Friday, March 13, 2015

Note to My Younger Self


I turned 30 recently!  I smile when I think about the look on some people's faces when they realize I hit this big milestone.  Some don't believe me.  Their eyes get huge and they exclaim, "What?!  No!  You don't look a day over 23!"  (Why, thank you very much...I'll put that one in my pocket for later!)

Others--those who are closer to me--raise their eyebrows and say things like, "Oh boy.  How does that make you feel?"  Their reactions make me feel like I should feel a certain way about it.  Like I've turned a corner or something.

I get that it's a milestone.  I do.  It's a completely new decade, for one thing.

But can I be totally honest right now?  I'm actually feeling relieved.

For a few reasons.  Number one:  It's about time.  Seriously.  I feel like I've lived a full lifetime already, and for me?  It's almost like my number age is starting to catch up to my actual age.  Having to grow up a little too soon has always left me feeling more wise than I probably should be.  I'm thankful for this life experience now, but when you're a twenty-something year old girl with a high-pitched voice who "doesn't look a day over sixteen," people tend not to take you very seriously.  At least not as seriously as you feel you should be taken.  So, perhaps I'm also feeling like I've "earned" this new age.

Number two:  I am SO over my twenties.  In the course of reflection, I've come to realize that I've spent much of the last decade making mistake after mistake, piling on the regrets as if it were my career.  There are times when I ache with the want to go back and fix certain things.  I know now that with every single choice you make, you are making your life.  Back then I either didn't know this, or didn't care.  Probably a little of both.

And yet, I can't help but trust that it was all for a purpose.  True, I've veered from the path so many times that I should technically be lost for good.  But ultimately I realized I hadn't forgotten my compass after all.  True North is reliable no matter how far off the beaten path you are.

Besides...the windiest roads make the best drivers.  

So, after thinking about this for a while, I've decided that my experiences thus far--good and bad--have all gotten me to where I am today.  And I like where I am.  But if I had the chance to write a note to myself, at say twenty, with a list of things to at least start thinking about?  I would.

Here's what I'd write.

:: It's not all bad.  The road ahead is rough.  As was the one behind.  But there are going to be detours along the way that have breathtaking views.  Be careful not to speed along too fast in an effort to just make it through where you are currently.  As you know, some of the best things in life happen when we're really not looking for them, and often where we never think we'd find them. 

:: "They" weren't joking...the ones who warned you that it goes fast.  This saying is not thrown around lightly, as you will come to learn.  Your beautiful baby girl?  One night you're going to go to bed and wake up the next morning with this woman-child-like thing in your house, and you're going to wonder who the heck this is and what did she do with your baby?!  Time is precious, and not just with your children.  Please please please use it wisely.

:: That time that's so precious?  You're wasting it with all these "fun" things you think don't control you.  The drinking, the smoking, the lifestyle.  There is more to life than these temporary things.  Every minute you waste getting high is a minute you will never get back.  It's just not worth it.  One day you're going to look back and wish you had every single one of those minutes to do something different with.  Guaranteed.

:: It's ok to let go, and one day soon you will.  You struggle with a few "whys."  You carry burdens that are way too heavy.  Turns out you were never meant to know all the answers, and those burdens were never meant for you to carry.  A few years from now you will find the peace you've been searching for all this time.  And just you wait.  Rest from these things will come, I promise.

:: And last but certainly not least:  your daddy was are beautiful.  You are awesome.  You are worth it.  You make people proud.  And you do not need a man to confirm this.  Soon enough, though, a man will enter your life who will make you feel the way you deserve to feel.  He will love you unconditionally.  He will make you feel special.  He will be strong when you are weak, and carry you when you feel like you can't take another step.  He will rejoice with you on the mountaintops and sit with you in the valleys.  Don't worry, you'll know it when you meet him.  And just to be sure?  His name is Jesus.

Photo // Death to Stock

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