growing up

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*photo taken in Fairhope this past May. Flowers remind me of simple beauty and how happiness is found around every corner.

I learn the most about myself in times of stress and anxiety. I have learned that I beat myself up for not being strong enough. I have also learned a little about admitting that I am human and I cannot function on little to no sleep. In the past school year, I discovered that my nights can be dangerous, dark nights filled with depressing thoughts about myself and my life. So, I became scared of slowing down and being by myself. I like to keep myself busy so that those depressing thoughts stay away and boxed up in the prison of my mind -- never to be brought out or shared with anyone.

However, I realized that is not a way to live. I learn a lot about how I am, also by discussing my struggles with people who know me best and by writing it out for myself.

At nearly 20, I realize that my life is all about learning about adulthood. I learn about the practical things like paying taxes, dealing with difficult people, and time management. But I also learn about life in the most varied places you can imagine. I can be at work, the grocery store, at a coffee shop, in my bed, on the phone, in a conversation, in a car, and learn more and more about life, relationships, and how to love.

I had a friend say to me yesterday how she thought that your early twenties is about learning to hate yourself and deal with what you lack. And I agree that the college age and early twenties is about seeing yourself in a new light. Sometimes it feels like you're seeing you for the first time, and you feel like you don't know yourself at all (my experience). But I also realize that the new "look" at yourself that makes you feel foreign to yourself can sometimes also be affected by the perspective from which you see yourself. As in, my perspective is weighed down by stress and emotion and is not always a very accurate view of myself. And then I get all weird and start to wonder, "How does anyone, including myself, ever know me?" I get tired of trying to figure myself out. Because sometimes I just can't. Nor can anyone else. Only One can. So I make resolutions and to-do lists and work on living life, bettering myself, and building relationships. After that, I acknowledge I will figure out certain things about myself and accept that at times, I will always be an unsolved puzzle. But peace comes in knowing that God knows me perfectly and that Christ loves me regardless of my actions or my blunders or my selfishness. He has me figured out because He created me and at all times that is enough.

1 comment:

caitlin said...

i love this.

the missing piece of what your friend said is grace, i think. this is the time when you learn what grace looks like in real life because you learn that you will never be good enough or smart enough or mature enough, and that's fine-- you aren't supposed to be. Jesus is enough. and you can either fall into self-loathing, or you can lean on that enoughness. or, more likely, swing back and forth between the two. :-)