Turning Twenty-Nine

As of today, I have officially entered into the last year of my twenties, and while I may be mildly freaking out about getting older, I am also quite excited about this next year of my life. The truth is that the closer I’ve inched toward thirty, the more I’ve found myself worrying, namely about the future, settling down, and being a “real adult”. But something shifted while I was traipsing around Europe, and I now find myself embracing this stage of life more than ever. Sure, it doesn’t look much like what life looks likes for most people my age, but it certainly is beautiful and wild and — I believe — exactly where I am supposed to be. And as I reflect on the last few years of my life that seemed full of worry and nerves and doubt, I have realized that if I could go back to give myself one piece of advice, it would be this:

Embrace where you are and embrace the people around you. Live fully present. Ask for what you want, but don’t spend so much time longing for it that you miss out on what’s right in front of you. Love hard, give generously, be kind, and — above all else — have faith in the process.

Ireland cliffs moher

Honestly, it’s not hard for me to imagine how much more I would have enjoyed the last few years if I would have lived out this advice, so you best believe it’s something I am taking to heart now. And that got me wondering: what other words of wisdom might help me as I enter this last year of my twenties? I put that question out on Facebook, asking my friends to share the best pieces of advice they’ve ever received, and man did they deliver. So now, in no particular order, here are twenty-nine of my favorite bits of advice that were shared. I hope that they can encourage you wherever you’re at and, if nothing else, give you a good chuckle.

  1. Own your voice.

  2. God is going to use you, no matter what.

  3. Don’t let any circumstance steal your joy.

  4. Hold everything loosely.

  5. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.

  6. If you don’t love it or it doesn’t bring Glory to God, don’t do it. 

  7. In the span of eternity, what does this matter?

  8. Do everything with excellence, no matter what it is.

  9. Your attitude is the only thing you can control in every situation.

  10. Don't let yourself get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.

  11. Look and learn from what’s behind you, then focus forward. 

  12. Don’t seek out the cool people; seek out the warm people.

  13. Progress, not perfection.

  14. Don’t lose sleep over things you can’t control.

  15. If God brought you to it, He can bring you through it.

  16. Do or do not, there is no try.

  17. You can't have everything.  If you did, where would you put it?

  18. Surround yourself with positive people.

  19. You don’t need to be perfect, and you are good enough.

  20. If God cares for you, why need you care too?

  21. Love demands freedom.

  22. Yes means nothing if you can't say no.

  23. Work like everything depends on you; pray because everything depends on God.

  24. It’s okay to not be okay.

  25. If you are always focused on being right, you will go wrong.

  26. You might not always be the best or the strongest, but you can always be the kindest person in the room.

  27. Don’t follow everyone’s advice.

  28. Even shit becomes fertilizer.

  29. Yolo.

So here’s to turning twenty-nine — to choosing adventure, to learning more about myself, to making mistakes, to exploring more of the world, to deeper and more grounded faith, to taking better care of myself, to saying yes when it makes little sense, to always keeping it real, and to trusting my Pops every step of the way.