Sayonara 20’s! Baby boo, you were so good to me, and goodness gracious you taught me a lot. I’ve reflected on the key lessons I’ve learned the last ten years, and I wanted to share them with you.
- I learned how to be myself
I took a cue from Taylor Swift and finally CALMED DOWN. As a young 20-something and completely desperate for friendship, I would chameleon into whatever crowd I was hanging out with. I would overthink my words, afraid to say something stupid, which resulted in a very quiet Kelsey with virtually no personality. I remember looking at Brian one day and saying out loud, “Who am I?” The lack of identity lead to an identity crisis!
As I did the soul work needed to first see my identity was rooted in God, I found more and more freedom to be…well…ME! I was loud, quiet, extroverted, introverted, obsessed with New Girl, not a fan of the Jonas Brothers, and filled with all kinds of other opinions. I cared less about impressing the people around me and started surrounding myself with people who appreciated the personality I was developing.
If this is you, if you are crippled with anxiety, and don’t really know where culture starts and you end, I would encourage you to pause. Take a breath. Start asking yourself some tough questions about who you really are. I’m over here on the other side saying that it’s so worth it to discover who you really are and live into that freedom! Wear your unique crown, queen.
- I stopped comparing my life to other people’s
Rachel Hollis said it best when talking about the anxiety epidemic sweeping our country, particularly with women, “Who are you trying to please?” Raise that hand if social media causes you to compare your life to everyone else’s you follow. I’ll wait. THERE WE GO.
Unless you’re living under a rock or made of steel, you’ve felt the sting of wishing your life looked a little more like someone else’s. I’ve been there, and would be a liar if I said those days were behind me. But I can honestly say I’ve done work to APPRECIATE where other people are at.
The LetterFolk board in my room has the quote, “Gratitude leads to abundance,” and practicing gratitude turned what I had into ENOUGH. I learned how to cheer people on in their journeys while I was content with mine, and it’s given me such a healthier daily perspective.
- I learned how to enjoy the process
Anyone have aspirations of becoming a millionaire by 30, and deeply disappointed in yourself when you’re not even close? I know it’s the enneagram 3 achiever in me, but I have a desire to get to the destination of my dreams, and FAST.
Something I’ve learned in my 20’s is that, baby, you’re going to spend a whole lot of time in the process of working out your dreams and seeing them come to fruition, so you better enjoy the journey of getting there. I can honestly say that the last year or so has been the most enjoyable because I let go of the rigid timeline and started embracing being “in process”.
- I enjoyed a lot of milestones
In my 20’s, I graduated college, got married, started a business, and had a baby. THAT’S A LOT OF THINGS! Looking back, I have the sweetest memories to tie to the last decade. The lesson I learned from living through all of these big gifts in my life is that they didn’t come any sooner by worrying about them.
I remember being insanely impatient to get married, and then when that happened, my brain hopped to the next thing and the next thing to wait oh-so-impatiently for. In my 30’s, I want to be excited about what’s next for me, but I also want to be present in the season I’m in right now.
- Marriage is no joke
There’s isn’t a better way to say it. Don’t get me wrong, being married to my best friend is one of the greatest pleasures of my life, but what I mean is that a healthy, thriving marriage doesn’t happen on accident, it takes HARD WORK.
We didn’t know what forever meant as a couple of 23 year-olds in love. We were green in every sense of the word, and we learned very quickly that we were two different people. We had to confront our selfishness and opinions in order to survive.
We have a lot to attribute the state of our marriage to. God, first and foremost, who is shaping us everyday into more humble, selfless people. A community of friends we can be vulnerable with. Our own parents who both have beautiful and faithful marriages. Something we did really right was to turn to the above three groups when things got hard instead of isolating ourselves. The temptation to pull away from these life sources is so real. Shame and insecurity wants you to separate yourself from everything and everyone that can help you.
I can promise you that marriage won’t always be fun, and I can guarantee you’ll hit hard spots. Life is tough sometimes, but every time Brian and I get through a tough season, we come out of it stronger than we were before. Hard times make the great times even sweeter.