LIFE: Twenty-Three

Sunday, I turned twenty-three. Oddly enough, I've wanted to be twenty-three for some time. I think it's because that's the age people would always guess that I was when I was in the 18-20 range. I thought I might actually feel like my age and mental age match up, instead of always feeling older than I am. But nope. Now I feel 26. Oh well, I'm still happy to be twenty-three! It has a nice ring to it.

Usually, as you would know if you have followed this blog long, I start writing about and anticipating my birthday anywhere from a month to two weeks out. This year, I honestly forgot all about my birthday until my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law reminded me a few days before. Last week was a crazy emotional rollercoaster for several reasons, and it just wasn't on my mind.

We were in California for the much anticipated fun trip with the youth group over the weekend, so I celebrated by getting to hang out with my sister-in-law at Knott's Berry Farm, and Brian surprised me with cake and candles.

Now that I'm almost caught up on sleep, I celebrated today by dressing up, opening my presents and cards, eating pancakes, and writing a list.

I got this idea from Joy the Baker. The premise is that each year brings with it increased wisdom, so each year I can create a longer list of things I've learned. So for this year, here's a non-comprehensive list of 23 things I've learned in 23 years:

1. Saying "Yes" to something means saying "No" to something else. Even if it's just your free time, every time you agree to something, you're making a sacrifice somewhere, so choose wisely.

2. If you feel any hesitation, don't hit "Send." If it gives you a tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach, you probably shouldn't say it. Even if you don't think you're mad anymore, just hold off until you can feel good about sending it.

3. Simple is best. This applies to design, decor, style, art, writing, problem solutions, etc.

4. Use good pens. They make writing so much better.

5. This too shall pass. Remind yourself of that often.

6. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Thanks, Eleanor Roosevelt.

7. Smile. It really does help.

8. Dress the way you want to feel. If you want to feel put together, add some accessories and real shoes. If you want to feel powerful, put on your blazer. If you want to feel comfortable, put on your slouchy sequined sweatshirt.

9. Smart is beautiful. Kind is beautiful.

10. People are more important than things. Spend your money and time where it matters!

11. An apology fixes many things. As hard as it is, an "I'm sorry," can really turn things around.

12. A soft answer really does turn away wrath. Proverbs 15:1.

13. Forgiveness sets the forgiver free.

14. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

15. Quality is usually worth paying for. In the case of shoes, shoes that cost more are almost always more comfortable, better for your feet, and longer-lasting.

16. Don't hesitate to take lots of photos. Those will be memories preserved, so don't feel bad about it.

17. The only way out is through. In other words, you have to face your fears in order to conquer them.

18. Don't save things for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion!

19. You are and always will be an introvert, and it's ok. Take a book with you.

20. Real growth sometimes looks a lot like being lost.

21. Failure isn't final. Quitting is, so don't quit.

22. Life doesn't turn out the way you want. You'll have to learn to deal with this.

23. Even when it all comes crashing down around you, you are still loved, chosen, and have a purpose.

Happy birthday to me!

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