|Summer 2005, Monterey, CA|
There is so much that you didn't know. So much that you have yet to learn. Here are just a few things that your twenty-four year old self has figured out for sure.
That boy you think is amazing? He's not all that. It's okay that things aren't working out because there's a much more perfect guy later down the road. I don't know how the story works out with this guy, but he brings you so much more joy than all the boys you met or had a crush on in high school.
Listen to your intuition. Pay attention to the Holy Spirit. He is constantly telling you what to do. Protecting you from situations you shouldn't be in. Giving you direction. You have good discernment, use it. Realize that God has placed you in every single situation for a reason. It may not make sense in the now, but trust me, down the road it will.
Always be kind. Smile at everyone you meet. Have good manners (there's a reason your mother sent you to etiquette class). Pay attention to how you're dressed. Always wear a watch (as you grow up, you'll find that you will have a plethora of them). Make a good impression. Work hard. Go the extra mile.
Be kind to those whose are older than you. They have more wisdom than you do. Let them pour that wisdom into you. They are always willing to share and help you with the shortcuts that they've learned. Just be willing to sit and listen (and ask occasional questions).
Be grateful. Really grateful. Not just the happy feeling you get when something is going well. The type of grateful that comes from being filled with joy. When you're anxious, remember to be grateful. This is still a hard one and it most likely will always be because you always have had a tendency to be a stress case and build up situations in your head. In those moments, stop. Just stop. Ask the Lord to give you peace in this very moment. Thank Him for what He's doing and what He's going to do.
Invest in relationships. The type of relationships where you're in it for the long run. People who you are accountable to and who are accountable to you. Who you'll go the distance with. After your salvation, these relationships are some of the greatest gifts that you have in your life.
Don't underestimate your gifts. You are incredibly talented. You have a passion for connecting people. You love explaining to others how to do new things. You are a planner. You are highly administrative. You love helping people. Let these gifts spill over in everything you do. They will get you far. Further than you could even imagine at such a young age.
Work really hard. Pour yourself into what you do. Don't be lazy with what you do. Everyone around you will notice when you work hard. You will feel great knowing that at the end of the day you've given your best effort with that days work.
Travel. Go lots of places. Save money and go see the world. You've always loved planes and seeing new places. Take in sights. Meet new people. Try new things. Your worldview will expand the more you leave Orange County.
Go to church every single week. Even when you've been out late the night before. Even when you have a headache or cramps. There is something incredibly beautiful about being part of corporate worship and a community on a weekly basis that you are unable to get anywhere else. Be in the Word. Every single day. The Lord is going to give you something every morning to carry you through the day. You have been given a very special gift in that you were raised in the church and you know that Jesus Christ died for you. Don't ever forget that this is the best gift you are ever going to receive and that your relationship with Him is the most important relationship in your life.
Always be giving back in some way. You have been blessed with so much in your life. There is something incredibly fulfilling about volunteering. Do it often and do it regularly.
It is ok to say no. If your heart is not fully invested in something, don't commit. You don't have to allow yourself to be pressured into doing things others want to do. Remember when I told you earlier that the Holy Spirit will guide you? If you feel something isn't right to do, don't do it. You're not going to want to have to explain to your loved ones later on your decisions when you knew from the beginning that you shouldn't have done it. Having healthy boundaries helps you grow.
Realize your beauty. You really are beautiful. It's ok to go make up free. You are actually really pretty with no make up. You will learn what clothes work best for and what you are most comfortable in. You love fashion and enjoy putting together cute, fun outfits.You'll realize that you feel most feminine in dresses and leggings. That you hate wearing shoes and would rather be in flip flops or wedges. That you have the most amazing curly hair. That you can never have enough moisturizer and sunscreen and that a little bit of lipstick goes a long way.
Read and watch the news. Stay on top of what's going on in the world. Read a lot. For fun. To learn. People take you more seriously when you know what you're talking about and can hold a serious conversation. You love politics which is a rarity for a young woman. Even though you think you're a liberal as a teen, you won't stay one very long. By the time you reach your mid-twenties, you'll be borderline Libertarian.
Keep pursuing your hobbies. Photography. Scrapbooking. Reading. Going on adventures. Share these activities with others. They'll bring you great joy.
Don't feel inferior to those around you because you have always dreamed of being a wife and Mom. The Lord has placed that desire on your heart for a reason. Trust that He knows what He's doing. His timing and His plans are way better than yours.
At twenty-four I don't have it all figured it out, but I know that each day I will learn more and more and keep growing and changing and dreaming.