So over the weekend I had my birthday party and I thought today I’d share with you a few pictures and words of wisdom I have acquired over my twenty one years. It’s funny because 21 is an age that everyone makes such a deal about. It’s when you supposedly become a fully-fledged adult with all sorts of legal rights and responsibilities.
Except, in NZ most of those rights actually kick in when we turn 18 so technically I’m already very much an adult. But even if I’ve been drinking cocktails and been eligible to vote for three years…it is only now that I truly feel like an adult.
And this is not entirely because of my age, but rather because of who I now am.
My best friend wrote in my birthday card that she can hardly believe I’m the same shy, sheltered girl she met three years ago. And I think that’s an incredible testimony to the way God, molds us into something spectacular in his time (if we let him.)
Of course, it should be said that, that process of being molded causes many tears and growth pains as I am so very familiar with. This hasn’t been all smooth sailing but I believe that every bump in the road has smoothed off one rough edge or another to make me a better person in the long run.
So there you have it, I’m grateful for the scars I bear as they remind me just how strong I am.
Anyway, seeing as I am now an adult and therefore know everything, I thought I’d share some of that wisdom with you.
What I’ve learnt so far…
Never be ashamed of your feelings
Of course this is easier said than done. Society would have us bottle up our feelings and never expose ourselves or others to the embarrassment of having them shared.
But my personal belief is that it’s a beautiful thing to love and beautiful things should be shared.
There is no shame is loving deeply or being emotional. It’s a gift and something that should be cherished.
Love should be shared
I think it’s an awful shame to pine after someone for years and never tell them how you feel. There aren’t many people we will truly love in this life…don’t miss the chance to share that.
When you care that much about someone I think they deserve to know, after all, it’s never a bad thing to hear that someone loves you.
Heartbreak is painful, but you will bounce back
You will always bounce back given enough time.
And you may be surprised to find that when you bounce back, you are somehow stronger than before. You learn things about yourself that you never knew before.
You are stronger, braver and capable of more than you know.
Every relationship teaches you something
It feels to me like I’ve had an awful lot of belly-flop-relationships. I’ve taken a running leap and landed flat on my face a few too many times.
However, I don’t regret any of them because they taught me who I am and what I am looking for in the person I spend the rest of my life with.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you
The sooner you stop trying to please other people, the better.
Because as Dita Von Teese puts it, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
Don’t waste time trying to impress people who don’t matter.
You weren’t made to fit in, you were made to stand out
I spent far too long trying to be like everyone else. I thought if I was skinnier or funnier or could just like the same books, movies and music as everyone else I’d be happy.
But funnily enough, it is exhausting trying to be something you’re not. And people tend to like the real you better anyway.
You are enough, just the way that you are
You don’t need to be taller, louder, thinner, faster or smarter…stop believing those lies!
Embrace your wonderful, wonky self. There is only one you and wouldn’t you rather be an original than a carbon copy?
You have a unique purpose
It might take you a while to figure out exactly what that is, but trust me, you will. You were born for such a time as this. You can make a difference right where you are, today.
Believe in yourself, trust your gut and be humble enough to seek guidance from others.
Doing what you love is worth more than wealth, pride or people’s’ good opinion
It might feel scary admitting those deeply-rooted dreams to other people or even yourself, but it’s the good kind of scary.
It’s scary because maybe, just maybe those dreams could come true. If you’ll only allow yourself the chance to try and fail, you never know what might happen.
Keep hoping, praying and dreaming BIG.
God is sovereign, he is in control, he is good and can be trusted
It’s a truth that every Christian must wrestle with and come to their own opinion on.
Relationships require trust and trust means understanding that the person/thing you are relying on is good and will not let you down.
You have to know that you know that you know…and until you do, keep searching!
It’s scary letting go of the reigns but that’s where we find freedom
Oh how we love to be in control. We love to have things our way. We love to be in the driving seat steering ourselves in the direction that best suits us.
What a pity that, that is never the way God intended for us to live.
Ironically, we FIND our lives when we lay them down. When we surrender all to God…that’s when we find all that we are looking for: peace, security, happiness.
Nothing satisfies besides God’s love
Because believe me, I’ve searched for it within myself and within others and I’ve only ever come up empty.
I know now how it feels to be FULL. Full of life, love and joy. So full that I cannot help but spill out that love onto those around me. So full that I feel as though nothing and nobody can stand in my way.
So my friends, here’s to the next twenty one years of growing and learning together!