Today marks my last day of the long, beautiful, fun, hard decade of the 20s. Just like leaving my teens, there are so many things I have to reflect on from year 20 to 29.
Top Lessons & Things I Wish I Had Known In My 20s:
10. Progress vs Perfection: Progress is so much more important and grows you so much more than perfection. One of the top struggles of my 20s was my drive to be perfect in all the things. I wish I had been more patient with myself, and others.
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.
I cannot believe I am twenty-nine years old. Where did time go? I really couldn't have asked for a better birthday. Jordan and I made it to Memphis in May for the first time in years and nearly all of my favorite bands were playing. Not to mention, I was front row for ALL of them.
Jenny Lewis, Ryan Adams, Flogging Molly, Band of Horses, The Avett Brothers - see photos below!
The best gift, however, came from my little sister, Jessi. Cards from Jessi are a favorite of mine - especially when they have drawings of my pups!
While in Little Rock this weekend, I had a chance to go on a great hike at Petit Jean State Park with my friend Arlton. Total 3.4 miles, 3 waterfalls, and lots of trees and foliage trying to come back to life on this second day of Spring in Arkansas. Great fun!
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms." - Henry David Thoreau