I have officially reached level 24 in the game of life today, which means it’s time for a special birthday post. Last year, I posted 23 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self, and the year before that, I posted 22 Lessons I Learned In 22 Years. Since those two posts are very closely related, I wanted to avoid doing another generic “xx Lessons I Learned in xx Years,” as well as the usual introspective post I tend to default to. After a long list of ideas and suggestions for birthday posts, I finally settled on this one, where I’m going to share and explain 24 things I keep in my shoe box of memories. If you frequent this blog often, or have read my latest posts, it should come as no surprise that I’m an incredibly sentimental person. Every gift, photo, card, letter, and knick knack has accumulated into a shoe box I keep tucked away in my closet that I go through every so often. Since I obviously can’t share every single artifact that I’ve collected over the years, I recruited the help of my roommates (hey Reece and Conor) to choose 24 random things from my box that I could share with you, the reader, to salute my 24 years here on Earth. Without further ado, here are 24 memories from my special shoe box.
During the span of the 3 months following graduation, I can safely say that I’ve done a fair share of introspection, reflection, and self-discovery. This was the first time in awhile where I felt like I was truly ending one chapter of my life and beginning a new one as I said goodbye to my undergraduate days and dove headfirst into true adulthood. Just this summer, I earned my Bachelor’s degree, watched one of my best friends get married, reconnected with people I’d lost contact with, and silently cheered on other friends as they began new and exciting adventures in their own lives. Despite all of these huge strides my friends and I have taken in the short summer, the one thing that I’ve been spending a lot of my time reflecting on was moving house – not once, but twice – and the emotions and conclusions that came along with it.
Let me preface this post by clarifying a few things. I’m not seeking validation. I’m not seeking attention. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t claim to know the answer to everyone’s struggles. These are my experiences, and the reason why I’ve never done more than briefly reference my struggles is that, until recently, I didn’t think it was anyone else’s business but mine. But given recent events and the growing conversations, I figured now is the time to be a part of the conversation.
Pure. Extraordinary. Comforting, Overwhelming. These are just a few words that come to mind when I ponder God’s unfailing (oh look, another word) love that I feel each and everyday. At this point, it’s no giant secret that I am a child of God. But while my faith isn’t something that I keep hidden, I’ve come to realize that it’s not exactly something I talk too much about, either. This may be because I don’t feel like I have the adequate theological knowledge that a lot of my friends have, or that I’m very much still learning what it’s like to live a life alongside Christ. But the one thing that I am sure of that I think I can adequately detail in a blog post is my understanding of God’s love. So, friends, whether you are a believer or not, I invite you to peer into this large part of my life. If you felt a tug on your heart as soon as you read that title, and if you still feel that tug getting this far into my post, I urge you to read on – hopefully this post will serve as some threshold to your own path of understanding God’s love.
I’ve been putting off writing this blog post, partly because these past few weeks have been super hectic for me (what else is new), but mostly because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about for this milestone. When I logged onto WordPress a couple weeks ago, I had every intention to write my usual quarter-end reflection, until I realized that this would be my 100th post. I asked for suggestions from a few friends, and while I was given really good suggestions, none of them seemed apt enough to write for the big 1-0-0. Thus, I let this draft sit for a few weeks while more ideas simmered in the back burner of my mind. I’ve decided to save the ideas people gave me for future blog posts, and instead make this one a retrospective, despite having already written plenty of those in the past. In case you don’t make it past this paragraph and decide that you’ve read enough of my mushy word vomit (wow interesting word selection there, Walt), I would just like to say thank you for reading my posts, whether you’ve only read one of my blog posts or all 100. You really don’t have to spend 5 minutes of your day reading what I have to say, but the fact that you do truly means a lot to me.
I have officially been on this Earth for 23 years, which means I’m pretty much at the helm of adulthood. During those 23 years, there’s no doubt that I’ve learned a thing or two as I endured the plenty growing pains that life had to offer. While I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made in the past, I do acknowledge the fact that I may have made some choices and took on certain mindsets that made living life a little bit of a challenge, both for myself and those around me. I’ve compiled a list of 23 pieces of advice – one for each year I’ve been alive – that I would have wanted my younger self to know.
So it’s been almost three weeks since the last time I posted one of these. For awhile, I considered either posting these once a month instead of once a week or just quietly letting this series die out. Ultimately, I decided against either option, concluding that doing these weekly reflections really helps me re-center myself after a long and exhausting week of near-adult responsibilities. Also, I need an excuse to visit coffee shops and cafes at least once a week. Another reason why it’s been a minute since I posted one of these was the unmitigated (and unexpected) chaos that occurred in the weeks after I came back from my short vacation in Sacramento. But I am back, ready to get back into the grind of posting these every week. Without further ado, here is how this week panned out for me.
First off, I would like to apologize for the lack of photos in this post – I’ve had a bit of a hectic week, and didn’t get a chance to take very many. This week, I had to get back into the swing of things after taking all of last week off and spending time at home. But once I got back, I hit the ground sprinting in terms of reconnecting myself with spirituality and focusing on what God has planned for me.
This past week at home allowed me to really take time to rest and take in everything happening around me without the pressures and distractions of work and school. It dawned on me earlier this week that this is the first time in a really long time that I finally feel like I can breathe and not have to worry about things like trying to find a job or complete an assignment for school. I explain everything in this week’s How Wow Pow Chow.