The first time you encounter a financial hurdle and you’re able to overcome it without borrowing, begging or stealing from someone else.
The first time you outgrow a friendship and can move on from it cordially, without hurt feelings or bad blood.
The first time you face a major disappointment or rejection and don’t internalize the message ‘I am a complete failure.’
The first time you’re able to offer your family members practical or emotional support, instead of the other way around.
The first time someone you respect disagrees with a choice you’ve made but you stand by it, because you’re confident about what’s best for you.
The first time you experience a period of loneliness and you take the initiative to build a new community for yourself.
The first time you go through a brutal breakup and your life doesn’t fall apart alongside it.
The first time you’re being mistreated at work and you stand up for yourself fairly but assertively.
The first time you’re able to offer someone a place to stay, a financial loan or any other means of practical support that you’ve never had a surplus of before.
The first time you get sick and are able to nurse yourself back to health (instead of calling on others to take care of you).
The first time you admit that you need help and ask for it without feeling like it makes you a failure.
The first time you make a significant mistake and you take full responsibility for your actions instead of shifting the blame.
The first time you find yourself planning a future with a decent good human being who actually treats you right.
The first time you see an ex move on with someone else and you don’t handle it by going on a self-destructive rampage.
The first time you hold someone else’s baby and realize, ‘I could maybe possibly raise one of these things and not accidentally kill it by age two.’
The first time you choose Kale instead of Doritos at the grocery store because you’re slowly realizing that your metabolism just isn’t what it used to be.
The first time you leave a fun night out to go sleep because you have things to get done the next day and don’t want to be hungover while doing them.
The first time you recognize that you’re still incredibly young and have a lot of mistakes ahead of you – but you find that notion empowering rather than terrifying. Because you trust yourself to steer through every one of them and come out the other side stronger.