Twenty-Four.

Here are a few thoughts on what I’ve learned about twenty-four. Some through experience, and others through wiser people than I…

Stick it out through the struggle. And grant yourself patience.

Don’t be afraid to try things alone. Learn about yourself. Take yourself out to dinner. Go for an evening walk. Don’t use a book as a safety or even a cell phone to distract, but sit in the discomfort. Then learn to love those moments when alone.

Things will work out. They have a way of becoming something even when you can’t see it from where you are right now.

Journal. Write. Ask yourself hard questions. Share your story. Doing so has the potential to offer insight and hope to others so as to help them create value and purpose in what they’re experiencing.

Make your faith yours and learn to connect with God in a way that is authentic to you. Seek out time with God regularly. Pray big prayers, and wait for answers. Ask God for opportunities to become more dependent on him. Cultivate a spirit of gratitude.

Pursue community. Build into friendships. Know and be known by others.

When something is lacking, seek it out. By offering it up to others, you receive what was desired all along. But better.

Learn to cook. Make meals and experiment in the kitchen. Use simple ingredients and eat real food. But eat the cookies too. And treat yourself to coffee, because caffeine.

Celebrate alongside others. Send best wishes and write cards and show up. Show genuine excitement for where life has brought them. And when it’s hard to celebrate, seek understanding as to why. Learn about where that stems from, give words to those feelings, and risk vulnerability to let others in on the not-so-pretty parts of your heart.

It’s okay to not be brave. It’s okay to have fears and uncertainties and to not have it all figured out. It’s okay to not have an answer to “what’s next?”. It’s okay to be honest about not being okay.

Ask for second chances, and sometimes third chances. Seek grace with all you’ve got. Give even more grace. Learn to ask for forgiveness and to give it more freely. The heart and mind become freed up to love better when grudges don’t cloud one’s thinking.

Say yes to trying new things. Take the salsa class. Buy the plane ticket. Learn a recipe. So long as you make the effort.

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