7 year cycles06 May 2020
the first time i heard about any sort of 7-year framework was on a walk with gibrán when we were both working at IISC. we were walking down at the port and i was telling him a bunch of stuff about my life. at point, he said that he was seeing a pattern in my life arc that he experienced and one that he knew to be true for other folks, too. it wasn’t anything complicated: just that it seemed about every 7 years there would be some major identifiable shift in life stage.
since then, i have really leaned into that framing for my life and it’s been super helpful. looking back, it helps me make sense of where i’ve been. 14-21 was figuring out how to be a person separate from my parents. 21-28 was my first long-term relationship, building up my personal and professional network, and stepping into my first work in the world. the phase i’m in now, 28-35 i current feel as deepening my work, networks, friends and family groups. basically becoming a fully autonomous, interdependent adult.
one of the biggest ways this framework helps me is on the decision of what city to live in. i moved apartments/cities something like 10 times between age 16/17 and age 23. i have moved 4 times between 23 and 31 (much slower rate). over the course of those years, i realized that having to hold the following two questions is an energy sink:
- how long am i going to live where i am living now?
- where am i going to live next?
all sorts of calculus is apparent when those two questions are unanswered. things like “if i’m going to move sometime soon, how much do i invest in this community of people vs the next one?” and “how much care and resource should i put into my apartment if i’m going to be gone soon?” there are many more, too.
i have realized that by simply assuming i’m going to be in the city i’m in (shawmut (an indigenous name of this land aka boston) until i’m 34/35, i can make tons of decisions that feel really good.
of course, if something pushes/pulls me from shawmut before that, i’m open to it. but not having the question open has been excellent.
anyways, that’s my 7-year cycle schpeel and i’m sticking to it.
ps - one of my spiritual elders, djalòki, created his own 7-year cycle framework. let me know if you’re curious to see it and i’ll see if he’s open to sharing it.
words / writing / post-processing
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