Hard to believe I am 21 right now. But I am and life is more full than I’ve ever experienced. Last year I shared a “twenty in twenty” post. I’m going to do almost the same thing exactly one year later, so here are twenty-one things I’ve picked up along the way in twenty-one years of living. Thanks for all of the love, bacon, and hugs today, and for the ways in which each of you have shaped and grown with me. Here are some things going on inside my head:
Dogs are still the best. The unequivocal love and loyalty they give so freely baffles me. We should take note.
Take the time to look at something you see as beautiful. Really look at it. Know its details. The beauty increases I promise.
I am a firm believer that guacamole at midnight is something you should never say no to.
I know winter is long, but there is an undeniable beauty in the architecture of bare tree branches withstanding the cold of this season.
I was not called to stay in one place. Use those feet and go a little further whenever possible. Even if it’s two streets over where you’ve never walked before, or a different continent, be led and go.
Sharing your story is incredibly important. Being able to listen to others is even more so. Share your burdens and help others carry theirs. This road will be a great deal easier and far less lonely.
Stand in front of a large body of water sometime soon. Or a mountain that looms. Or in a forest that is vast. Feel small and know that you were created by the same hands that created that perfectly still lake, those enormous crashing waves, that mammoth mountain, and the deeply rooted trees.
Your room can be messy. Your whole house can be messy. Your life can be messy. All of it can be, but let people see into that. We share our hearts the most when we let others view the chaos. Let ’em in folks.
Every now and then splurge on that expensive pair of shoes, or get your hair done, or go to the expensive restaurant. It’s really good to love yourself. But I promise you will remember the hole-in-the-wall restaurant you got gyros at three days a week in college the most, so keep doing that too.
Dimples rock. I love ’em.
Taking time to sit and rest is important. It doesn’t mean you aren’t being productive. Taking care of yourself is very productive.
Have plants. Take care of them. Watch them grow. Or almost die. Either way they are fully dependent on you and that’s kind of cool.
Be proud of the things you have created or accomplished. Even if what you’re proud of is the fact that you cooked something that wasn’t cereal. Say it! Own it! Lift yourself up.
Give people back rubs. Who was ever upset by a surprise back rub? No one. No one was.
And on that note, play with people’s hair more often. Bless people who willingly will play with your hair.
Go through your stuff. Have you worn it in a month? Did you use it this winter? No? Get rid of it, you will be so glad when it comes time to pack. And you won’t even notice it’s gone.
Dance like 13 times a day. When there is music. When there isn’t music. When there’s really bad music! It will bring you joy, and it will bring others joy.
Light has a way of humbly falling into rooms and spaces and illuminating the ordinary to be peaceful and beautiful. Next time you pass a window, take a look at the light coming through. It’s pretty cool.
Buy a crock pot. Those things save you time, are awesome, and are very versatile. A solid investment in my opinion.
Try not to think about after graduation, or next summer, or too many seasons in advance. The nervousness will lead to anxiety and uncertainty and could hold you back more than you know.
Now remember what you are doing and why you started it. Know that you won’t change the world by being like it, so take your passion and push it forward.
Here’s to 21, bacon for breakfast, and not doing laundry for two whole months. But more importantly, here’s to the people and places that embrace me in my fullest and weakest moments and carry me along to new heights. Beyond grateful for today and how loved I am feeling.
Cover Photo by the insanely talented Lena Mirisola / Bottom Photo taken by the goofiest brother Kerrick