One of the things I love considering is how my life off-roaded and didn’t follow the plan I’d dreamed up as a little girl (white picket fence included). My perspective on that fact has differed from a feeling of failure to one of adventurous thanksgiving. It’s all in how you look at it.
A good way to celebrate my 28th year is by sharing a few things I’m so proud of accomplishing. And maybe a few extra thoughts in between. But maybe, I should start off with a bit of context.
Barbara’s Expectations as a Little Girl
Little girl Barbara had her life planned! She had one goal in mind: to be a wife and mom. It was simple as that. Oh, but little girl Barbara also wanted to travel the world and tell everyone that Jesus loved them, just as they are.
The world is simple in the eyes of a child. Sometimes I miss that simplicity. It’s clean. It’s clear. It’s sure.
(This post wouldn’t be complete without a few songs spaced throughout these words.)
Life is not simple. In fact, I’d say it becomes more complicated in some ways than I could have ever imagined. If I had known, I don’t think I would have rushed to grow up. Would you? I would have Peter Pan-ed (it’s a verb now) life.
And yet, time mercilessly and mercifully marches forward.
What I’m Proud of as a 28-Year-Old
1. I’ve visited nearly 20 countries (and three continents).
Baby Barbara would never have imagined seeing so many different places. As a grown up, I so want to see more places and maybe hang out in a few of the other continents. I’d really love to check out Asia!
2. I read approximately 70 books a year.
This is probably not shocking to most of you. Maybe you want to know why I read so little! Hahaha. When I was in high school, I easily read 100+ books every year. I wouldn’t mind getting back to that number.
3. I’ve written two books, and I’m working on a third.
Writing is a discipline. Actually, everything that you have a desire to do takes certain discipline. I never knew that my love of reading would spill out of me in words and stories of my own. But here I am…writing as well as reading.
4. My debut novel will be traditionally published with Vinspire Publishing on December 1, 2018!
Teal Paisley Tights has been in process since I was 20. And I didn’t know if it would ever see the printed page (other than a home printer paper). But here we are. I’m currently working through my own editing process before submitting it to the publisher for their editing process.
5. I ran away and joined the circus (kind of).
In September 2016, I took an aerial silks class. And I loved it. As a self-proclaimed hater of sports and exercise, I didn’t think I could love a physical activity so much. But I did. Oh, my gosh, I did. The crew at Iron City Circus Arts have changed my life. I’m fitter now than I have ever been.
6. Learning to love Jesus one step at a time.
Jesus has been a constant in my life, in the highs and lows. Every time I consider a world without him, I’m not interested. We humans have had agenda for Christianity so often, but I think we forget that Jesus came for us, just the way we are. And I’m trying to lean into that truth for my every day life. So maybe one day, I’ll be able to share it well too.
7. We are doing the best we can with what we have.
Brene Brown writes powerful books that explore the resiliency of humans. A concept that she shared that sunk deep into my ponderings is this idea of “doing the best with what we have.” And sometimes, this is just it. Grace for those whose best just doesn’t seem enough even though it’s the best they have to offer.
Of course, there are a bunch of other random realizations that I’ve had in the last year. I’ve realized that I must always have black tea on hand, and that my pantry is incomplete without chips and salsa. Rather than a bath bomb type, I prefer shower gels. Big mugs are better than tea china. Pass the ice cream, but if it’s chocolate you can have it.
And that’s about it. I’m 28 now, and I’m eyeing the horizon for adventure.