As cliche as is it is, I wanted to share 25 things I've learned in my first 25 years of life. In some ways, I've been dreading turning 25 because I feel more like an adult with every passing day and less like a kid. But in other ways, I'm grateful for this life of adulthood and the growth, lessons and freedom it's brought. With freedom does come greater responsibility - but it's a fun balancing act. On any given Saturday morning, Taylor and I can go on an adventure because we want to. Sometimes we have to choose the responsible route and get things done too.
So here it goes:
Don't take things too seriously and remember that people usually do have good intentions.
Extend grace to everyone - including yourself.
Eat the fries or the cookie - and enjoy it. Moderation is key, but life is too short to never enjoy a treat.
Take the adventure! Don't miss out on memories or moments. (COVID taught us this big time).
Consider how others think, feel and receive love. Put yourself in their shoes. Maybe they have a different communication style or ways of doing things. That's okay!
Reading books is actually a good way to spend your time. I've not been much of a reader but I've read 8+ books in 2021 so far and I've realized it's a great way to be entertained and use my brain at the same time.
Sometimes you really do just need to make coffee at home. I"m a sucker for going to coffee shops and buying coffee 3-5 times a week. It adds up quickly. It's not bad - but just keep track of spending.
Budgeting is important. Knowing what you have and what you don't have is important. Set goals and financial boundaries to reach them.
To tie in point 8, it's okay to spend some of your hard earned money! Plan for a trip or save for something that you will love. Don't go crazy, but what good does money do just sitting in your bank account? (Caveat: don't spend what you don't have.)
Marriage shows your true colors. I love my life with Taylor and it certainly has showed me sinful sides I can easily hide when it's just me. But on the flip side, Taylor brings out the best in me - encouraging me to walk towards Jesus daily.
Community is important. We aren't made to walk through life alone.
Be involved in where you live! Don't just drive to and from work everyday. Get to know people. Go to a local high school game. Make a bucket list of things to do that or unique to your town.
Family is important. The 20's brings a lot of good growing pains for families and it's important to keep communication up and time together when possible.
I'm so thankful for the things I did NOT get that I prayed for. Whether past relationships, jobs or places to live - I'm grateful that many answered prayers came in the forms of a "no" because I could not imagine being anywhere else.
Try new things - even if it's only once. I'm scared to try new things for fear of embarrassment, not having fun or just not wanting to waste time. (I'm working on it.) But there are so many things I wouldn't know about if I didn't step out of my comfort zone: frisbee golf (I'm terrible), biking, etc.
Celebrate the success of others. Comparison is so hard and creeps in fast. Someone else's success is not indicative of your failure. You will have "success" too even if it looks different than what you expected.
Rest is HOLY. Not just a break from work. Not binge watching Netflix. Time away from things that make you tired : laundry, chores, shopping, working, exercising, anything that makes you feel like you have to do or get done - leaving you drained and tired - feeling the need for another cup of coffee or a few extra hours of sleep. Do things that bring you life and peace and rest: reading a book, a hobby you enjoy, time with loved ones, digging into God's word.
Adulting is tricky sometimes. Ask questions! People don't often tell you the steps of buying a car or a house or filing your taxes. We've ALL been there. Ask questions if you don't know - better to ask know than be extremely surprised later.
Balance keeping a schedule and spontaneity. I'm the planner in the family and Taylor is the one who will drop everything for an adventure. Both are good and necessary depending on the situation.
Stay in touch with people. My college friends are my best friends to this day. I've made so many other friends since college - and they are some of my best friends now too - but it's so cool to keep these close relationships with people who know me in different areas of life.
Determine what you really want and pray about it. Sit on it. Think about it. I'm the queen of being hasty sometimes, but some of the best things I've pursued or even purchased (like a pair of shoes) are things that I've thought about for at least a day. Let Jesus guide you. If it's a new dress or book or shoes - see if it's something you really need.
Learn to say no. You can't do your best at what you're called to do if you say yes to everything.
Dream big. Remember those dreams you had when you were 5 or 6 years old? Elaborate, big, and crazy? Maybe the dream is different - but don't be afraid to go for it. God has given us these big dreams for a reason! Don't question what if - go for it. Know there will be some failures along the way, but God will do big things if you let Him.
Ask others how you're doing and be receptive. Self and peer reflection is important. People often see things we don't and can lovingly share things they see.
Be adaptive and have fun! Things change. Plans change. Dreams change. It's okay - in fact it's good! Go where He sends and have fun in the process.