1. You’ll reinvent yourself after college.
You’ll reinvent yourself for the first time when college finishes – when your community packs up and moves on and perhaps you do as well. You’ll find yourself at a sudden loss as to how to define yourself – the dreams you had for someday are suddenly the dreams you’re expected to live up to today and the pressure of it all becomes crippling.
You’ll learn during this time that anything worth having takes patience. You’ll learn which people you can trust, which skills you can fall back on and which parts of your personality are pervasive enough to make things happen when the rest of the stakes are down. You’ll learn to be both a more humble and more courageous version of yourself moving forwards.
2. You’ll reinvent yourself after a breakup.
You’ll reinvent yourself the first time you lose the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with. When your projections of ‘someday’ shifts from white picket fences and gold wedding bands to independent ventures and the great, hazy unknown.
You’ll realize how much the person you’ll become depends on whom you choose to become it with – and that an endless amount of hypothetical futures can take shape with every new person you meet. You’ll balk over the impossibility of taking on the rest of your future alone and then rise to the occasion of doing so. You’ll realize that the first person you have to fall in love with is you – and you’ll let your reinvention blossom out of that love.
3. You’ll reinvent yourself when you move somewhere new.
You’ll reinvent yourself when you move to a new city. When the streets you’ve always roamed and the company you’ve always kept are suddenly swept away and replaced by unfamiliar faces and overpriced apartments.
You’ll relish in the bittersweet invigoration of a place that both drains and compels you. You’ll realize that so much of who you are is dependent on the people and institutions you’ve always affiliated with – and that you get to choose which ones define you next. You’ll learn which parts of yourself are inherent and which can be learned – and you’ll find a sweet, surprising balance between the two. You’ll learn to take yourself wherever you go, instead of disappearing completely into each place you used to love.
4. You’ll reinvent yourself when you leave your first horrible job.
You’ll reinvent yourself the first time you stand up for your worth. When the hours grow too long, the money gets too tight and the prospects for the future seem to shrink each passing day, you’ll slowly learn that no occupation on earth is worth throwing away all of your happiness for.
You’ll realize that as daunting as the uncertain path looks, it is sometimes the only one we can walk down with strength and reverence. You’ll accept that if you do not stand up for yourself to make a change, no one is going to. And so you’ll grow – into someone who chooses the brighter path over the certain one. Someone who knows what they’re worth. And someone who refuses to settle for less.
5. You’ll reinvent yourself when tragedy strikes close to home.
You’ll reinvent yourself when life reins its first tragic blow. When circumstances shift unexpectedly or a loved one leaves you too soon or you make the first mistake that you truly cannot go back on. When life seems to lose all its mercy and you walk across that line of no return, your unchangeable circumstances will leave you no choice but to change yourself instead.
You’ll realize just how fragile the life we’re given is. Just how powerful our actions are. And how we cannot afford to waste a single day we have. You’ll gain a quieter, deeper appreciation for the people and the world that you are left with. And you’ll move forward with strength and compassion.
6. You’ll reinvent yourself when you’re happy.
You’ll reinvent things when life suddenly becomes better than you could have ever imagined. When your dreams start becoming realities and the world starts expanding unexpectedly, you’ll realize how little time it truly takes for everything to turn around.
While you’re becoming the strongest, brightest version of yourself, you’ll realize that our biggest transformations are often born from the simplest measures. That courage is simply a side effect of a life well lived – and that when practiced, it multiplies exponentially. That all hope can never be lost because there’s still so much left to be found. And that some of the best moments of our lives will be the ones we never even thought to hope for.
7. You’ll reinvent yourself when you realize all the mistakes you’ve made.
You’ll reinvent yourself when the choices you’ve made over the years begin to pile up and categorize themselves into a series of missteps and regrets. When the wrong turns define you and the problems overtake you, you’ll be forced to face yourself down in an unglamorous light.
You’ll realize that some mistakes simply can’t be outrun and that at the end of the day, you’ll always have yourself to answer to. And so you’ll become someone you are proud of. Someone you can live with. Someone you can trust going forward – into whichever reinventions come your way next.