30 is the first milestone year that really gets you thinking. Up until now, milestones get sprinkled all throughout life.
- 10 – DOUBLE DIGITS, BABY!
- 13 – Teenager! Yes!
- 16 – I can drive a car now!
- 18 – I can do WHATEVER I WANT?!?
- 21 – I can DRINK and do WHATEVER I WANT?!?
- 25 – I’m saving HOW MUCH on car insurance?!?
- 30 – …???
30 is the first year that society doesn’t tell you who you are. You don’t get any special benefits. It’s just another number.
This got me thinking… “What am I doing with my life?” That question seems to be pretty common and it almost got me feeling depressed. No real reason, but purely because I live in a constant state of pursuing something; and that tension of not quite being where I want to be (or sometimes not knowing where I should be) made me feel… off.
Social media makes it painfully easy to compare our lives to everyone else and suddenly I regret all those nights marathoning How I Met Your Mother on Netflix instead doing that thing I should have been doing. I had made a Frankenstein version of “my ideal life” from the lives of everyone in my social circle. Then I stared into that gap… that distance between “Who I am” and “Who I want to be”… and felt like I wasn’t as good as I could be. I felt insufficient, insecure, and almost ungrateful for what I did have.
Who wants to live like that? Show of hands! Anyone?… No one? I’m shocked.
Then my wife did something for me which I would greatly encourage anyone to do for a loved one sometime in their life. Get friends and family to write encouraging letters to them. I wake up every morning with a new letter in my hand telling me “You’re doing great. We love you. You’re awesome.” and it builds a bridge across that gap. I am slowly understanding life for what it is.
It’s a journey; not a race.
It’s a road trip with no specific destination. You can be caravaning with a bunch of people, carpooling with two or three, or just riding your motorcycle on your own. If you don’t have a destination, enjoy the journey until you have one. Don’t take it too seriously or you’ll just live in regret and don’t say there there is no purpose because you’ll never leave Kansas. Enjoy the journey.
So on this little road trip I’ve accumulated some nuggets of wisdom I’d like to share. I hold these things close and use them to help me navigate. I wanted to share them in case others found some wisdom in them as well. In no order of importance, I present to you my “30 Thoughts at 30” list.
- Hard work means very little until you learn to rest.
- Faith is supposed to be tested every single day.
- Faith untested is just an opinion.
- Owning a mailbox isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.
- People in pain tend to live in small, selfish worlds.
- God would rather have a real relationship with me than a fake one I live out in a pew.
- Never speak ill of anyone because everyone has the capacity to change.
- Grow up; but don’t grow old.
- Your life goals should reflect the epitaph you want.
- Guard your thoughts because they’re the soil in which your emotions grow.
- You can’t numb just one emotion; it’s all or nothing.
- True strength sometimes requires vulnerability.
- Truth brings clarity; Lies bring validation.
- A good marriage requires timing, compromise, honesty, and forgiveness.
- Your wife doesn’t want a hero or a sidekick; She wants a partner.
- Be optimistic unless you know better.
- Workout. (Notice I didn’t say “be skinny”.)
- Sometimes if you don’t eat that cupcake, the terrorists win.
- You can’t argue with crazy.
- Be passionate.
- It’s OK to wait for a passion.
- Love is supposed to be illogical to us.
- I regret fewer things if I ask “Does this honor God?” beforehand.
- Pay your bills first.
- Be honest with yourself.
- There’s never a good reason to worry or complain.
- No one adopted a faith or political view by loosing an argument.
- People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
- Love is a four letter word if you just say it.
- Han shot first.
Did any jump out at you? What’s one that you’d like to share? Post below.