Another Year Older.

It's only been a week, but so far twenty-six has been filled with nuggets of good stuff. Twenty-five was six months of radical good and six months of heartbreaking hard, so this past birthday was welcomed with open arms and a hunger for change. And friends, I am already tasting the goodness of this new season. Here are some things that turning twenty-six has already taught me:

1. Age really is just a number.

 First, I don't feel any different than I did at twenty-five, and not much has changed aside from my knees suddenly cracking all of the time.  I'm not wiser, or older, or smarter, or more put-together, or anything of that sort; I am just a year older. Second, I have realized that if I want to be more driven, more passionate, or more prepared to move onto new things, it's not a matter of "when I'm older"... it's all about attitude. If I want it, I need to just go for it. Nothing is holding me back, especially not my age.

2. It's not about me.

I had a sweet friend get married on my birthday, and when it came down to choosing celebrating my day or going to her wedding, well, it wasn't really a choice. The truth is that I will have lots of birthdays, she only has one wedding day, and I was more than happy to share it all with her.

3. The stomach-flu does not discriminate.

It does not care how old you are or about the fact that it was just your birthday. It will knock you out, and hard.

4. I am allowed to do what I want to do (aka it's okay to say no).

My birthday was on a Saturday, which is typically my day to sleep-in, lounge around all morning in my pj's, drink coffee and generally not interact with the outside world. But some friends wanted to help throw me a pancake brunch to celebrate my day. The compromise? A few sweet friends, coffee and gluten free pancakes, and 3 hour Jesus-talks in sweatpants. It was perfect, and exactly what I wanted.

5. True friends treat you better than you would ever treat yourself.

A pumpkin spice cronut and nutella latte? A giftcard for a massage? A candle from Anthro? A check with the note to buy something you want that isn't practical? Nothing says "treat yoself" better than friends who love you that well.

6. If you invite God into something, get ready.

This one almost deserves a facepalm. As I prayed about turning a year older, I knew God was preparing me for an intense year... so much so that I actually invited Him to do whatever He needed to do to refine me (because Lord knows I am a mess and could benefit from some growth asap). If you ever pray a similar prayer, where you invite God to just do His thing, be prepared for Him to begin that process quickly, if not immediately.

One week of twenty-six down, fifty-one more to go, and I am more than confident that this new age and season will continue to teach me some seriously valuable lessons, which I am excited to be able to share here. It's going to be a good one, y'all.

PS. check out a recent contribution I wrote at the Unveiled Campaign blog

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