Editor's letter for the Fall 2021 issue of Pepperdine Magazine.
Milestones, better known to wellworn travelers as mile markers, have been historically installed on roadways to provide reference points to drivers as they move along on their journeys. These markers let drivers know they are on the right path and indicate how much longer they have to go before reaching their destination. Mile markers also provide critical information to runners during a marathon, reinforcing for them, step-by-step, the challenge they have taken on and providing a push to get them to the finish line. But, how do we know when we are reaching the milestones in our everyday lives? What are our mile markers? And how will we be able to tell how far we have left to go?
It’s worth considering how we define milestones. Many of us think about the big moments—graduating college after four years of hard work during a global pandemic, finally getting that promotion after countless late nights at the office, or buying your first home in the midst of the most challenging real estate market in recent history. Is your milestone meeting a weight-loss goal or beating a personal record on your Peloton? Or do your milestones include reading 10 pages of a book each night or finishing your final round of chemo?
The stories featured in this issue celebrate the defining moments, both big and small, that make up our lives: a dedicated group of alumni experiencing fulfillment in lifelong careers, a comedy troupe bringing joy and entertainment to the community for two decades, a nonprofit professional finding peace after surviving a deadly terrorist attack, and a tightly knit team winning a national championship 25 years in the making.
Milestones help us see how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. And while road signage provides distinct demarcations of distance, many in the form of massive, lit-up boards reporting the miles to your next stop, our personal milestones might not be as clear or as significant. Regardless of what the signposts of our lives look like, these moments are worth recognizing so that they both remind us of the challenges we have endured and motivate us to progress to our next point. Let’s just remember to make time for a rest stop along the way.