I celebrated my 30th birthday over the weekend which made me reflect on things that I have learned over the last decade. I thought that I knew all of the things at 20, I thought I had everything figured out, and I thought that I knew best. I was wrong, so very wrong. I feel like I have grown exponentially over the last ten years in every way. I look back at the girl I was a decade ago and I so desperately wish I could give her a big hug, encourage her, and share all of the things that I have learned with her. I want to tell her that everything is going to work out; maybe not like she thinks it will, but it will be better than she could ever imagine.
These are the things I would share with her:
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself because life is way too short to be a stick in the mud about everything. You will do embarrassing things, you’ll become aware of all of your flaws, you’ll make mistakes, and you’re not going to have it all figured out (and you probably never will). Laugh at the embarrassing moments, embrace your flaws, and know that it’s going to be okay when things don’t go according to YOUR plan.
Quality over quantity. From clothing to friendships, it doesn’t matter how many you have, the quality is the important thing. It’s better to invest in something that will stand the test of time than something that will tear apart the first time it gets snagged.
Spend time with those you love the most. I know, they’ve always been there, so you assume they will always be there. Nope. We are finite and the days we have with our grandparents, parents, etc. are fleeting. One day, you won’t live in the same state as them either, so spend time with them now and then make the drive when you move away. Yes, it’s a looonnng drive, but you will never regret the time you spend with the people you love.
You are enough. Stop jumping through hoops and trying to conform to what others want you to be. Those who truly love you, love you for the person you already are. Dump the ones that want to change you.
Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s going to happen. Pick yourself up and learn from it. Failure doesn’t define you, it helps you grow.
End relationships that make you miserable. If he doesn’t make time for you, he’s not worth it. Move on. Ending relationships sucks because it means you have to start over, but starting over is much better than being stuck in a situation where you aren’t valued by the other person. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Friendships will come and go, and they also take work. The best friendships come from a place where people truly want the best for each other, cheer each other on, celebrate the other’s successes, build the other up when things go wrong, and pray for one another. Let go of the friendships that aren’t built on those things. They’ll suck the life out of you.
Listen more. To your grandparents, your parents, your friends, your pastor, your teachers, music, the world around you, etc. Just listen; you can learn a lot. Talking can be overrated sometimes.
“The one” is better than you could imagine. He may not be exactly what you expect and you won’t meet him in the most conventional way, but he’s everything you have ever prayed and hoped for. Just be patient, he’s praying and hoping for you too. (He may be an LSU grad though, so go ahead and accept that ;))
Trust Jesus. That’s truly all that matters. Trusting Him will get you through every single thing. You’re going to grow so much in your walk with Jesus, and you’ll be able to look back and see His hand in every single detail.
My twenties were full of lessons learned, mistakes, loss of loved ones, hurt, love found, chances taken, growth, and joy. My twenties saw a college graduation, a move to Texas and then Louisiana, meeting and marrying the love of my life, two beautiful little boys and a baby girl on the way, lifelong friendships strengthened, and the start of amazing new friendships. I may not be able to stay up as late as I could at 20, and I may need a lot more concealer and caffeine to get me through my days, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the life that I’ve been blessed with. I don’t know what my thirties will hold, and I’m okay with that. Ten years from now, I will probably look back at my thirty year old self and realize how much I still had to learn. I know that whatever this decade brings, Jesus will be right there to meet me in all of it, and that alone gives me all of the peace that I need.