A busy intersection at a road with pedestrians

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

I didn’t realize how much I relied on structure until I was forced into a period of stillness. Once I graduated college, I no longer had the label of “university student” or the marker of grades to validate my path. In the wake of it all, I faced expectations I didn’t know I’d gathered along the way. 

The time during your 20s is marked by anticipated milestonesmoving out, finding a partner, landing a career and potentially having kids. It’s easy to measure our success based on which milestones we achieve or how fast we are moving toward them. 

Looking at other people’s lives from the outside, it can be easy to assume that they are further along the “routine path.” Yet, the more people I talk with, the more I realize that we all grapple with how our timelines fall outside of the “norm” or don’t meet the expectations we set for ourselves. 

We all grapple with how our timelines fall outside of the “norm” or don’t meet the expectations we set for ourselves. 

When giving advice about embracing the unknown, my mom once said, “You’re not letting the waves of life take you. It’s like you’re caught in a riptide. If you only stopped paddling, then you’d be able to ride the waves to shore.” Her words reminded me how our lives are not linear. They are not one-size-fits-all. 

These “life milestones” will come when they are meant to and if we want them. This is true for everyone, myself included. Life will unfold how it should and in the perfect timing.

Let’s allow our stories to unfold, embracing the joy that comes with not knowing what comes next.

Life will unfold how it should and in the perfect timing.

Sincerely,
Annika Hoiem, the Darling family

Do you often hold the unknown with a white knuckle grip? Why is it important to live with open arms and to embrace the unknown?

Image via Grant Legan, Darling Issue 11

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