Not So Wish-List

So. Yesterday was my birthday...

That means today is the second day I am officially 29.

And then that means I only have 363 more days until I'm 30.


And not just ugh. I kind of want to vomit.

Ok, there is something you should know about me. I have this huge Peter-Pan-Complex.

Like... it's insane. I am terrified of aging. And it's not even about gravity + wrinkles + gray hair. Because believe me... I've been dealing with all those things for a while!!! Talk to my crows feet.

Not to mention I started going gray at 25. I mean, seriously, who does that???? Granted I had like two kids, maybe three, by then. But still, it's not fair.

Still, the whole afraid of aging thing is completely separate from all that.

In fact, it's kind of crazy.

I cried on my 20th birthday because I wasn't a teenager anymore. I mean, for real?? There is something wrong with me!!! Lol.

So now that I am facing another year. My last year in my twenties. And I made it through my actual birthday without a single tear. In fact, I actually had a very wonderful birthday and was completely blessed to be surrounded by all the people I love and with their love.

I thought I would do a Top Ten List.

I mean, I have lived all these years now, I should have a small wealth of knowledge, tidbits of wisdom picked up through the years and what not.

I am all about knowing exactly who I am. Know Thyself is my fiercest motto, the words I live by, the words I strive to follow. It's so important to me to know exactly who I am. When I am honest with myself, upfront and open with who I am then I can be comfortable and confident in any and every situation. And those things are important to me.

It's also important to me to confident in who I am.

So, every year I like to reflect back on what I've picked up over the years. There's probably a blog every year about it. I know for sure I did one when I was 26 and I listed 26 things I learned about myself.

Unfortunately 29 is a lot of things to list... so I'll save you that headache and condense it down to 10.

So, here we go.

Ten Things I've Learned About Myself Over The Years:

1. I hate mushrooms. Hate them. Hate them. Hate them. And this isn't just a blanket statement. Understand that I am extremely uncomfortable with hating things, like every single thing. It bothers me. And so I always try to push myself into liking whatever it is I have negative feelings for. For example food... Recently this has brought me to an obsession with Brussels Sprouts. Not even two years ago I couldn't stand the little green buggers, but now I am OBSESSED with them. It took a few tries, but honestly, they have got to be my fave veggies by this point. Also... Bloody Marys. Which, ok, some of you are thinking, how hard is it to like something with alcohol?? But I used to HATE the tomato juice part of it. The vodka I've always been fine with, trust me. :) And then this year, I started giving them more and more chances. And yesterday I actually felt like a Bloody Mary OVER a Mimosa. And come on, Mimosas are delicious. So you see? I like to constantly evolve. Or I like to think so anyway. However, there is no evolving with Mushrooms. They are disgusting. The more I try them, the more I hate them. In fact I have the chills just thinking about them!!! So. Gross. Good thing they are my husbands favorite things ever.... We can never agree on a pizza.

2. People are weird. Oh. So. Weird. This has taken me a long time to figure out. But once I realized I could just blanket the entire world population with this statement I felt a whole lot better. Granted there are varying degrees of weirdness, but let's be honest. People are weird. Me included! And I'm fine with it. I'm embracing my weird. Reveling in it really. There aren't freaks and geeks. Not really anyway. There's just all of us and we are all weird in our own way. Granted, some of us are weirder than others. Some of us make the news or youtube with our weirdo-ness. Some of us do things like write a really crappy book review and then tweet the author about it (Really... I don't need to know you hated my book. Feel free to write whatever you want about me, I won't judge you. In fact, I fully believe you're entitled to you opinion. But, maybe just save me from the pits of insecurity and despair by not contacting me directly with all of your degrading thoughts...?) and some of us hide our weird really, really well. I used to believe weirdness was reserved for little kids and brothers, but 29 years has proven that everyone has something strange going on. Why not rejoice in a sense of community and be weird together??? :)

3. I have a fear of commitment. Ok, so if you know anything about me, you know I am generally afraid of.... everything. Hugs. High Fives. Meeting New People. Scary Movies. Bugs. Basements. Book Releases. I mean, really the list goes on and on and on and on. (I just told you I was weird. Don't act so surprised! :) But this year I came to the realization that I was afraid of commitment. I know, just tack it to the end of the infinity long list, right?? And truth be told this was not a moment of self-actualization. It came out in a conversation with someone else in which I was telling them about my fear of buying a house and how I never wanted to get married or have kids, yet here I am. She goes, "Oh, so you're afraid of commitment." And I was like, "Oh......... that makes so much sense now that I think about it." So I did what I do with all of my fears. Acknowledge it. Accept it. And then try to get the hell over it. It's a process. But knowing I'm simply afraid of committing to something is helping with my inability to make decisions and how I think about things in my life. The fear is still there. It might NEVER go away. But knowing about it helps.

4. I have the best friends in the world. I really, really do. I've been through some terrible friendships in the past. Part of that is being a girl and being dramatic. And part of that is because of outside circumstances on both sides that drew us apart or caused rifts or whatever. But I can honestly look at all of my friends today and just acknowledge how blessed I am. I am so thankful for each and every friend in my life right now I sometimes don't know what to do with it all. Whether it's my dance moms, Bible study ladies, my high school friends, college friends, author-peers that I've been blessed to get to know over the past year, Kristen and Brooke who don't fit into any of those categories, or all of my beautiful sister-in-laws or soon to be sister-in-laws, I just don't even know where they all came from. But I'm truly thankful for each and every one of them. They have made such a difference in my life. Maybe all the difference.

5. I hate the sound of my voice. Hate it. I think this is a common problem.... I think..? But either way, I can't stand it! Just an FYI if you ever have to listen to it and think "Holy Cow she sounds like a muffled chipmunk with marbles in her mouth!!!" You will know I think the exact same thing!!! Haha!! But seriously. I thought I could hide behind my books forever and nobody would ever have to share my voice-hating misery... but that's not so. I'm doing a radio interview coming up here. AND. One of the projects I'm writing right now is a podcast. Like those old school radio shows with the sound effects and stuff! I'm developing it with my husband and some others and even though I believe it's going to be really, really, really cool. I still have to be a voice on it... and it's not going to be pretty. However, get excited for upcoming announcements!!! Because I love it already.

Also. It's Adult Mystery-Horror-Suspense. So... something completely different for me.

6. If there's a chance something can go bad. It will. I promise you that. Especially if you're me! I am not the kind of person you talk about and go, "Oh man, she's really, really lucky." Uh, no. I'm the person you go, "Man, I can't believe all that stuff happened to her!" Things in general take me three times longer than anybody else. Like errands for example. I know how long it should take me to run three errands and then I tack on three extra hours and that's more my time frame. I'm learning to be ok with it. I mean, it's taking some serious work and self-examination on my part, but I'm trying. I just take all my expectations, divide them in half, divide those in half again and then throw them all out the window and quit trying to write To Do Lists or attempt to get anything done and then I'm never disappointed. :) Some of this might have to do with having four kids ages 6 and under...

7. I don't have it together. I can't even pretend to have it together. I will never, ever be a Room Mom, forget about having an organized house, being on time for all of our activities or even remembering simple things like to put a bra on. This is me: Chaos. It might drive my husband to file for divorce eventually and my kids might slip into a clinical case of OCD to balance out my craziness... but this is who I am. At least for now. At least until I get a couple more kids into school and figure out how to do this Work-From-Home-Mom stuff.

8. And in case you're starting to think I'm really hard on myself. I just need to say, I am really good at meal-planning. It's probably my greatest strength at the whole mom thing. We might be late. We might be messy. We might not always brush our hair and probably stay in our pajamas way longer than most households. But we eat really healthy, really affordable meals that are well planned out. We eat together at the table, even when Zach and I decide to have our at-home-date-nights (Which means we make something special, like steaks, after the kiddos go to bed so we don't have to pay for a babysitter.) and my kids are really adventurous eaters. Their faves include asparagus, Indian, and every single kind of soup. This took me a lot of years to be able to say this. I cannot count the number of inedible meals I made our first year of marriage. Let me just say bananas and rice do not make a meal. Then there was the time I accidentally spent $450 at the grocery store when we definitely did not have that kind of money.... That's one of Zach's favorite stories. :) But almost eight years later I have finally come into my own as far as meals and groceries go and it feels good.

9. I am in love with my career. In love. I have wanted to be a writer my entire life. And I tried for so, so, so many years to make it happen. This isn't exactly what I pictured the career to look like, but only because it is so much better. I'm not even sure what to really do with it all. Other than to just encourage every single person I know to seriously pursue your dreams. It's ok to dream big, and equally it's ok to feel like a failure or inadequate as long as you are pursuing, in active chase of what you love. Nothing in this life we live is easy. Nothing. Especially not the really, really good things. Those things take work and they are hard. VERY HARD. But if you are willing to work you can achieve those things where your dreams live. And it is one of the best places to live. Promise.

10. There is only one reason I can say, write, admit all of these things and know the peace that comes with it all and that is because of God's sovereignty. I've lived for almost three decades. Which is both a long time and not nearly long enough. And I can honestly say that every one of those years has been a journey to where I am today. And the journey will continue and go on and on and on. Hopefully anyway. Do you know that I decided to be a writer in high school? Well, I knew I wanted to be one in fourth grade. But it wasn't until high school that I decided to pursue the career. Except life kept that dream muffled and muted and absolutely out of reach. So I had this huge dream that ate at me but went to college where they didn't even have a journalism department. I decided never to get married and travel the world instead and then found myself married at 21. I definitely decided to put off the whole kids thing until I had the career I wanted so desperately and then found myself pregnant by 22 before I ever got the chance to even pretend to have a career. I planned my life one way and then reality took me rather forcefully on an entirely different journey. Yet somehow it wrapped all the way around and I find myself a writer today. It was my dad's sickness that kept me in Omaha and at the college I attended which in turn gave me the opportunity to study abroad and travel the world. It was also that time that kept me with my soon to be husband. And it was my sick father, who died four months after I got married, that encouraged us to get married in the first place. It was our children, our surprise children, that kept me home to raise them and gave me the opportunity to write my first book. And then my second. And then my third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh and so on for eternity. And it was the incredible man I married that encouraged me to self-publish and told me that it didn't matter if nobody ever bought a book of mine, I was still doing what I loved and that was all that mattered. And it was God that paved the way for all this to happen and then led me down the path one step at a time. So if I've learned anything in the past 29 years, it's that God has a plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes His plans take a long time to work themselves out, but that's ok. Because even though the journey is sometimes hard, excruciatingly hard, it is beautiful. And if nothing else, it makes a lot of material to write about. :)


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1 comment:

  1. That was so awesome and beautiful and funny, thanks for sharing all of your likes and dislikes and experience's and such, it really means a lot to me. I also wanted to share with you that there is a song that my sister and I believe is perfect for the theme song for the Star-Crossed series its called "So Glad You Came" by The Wanted :)