Jul 30, 2012

Guest Post: What My 20's Are Teaching Me

While I'm in New Mexico soaking up all things "America" I didn't want to leave this space hanging, so I gathered some pretty top-notch bloggers to strut their stuff. Today's post is from Casey of We Took the Road Less Traveled. Casey has a way of captivating you with her words and her photos are pin-worthy. We haven't met yet, but we have a pretty stellar date planned for October and I can't wait to hang out with her in person! Read this post, then check out her blog and you'll see what I mean. She rocks my socks off.


I saw this post prompt floating around the blogosphere a while back, but felt I hadn’t really sat down and reflected about what my 20’s have taught me enough to write about it. So, I kept this idea inside my little back pocket, thought about it some more, and decided it would be perfect to share on Jessica’s lovely blog while she’s out gallivanting around the USA. Color me jealous, by the way!

I’m a little over halfway through my 20’s (I’ll turn 26 in October, yikes!) and I’m quite positive I’ve learned more in those 5 ½ short years than any other time in my life. Here are just a few lessons that stick out in my mind:
Mom was right…about ALOT of things.
From simple things like washing all the make-up off your face before going to bed at night to wise words about having a servant’s heart and paying it forward as often as you can. Girl knows what she’s talking about! Moms aren’t just there to make your school lunches and drive you to soccer practice, they’re in your lives not only to give you life, but also to point you in the right direction and love you through it all. I’ve grown to appreciate my mom so much more because I finally understand she’s been saying all these years. I hope to pass along the same words of wisdom to my children one day.

Comparison is a joy killer.
Nothing steals happiness faster than coveting the life someone else has built for themselves just because it seems more perfect than yours. Chances are, it’s not. People inherently show you what they want you to see, so behind closed doors, their lives might be a hollow shell of what they portray on the outside. Comparison makes you bitter and crushes your spirit. If you want to change your life to fit some ideal you have, then do it, but don’t do it to keep up with the Joneses. The grass isn’t always greener. Trust that the blessings you’ve been given are enough and know someone else’s success doesn’t make you a failure.
Don't wish life away.
I can't tell you how many times I've been in the middle of a vacation and thought, "Man I can't wait till our next trip!" Or I'll be enjoying a lovely Sunday afternoon and I'm already hoping to skip the week and bring on the next weekend. I guess it's human nature to want to get to the good stuff…and stay there…but I've been trying my darndest to enjoy every moment like there wasn't ever going to another one like it. Especially the moments I'm spending in Europe. Who knows if I'll ever get the chance to be here again! Life is fleeting, ever-changing, and often unpredictable, so wishing for an even better moment than the one you're already in seems wasteful. And ungrateful. As cliche as it sounds, live in the moment…soak up every blissful second and share it with the ones you love. Even in the bad times, breathe it in, because that's when you learn and you grow. There's no better time than the present.

Wonderful things happen when I step out of my comfort zone.
It’s true. I could have said no freakin’ way am I moving to Germany. I could have never started my blog and met lots of new people that I now call my friends. I could have stayed in my perfect little comfortable box and never made a move to better my life. But I didn’t. I leaped out of my comfort zone and have been rewarded with a life full of adventure and happiness. Taking a little risk here and there is what pumps blood through your veins, letting you know you’re alive. Don’t stifle yourself out of fear. Take chances and you just might end up with the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Your degree doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life.
I should be the spokes person for that phrase. I graduated with a BS in Nutrition & Wellness. After working within the confines of my degree for 2 years and moving to a foreign country that offers no chance to work in my field, I’ve come to realize that maybe I’d rather have a career in something else. Maybe I’d feel more fulfilled doing something I’m more passionate about. Just because you spent X amount of money earning a degree doesn’t mean you have to do that one thing for the rest of your life. People change, interests evolve, and new passions blossom. I love learning and teaching people about nutrition and healthy living, but I’m passionate about so many other things. Give yourself room to explore those passions without guilt.

Thank God for unanswered prayers.
There have been so many times when I’ve prayed for something, whole-heartedly, thinking it was the best thing for me. Come to find out (often years later), had I gotten what I’d been praying for, my life would be so much different…and not in a good way. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). He does things in his good in and perfect time for your well-being. Although you may not understand why in the moment, His answer reveals itself with time. And if not, that’s were faith comes in. 

I’m sure there are 1,000 more lessons I’ve learned and will continue learning as time marches on, but one things for sure, I am a better “me” because of them. I challenge each of you to spend a little time reflecting on the golden nuggets of knowledge you’ve managed to grasp onto over the years, especially during your 20's. You might be surprised at what you find!
 

So, what have your 20’s been teaching you?

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