Life tends to be black and white when you’re a teenager. This is a normal part of brain development (though a pain in the butt to live with). Remember phrases like “Everyone else will be there” or “I’m the only one who has to call her parents” or how about this classic one “Hey Dad, I learned in science today that if you don’t stop XYZ you will die. Hand me another piece of bread.”
The twenties is the time to move away from the illusion of control into the waters of uncertainty.
Think of it this way, there is comfort clinging to either bank of a river – albeit the very conservative “I’d never do that” or the equally liberal “I’d never NOT do that!” side. Comfort, yes, much movement towards a destination, no. You will continue to grow older, but you run the risk of stagnating if you cling to extremes.
Your 20’s are a time for growth – and the habits you start in your 20’s will serve you well the rest of life. The best place to grow is in the messy middle which is not so much a location, as an attitude. Am I going to take a risk, live life, and when I fail, fail towards God? Do I see God not only in the extraordinary, but in the ordinary too?
My advice to you? Learn to live in the messy middle because it’s a whale of a lot easier to learn in your 20’s than later AND it’s where reality is.
I submitted this a few months ago as a piece of advice for those in their 20’s. I never heard back but still stand by my advice.
Another piece of advice I’d add is to look for opportunities to laugh! Thanks to all who entered the contest to win a copy of Carry On, Warrior. I loved the reminder through the comments that LIFE. IS. HARD. Sick kids, death of loved ones, precious new babies that don’t like to sleep in the middle of the night, packing, bop (butt on plane … one flight too many), shingles, and being new to a city.
True, life is hard; but it’s equally true that we are drawn to a good laugh (and find Madame Bovary annoying).
And the one whose name was drawn to become a book stalker is Julie G. Congrats and I’ll be contacting you.
Thoughts on my advice? What would you add?
Know any good jokes? I’ve racked my brain, but can’t recall any.