Ready or not!
It’s been a rollercoaster of a year, but as I sit and write this I feel nothing but love and gratitude for all that I have. Looking back on my messy twenties I’m filled with joy. My second decade is a blur of transitions and transformations mixed in with lots of fun adventures. I’m not done learning but I can honestly say that I am happy, and THAT is an amazing feeling.
In my twenties I was mostly concerned with myself and how others perceived me. I went to school, made lifelong friends, traveled, got married, got divorced, stumbled, cried, laughed, worked, and I found Christ. I had my heart broken a few times and found myself on the giving end of that as well. My twenties may have been lacking in a few areas, but they were never lacking love. I always felt loved by my little community of family and friends who taught me so much about life. I really do feel like the the luckiest woman alive to have had that.
I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few things over the last decade, so in the spirit of turning over a new leaf, I thought I’d share a few words of advice.
1. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. I can’t count how many times I found myself in situations that didn’t feel right but was too insecure to do anything about it. Don’t fight that feeling. Go with it and don’t apologize to anyone for nurturing what is comfortable to YOU.
2. Resist the urge to fight over text. If you’re not sure about the tone of the text, just pick up the freaking phone and call. I guarantee you that if there ever was a problem, it will fix itself by talking on the phone or in person.
3. Give people the benefit of the doubt. This one is hard at times, but you never know what other people are going through and you’ll never regret being too kind.
4. Serve others. Find opportunities within your community that allow you to be completetly selfless. It’s rarely convenient to serve others, but it is so important and will stretch your heart.
5. Eat ALL the food!
6. Forgive yourself. Why is this so hard to do? You are not responsible for anyone but yourself and as long as you are making every effort to be a better person, you are doing it right. We have all made mistakes and unintentionally hurt those we love. Sometimes the best thing to do is forgive ourselves and try our best not to make those mistakes again. Ya live, ya learn.
7. Don’t be afraid to share your light with others. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. We could all use more light in our lives.
8. Listen. Listen. Listen.
9. Pray. I encourage you to try it, even if you are not religious. Prayer is incredibly calming and humbling. It gives you the opportunity to think about all that you have and tunes your heart to be aware of others that may be in need. It’s my favorite way to start the day.
10. Try to enjoy the chaos. If you are like me, this is hard to do. At some point we all need to forfeit control and roll with whatever life throws our way. If you can learn to enjoy change, you’ll be alright.
Life is not picture perfect but it doesn’t have to be in order to reap the rewards that come from overcoming adversity, facing change with an open heart, and letting go of empty expectations. There are people that have come and gone in my life and there are people that have come and stayed. There are some that I have known my whole life and some who have made a brief appearance. No matter what category you fall into, I want you to know that I love you. You have shaped me and I’m thankful for you. Thank you for loving me and for teaching me how to be better.
This life of mine is so good and I have never been more excited for the possibilities that lie ahead. Here’s to my messy thirties and the people that occupy my heart during these years!