I remember the first time I learned how to braid my hair. I thought I’d never figure it out- braiding was like an enigma I could not conqueror. Then my dad, during a Star Wars marathon-babysitting endeavor, decided that it was high time. He taught me to braid. One section after the other. And then I realized what step I had been doing incorrectly, I became a braiding machine. And isn’t that what learning is? Figuring out what you were doing wrong and trying again the right way.
So here are 5 things I’ve learned. Maybe easy lessons…. maybe not, but learning is valuable, and personal.
- What you want to do when you’re young goes through about 2-3 transformations. And sometimes you have 2 student loans and 5 years in before you wake up one morning and realize that your life and plans might change. You might need to find a different way than you were expecting. And often this process makes you question yourself but also submit to God’s will more than before. Ask Him for direction when you may have been confident in your own way before. It takes seeing what is and what could be in the future.
- You’ll see your flaws and insecurities woven into your decisions. Often you end up seeing these insecurities through someone else. Maybe its when looking at a family member, maybe someone with a similar life situation. And you’ll see the areas of your life that need some work whether its help or healing. In this time of life there is always a crossroads. You can see it in the path of those who have lived before you, the midsection of life where they moved forward or the decisions that kept those insecurities preserved. Those who recognize their own flaws become master of them. Those who refuse are slaves to them.
- You’ll have one big regret. I should have been braver. I should have had that conversation. I should have risked it. And in the narrative of life there is no answer for missed opportunities, there is only the option of learning to use regret as a tool for the future.
- You’ll have one person you still can’t face. Whether it’s to tell them the truth, ask for forgiveness or just tell exactly what you think. Time has a way of soothing certain words right out of your mouth but also has the ability to ignite words that have been smoldering inside. Wisdom is the only teacher of the tongue. Without wisdom words can be an enemy to your own peace.
- You’ll need to plan independently. Planning for life requires strange balance. If you only plan with others in mind you are usually disappointed or waiting around without living up to your own dreams. People are always moving and shifting. Alternately, if you only plan for you there is an inflexibility that doesn’t allow for others. Balance your plans and goals but leave room for allowing others into your life.
Life is all about learning. And age is the discovery of how much you still need to learn.