician and becoming a doctor was always a passion of mine. In high school, I took all the science and math courses, read up on all the anatomy books, and engaged in conversation about health as much as I could. However, when I started University in the psychology program, I had no idea how much it would change my life and objectives. I learned so much about human behaviour, why we do the things we do, why we are the way we are, and how this knowledge is unique to each and every one of us. After spending all my time with my nose in a psych book, I knew mental health would be my wheelhouse. After starting University, I was also beginning to experience the effects of anxiety, and after receiving no support from my family doctor on how to proceed with life generally despite my diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), I knew it would be my mission to help others who have gone through the same thing. And looky here, I'm 8 months away from completing my Master's degree in Counselling Psychology where I will have the opportunity to personally help those who are struggling with the things we shy away from discussing. Mental health is something that is so uniquely experienced that putting a label on it is just silly. Instead, I look at mental health the same way I look at physical health, we need to address it, fight it, and get moving again!
This milestone moment has shaped me as a person and strengthened the relationship I have with MYSELF. I love my career, and I can't wait to begin practicing in a field that I am genuinely passionate about. Without the guidance of my parents, brother, grandparents, and significant other, I know I would not have gotten so far by only 23! In looking back on your own life, I encourage you to reflect on a particular relationship you have had and how the milestone moment you experienced with this person changed you in some way. Feel free to send me a message, and email, or commenting on this post below and sharing your thoughts if you are open to doing so. Self-reflection is a skill that is hard to accomplish but yet brings forth an opportunity to look back on the many moments in life and understand how they have shaped or changed us or our lives in some way. This is the act of appreciation for the people we have become, the struggles we have gone through, and the strengths we have to move ahead.