|"You know when you find your name etched in the streets of the cities you're in...you are in the right place" -me.|
The space in between feelings and words…those are my favorite moments in time.
When I think back on my 25th year of life, I feel like this year has included those moments more than ever.
I am not sure what it is about this age of 26 that is really hitting me differently this year. I feel like it is the next mile stone after the big 21st; all of the other ones have come and gone with great pleasure, but 26...26, it just sounds so responsible. And adult like. I feel like at 26 you should have your life together.
But what does having your life look like anyways? Society might tell you it's having a secure job, paying your bills, being married, at least one kid on the way all while preparing a list for what things you need remodeled in your house, how you are going to make the next payment on your car and a very detailed 5 year plan with the 10 year one lurking very close behind.
Well if we're going by society's standards I am 0 for about, yep, everything. I am very much living the nomad life, my belongings consist of clothes divided up in suitcases; the summer ones left in America for my months there, and the rest with me here half way around the world in Hamburg, Germany. I do still have my trusty car from college, Tommy Bobby, that I bought for $2,000 which sits in Colorado waiting for me to make use of it when I return home for a few short months. A house, well that goes back to the nomad life. Married, couldn't be further from getting hitched and my biggest response to society telling you to get married young….a big fat 'Danke, aber nein danke'; I whole heartedly believe you need figure out who you are before you take the leap of a lifetime with someone else. As for the 5 and 10 year plans, I am very happy to make it to the end of each year. Yes I have a list of goals and things I would like to accomplish, but I am not a planner.
But let's focus on what I do have. I do have the most supportive family a girl could ask for; sisters and brothers that think I walk on water and love me to the ends of the earth. Parents that are 110 percent always behind me in love and support. Friends. Friends all over the world that have helped shape this 26 year old in to who I am today. And, experiences; stories, pictures, a passport full of stamps and memories of laughter, hard times and exhilarating life changing moments.
I am not living the typical 26 year old life. And I couldn't be more thankful for that.
I feel like my 25th year was a big growth year for me; finding a little bit more about who I am down to the very core and what makes me tick. I loved more, I was more open, I was hurt more, I laughed more, and I cried; way more.
And this is what I think the trick is. BE more. Be open to more. Find what makes you come alive inside, spend time discovering who you really are, not who society is telling you to be and then PURSUE it. I am not happy all the time, but I am a majority of the time. And I don't think I have always been. I am happy because I have opened my heart to the people and experiences around me. Sometimes it has been for the better and sometimes it has caused me pain. But the pain is what makes the happy moments that much more glorious.
I think every individual has something different and unique to offer the world, each person IS special. And don't listen to anyone who tells you different. But the key is not just knowing that you are special, the key is actually DOING the special. Doing the extra, doing the hard, doing what is right; in your heart. You have to find out what makes you the best YOU and then work your ass off every day to GIVE that to the world.
In the weeks leading up to my birthday I knew I wanted to blog about life in general and I knew the people I wanted to ask the most, were the ones that meant the most and have had the biggest effect on me personally thus far in my life and helped shape me into the very unique me, that I am. As well as meeting the age requirement of above the age of 26. :)
The biggest thing I got from these responses is that there is no one secret to being successful in life. Each individual has their own path, challenges and triumphs. But the one common thing we all do have is that we each have something different in us that no other person in this world has.
My advice to you: find that attribute, talent, quality, ability; whatever it is. Discover it and figure out how to let it shine the brightest to the world. Every day, rain or shine.
These are my loved ones insights on pursuing the best you. Use one, use all, use none, up to you. Enjoy...and BE YOU! :)
-Quality over quantity in all aspects of life: Friendship, love, work, and play. Surround yourself with people who make you better. Do what makes you happy and live with no regrets.
-Keep being you. You have that “go for it” attitude and it’s one of the things that makes you so very lovable by everyone who meets you, everyone who sees you. Keep enjoying life and keep spreading that passion every time you touch somebody else’s life.
-Always focus on the positive in life! And Jesus I trust in you.
-Always focus on the positive in life! And Jesus I trust in you.
-We always have more in us than we think we do, and it is so important that we get it out of ourselves no matter how painful it seems, or how much fear we need to overcome. It is in the most desperate times that we find out what we are truly made of, and who our true friends are. Just because life is hard, does not mean it is bad, it is the hard that makes it great.
-LIVE freely. LAUGH always. And LOVE with your whole heart.
-One, always be honest in all you say and do. A dishonest person will never be trusted or accepted.
Two, work hard in everything you do. Life is not easy, but by working hard at all things all the time will pay enormous dividends.
AND, three, always place the Lord first in your life. Always remember that everything you are, all that you have, and your future are the result of the Lord's blessings.
-Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to experience good things, don't be afraid to take chances, don't be afraid to get hurt! It's all good! It makes you stronger! It makes you realize what you want or don't want! Getting hurt is not necessarily a bad thing! Throw yourself into things sometimes. Unconditionally!
-Be GRATEFUL for ALL that you have. Today will never come again and tomorrow is not promised...make this life a BEAUTIFUL one-Just like you.
-"A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her...but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone. A strong woman wears a look confidence on her face...but a woman of strength wears grace. A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong."
Always look on the bright side and be positive.
-The good Lord never gives you more than you can handle.
Always be able to look yourself in the mirror
-"Get close to God before getting close to anyone else. God without man is still God but, man without God is nothing."
-SELFLESS SERVICE --- THAT'S YOU
-Be yourself, everyone else is already taken
-Integrity and morals are harder and harder to come by these days and they are a refreshing rarity as people think they can take short cuts to get where they want to go, in the end, it is not a gamble worth the risk. Don't ever compromise your values - do it once, do it right; if you underestimate your opponent, he will take advantage of your weaknesses, so do your homework ahead of time, life changes so fast - you always have to be ready as "...many are called, but few are chosen!"
-Success in this life is not determined by things of this world,
but of relationships and experiences that lead us
back to our ultimate destination: which is life in eternity.
Heaven; is the ultimate life we are all searching for,
that can begin here on earth, in seeking God who made us.