Tuesday, December 6, 2016

22 things I've learned

A few months ago, I turned 22. Yikes.

It's been a mix of emotions being this old and feeling like I'm still leading the life of a high schooler. And yet, I realized that I have learned a lot in the last 22 years. So here's "22 things I know are true at 22". Enjoy. 

1) sometimes bad things happen- and there is no logical reason to be given. They just happen. 

2) sometimes bigger isn't better. This is something poignant I have noticed over the span of my life. For simple example, since working in a coffee shop (which will be a theme in so many of these points) I thought I would enjoy my 16oz cafĂ© con leche more than I would a 12oz- but I can assure you, the 16oz is simly too much, and the flavor is far better in the 12. Just my opinion...

3) friendships you intend to keep may fall apart, and, but they just may last. I have been warned against holding out for friendships to last forever, but trust me- some of them just might make it. It's a conscious choice you both have to make together though. But know, that sometimes circumstances are out of your control and sometimes friendships do fall apart. But I truly believe that friendships, like relationships can be fought for.

4) coffee shops are not quiet work places. I had this beautiful misconception that coffee houses were nice, calm quiet places for study, reflection, and deep conversation. And where those things still do and should happen, a coffee shop is most certainly not quiet. The espresso grinder, the blender, the gelato cabinet's machine running, the ice machine dropping ice, the scurry back and forth when the room is full of people waiting on product...it is not quiet. It's a warm, cozy, and nice place to be, but it is not quiet.

5) everyone has a reason for doing what they've done. Maybe it's not always a good one, but there is one. You don't have to agree with someone's reason, but listen to them. And respect their reasons, no matter how bologna they sound. (this is obviously very different when you are dealing with a small child- but I still believe they deserve to be listened to too.)

6) where you value people who will listen to you, remember that when someone talks to you, they value you listeningThis is a very personal thing, because I crave for people to listen to me (why else do you think I have a blog with grossly long posts?) but being someone who listens is so important. And people value it, more often than not, above your advice.

7) "you will be the same person five years from now, except for the people you meet and the books you read." Charlie Jones. The chance to change is yours for the taking- the trick is to simply take it. 

8) but, in follow up to that, be careful about who and what you choose, not everyone or everything changes you for the better. It is so easy to become influenced without even realizing it. What you read shapes your thinking, who you spend time with shapes your lifestyle.

9) age truly is just a number. There is value in building friendships with people of varying ages. 

10) I don't have to agree with you to be friends with you. I used to be deceived into thinking you could only be friends with people who thought just like you. "Likemindedness" is the term that was used. Where there is an element of that that makes some friendships easier, not every friendship has to be that way. It's ok, and I daresay even healthy to have some friendships with people you ardently disagree with. It causes several things in yourself: you either become firm with what you believe, or have your mind opened to possibilities you never considered. You learn how to fight fair, and how to disagree peaceably. You learn maybe the reasons why other people who believe like them, do believe like them. It also causes you to accept and love people who's political stance, diet choices, and music styles are different from your own.

11) It is good, healthy and Biblical to be quiet. We live in such a "go, go, go!" world, that we forget to just slow down for a bit. Psalm 46:10a says, "Be still, and know that I am God." so just stop every once in a while, and worship Him in silence, in writing, in song. Just be in Him for a little bit.

12) in three years, what ever new thing you bought won't matter. we become so focused on the "stuff" and the "things" we lose sight of the thing that really matters: the people. People have souls, and souls are eternal. Why are we ignoring them?

13) everyone has at least one weird quirk. Do not judge others for theirs, don't be embarrassed about yours.

14) pet peevs only matter to you the moments they happen- don't let them cause bigger issues. I have become so upset with people over trivial issues, that in the grand scheme of things, don't matter. Things that on that fun questionnaire when they ask "what is your biggest pet peeve?" I can't call anything to mind. Because they just don't matter at that point. Stop making them a bigger deal than they are.

15) be friends with people who have different backgrounds, different first languages, different ethnicities, different hobbies, different taste in music, different family dynamics than yourself. Be open to their interests, and so long as it doesn't compromise what you believe, be willing to give it a try. 

16) when you feel lonely, and there will be times when you do, you never know who you will happen upon. So be kind to everyone, and remember that strangers can become friends

17) at every opportunity you are given, try something new. New food, new destination, new sport, new music. Whatever it is, try it.

18) read, learn and remember history. Your personal ancestry, your country's history, your favorite period in time. Read. Go to museums. Watch documentaries. Find people who know about it, and ask them questions. 

19) there are a lot of wise teachers and a lot of good resources, and you should use them, but nothing can replace the Word of God. It's ok to have a favorite speaker/teacher, favorite book, favorite quote, and favorite sermon, but don't press into these things as Gospel truths.

20) its ok to be friends, even good friends, with people of the opposite gender- but certainly safeguards should always stay in place when you are. There is something beautiful that happens when you have those alternate perspectives on things. There is an element of irreplaceability in these friendships. 

21) "my biggest regret was the things I did not say" --- "where words are many, sin is present."
Say what you need to, but no more than that. It is a delicate balance, but essential to find.

22) every person deserves your respect. This is another coffee shop lesson. There have been all sorts walking through our door. Blue hair, alternate lifestyles, face tattoos, people who were drunk, high or both...but every customer deserves to be greeted with the same enthusiasm, and every one deserves to be respected the same. Mistreating someone just because you disagree with them should never be ok. Being mean isn't a way to disagree anyways.

I don't know much, and I will (try to) be the first to admit that. But I do know these things are true. Every day is a gift, use it well. Learn. Grow. God didn't give us feet so we would stay in one place. Seek who He wants you to be, and be that person fully.

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