It was a fun day, filled with birthday wishes and sweets. After work my husband, parents and I went to sushi at one of my favorite places.
The thing about 26 is, when I hear it said aloud, it sounds so old. I know, I know -- it's not. But, it sounds that way. So leading up to the day, I thought I would start to feel anxious or nervous about it.
Last year, before turning 25, I had an almost quarter-life crisis.
I was one red onions on my salad when I asked for none away from losing it -- quitting my job on the spot and picking up to move to Italy. A dream my husband and I would love to have happen, but it's not in the cards any time soon.
You see, I felt like I had to be at a certain place in my life and career to feel like I'd made it.
And I wasn't there.
I felt like people around me were moving on and up, and I was staying still. And the looming two-five seemed like the deadline to signal that I was not where I thought I would be. That my life was the same, and I was the same, as I had been for years.
But that wasn't true.
On the surface it was. I had the same job from when I graduated three years earlier, I had the same house, car, dog, family, friends, hobbies and interests. And these were all great things. Thank the Lord I had many of these same things, husband and family and friends especially. So while I felt like everyone else was changing and I was staying the same, really God was using that time to change things within me. He was helping me curate my interests and talents, to learn to put myself out there, to be more open with people, and figure out how to navigate relationships that were difficult. I was just so focused looking through my telescope at the future and things far away, I ignored everything going on under my nose.
Well, the Lord changed a few things on the surface -- namely a new job and new friends in a new church small group -- and voila! Turning 25 was no big deal. But not because I realized that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. No, it was because I felt accomplished. Which is not a good or mature reason.
There's a phrase I've always loved: "Bloom where you are planted"
I've struggled with that. Always looking forward, planning ahead, thinking about what's next.
I need to learn to bloom where I am planted, instead of digging a spot in another planter and waiting for God to pick me up and drop me where I want.
Contentedness, it's something I need to work on.
Not now, because right now I'm very content. I'm a 26-year old with a great husband, family, friends, dog, job and house. And right now I feel very blessed.
But, there will be times when things are not as I wish or hope or dream or even like. And I need to learn to be content with that.
So yes, 26 came easy this year. There was no stress or nervousness or odd anxiety like I experienced in the early months of 2013. And I'm not sure if it was because I'm learning to embrace life as it happens, thank God and enjoy every minute of it, even the weeds, or if it's because things are rosy right now. But I know that I'm working towards the former.