26 Steps Away, At Age 26

Each year, I come up with a way to document my current age. So here’s one thing about 26. A Rubik’s Cube’s solution is never more than 26 moves away. It’s a good reminder that tough challenges can be solved in 26 moves.

As I write this, I’m sitting in Denver’s Union Station. When I rode the bus from Boulder to Denver for my birthday seven years ago, this was a broken down building that you passed through quickly. Now, Union Station is a destination to reconnect with old friends and scheme up future plans. I feel that way about 26. It’s not a year I just plan on passing through.

In the last few weeks, I’ve had some anxiety about turning 26. I feel like I am no closer to solving the lurking uncertainties in my life than I was last year. I worried that my birthday was just a height chart mark on the wall where I’m not getting any taller. It’s not the age that’s bothering me, but the idea that I’m standing still.

In the last few days, I have felt a lot of love and encouragement from the people in my life. I’m trying to take steps to start moving forward. I’m not sure how much I can accomplish in one year, but I know things can be a lot different in ten years.

My 26th birthday is the tenth anniversary of when I got my drivers license. I can tell you that driving has gotten better with age. When I was 16, my car had manual locks, crank windows and a tape player. Now that I’m 26, I have a hard time remembering where I parked my car. I spend a lot of time arguing with my Bluetooth about which contact I’m trying to call. It’s a lot less work and a better ride.

I feel things improving with age. I’m a little calmer than I was a couple of years ago. I’ve explored a few more back alley ideas and rode out on a few more quests. I’m starting over with my current predicament. The solution is 26 steps away (or fewer).