Monday, June 3, 2013

what have you learned?

-Oprah Winfrey
Annye's last post got me thinking about how valuable other people are in our shaping. Other people's insights, actions, words, beliefs, feelings, etc., help us to learn and grow. That said, I'd love to know from all of you what is the biggest thing you have learned in your twenties so far {or did learn, if you aren't in your 20s}?

You can email or use the "Say Hey" tool on the right to send us a message. I'll put together a post with what everyone sends so we can all learn a little bit from each other. {I won't put your name with it, so it'll be anonymous in the blog post.} If you want to take part {and I hope you do!} please email/message us by Friday!

Happy Monday all. And I can't wait to learn from all of your valuable experiences!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"well I won't make THAT mistake again"

-my best friend

my brilliant friend and i ringing in 2013
Last night at wine night, my friend inspired a lightbulb moment...

She said, "Every time I make a mistake at work, I just tell myself, 'Well I won't make THAT mistake again.'"

How refreshing.

And so true. 

Just another reminder that every mistake {no matter how big or how small} is just a stepping stone to a bigger lesson, a better life.

It's all about the learning curve.

Sure, we hope we'll make fewer mistakes eventually. But life is alllll about learning. Whoever claims they know it all, needs to have a lesson in humility and a piece of humble pie. Even if you do make that mistake twice, the third time's the charm right?!

I needed to hear that last night. Even if my friend didn't mean to teach me a lesson, it was welcome reminder that mistakes are okay. We all make them. As long as we're learning something from them, it's all good. 

Practice makes perfect. And I have a feeling we all need a little bit of practice at this crazy thing called living in your twenties life.

Friday, May 24, 2013

here's to friday

Confession time, y'all!!

  1. I confess that this photo has had me laughing for a solid 10 minutes. Oh, Amanda Bynes. Bless your heart. Someone needs to reel you in, stat. 
  2. I confess that the three-day weekend on the horizon has gotten me through this week. Nothing like having an extra day off work to motivate you to make it through. Hoping for some sunshine, cold beer and lots of family/friend time. 
  3. I confess that paying major bills to get my car serviced this week makes me feel like such an adult that I cannot even handle it. Never mind this isn't the first time I've had to have my car serviced or that I'm turning 25 soon... This was a harsh reminder that I'm definitely an adult. Dang it.
  4. Speaking of adulthood. . . I confess that this week I've been daydreaming about closing my eyes and rewinding the clock a few years. I'd give anything to be back in college, living life in Chicago, doing ridiculous things every day. Adulthood is such a routine, it's starting to lose its luster. 
  5. But on the bright side? I confess that I secretly like having bills to pay, a job to go to every day, responsibilities and all that jazz. Makes me feel like I'm kind of, sort of doing something right and maybe have a tiny bit of purpose. It's all about perspective, ya know?
  1. I confess that on my last week of time off from school, I went into full-blown vacation mode. I went to Crystal Bridges {our awesome art museum}, saw a movie, had at nightly cocktail {or two}, ate some awesome food, stayed up way too late, spent too much money, and event spent a little time plastered in front of the TV. It's been glorious. 
  2. I confess that amongst my fun-filled week, I missed reading...just a little. I've never pegged myself for a book nerd, but I've got so many books I want to finish ranging on topics from how to live with gratitude, to Christian marriage, to a female sex therapist's encounters with male clientele. Quite the mix, I know. A girl's got to be well rounded.
  3. I confess in a short-lived attempt to not shop at all, I caved and bought a pair of shoes yesterday. I really needed new I didn't. But they are dang cute. I'm going to keep challenging myself though, I'll keep you posted on my next failure to have self-control. 
  4. You know that whole notion that you have to fall in love over and over with your significant other? I confess I may have fallen...again. After weeks of fighting, I did a little praying, asking for some gratitude. Never have I noticed how much he makes me laugh, the ease at which we can spend time together, and the fact he still opens my car door, every time, almost three years later. We may not have it all figured out, but issues are much easier to navigate when you can do it with an attitude of love instead of anger.
  5. I bought tickets to see John Mayer in July with my gal pals. I am stoked. I've wanted to see him since high school. Since high school! With all of my escapades this week, and the future fun planned for the upcoming summer months, it reminds me how blessed I really am to be living so carefree. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

to get to C you must leave A

My messily-formed, beautiful family at my brother's wedding.
As long as I'm married by 30. As long as I have my career figured out by 30. As long as I'm happy by 30. As long as I start having kids by 30.

As long as I {enter here anything your life is missing} by 30.

My friends and I put a lot of stock in that two digit number -- and it freaks. me. out. What if our "insert here" hasn't happened by 30?

Today I watched one big, scary TED video by psychologist Meg Jay called "Why 30 is not the new 20."

If you don't have time to watch I'll tell you that her point is something along the lines of don't blow off your twenties as if they don't count -- they do count. A lot of the decisions we make now will have a big impact on the rest of our lives.

That's a lot of pressure, right?

Sometimes it's so much pressure I almost feel immobilized. Until I think of some of the advice my mom gives me that has resonated with me throughout this decade of uncertainty: "decide something." And my mom isn't saying it flippantly, as if what I decide doesn't really matter. It does, and she reminds me of that often, too. But, at some point, she says, we just have to make a choice. And if it's the wrong decision, well, so be it. You pick up the pieces and you make a different, better, more educated choice next time.

When my mom says this, I put a lot of stock in it because it's not something she read, or something she wishes she'd have known. It's simply her lived experience. She got pregnant in her early twenties, and my brother's dad didn't want to have a part in it. So, she did the single mom thing. Then she reconnected with my biological father, who was her high school sweetheart. They married and had me. But he had issues with alcohol, and became abusive. So, she left and did the single mom thing again -- now with two kids. She went back to school and got her associates degree and began working for my step dad as his legal secretary. They became good friends, fell in love, married, and had my baby sister. They just celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary.

I share all of this because her life has been anything but picture perfect. But it worked out. She made some good choices, and some bad, but she was never paralyzed by what life handed her. And most importantly -- she learned as she went along. She learned she needed a better education to get a better job, so she went back to school. She learned she deserved so much more from men, so she gave my dorky, huge-hearted, insanely smart step dad a chance. She took risks. She didn't stay in an abusive marriage. She didn't stay in a dead-end job. She didn't give up on love. She kept going. She kept fighting. She kept learning.

I can only hope I will use my twenties as well as my mom did. Her experience taught me that while life is so messy, it is so good {I mean, look at my awesome family up top}. While we all want to go directly from A to B to C, sometimes that doesn't happen. And so we go from A to Z to J to B, and then, we finally get to C. And that's okay. The important part in our 20s, and I think Meg Jay would agree, is to make sure we leave A. Because if we never leave A, we'll never get to C -- especially by 30.

I read this article awhile back from Relevant mag about what you should know by 25. This part below helped me put my twenties in perspective:

This is the thing: when you start to hit 28 or 30, everything starts to divide, and you can see very clearly two kinds of people: on one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their deep dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. And then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to find a church, they mean to develop honest, intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in kind of an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than they were when they graduated college.

Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. Walk away, try something new. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? What have I learned about God this year? What parts of my childhood faith am I leaving behind, and what parts am I choosing to keep with me for this leg of the journey? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”

Now is your time. Become, believe, try. Walk closely with people you love, and with other people who believe that God is very good and life is a grand adventure. Don’t spend time with people who make you feel like less than you are. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.