Today I am 25 years, 3 months, and 22 days old.
Today, on my way out the door, I locked my keys in my house. Luckily, I had a spare car key in my wallet because, well, I’ve locked myself out of my car before. On said occasions, I’ve had to call my parents to come bring me my spare key and why my parents have my spare key when I haven’t lived at home in two years is beyond me. And luckily I live at camp and the key to my house is also the key to three other buildings so I knew I’d find another one laying around somewhere.
Foolish things like that always remind me how far I am from grown-up-ness.
I’ve been learning a lot lately. It’s weird because I’m 25 and I’m going on a solid two years of living on my own so you’d think that I would have grown up by now. I feel like I’m just starting.
Growing up isn’t just something that happens. Growing up is lessons. Growing up is messing up. Growing up is disappointing yourself, other people. Growing up is hard. Growing up means making some bad decisions and it also means admitting when you’ve made them. Growing up means conflict and discomfort. Growing up means trying new things. Growing up means learning independence.
When I say independent, I mean learning to be okay with yourself as yourself. I mean learning to embrace who you are–actually are and learning to reject the lies about the things you aren’t, those lies that make you think that you’re somehow sub-par, sub-human. Independence is about learning to be you, so I’m learning to be me– the good and the not so good.
Growing up is wonderful and beautiful and messy and ugly and hard. It just is.
But here I am, 25 years, 3 months, and 22 days old and I’m just starting to learn lessons that seem obvious.
I’m just starting to learn that it’s important that I take care of myself. I mean, I know this concept. I’ve heard it all my life but it’s taken months of stomach woes to learn that what I put into my body is important.
I’m learning to love this body of mine. And I don’t just mean that I’m learning to be comfortable with the way that I look because…ummm…I’m not there yet. I think that is more of a lifelong lesson, something we never fully arrive at. But I mean to love my body in the sense that my heart is beating and my lungs are breathing and my white blood cells are fighting off infection and disease and my brain is processing and my fingers are typing and it is all beautiful. It is wonderful.
My body is important. It’s valuable. It’s fragile. It’s mine and it’s worth taking care of.
And part of loving my body is doing things with it. And yes, my brain is part of my body and yes, my brain loves Parks & Rec and reading blogs but it also needs things. I’m learning to read my body’s signals. Learning to read the crying out for sunshine, for energy, for exercise.
Then there is this idea of investment, of pouring resources into something for a payoff that is not immediate. Things like money and time and energy and love and sweat. Not because I can expect results now but because I see the value, the importance of something to sacrifice for it.
Sometimes growing up is something you have to try at, to run after.
I should know my weaknesses my strengths. I should know when I should ask for help and when I should stand alone. I should be okay as Alyssa. I should be okay to face uncertainty in faith.
It’s cool because I feel like God is teaching me all of these things and it seems like a lot of stuff is happening. God is shifting pieces around and circumstances and things are aligning in such a way that I sense big change. I see transition on the horizon.
And for the first time, I’m not scared. I’m not worried. In fact, I’m excited.
While I see that things are moving and things aren’t going to be the same, I feel good. I see, for the first time, that those things create new opportunities, new adventures, new encounters. God takes our messed-up-ness and the things that we see as ugly and bad and transforms them into beautiful roads to walk down.
I don’t know. Maybe other people are learning these same things. But all of a sudden they feel new and fresh, just like the spring that is dawning. There is new life on the horizon.
Growth. What a beautiful thing. It’s the story line of our whole lives.
For the first time, I feel like I’m not just pushing towards a new goal. I feel like I’m just walking towards this magnificent sunrise that is the future, this dawn that is breaking but never arriving. And it’s wonderful.