I now only have 10 days until I am 25 years old! *yikes* How did I become so ancient!? I feel a quarter-life crisis starting already. I have learned a lot in these last couple of years, and I know they will prepare me for the next 24+ years.
Here are the 10 most important things I have learned:
Don’t sweat the small stuff
I know how cliche this sounds, but really, don’t sweat the small stuff. Those closest to me know that I am a worry-wort. I worry about the simplest things, and sometimes, I don’t even know what it is I’m worrying about. However, I realized something about myself. I learned that what I sometimes label as worry, is actually fear. Fear of failure. Fear of whether or not people are going to like me. Fear of letting my parents and family down. I have learned that I have to let the worry…the fear, go. I gotta let it go. Whenever I feel myself getting ‘keyed up’, I remind myself to “let go, let flow”, meaning that it is out of my hands and into God’s. I know that God will never give me more than what I can handle. I know that God has a plan for my life, a plan for me to prosper and not to fail. That being said, I have no reason to worry. All I have to do is go with the flow, not sweating the small stuff. Why? Because God has ‘it’.
Family is all
As a normal human being, there are many material things in life that I wish I had — like a luxury vehicle, a new Macbook, and all the makeup in the world. However, I learned none of that matters. Family is what truly matters. I am blessed to have such a wonderful family. Although we are small, and we have our fair share of disagreements, we love each other…I would take that love over anything in the world.
Sometimes this is hard to remember. Either we are busy with work, our cell phones or other life circumstances, and we lose focus on how important spending time with our family is. I realized this during the ‘great tornado’ we experienced a few months ago. We were without electricity for FOUR days, so we were forced to actually spend time and talk to each other [Read more here]. Although it sucked being without my cell phone, or my stereo, I truly enjoyed the time I spent with my family, just being ourselves and focusing on each other.
“Positive thoughts equal positive results”
This saying is everything to me. Positive thoughts equal positive results. Our words and our thoughts are powerful. Our words create energy, that absorbs into our atmosphere — our actions, our emotions, our outcomes.
I had the hardest time in college…especially freshmen year being away from my family for the first time. Even more so when it came to organic chemistry…which I naturally am really bad it. Instead of being down in the dumps, giving up on my studies, I had to keep positive. I had to tell myself that I can do whatever it is I put my mind to. I could not go into an organic chemistry test, already thinking that I was going to fail…such a mindset would already define my fate. So I worked hard. I spent countless nights studying. I went to my professor after class, asking her question after question to make sure I understood the lesson. And at the top of each test, I wrote: Positive Thoughts, Equal Positive Results. Now of course I did not pass chemistry with honors, but I passed.
Single is okay
I am at the age now where I am starting to feel the pressure of dating, and eventually getting married. Especially going to a Christian college, there was definitely an urge to find someone to create a life with — finding a ‘ring by spring’. And I will admit it, for a while, being single really bothered me. What was it about me that made me not worthy of finding a boyfriend? What made me ‘un-dateable’? Then I realized…absolutely nothing. I am single simply because I have not met the right man yet. And that is okay, because instead of being in relationship after relationship, I am taking the time to truly learn, love, and appreciate myself. In being single, I am making myself whole. Believe me, I am eagerly ready to meet ‘the one’. But I am okay with being single. I am no longer searching for love…I am letting love find me. Things seem to work that way. Have you ever lost something, and tore up the house looking for it. You literally search everywhere, yet what you are looking for is nowhere to be found. Then, when you least expect it, BAM…you find it. If this is how my love life turns out to be, I will be okay.
5 is better than 10
I was not the popular girl in school. I did not have a multitude of friends, and go out to parties on weeknights. While there were times I wish I had more friends growing up, I have come to realize that quality is better than quantity. I can literally count on one hand how many close friends I have…one for each finger. I know that I can count on these girls for anything. They would lay down their life for me, and I for them. These friendships are more than a best-friend relationship…they are my family.
If at first you don’t succeed…
…Try, try again! Failure is bound to happen. The way I look at it, you can either fail and give up, or you can let the setback launch you forward towards success. Without failure, there would be no success. What makes the difference is how you look at the situation — remain optimistic and encouraged that although ‘it’ did not work this time, success could be right around the corner. It took Thomas Edison 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. If he gave up after the first try, or after the 500th try, would the light bulb ever be invented? Who knows.
Self-love is the best love
I hinted at this a little earlier when talking about being single. One of the most important things that I learned in my singleness is that self-love is the best love. Sometimes loving yourself can be one of the hardest things to do. As someone who is, ‘pleasantly plump’, it took me a while to understand this. Even now I have my days where it is just ‘bleh‘. If you were to look in my high school yearbook, I look like the human version of Igor in every picture. I am not smiling…at all. At the time, I called myself making a ‘sexy’ face, but I realize that it was really my attempt to portray someone that I am not….and I failed miserably. I can not look at those pictures without cringing. Now at almost 25, I have come to accept myself for who I am, and I love myself for it. I may not be a size 2, tall and blond, but I am still beautiful. I am more confident in myself. I love myself for every flaw.
Most importantly, how can you expect someone else to love you if you can not learn to love yourself first? It’s impossible.
All throughout my childhood, and even in college, I only had one career aspiration…I wanted to become a doctor. I could not see myself doing anything otherwise. I saw myself owning my own OBGYN practice, partnering with my best friend who wanted to be a pediatrician at the time. I had it all planned out. Now, three years after graduating, I want to do something completely different. While I still find medicine extremely interesting, my desires have changed. I changed. I now focus on creating a career in Public Relations, with dreams of owning my own practice servicing A-list celebrities.
Life changes. What you want now, can be different from what you will want 5 years from now. I have learned to embrace change, and look forward to what I have next in life. Sometimes change can be scary, but without change there would be no progress.
Exceedingly and Abundantly
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
This verse reverberates in my soul. God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I can ask or think. I personally find this to be one of the most powerful verses in the entire Bible. Here is a snippet of a blog post I wrote, that I feel encompasses exactly what I learned from Ephesians 3:20-21.
We live in a world where we are constantly limited by what we can or can not do, and what we are not; lost in the can not do this and the I am not that. I can not fly. I can not travel back in time. I can not become a Rocket Scientist because I am not smart enough. I can not find love because I am not pretty, I am not a size –0, I am not cool enough, I am not rich enough … I can not and I am not.
What He’s Able, and therefore Ephesians 3:20-21, helped me to realize is that “I am not” and “I can not”, really hold no weight in who I am, what I can do, and what my achievements will be. God says that I am His child. He loves me and only wants me to prosper. And, because I am His child, I can do all things through Christ who continues to strengthen me. Most importantly, God is able to do all things (exceedingly and abundantly), and because God lives in me, I am able to do all things (exceedingly and abundantly).
This is one of my biggest learning lessons in life. I learned to stop worrying about the future, stop worrying about what I can or can not do. I learned to stop qualifying myself, setting limitations on my abilities. I serve a God who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than my expectations…I learned to trust that He will make a way for me, especially when I feel there is no way.
Cherish Every Moment
I learned to cherish the small moments. It is easy to celebrate the ‘big’ stuff — weddings, graduations, birthdays — the ‘small’ stuff is often overlooked. I am sure this will become more difficult as I become older, but I hope to always remember this as I become busy with the hustle and bustle of life. 50 years from now, I do not want to look back and say, “I wish I payed more attention.”
The countdown begins! There are only 10 days until it’s my birthday!!! Here is to enjoying my last 10 days of being 24…on to adulthood 😛
Until Next Time,