I’ll be honest with you, I have been dreading this birthday.
I’m sure 25 will be great!
There are already things in the works that have me so excited. I have started a new job with a company I am passionate about in an industry I’ve dreamed of working in. I have booked a flight to Italy with a dear friend and am so excited to have adventures in Umbria and Tuscany. I am exploring conferences and learning experiences. I have a great pile of books to work my way through. I have finished the first draft of my novel and am resting for the month before I tackle edits.
This is a season rich and rife with possibility.
And still, until recently, I was dreading this day.
My parents got married when they were twenty-five.
As a kid, I just thought that was the age at which one got married. Like going to Kindergarten at five. Or getting an American Girl doll at eight. (I basically thought everything happened by age and it was all a right of passage. What can I say, I’m a sucker for structure…)
I did eventually learn that this was not the case in life. Everything happens within God’s timing—I really do trust that. It’s just that from a young age, I thought life would look really different.
My good friend—and now boss—was telling me about a blog post she read that unpacked the ridiculousness of a bucket list. This inspired my friend to make a 50 before 50 list.
She showed me the pages of her notebook filled with things she always wanted to experience, or learn, or accomplish. Things she no longer wanted to do “someday” but wanted to make time and space for in the coming years.
I loved reading and seeing how this breathed new life into the season ahead. I wanted some of that.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been jotting down ideas for my own list—my 30 before 30. And It’s all over the map (sometimes literally), but it’s made me really excited for what God may have ahead in the coming months and years. It ranges from big adventures:
- Exploring Italy
- Going with friends on a spontaneous roadtrip
- Learning to rockclimb
to small pursuits of maturity
- Read a Russian novel
- Find a workout routine I actually enjoy
- Learn to make sushi
and small risks:
- Take a dance class
- Go for a nice dinner by myself
- Learn to give and receive grace
A wise pastor in my life has always called one’s twenties the decade of dreams. Where God has gifted us dreams, there is no need for dread. Dreaming small and big dreams for the half-decade ahead has been a good chance to reflect on ways to pursue Shalom in my life and my community. It was has been refreshing to pray to dream God’s dreams and to think on what brings me joy.
So here I am at 25. I am not married and my long-lost third grandmother did not come out of the woodwork to tell me I am a princess of an obscure but charming European country.
And you know what? I’m really okay. Not just okay, I’m excited.
How are you pursuing joy and growth this year?