22 Things I Learned in My 22nd Year

February 28th, 2012 § 48

I’ve spent the last few years developing the habit of making a list on my birthday. The list consists of behaviors, lessons, values, truths, etc that I learned or cultivated in my previous year of life. There’s nothing too small or silly or mundane to make the list, and there’s no rules really, except to write what is true.
This habit is partly reactionary—I know too many people who don’t think deeply about their lives. And I want to be the kind of person who wrings every last drop of wonder and wisdom and joy out of this difficult, beautiful life. But mostly I make this list because it’s a tangible way for me to discover growth. Growth isn’t always easy to identify, and I’ve found that a bird’s eye view of the year I just lived helps me to practice celebration and offer up gratitude to a God who is abundance, and who gives abundance.
This year…
(1) I learned how to scrape a coconut

(2) I learned how to take bucket showers

(3) I learned that I’m capable of training and running a 10k

(4) I learned that nothing makes me more unstable than having to build a model with foam core and an exacto knife

(5) I learned that I live in bondage to the fear that I won’t be loved and accepted

(6) I learned that I am deeply and securely loved by God

(7) I learned that when I eat a s’more, I almost always wish I hadn’t

(8) I learned that long car rides by myself almost always involve some crying

(9) I learned that people don’t need me to be their savior

(10) I learned that research is so much harder than it sounds

(11) I learned that Princess Laea and Luke Skywalker are actually sister and brother

(12) I learned the wisdom of apologizing first

(13) I learned that I have a decently high tolerance for cleaning up vomit

(14) I learned that I never find a hot cup of tea regrettable

(15) I learned that ‘family’ is a term that can be used for the people you eat with on a regular basis

(16) I learned that I can’t change other people

(17) I learned that this world is profoundly broken, and God is immensely good

(18) I learned that my ideal form of exercise is something social/relational, staunchly non-competitive, and requiring a sense of humor

(19) I learned how to write a grant proposal

(20) I learned that I can’t do it on my own

(21) I learned that I am capable of great acts of boldness

(22) I learned more love, less fear

Amen.

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