What I'm Learning Lately

I was thinking the other day about how much I think about things (whoa) and I realized I liked that about myself. I like that I don't just go through life aimlessly, but that I consciously try to make note of what is happening, how it makes me feel, how I'm learning, what's challenging me, etc. I hope I always live life like that-- with intention, awareness, and eyes wide open. In doing so, I've gathered up a few things I've been learning lately, but I think they'll be relevant to others as well.

On the topic of social media:

  • I do not need to follow everyone I know, everyone I have met, everyone I am friends with, or everyone that everyone else is following. My social media feeds are for my use-- for inspiration, encouragement, information, relationship-building, staying in the loop, etc. There were people who used to flood my feed with things that brought up ugly feelings in me, and I finally decided I just needed to unfollow them instead of always feeling that way when I read their words. Guess what? They never noticed. They probably never will. And I enjoy my time on social media much more because I have chosen to create space that is encouraging, challenging, and positive for me there. If they do notice? I'll graciously explain that it's not because I don't like them as people (I still do), but because I'm working to cultivate a certain kind of environment on social media.

On the topic of love/dating/relationships:

  • It's good to take chances. I got coffee last month with someone I had never met. I was terrified. But I texted my best friend and she gave me the perfect pep talk that basically said: Why not? You have no idea what will come of it. It's terrifying for your introvert self, yes, but you don't ever have to see him again if it goes poorly. You never know until you go. 

  • Nobody else can tell me what is best for me. I did some things this past month that people thought were a little weird or crazy or unnecessary, but they were things that came after a lot of prayer and soul-searching and careful consideration. (If you're wondering, it was things like deleting Snapchat for a while, stepping down from leadership roles, and stepping away from a formerly close friendship.) I learned to have the guts and give myself the grace to do those things, even though other people were quick to voice their opinions. I learned how to tune out those critical voices a little more and focus on what the Lord was trying to lead me into.

On the topic of food:

  • I want to eat only what I can name, what I can grow, what I can identify, what I can create with my two hands. Growing a summer garden every year with my parents always reminds me of what a blessing real, good food is. I don't want to take for granted that I can go grab bunches of kale every day for an afternoon roasted kale chip snack. I don't want to treat my body like what I eat doesn't matter, when I know it does. Having the stomach flu made me so grateful to be able to eat food again, and more than ever, I want that food to be wholesome and as good for me as possible.

On the topic of travel:

  • Do it. If you have an opportunity to take a road trip, do it (even if it's just driving up to Northern Virginia with your brother for an afternoon and back). If you have the resources and a schedule flexible enough for a two week summer road trip, do it. If you have a park down the street that makes you feel like you're at an oasis, go there. If there's a restaurant in town with food from another country or culture, eat there. Exploring more is so good for my soul.