Hello beautiful darlings,

Yes! I turned 30 last month, my nails are still chipped, I am still rocking a high messy bun and my feet are still dirty at the end of every day as a result of me insisting on walking barefoot around the house. Not sure how I was 25, then I blinked and now I am 30. I guess time flies when you are having fun and when you have picked some projects back up from the shelf and you finally decide to be brave and give it another chance.

So, are resolutions still a thing? Or are we focusing more on goals, values, and intentions in 2015? Am I the only one that feels that one year is really a short time to work on something? Either way today, I decided to share 6 of the "things" (call it whatever you want) that I have been working on.. not for a year or two but probably more like a decade, ha!

So like I said I reached the (sometimes) intimidating 30's this past month and some days before my birthday, I got a bit introspective and started thinking about the things I learned in my 20's and that I truly cherish. 

I finally know what I DON'T want or LIKE to do
I don't know for how many of you choosing a career path has been really difficult. In my twenties, I worked in really cool places but even as I did, I have never seemed to shake off the desire to own my own business. The problem was that I was never able to pinpoint what kind of business I would like to own because I am one of those people that has many different interests. I still don't have it all figured out but just like many others, my twenties were a time to weed out what I definitely do NOT want to do and that has shed some light.

Many times we get frustrated with the way life takes twists and turns but many times those are precisely the things that lead us to the best destinations and build our character. That being said, I did not take my exploration time as an excuse to be volatile, irresponsable or even settle for my fate. Instead I pushed pass the lack of fulfillment I often felt in some jobs and just tried to learn as much as I could in order to build a foundation (putting new tools in my tool box) to make my creative dreams come true.

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication  
In the past couple of years, I feel like I've rejected a lot of the ideas of what the traditional "American dream" is, along with many of the expectations that come with what I "should" be doing at my age and the expectations that come with our status as a young married couple. Along with my husband, we have decided to build a life that will hopefully be a legacy of love, justice, and humility instead of accumulation of material possessions. We are by no means perfect, but we don't give up, moving forward little by little.

Less is always more. I want to spend less (time, money, energy) in doing what I should do, and save it to do what I truly want and was created to do. Any one else feeling this way? 

Respect the timing of my life
Is anyone else a doer, like I am? Checking things off my list gives me an inexplicable mini-thrill and that sometimes works against me. Sometimes I want to make things happen in my life while certain elements are completely out of my control. To be honest I hate it! For example: have you ever felt like you are in the waiting room of your own life? Like there are many things lined up but nothing is actually happening? However frustrating that is, I have learned that these waiting periods come by seasons and they always seem to find their way into our lives to act as a gestation period to bring forth a whole new chapter of growth. One good thing about that whole rather torturous process is that the struggle of that "waiting period" usually helps us grow in maturity As we mature, we can better appreciate that whole new chapter, while also building up faith to the measure of the inevitable adversity  we will face, regardless of how amazing that new season of our life is.

So if there's anything I have learned in my twenties, it's to respect the timing of my journey. To live the questions in my journey instead of constantly obsessing over finding answers. It's to have peace about the pace in which things are moving in my life while never comparing my story to other people. If you are not practicing this already, try it! It's liberating.

A little side note here: I fell in love later than most friends my age and sometimes, circumstances made me feel like I was missing out, or that I was somehow doing it wrong. In the midst of it all, I am so thankful for grace and that constant voice telling me that God's timing is perfect.

Only care about the opinion of the ones who matter
If we are completely honest, we all care about some people's opinions, at least a little. It would be logical to care since we have been created as social beings. We constantly relate to our environment. I think that in my twenties I have learned to identify who's opinion actually matters and not give a jack about all the rest. At first, it is difficult to imagine being free from the grip of comparison or other people's expectations, but it is truly the most liberating thing ever. I've become better at drawing limits, at saying "No." without feeling guilty, at taking care of myself and my family first and taking time to do what I truly love without having to explain or justify it.

This exercise has truly helped me in better discerning God's will for my life instead of it being tainted by the powerful pull of expectations. What are my other 30 year old friends doing at this time of their lives? I care to keep up solely for the purpose of rejoicing with them but not to use their journeys as a barometer for my happiness or a guide for what my plan should be. Stop longing to live other people's lives and start living yours by taking at least one step towards the life that you desire. If you don't like where you are, I challenge you to take at least one small action that will bring you closer to your dream.

Surround yourself with the right people that will encourage and speak the truth to you. Value those who faithfully seek to be in your life in the good or the bad like your family, new and old best friends and mentors. (Read more about this in my post what to do "between now and my next move")

Boundaries and the whole art of saying NO
For some odd reason I always seems to overcommit to things because I find it extremely difficult to say no and when I do, I always feel the need to explain why I said no. I know this is weird but just in case there is anyone else who feels like me, I wanted to share that towards the end of my twenties, I finally got the guts to say no. I started by just using "no" more often (with a whole lot of explaining why and apologizing). Then, I moved to bigger things (you know, like a grownup) and simply started to say no.

Inevitably, there will be people who will try to guilt you into doing the very thing you just said no to, but be firm. I have come to realize that no one knows how my life really is, and no one else is living it for me. If I decide to make a certain choice, I (as the person who is actually living this life) knows why and that should be enough. I've learned to prioritize the things that will make me healthier, happier, and more fulfilled as I give every ounce of my life to serve and be at the center of God's will.

The power of showing up
Honestly, showing up faithfully is really hard. I think the reason why it's hard is because the changes are subtle. I am glad that many times during my twenties I showed up (to whatever my task was at that time of my life) even when it sometimes felt it wasn't going anywhere. I am glad for the people who pushed me to take leaps of faith and learned to believe in me simply because I was faithful in showing up to my everyday life.

Real discipline and genuine growth stems from the small increments that come from being there every day and patiently running our own race.

So, there you have it. I mean I did do the other cool stuff that 20 year olds should do, like traveling in most of Central and South America, fall in love, get married, moved from cities twice, buy my first car, learn to do my eyebrows and other experimental and life changing things as such. However, the things I wrote about today are precisely what is not very seldom spoken about so I wrote just in case you were wondering.