I’m fixin’ to turn 29, ya’ll. (For some strange reason, I felt compelled to say this in a Texan accent…maybe it makes me feel more youthful?!)
True to my INFJ personality, I always spend the days surrounding my birthday pondering the past year, the upcoming year, and the passages of time. The past several years, this reflection has been tinged with a bit of remorse. Not that my life isn’t good. I’m blessed with so much: a kind, supportive husband, a loving family, friends, opportunities, ice-cream, and- most of all- the love of my Savior. But as each passing year has brought greater definition to my life, there have also been “little deaths” along the way.
Little deaths are the wild dreams I had as a 19, with Switchfoot being the soundtrack for each dream:
- Live in Europe
- Live in Nepal and Tibet
- Run an orphanage
- Run an NGO
- Be an entrepreneur
- Teach English as a second language
- Be a world-class photojournalist
- Marry an Italian with curly dark hair
- Do all of the above by the time I am 30
Along with my many dreams, came a hefty load of confusion. The culture’s message of “Anything is possible, you can be anyone and do anything you want” left me feeling completely paralyzed. With all these choices around me, I certainly didn’t want to make the wrong choice. And I didn’t want to miss out on one good dream because I said yes to another.
This confusion followed me around for a decade.
But what a difference 29 vs. 19 makes.
The decade of my twenties has taught me that it’s who you are, not what you do, that determines your adventures. It’s taught me that there is joy in the narrowing of life’s scope. It’s all well and good to dream up a thousand glorious dreams. But at some point, you have to decide which dream you’ll LIVE.
Accomplishing some of my original goals would still be pretty rad. But it’s also pretty rad to:
- Be a devoted wife
- Be a present mother
- Be an invested friend
- Focus on one or two things and keep doing them and doing them and doing them until you do them well
- Enjoy the fruit that only the long-term-committed taste
Who knows, I still might run a crazy awesome NGO and orphanage in Tibet someday. God surprises us with new adventures everyday. But in the meantime, I take great joy in the narrowing.