Sunday, April 15, 2012

In My 20's, Life Sped Up and When I Needed to Slow Down

Life Skills 101
My life as a wife started on July 12, 2008. I was 21 when my husband slipped a ring on my finger. Only a year before that had I been welcomed into my twenties, becoming more independent and starting to assume a few of my own personal responsibilities.

I have always said I wish there were required classes along the path to adulthood that would teach the basics of life. Instead of wasting my time on a semester of calculus I would have greatly benefited from a class that teaches life skills.

Like, HOW on earth do you shop for a place to live and what exactly is in that 500 page book you are signing when you buy a house? How do I build and maintain a good credit score? How do I shop for car insurance? What are the pros and cons of buying and leasing a car? How on earth do I fill out my taxes? Dave Ramsey? Suze Orman, who?

I hit my twenties and found myself whacked with a mountain of nonsense and decisions I had no idea how to make. Deductables? 401K? Retirement? Income taxes? Property taxes? Portfolios? Roth IRA? What? Toooo many acronyms! I had no preparation on how to handle everyday-life details. Thankfully I at least knew how to balance a checkbook and make a budget. However, I would have gladly skipped college algebra for a Dave Ramsey class to learn to stay out of debt!

Now, having dealt with these issues, I'm more knowledgable. But shouldn't you have some idea about this junk before you're forced into it? Shouldn't you be forced to learn these concepts? They'll teach you geometry formulas but not about the details of financing? It has never made sense to me.

Slow Your Roll
Those are all practical things and can be overwhelming but there are more important things I wish I had realized.

This past September I turned 25 and almost had a complete breakdown over the event. Okay “breakdown” may be a little dramatic, but it really got to me. I couldn’t believe that five years had passed since I had entered my twenties. Those five years had flown by and in retrospect I felt like I had wished those five years away, wanting to be a grownup. I wish I had focused on living in the “now," learning and living in where I was at the moment. I wished I had absorbed every detail. It’s cliché, but the older you get the faster time goes by.

Having long-term dreams and goals is important, but we have a lifetime to work on obtaining those. It can get frustrating waiting in that desert that is "In the Meantime" - that phase of our lives where we feel like we are stagnant. But there are times in our lives where we need to practice stillness and simply live in the moment, even if it's not where we want to be. It's a pit stop.

For the past three years I've been working at a job that has absolutely nothing to do with my overall goals. It's a job I got in order to pay the bills. I would beg God to please open a door for me to walk through that would lead me to a more creative path and get me on my way to getting my book published, or my big screen debut, or starting my successful business. So many times I would feel a sense of peace that he was working behind the scenes on my behalf. I felt it was my job to stay faithful to where he had me at that moment in my life. 

We are where we are in life for a reason - to learn lessons, to build character, to form relationships, and to be a light in the lives of others. When we focus on being faithful to where we are, at some point in life that effort will be rewarded. We just need to be patient.

One more thing...
Teenager beware. No matter how skinny you are your entire life, be aware of your metabolism. It exists and it really does slow down. Just listen to my 25 yr. old size 8 pants warn my 13-21 yr. old size 2 pants. They'll let you know. Exercise and eat right.

And one more thing I'd like to add...
Ladies, wear a bra because those puppies can't hold themselves up forever.

You can take that one to the bank.

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