This weekend, I’m turning 25! Twenty-five feels so grown up to me. I had so many ideas of what 25 would look like when I was younger. My life is nowhere near what I had imagined (I don’t have two kids already…) but this life is one I couldn’t have dreamed up on my own. I think my younger self would be very proud (and shocked) of how everything turned out. My life hasn’t always been easy. I’ve had some high highs and low lows. I’ve experienced a lot of loss. Loss of people, relationships, expectations, and places that meant a lot to me. I’ve also laughed a lot, fallen in love, learned what it means to be truly known and still truly cared for, and I am a product of Grace and walk in so much freedom. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I’ve learned a lot of lessons. I’ve done some things right and want to pass that knowledge on to you. I’ve created a list of 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years!
25 LESSONS I LEARNED IN 25 YEARS
- You’re never too old to laugh at yourself. // One of my favorite things about my relationship with Brad is that we are constantly laughing together – at ourselves, and at one another. Life isn’t meant to be taken so seriously. Have fun!
- The people who matter most will always stick around. // The people that matter most have always stuck around for me. I have friendships that have withstood the test of time, distance, and life’s circumstances. Cherish those friendships, they are in your life for a reason.
- Start today. // Because yesterday, tomorrow was today. And tomorrow, today will be behind you. Today is all you have.
- Guard your “yes” + it’s okay to say no. // This is a BIG one for me. Your yes equals your time, and your time is so important. Guard it. When you say no to one thing, you are saying yes to another. Make each yes count.
- The desires in your heart are there for a reason, pay attention to them. // Scripture says that God gives us the desires of our heart which means those desires matter. If you’re passionate about something, go after it. Even if people laugh at you, chase what lights your heart on fire. Your life will be so much more fulfilling.
- Always have a mentor. // You should always have someone in your life that has gone before you. You need someone who can offer you support, encouragement, wisdom, and insight. They can also see your blindspots, which has been the biggest gamechanger for me.
- Marry someone who has an attractive heart and soul. // Ditch your list of things your “person” needs to check off. Find someone who you enjoy spending time with (because you spend a lot of time together when you’re married), that you don’t mind looking at (this matters but it’s not the most important thing), and that you are so attracted to their heart and soul. Their heart and their soul is what you have to build your life together on – not looks, or hobbies, or all the other stuff that doesn’t matter.
- What got you here won’t get you there. // If you want to go somewhere you’ve never been, you have to do something you’ve never done. This has changed my life. Ultimately, even the things that worked will not get me to where I’m going because that is what got me to where I am.
- Transition and/or change is uncomfortable but so necessary. // This has been SO relevant in my life over the past three years. Transition is needed for growth. Change isn’t a bad thing despite how uncomfortable it may be. Even nature goes through changes to be able to sustain itself.
- Drink more water. // It really does make all the difference. I doubted it for a long time, but I can honestly say I can tell the difference.
- All the things that I thought would “fix” my life didn’t. // I thought if I dated the right guy, got married, bought a house, got an “adult job”, etc. that all my problems would disappear but they didn’t. It doesn’t work that way. Be present and make the most of the life you have now. Otherwise, you’ll always be chasing the next thing.
- There is nothing a good dance break can’t help. // Put on your favorite playlist and dance it out. You can’t be unhappy and do a happy dance at the same time. Trust me.
- Time really does heal. // Give yourself space and time to heal. There are wounds that I’m still working on healing but the more time in-between really does help. Breathe. I promise it really does get better.
- Don’t be afraid to cry. // There is so much healing in letting yourself feel your feelings. Crying is so therapeutic and there is nothing wrong with it. Cry if you feel like crying.
- Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. // My life is far from perfect but my life brings me a great deal of joy. It truly is a wonderful life if you let it be.
- Make the phone call. Send the text. // Every time you think about calling or texting someone, DO IT. It is usually just as beneficial for you as it is the person you’re reaching out to.
- Not all advice is good advice. // Need I say more?
- Love people well. They notice. // People want to know how much you care before they care how much you know. How you treat people matters.
- Getting a dog really was one of the greatest decisions of our life. // Winston has helped with my mental health more than I will ever truly understand. He makes me smile when I’m on the verge of tears. He brings Brad and me together when we would rather be miles a part. He’s such a sweet pup and means the world to me.
- There will always be someone worse off than you and someone better off than you. // Comparison is the thief of joy. Be grateful for the life you’ve been given and be yourself.
- Approach every argument or misunderstanding knowing that the other person has your best interest in mind. // It is usually not someone’s intention to hurt you. When you go into it with that mindset, it helps with communication and keeping things focused on the one argument or misunderstanding.
- Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. // Your words have the power of life or death. Speak to yourself like you would a friend. I promise it helps.
- Your feelings are always valid because they’re your feelings. // They may not always be right or called for, but they are always valid because you felt them.
- Overcommunicate your expectations. // This has been my biggest downfall in my relationships. You cannot hold someone accountable to an expectation you never communicated.
- God is faithful even when we can’t see it. Trust Him. // God has ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS come through on His promise. He has come through regardless of if it didn’t happen how I thought or in the timing that I thought.
Another lesson I’ve learned is that God has the coolest way of writing our stories. My birthday is during Human Trafficking Awareness Month. This is something extremely close to my heart. So much so, that it’s my full-time job to walk alongside survivors of human trafficking here in Dallas/Fort Worth. They all have their own stories but they are all 100% THE strongest people I’ve ever met. They deserve the best and the best cost money. For my birthday, would you consider donating to Rescue Her?