02 September 2015

10 Lessons I learned in my 20's

A week from today I'll be saying farewell to my 20's and hello to a new decade. 

My 20's were a time of being humbled, stretched like a rubber band, and learning A LOT about myself. It is so funny to look back and think 10 years ago how I was so certain about everything, and now I am seeing how much I really don't know and still have to learn.

So here's an ode to the roaring 20's...and thinking about the greatest lessons from those years in life.

1. Self-care is not selfish, but a necessity
Making time for yourself is not selfish or even a luxury but its a necessity, with or without kids at home. I have often gotten caught up in doing lots for others at the expense of not making time for me and starting to burn out. Read books, paint your nails, sit outside with a smoothie, take a nap, etc. If I don't take care of me, I'll be cranky and burn out. Nobody got time for that. So treat yo self...everyday!

2. I'm not always right
This can often be one of the most humbling lessons. I'm not always right in how I speak, treat others, or talk about my faith. To be honest and accountable with myself can feel uncomfortable, but in the end it can teach me some pretty big life lessons.

3. Don't look for a man to fulfill or "complete" you
This is one I learned the hard way but oh what a good lesson! If I look back at at my 20's, I see very often I wasted so much time worrying about meeting the right guy or when I'd get married. This crazy making behavior led me to make my husband an idol and really see a relationship as a way to fulfill and fix all that was lacking in my life. I was wrong on so many levels.
I promise you no man will EVER complete you.

4. Exercise is just as important as a strong spiritual life
For the longest time, I used to value the spiritual life over taking care of my body. Now, I see the importance of both and the need for strong relationships with both. I have NEVER been an exercise person, but I'm so proud of what 

I'm learning through running and working on my relationship with food. Its only a little over a month till run my first half marathon, who knew I always had it in me? :)
Used to be like this...

Now I be like this...

5. Don't take out loans to go to Europe
Yup you read that right. I have made MANY mistakes with money along the way. Thankfully no we are starting to get our act together. But for real. Don't ever take out loans to go to Europe. EVER. Always a bad idea.

6. Life is more than retweets or likes on Instagram
Very true, but hard to live out at times. I amazed how easily I can get wrapped up in the frenzy of wanting just a few minutes to "scroll" and scope out what's going on in social media. I don't want to spend my life hiding behind the perfect picture or looking for validation, but I want my life to be rich with meaning, purpose, and living intentionally.

7. Learn to be okay with yourself & being alone
This is kinda related to #3. I used to think I was comfortable being by myself and confidant in that. My Mom always told my sister and I growing up that we need to comfortable being alone before getting into a relationship. If you don't you can start to live for the other person, thinking you "need" them to complete or make you a better person. False.

8. Boundaries.
Oh sweet baby Jesus. This one x 10! Boundaries with everybody, including myself. It helps me deal with the crazy, difficult people as well as speak my own truth and be honest. Read the book. Life with boundaries is a magically, wonderful thing. Honest.

9. Ditch the unhealthy friendships...nurture the life-giving ones
I never would have thought making friends as I got older would be so difficult at times...or maybe I should say making genuine, meaningful friendships. From having to end a friendship with a long-time friend to leaving my small group at church, I have been surprised that my 20's didn't come with a book "Healthy Friendships 101." 

And while that has been difficult over the years, I have more recently been blessed with very dear women in my life as well as the Blessed Is She community. I have been learning what are the real ingredients for genuine sisterhood and lasting friendships. And though those lessons came with difficulty at times, I am really grateful for all the messy and beautiful that came with it.

10. Don't live for others approval or needing them to like you
I have often identified as a people pleaser. I like to be liked and I don't want to rock the boat.
I have struggled with getting my panites in a bunch when some people don't like me or don't understand me. Newsflash. The only person I can change is myself (thank you therapy). If I am living for others to like me or approve of what I do, that's a quick way to unfulfilled and unhappy life.
Stop caring what others think about you, and find more peace and self-confidence along the way.

What are some of the greatest lessons life has taught you so far? What have been the most difficult?

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  1. I turn 30 next month and am already starting to get sentimental about it!

    I would love to hear more about the road that led you to Youth Ministry full time. I spent 2 years volunteering with our middle school program but it was too much for me to do well and work full time. I'd love to find a way to get back involved.

    Also - BLESSED IS SHE!!! - Love it! I just found it about a month ago and have been enjoying the daily readings as well as learning more about the community. I'd love to get more involved either writing reflections or helping with the site. I struggle to meet Catholic friends and really would love that!

    1. Maureen, I recently discovered the BIS community, too!!!! If you're on FB, you should definitely join one of the groups. Even though I'm such a newbie, I totally feel at home with some of the other ladies already!

    2. Woot woot 30!! Maureen are you on Facebook? Definitely get in the community group, so helpful and encouraging...even though it can be hard I do love youth ministry. I got into it just by volunteering so much I ended up being offered a job, lol ;-)

  2. Amen to the self-care!!!! All of the self-care!!!! Really. This is definitely something I learned during college, and it's SO IMPORTANT! I feel like a lot of society's problems could be helped if more people did some legitimate self-care regularly, because there are way too many overworked/overstressed/overwhelmed people out there. Your list is also pretty cool to read because I'm 22, so I have several more years of my twenties to look forward to, and you're giving me some good insight as to what kinds of things I may encounter!

  3. I loved how open and honest this list was. Seriously, it's only by being open about the lessons we've had to learn along the way that we can help make those same lessons a little easier for others to learn. I think the biggest lesson I've learned over recent years is not to hold too tightly to my big plans for life--sometimes God has plans far bigger, and I shouldn't try to run away from that, I should accept that.


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