Lessons from Twenty-Three

Today I’m twenty-four years old. Time goes incredibly slow and unimaginably fast–it’s the paradox of growing up, I guess.

I’ve learned a lot over the last 365 days. It’s safe to say that I’m not spending this birthday the way I thought I would, but I guess that’s been a lot of the last year: entirely unexpected and absolutely nothing like I planned.

I’m a year older and hopefully a little wiser…so, I will give you 24 things I learned this year.

  1. You’ve spent enough time hiding the things you love. Stop waiting until you know more, get more skilled, or have a higher degree. Love what you love and share it with people; don’t steal the opportunity from others to know that side of you.

  2. People are a lot crazier than you think they are–bless their hearts and get the heck out.

  3. Write a twelve page paper over the course of 3 days, not 3 hours. Otherwise, you and everyone within a 15 block radius will hate you.

  4. Always pack snacks. Road trips, plane rides, walks to the park, journeys from the kitchen to the living room…always have snacks! (Special thank you to my roomie Tay for this one!)

  5. Don’t let your friends talk you into walking “not very far” in the rain. You will end up walking eight miles and getting soaked down to your socks.

  6. Choose people. Over and over again, even when they don’t choose you back. Choose to love them and consider them. Forgive them. Even at their worst, they are worthy of being spoken to.

  7. Tip a little extra (even if they didn’t fill your water glass often enough). It’s hard to serve people all day every day, admire and be generous to the people who do.

  8. Ask for help. Pick up the phone. Go to the support group. Drive to someone’s house and sit in their floor. Get rid of the pride. The consequences of not asking for help are never worth it.

  9. You will end up where you’re supposed to. Even if you have no idea where you are or how to get back home. You’re going to make it and you’re going to be alright.

  10. If you can’t be comfortable in your own skin, don’t fool yourself into thinking you would be comfortable in someone else’s.

  11. DO NOT, I repeat– DO NOT go to Great Clips and expect anything more than a mullet.

  12. You can’t make things happen and you can’t change what is. Change comes when it comes and it will come, enjoy what you have now because it won’t be this way forever.

  13. God is the only constant.
    People leave, die, change.
    Bodies get weak, sick, and wrinkled.
    Minds dull, wander, forget.
    God is the only thing that won’t fail you.

  14. Vacuuming is hard and if you don’t wad the cord in your hand as you go, you will trip multiple times (especially at five in the morning).

  15. Do the very things you’re afraid of. Do them over and over again, even if you’re shaking. Fear is a lie, let yourself learn that it has no power.

  16. Friendship and relationships are 10% compatibility and 90% intentionality.

  17. Say “yes” to awkward situations. Push yourself. Realize that people are worth wading through silence for, it’s not the worst thing.

  18. It’s your story–stop asking other people to write it. Counsel is good, learn from other people, but make decisions and own them. Don’t even allow yourself the temptation of later blaming others.

  19. All blue jeans are not created equal. Figure out what kind looks good on you and buy 79 pairs of them.

  20. Tell people you love them. When you leave the restaurant, when you hang up the phone, when you go to sleep, when you hug them, when they yell at you, when you don’t want to hear another word from them, when you’re scared, when you wake up. Tell people you love them. It’s the thing we need to hear most and often hear the least.

  21. Buy the plane ticket. If you have the money, buy it and go. Even if you think you should save up for “a rainy day”. The possibility of a rainy day will always be there, but the opportunity to see the world may not.

  22. Don’t pack more than you can carry–in life and in traveling. If you can’t pick it up and run, don’t put it in there. Don’t pack for comfort and security, pack the necessities.

  23. Cheap toilet paper is absolutely useless and torturous. Just pay the extra $2.00

  24. Celebrate your birthday. God spoke you into existence and the day you were born was a day that the world got to physically see God’s Word and His promise come to pass. The world needs to be reminded that His promises are true. And God deserves our gratitude for this glorious life we get to live.

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