“Four years into my twenties I don’t even close to have things figured out. I still suck at budgeting. I don’t know how to cook. I pay the Charter bill a day late every month. It takes me months to do laundry, and sometimes I accidentally buy fabric softner instead of laundry detergent. My phone is always dying and my gas light is always on. I drink diet coke and love carbohydrates. I don’t have any idea what I want to be when I grow up, and at this point I don’t even know when that “grown up” point happens. I’m terrible at thankyou notes and at staying in touch. I don’t have a clue what to do about savings or health insurance. I am consistently late and I still need to call my mom and hear from my dad on a regular basis. It takes me forever to admit that I can’t do something, and asking for help is still hard for me. Remembering names is one of my greatest weaknesses. I worry about things I shouldn’t, I carry burdens that aren’t mine, and I often get freaked out by what the news says is happening.
But I have also learned some things in these four years. I am more financially independent (from my parents) than I have ever been, and I cant even begin to tell you how that has happened outside of straight up miracles. I have learned to live on support. I have worked in food service where “serving” has taken on a whole new meaning and Ive learned what it means to be faithful with tasks that might seem meaningless. I’ve learned the therapy of cleaning and the peace of a schedule and the value of working really hard. I’ve discovered the unique beauty of the morning time and am learning to love waking up early. I’ve grown in my boundaries and I learn everyday how to respect them more. I’ve found new ways to worship and pray. I’ve discovered the importance of integrity and character in every situation, especially when I don’t think anyone notices. I’ve learned that loving hard often means hurting deeply, but that it’s worth it. I’ve learned that to actually see something happen I have to get involved and get my hands dirty. I’ve learned that it’s ok to not have anything to say and that a lot of times there is no answer. I’ve learned that honesty is vital, and I’ve learned to love the freedom it brings. I’ve found that good friends are worth fighting for and worth fighting with. I’ve learned/am learning the ache of missing people I love. I’ve started to process death and it makes me that much more aware of life. I’ve learned the beauty of the word NO, discovered the importance of being alone, and started to realize the incredible value of community. I have learned to dream HUGE but to then bring practicals into it. I’ve learned that being real is one of the most difficult yet greatest traits a person can possess. I’ve learned that making mistakes is freeing, necessary, and worth it, and that what is important is not so much that I don’t make mistakes but that I admit my mistakes and run straight into His heart afterwards. I’ve learned just how much I have no idea what I am doing, and in that I have learned to appreciate the perspective of older people. I’ve learned to fight to keep fear from dictating my decisions and to never let passion die. I’ve learned to never underestimate the little things or belittle the great things. I’ve learned that being myself is a gift and the more I can do it the better. I’ve discovered the greatness of giving everything I’ve got to something regardless of the outcome. I’ve learned a TON about marriage and love, none of which I get to live out yet but so I’m excited for that chapter to begin. I’ve learned that I am far more capable than I think I am. I’ve learned to try things I never dreamed possible. I’ve learned that balance and limits actually lead to MORE. I’ve learned to love where I am and to never get so caught up in whats next that I miss out on right now…because right now is beautiful. I’ve learned that what I do is NOT who I am, that who I am is far more important that what I do, and at the end of the day only One who owns me is my Father.” – Jessica Longino