Tuesday, July 17, 2012

10 Notes to Myself.

This is my note to myself regarding this last year of my 20s. In January, I will hit 30, which I realize is not a major milestone for those who have already crossed this hallowed ground. I however, am chalking up most of my issues this year to this undercurrent of change. I feel like I've seen a handful of blogs lately of "Things to do before you're 30" or "What I wish I knew in my twenties", etc. I've decided to take a different approach.


Dear self, Here's how to not spend your last year in your 20s:

1. Don't panic. I hear from the other side, the view is invariably the same. Maybe a bit more carefree. Maybe a dose of relief. Perhaps a renewed sense of go-get-it-ness. Though rumor has it, the 20s were a mess for most people who lived them. Apparently, by 30, you should realize this. And let's be honest self — the 20s were roaring. Let's go out like a lamb. Quietly. Peacefully. Gently.

2. Obsessing. All those things that wake you up at 2:18 a.m.? They're destroying you. Let it go.

3. Cramming. Listen, from what I've seen of those who are now well into their 70s, your 20s are not the only time of life to get stuff done. To dream. To grow. To risk. There is no rule that says you have to settle down and calm down and conform when you hit your 30s. I'm banking on this one. I mean, responsibility is good. But adventure? Let's never get tired of that.

4. Apologizing. I'm not talking about real apologies here. If you need to apologize to someone, you should really do it, no matter how old you are (If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.) In this case I'm talking about the incessant "I'm sorrys" that permeate your conversations. For not serving water correctly. For feeling inadequate. For taking control of your own life. Just stop. Remember that time you met that person who did that alot? And it drove you crazy? Hi pot. Meet kettle.

5. Fixing. You can't change others. You can't fix their problems. Even when you think/know/are convinced that you are right, you're wrong to think it's up to you to change them. So if you can't fix it, let it go. Don't hold onto that wrench every time you're in conversation with them. Everyone sees it. Nobody likes it. Also, you? You're a mess. Start there.

6. Controlling. Ha. You thought you were in control. Has the last 10 years taught you NOTHING?

7. Reconcile. Always pursue wholeness and peace. Sometimes it doesn't mean a face to face conversation. But it might mean in your heart. Keep an open hand in relationships. Forgive. And again, let it go. (Boy, this is a recurring theme, no?)

8. Stop listening to music only because it's sad... all the time. It makes you a sad person. Don't be sad. At least not all the time. So it's ok to occasionally close that Billie Holliday, Les Mis or Angus and Julia Stone song. Really. It's ok. Close it and stop reveling in emotion. It's not good for your heart. Or your skin. I realize you're Irish and Polish, and both bloodlines beg for weeping and airs and staring blankly out a window at a rainy sky for hours and hours. You do it well. Kudos to you. Now smile.
chinese proverb: you cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing
over your head but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.
design by: Studio on Fire, Minneapolis, Minn. Published in Comm. Arts Design Manual, 9/10

9. Know your friends. The thing about moving as you grow older, is that your best friends won't necessarily be replaced. The people who you bonded with in Texas? Well, they're gonna be the keepers for years to come. And that's a good thing. Stop trying to recreate things in every new home, city. It's ok to recognize what you have as good. Even though it may be thousands of miles away, the value of it has not changed. Stay true. Stay connected. And don't be afraid to build more where you are. Build. Try. Always stay open.

10. Rest. This whole grace thing is not a fad. Nor is it a bandaid. It's the cure. 

Hey reader...Anything you would add to my note to self? Now's the time. Chime in. But please, be nice.


  1. Andrea, this was a great blog! At 31, soon enough to be 32, I still check out those 20-something lists to get some ideas of fun things to do. Every stage definitely has fun new things to add to your life. The confidence I have as I have entered my 30s is at a new high--and can definitely make life more enjoyable. Sometimes I look in the mirror and fret over my gray hairs or my laugh wrinkles, but to go along with these changes are also experience--I've finally found the type of haircut I love or figured out how to pick clothing out that makes me love the way God shaped me.

    1. I love your perspective! I've already started to notice the slight nuances of laugh wrinkles... and they actually make me happy. Is that weird? Also I should add this to the list — figure out what looks good on me and stick with it! Why did it take us 30 years to figure out how to dress ourselves? :P Thank you for stopping by!

  2. I like this. I like the hope here.

    1. Sometimes you have to create some hope for hope. I wouldn't say I've completely got it yet, but I'm trying to make room for it... if that makes any sense. Somehow I think you'll know what I mean.

  3. I got one that I'm trying to practice a lot lately!!! TRUST THE LORD. this will help you to not overanalyze and drive yourself crazy with re-playing everything in your mind to the point where you might think you're going insane;) love you friend! glad to hear im not going to be replaced;) haha

    1. Yep! That one kinda weaves its way through all items! :) And you'll never be replaced. You'd kill me if I tried. ;P