Now that you are three decades in.
You have come to understand that plans are mere well wishes. It is always better to make one, but it is likely that it will not come to past. You wish anyway. You map out your path knowing His scheme is grander. You have experienced disappointments, and you’ve been shocked by your blessings. You know His time is perfect, even if it does not feel perfect at the time. You must fight to remember when things don’t go to plan, they go to purpose.
Purpose is a word that you must frequently learn the meaning of. Its definition looks different daily. Sometimes it is found in mundane routines, other times it is found in the thing that sets your heart on fire. By now, you would have realized that operating from a place of passion, and operating from a place of purpose are not always synonymous. Difficult seasons are as meaningful as delightful ones. Keep searching for the lessons in each, and keep believing that you were made for more.
You were made for more.
Your purpose and your career are two very different things, and you are blessed when they intertwine with one another. What you do for a living does not define who you are. So, surround yourself with people who love you more than what you can do. When you show up for work, show up with your whole authentic self as much as humanly possible. Consistency is valued more than excellence. The aim is to be consistently excellent, but you'll find that it's more important that you show up than you show off. Quite often, the only way you can make a real difference, is if you bring every part of you to the table.
Write more. Write every day if you can. Even if it is just for you. The heart, mind and spirit have so much to give, and you’ll never know who will be the one to receive it. Read more and read everything. Read from the ones you strongly disagree with. Read about cultures that are unlike your own. Read for pleasure. Read for knowledge. Read for wisdom. It is one of the few things you can’t do enough of, and one of the few treasures that cannot be taken away.
Now that you have matured.
You will realize the journey is more significant than the destination. The degree, the job, the house, even the relationship has more meaning because of the "how". You cannot predict how your year will go, but you can be sure that your life will change. Let that serve as both an encouragement and a warning; Within the next year – within the next decade, your life will be unrecognizable.
The most powerful moments in your life will happen because you did things "despite". Despite fear, barriers, naysayers, insecurity, circumstances – things you accomplished despite. You must often risk it all to gain it all. Many of your fears are realities based on fiction. You are more capable, more lovable, and more powerful than your fears allow you to think.
Now that you have left home.
Understand that your parents had no idea what they were doing and your upbringing was a product of grace. When you have children, you will fully appreciate who your mother and father were to you. Thank God for everything they did right, forgive them for everything they did wrong. Enjoy them. Find the best in them. Do everything you can to not live in regret.
Spend less time on social media and find more mediums to socialize face-to-face. Take more pictures than you post. Indulge in more fancy dinners than you boast about. Have more achievements than you care to share. Keep some spaces sacred to just you and your loved ones.
Friendships are mostly seasonal, but make the most of each season. Laugh hard, love hard, and be in the moment. Someday the moment will be a memory, and you'll want it to be as sweet as possible. Seek transformational relationships over transactional ones. Focus more on what you have, than what is missing. Focus more on those in your life, than on those who have disappeared. Only then will your heart remain full, and your mind will be at peace.
Now that you have gone through.
Survival is simple. You need faith and hope to push through. Your reason for being must exist outside of your being. People may disagree with you, but make sure you know your truth. Study your truth. Have a personal relationship with your truth. It is the only thing that will set you free. It will set you free indeed.
There's always more to the story. There's always more to a person. Don't assume you know everything about someone, if you're certain they don't know everything about you. You can choose to be offended, or you can choose to forgive. You can choose to be thankful, or you can choose to be discontent. You can choose to put up walls, or you can choose to extend grace. A lot of how you experience the world and people is determined by what you choose.
Choose to give back.
You have been looking for a mentor your whole adult life, but now you must be what you have never had. Thank the podcasts, sermons and TED talks that taught you – and pour into at least one other. Select her, share with her, and be available.
Now that your body has changed.
Eat and drink as if you’re living forever. Fill it with goodness and occasional treats. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made, but you must maintain it fearfully and wonderfully. Make sure your soul is more beautiful than your body. Dress yourself with kindness. Put on patience. Wear forgiveness. Allow your light to shine through your skin.
You are worthy. Remind yourself daily. No one on this earth has the power to define your value, they can only assess it. Your job is not to change their mind, but to grow deeper into who you are. You don't have to operate in the box they put you in. You can break out of the box that you put yourself in. You are stronger than you think. Your voice matters. Your dreams are valid.