Collections from 22
So last night, I'm sitting on our little red loveseat with Zach, and I'm sharing some of my biggest reflections from my 22nd year of life. And he smiles at me with his sweet, sweet smile and says, "You get so introspective on your birthdays."
And he's 100% spot on!
With tears welling up in my eyes, I said to him, "Babe, promise not to make fun of me...but today, I was driving around practically in tears. I was listening to Taylor Swift and thinking about how one day you're standing in your room, getting ready for school, 15 years old and singing Taylor Swift's "Fifteen," and then you blink and all of a sudden you're driving home from work, married and about to be 23. I just know 32 will be here in a flash too! I just want to take it all in, you know?"
I was just all out crying, being such a girl - thanks Taylor Swift. But it was so GOOD. I love introspection. And I love birthdays. It's the perfect opportunity to get some quality introspection in.
Here are just a few reflections 22-year-old me collected:
1. It's perfectly OK for you not to still fit into your high school jeans. Listen, if you are squeezing into your jeans and feeling miserable about the way you look the entire day...get a bigger size! I spent so much time sad that I wasn't fitting into some of my favorite clothing items. Every time I tried to get in them, they were just way too small and I'd spend the whole day feeling lumpy and gross about myself. Your body is going to change and that does not change your worth one bit.
2. Community doesn't just come your way the second you crave it. You have to fight for it. You have to make time for it. Zach and I had a rough time missing our friends and our community in Austin when we first moved to Houston. It was discouraging to see so many of our other friends hanging out with all their couple friends and we were just over in our apartment like, "does anyone wanna hang out with us???" Turns out there are dozens of other people thinking the exact same thing. You just have to put yourself out there. Sign up for that bible study...or start a bible study! Ask that fun, quirky couple on a double date. Pursue the community you desire.
3. If it starts to snow, even if it's miserably cold outside, go dance on the sidewalk. Don't be "too cool" to stick your tongue out and grab a little snowflake. Take it from the wise old Ben Rector, "Growing up doesn't mean getting older." There's so much to wonder in, so much beauty and so much joy to take in. Delight in it!
4. Get 8 hours of sleep. I mean seriously. This one here is one that my now husband and all my old roommates tried to get me to understand for years. I was your, "I can run on 5-6 hours of sleep every night. No problem!" girl. Well...yes, problem, actually. The thing is, you don't really realize that life can be so different with enough rest - I was so accustomed to exhaustion that I didn't really think anything was that off. But once I got married to a man who loves his 8 hours of sleep, I started realizing how much more myself I was feeling. I mean my real, not sluggish, "I'm actually happy" self. Now when I get a night of little rest, I notice a world of a difference. Hear me out on this: spiritual rest is excellent - you know, sitting with your Bible open, getting your worship on, just spending time in His presence kinda rest - don't skimp out on that goodness. But trust me sister friend, God wants you to clock in that physical rest too.
5. Be gracious to yourself. You're not going to be the perfect employee, the perfect wife, the perfect friend...the perfect anything! You won't always get it right. Just remember to never grow too prideful to believe in "I'm sorry"s. Learn to accept the, "I forgive you"s too.
20 and 21 were full of a lot of tears and a lot of hurts for me, but 22 was full of huge smiles and countless laughs. That's just life. You won't always be stuck in a hill or a valley. Regardless of tears or smiles, I know God will still be good to me through 23.