Top Books that Shaped My 20s:
10. The Essential Rumi -Jalal al-Din Rumi
9. Raggamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning
8. The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls
7. The Tipping Point - Malcom Gladwell
6. Song of Fire & Ice Series - George RR Martin
5. Ethics - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
4. Love Is A Mixed Tape - Rob Sheffield
3. The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran
2. Traveling Mercies - Anne Lamott
1. Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
Top Albums that Shaped My 20s
10. Dusk & Summer - Dashboard Confessional
9. A Good Day - Priscilla Ahn
8. The Everglow - Mae
7. Songs for Silverman - Ben Folds
6. A Man and His Music - Frank Sinatra
5. Elephants: Teeth Sinking Into Heart - Rachel Yamagata
4. The Carpenter - The Avett Brothers
3. Boxer - The National
2. I'm Wide Awake It's Morning - Bright Eyes
1. The Head and The Heart (self-titled)
9. Read: This was something I did right, I read all through my 20s from memoirs to business books to romance to science fiction/fantasy to intellectual non-fiction to poetry - I read it all. Best decision ever.
8. People change, you can't change that. People grow up, apart, away and together. The growth I have seen in my husband and my closest friends blows me away, I have never been more proud. The growth in myself, how I have changed and grown is incredible. And, to those who grew apart from me, the strength it took to adjust for both myself and them and where we are now was not bad, just different. Change made us better people, or stronger people.
7. Faith vs Religion: Gosh, this is a biggie. I am still learning these intricate lessons. I am a deeply spiritual person, it's at the core of who I am. I have faced judgement from friends, people who don't even know me - even family. In the end, my faith is in God and my heart is full of joy and love and hope and goodness. It has nothing to do with anyone else. I cling to my faith when I feel alone, when I feel afraid, when I feel loathsome and awful. I pray that a light shines through me, and I pray that I never force myself or beliefs on anyone. I believe in choices. And, I choose love.
6. Loss: Deep dark places, I have known. These times showed me unexpected strength, unexpected grace.
5. Communication: It's everything. You must take responsibility for the good - and the breakdowns.
4. Success, Ambition & Hustle: Balance it, girl. I have seen high endurance sprints and complete burnout. The balance is still a work in progress, because I go hard and sometimes, too hard. This drive of mine is a HUGE reason for being where I am at 30, but I have learned hard lessons when this becomes the main mission or goal. I have also fallen flat on my face in failure.
3. Haters: They make you better, they make you stronger, they make you kinder. Acknowledge them, take any morsel of truth they may give you, and then let them go.
2. Friendship: I have been blessed with incredible friendships over the last 10 years. Some who are constant, some who came just in time during different phases, some who were fleeting but left behind amazing memories. I have been a good friend, and I have been a terrible friend. The key to friendship is letting go of control, you cannot control people, they cannot control you. Be love, be grace, be present.
1. Confidence: Lord help me, I struggle. But, I am a strong, resilient woman. I have achieved so much in the last 10 years. I am kind, I am funny, I am beautiful. I am smart. I am amazing. May I always know this, and I wish I had known this all along.