Misty Copeland once said "You can start late. Look different. Be uncertain and still succeed." I have to say that I have begun to really take this words to heart. I carry them in my backpack and have them ready for reference the minute I begin to make up a story for why I can't do something.

I think sometimes we as people delight in the many stories we could weave that would deter us from even embarking on a task. However, I am discovering that in every phase of life there is always going to be a future to look forward to and joyfully step towards. Evaluating what stage of life you are in can definitely help prepare for the next one.

Erikson's Stages of Life Development are an interesting tool/guide to see where you and your peers line up in terms of development. Whenever you are in a time of trial you can look at your life and think "Wow this is really hard, I want to quit." or you can think "Wow this stage of development in my life seems difficult, but I am interested to see who I will become."

Sometimes when I am going through hard times I pull up the chart and read about what that means for my age bracket. This doesn't solve all issues, but it really puts my overall experience into perspective. Right now I am experiencing Intimacy versus Isolation. In the beginning of college I was definitely "trying to solidify who I was" and decide what mattered to me.

When I think about the type of person I am now compared to nineteen-year-old me I am happy to say that change and development has been plentiful. As I step back an evaluate the different challenge I am experiencing I can clearly see that I am beginning to deal with the issues that come with the Intimacy versus Isolation.

Simple Psychology states that in this stage people begin to share themselves more intimately with others. They explore relationships leading toward longer-term commitments with someone other than a family member. A successful completion of this stage can result in happy relationships and a sense of commitment, safety, and care within a relationship.

Using this as a tool I don't have to be worried about the future. I don't have to "send it to voicemail!" I can pick up that call and say " I may be dealing with something difficult now, but I know that eventually I achieve success here and move on. You know that the difficulties are only for a season in life and you know what may be coming!

Life is a series of decisions that weave a beautiful tale of who we are to approach the future as the person you have grown into. Make sure to answer the phone when the future calls and tell it "I am ready and I am capable!"

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