Ok, ask me how old I am. No, go ahead, it’s ok…ask me. Alright, alright I’ll tell you. I’m 31! Yes, I am officially 31 years old and proud of it! I feel great about it! Turning 30 last year was awesome and I’ve already gained another year of experience. Time really flies so we have to be sure to learn as much as we can as we grow. Through my twenties I secretly dreaded that day – it always seemed so old to me. (I can remember when I also thought 25 was old. Now that’s funny.) Hearing people talk about it made it seem as if that was the age at which the door to your youth slammed shut forever! All I knew was I didn’t want to be caught on the other side of that door. Inevitably, after 29 years I could no longer hold 30 back. This month I have stepped a little further into this new decade. Surprisingly, I still feel super optimistic about it!
The end of my twenties were really great years. I became a wife, a mother, bought my first house and even a new car. That was a time of new experiences and major changes. What began unplanned and unexpected brought some of the greatest moments of my life. It began rough but soon smoothed out. Hmm… Will I be able to top the last few years? I believe so. I’m darn sure going to try!
I have learned so much at this point. I have been through situations I never expected I’d have to deal with, and stepped into new roles I didn’t see myself in. Quite a few lessons came through tough experiences. Even though they came with a price I benefited immensely from each one (I firmly believe experience is the best teacher). I don’t have one regret. How is that possible? Not to say that there aren’t things I would have liked to unfold more favorably; but it’s easy to wish every situation you face would be peachy and regret when something is not. However, it is tougher to look at those trying situations and see how you can gain from them. When you do this you’re able to be thankful for them. Some occurrences that take place in life will serve to better you as a person. One experience may teach you about being a truer friend – another may reveal areas of weakness in your character. Whatever it may be, once you see these things, focus on positive changes that you can make, and not on the negative aspect of it.
A wiser, stronger and more confident woman entered her thirties than the one who entered her twenties. I am more prepared for these next 10 years, and this is why I am optimistic about the journey ahead. I now have knowledge I didn’t have before. I know how to deal with certain situations that may arise because I have faced them before.
For example: I know how to deal with people more appropriately. This is something I struggled with. At one point I had allowed experiences in life to cause me to stay on the defensive. This meant I was always ready to “pounce” at the hint of something being said or done against me. In all honesty I had become bitter and I didn’t like who I was. This was a concealed struggle within me that I dealt with for many years. It was all in effort to protect myself from people. With much prayer God helped me to overcome this battle. He helped me to understand that what is most important is how I treat others. Even if someone mistreats me I have to respect that individual anyway. This doesn’t mean I have to remain around them. I most certainly can and will distance myself if necessary. But I have to show love regardless. My pain had slowly eaten away at the love I had, severely limiting my ability to be loving and kind toward others. Now I realize that everyone isn’t out to hurt me. I’ve learned to consider people’s actions and words more closely. In doing this I don’t take things the wrong way as before. I know to give a person a chance to act or speak before I jump to a negative conclusion about their intentions. I’m more focused on showing love than receiving it. It’s amazing the things that can happen when we simply re-adjust our way of thinking. Most of all, I always remember that I am responsible for my actions and not the actions of another person.
Taking this knowledge into the future will surely serve to better my social skills and relationships. If I had this understanding earlier on I could have avoided a lot of heartache and discontentment. I am also able to teach this to my son so that he doesn’t suffer in this area as I did. A large part of the last 10 years was plagued with ignorance and immaturity, but knowledge takes away ignorance and growth removes immaturity. These are two things that we will always need more of.
It is lessons like this one that have taught me more about life and even about myself. Indeed, I have much more to learn, and I look forward to each lesson and even each new decade.
So, no, I am not ashamed about getting older, and I have no wish to be younger. I’m excited to increase in wisdom, learn new things and live new experiences. I live in expectation of a great future. Life was made to be lived, and I plan to enjoy it.