Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday: Lessons

Look at Twenty-Year-Old Jessica. So young. So carefree. So oblivious.

Today is the last Friday of my twenties.

I'm kicked back in a recliner with one kid as close to me as humanly possible, another on the couch, and another in the crib. Doc McStuffins is on the television, my coffee is cold in the cup, and my hamper is overflowing. This is how I'm going to close out the most exciting decade of my life, and I am 100% okay with it. Today I'm linking up at Hello! Happiness for the famous Five on Friday; however, I'm doing it differently. The topic of the weekend is birthday, so today I'm recapping five of the biggest lessons I've learned since 2004 made me a twenty-something:

ONE: Everyone's heard that comparison is the thief of joy, right? That's been a big lesson learned in the last ten years. If someone were smarter, or thinner, or funnier, I felt like I was doing something wrong. If I didn't meet the standards set by peers, I figured those peers looked down on me. If that were actually true, however, it didn't matter. All that should matter is whether I'm being the type of person I want to be. Life is easier this way.

TWO: Parenting is different than I thought it would be. I'm far from the June Cleaver meets Fun Mom I used to dream about, and that's okay. I didn't miraculously transform into a brand new woman when I gave birth, I was the same old Jessica who just had a long road of learning ahead of her. It's hard, it looks different, it can drive me absolutely crazy, but it's the best thing I've ever done. I thought motherhood was about imparting my worldly knowledge on a collection of children, but I have learned so much more from my kids.

THREE: Simple things are the best things. Being with my kids in the garden, lying on the grass and staring into the wide-open sky, rocking babies on the porch swing, and holding hands on the couch. These are the things that make my life sweet, and it turns out they're not even "things" at all. Easy enough.

FOUR: Maintaining relationships is important. Gone are the college days of being best friends with anyone who sits across from you in World Lit or lives across the hall in the dorm. In my {later} twenties I learned both the importance of friendship and the importance of making friendships happen. Phone calls must be made, schedules have to be matched, and time together is a precious gift. It keeps me sane.

FIVE: I know what I'm talking about. I've learned that if I listen to my conscience and trust my instinct, things typically turn out okay. Self-doubt is an ugly monster that has ruled a lot of my life, but it appears Thirties Jessica isn't going to take it. I am proud of the things I have accomplished thus far, and I trust myself. Do not mark my words here, because confidence comes and goes, but I'm happy to know I've found some. This goes hand-in-hand with the ability to make my own mistakes, learn from them, and move past.

For good measure, here are a few abbreviated extras in no particular order:
  • how to use a smartphone.
  • how to take a rectal temperature.
  • how to make a margarita.
  • how to get closer to God.
  • how to let my heart open.
  • how to let my heart break.
  • how to aerate garden soil.
  • how to make a spreadsheet.
  • how to fix boo-boos.
  • how to take care of myself.
  • how to drink coffee.
  • how to make unpopular choices.
  • how to love others.
  • how to love myself. for real.

This weekend I'll say goodbye to a decade of ups, downs, and in-betweens. The best days of my life {to date} and the worst days of my life {also to date, unfortunately} have happened in the last ten years. I know this is a lot of fanfare to move from one age to the next, but it's a big deal in my mind, so here I am, trumpets blaring. The best part of this farewell is that I'm not lamenting a thing. Bring it on, thirty. I'm ready.

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LifeAsAConvert said...

Enjoy your 30s! And what a great list. Number four is something that I am working on.

The Gifted Gabber said...

First of all, happy birthday! I have thoroughly enjoyed my thirties thus far, and I wish the same for you.
Secondly, what an incredible list! Love it all! Your list made me miss Five on Friday. I used to love writing my FoF posts and catching up with everyone else on Hello Happiness, but I became overwhelmed and had to cut a few weekly posts. Maybe I will make a slow dive back into it. Have a great week!

Jessica Bauer said...

Thanks so much for reading, girls - thirty doesn't seem half bad! And Amy I would LOVE to read your Five on Friday. Bring it back! :) I don't do it weekly, but it's a good writing form to have in my back pocket if too many ideas are rolling around in my head.

PS: Congratulations on your baby GIRL!! What an amazing addition to your family. :)