What a wild time to be alive! Around this time last year, I was looking forward to my 30s, or better yet the end of the terrible 20s. I always had an inkling that my 30s would truly be my renaissance…and so far so good:
I didn’t die!
I’m getting married in 2019!
I’m singing a lot more regularly, and my acapella group, Axiom, dropped our debut album! (Go get it, Y’all. It’s really fresh.)
I enjoy getting older because I know I’M getting better. I do have to be honest, though. Since I treat every birthday like the real New Year’s Day, there’s always this building anticipation of a release – an opportunity to wash me clean of the previous year. It’s like the feeling you get when you leave a job, knowing you don’t have to take any of that mess with you, LOL. But life comes at me so fast each year around this time that the day just kind of comes and goes. I had a major milestone birthday last year, and now I’m feeling like, “Now what?” The high of the new beginning is quickly met with the reality of “What’s next?” And you know what? I don’t know. I do know that I’ve only been 31 for a couple of days now, and I’m already getting an education, LOL.
Three Lessons in Three Days
Here’s what I know so far:
- It’s okay not to know. “I don’t know” is not three sticky cuss words strung together like a bad candy necklace. We are human. Our foresight is limited and our understanding is limited to our experience. The logistics-driven person in me freaks out about not having my whole life organized and planned, and I think some aspects of the new goal-oriented culture amongst my peers contributes to this. But I have to give myself a break. I’ll admit, I get really annoyed when I hear people use not knowing as a crutch, but it’s really okay to be honest about it – as long as you are busy trying to find out.
- All whitespace isn’t negative. My planners are a visual representation of what my mind looks like. Although that brain dump is great to keep my head from exploding, it is also dangerous for a person like me. Being able to see what’s going on in your life is great until you see what you don’t have going on. For visionaries, empty boxes can be a visual reminder of what you aren’t doing and a temptation to fill up every moment of your time. I have got to relish in the whitespace and understand that this unused time is for resting. And not feel guilty about it. For my sanity and for the love of those who love me.
- I’m really not working hard for nothing. It’s encouraging to begin to see the fruit of my labor and know that I haven’t been toiling in vain. I’m encouraged to go on. The key is to accept and respect your own pace. Again, comparison (and the associated culture) is the thief of joy. I’m not talking about the timing of the desired outcome; I stand by the assertion that it is okay to want what you want when you want it. Just know that if you aren’t seeing that end result as quickly as you want it, it may not necessarily be that you aren’t working hard enough or doing the right things. Trust that if you are really doing your best, God is doing the rest in the background.
I imagine that this year will be filled with challenges and growth, but I can already see myself headed upward and in the right direction. And friends, my hopes are high for you, too. I see you out there working and dreaming and fighting for yours. So put on your shades, folks – it’s about to get to real bright up in here!