Thoughts on my 23rd

As I enter into my 23rd year, I come with pure joy. A feeling I don’t believe I’ve ever truly felt before, until now. Joy from the grace God has given me and the patience He has shown me, specifically in my walk with Him. But also joy, because of how He has gently restored me, even though I don’t deserve it.

His patience to wait on me to buy into His goodness and understand His reckless and never-ending love that can be found nowhere else but in Him has meant everything to me. And because of that, I plan to remain faithful all my days and practice long-suffering until the day I see His face. Because kindness like this isn’t something, you forget. It changes you. It gives you peace. It’s something you tell and show the world because words simply aren’t enough.

It’s fruit.

Things I’ve Learned at 23

1. Plan

You can plan all you want, and still, God has the final say. Become comfortable with submitting your wants to Him, but also understand that when your plans don’t come to pass, the author and creator of your faith is overseeing your life. Things will work out as they should, and He has your best interest in mind.

2. You’ll Have Questions

Questions… that’s the polite way to say doubts. Whether you have questions about your purpose or your role here on Earth, there will always be things you think of that God hasn’t fully revealed to you.  The crazy thing is, some of those things might not be answered in this lifetime, and that’s okay. But one thing I will say is, meet your doubts with faith every time. Sometimes you won’t have all the answers, but if you had all the answers, it wouldn’t be faith. Let faith be the bridge between your doubts and God’s plans that you can’t see.

3. Pros & Cons

There are pros and cons to everything. I know this is a simple concept and yet it has taken me 23 years to understand. Every decision has a consequence whether good or bad, and once you are able to truly see the two in every decision, then you will make better and more informed ones.

Things I’m Thankful For at 23

1. Perspective

I never knew the power of perspective until recently. Perspective can have you feeling like the scum of the Earth or the luckiest and most blessed person in the world all while dealing with the same circumstance. Protect your mind, and keep your perspective in order. It’s so important, and I’m thankful for the change in perspective I’ve had this year.

2. Family

It’s funny, I feel like I always put this one, but it’s true. There isn’t a year that goes by where I’m not more thankful for my family than the last. You can’t choose family but God gave me a pretty good bunch, and they mean the world to me.

3. Chosen Family

In this year I’ve lost a lot of friends, I’ve gained a few, and I’ve kept a few as well. My support system (chosen family) has played a big role in my life this year as I’ve grown to understand the power of community. I’m thankful for the people in my life who put up with me, hold me together, encourage me and do life with me, daily.

Goals for 23

1. Continue to grow my faith.

2. Nurture the relationships in my life.

3. Better understand/find my purpose.

Twenty-two was an amazing year, and I’m VERY excited to see what 23 holds. Until next time, get up, get moving and be salt & light.

My Social Media Detox Explained

Hey, Strangers… well, it’s really me that’s been a stranger. My last blog post was on February 14th, 2017. So you’re probably wondering where I’ve been for the last month and a half. If you’re not that’s cool too, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

I’ve been on a social media detox. Sometime in mid-February, I found myself feeling less than a lot of the time. My college career was about three weeks away from ending, the thoughts of my last semester of college consistently weighed on me, the job hunt was and still is brutal, and worst of all, everyone’s life on social media looked amazing.

Instagram is definitely my favorite social media platform. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and outside of video, I believe it’s the best way to capture moments. But with that said, Instagram was becoming toxic for me. I would scroll-and-scroll, looking at the awesome pictures of people, getting updates on their lives, and then subconsciously comparing them to me.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but Instagram and all social media are highlight reels of people’s lives. You can’t compare your ever day to their better or best day. But of course, I did it anyways.

I’m not sure if this happens to others, but because this is the year of many endings for me (i.e. college, college athletics, etc.) sometimes I find myself thinking, “Did I live it right? Did I make the most of all of my opportunities? Did I squeeze the life out of these past four years?” In some cases, I answer no and for various reasons, one of which being, comparison. Again, I would compare my college and basketball experiences to others and assume that because we all had different experiences mine had to be wrong.

Well, here is a piece of advice. There is no right way to live life, do college, etc. You are on your own journey, and so is everyone else. So with that realization in mind, I ultimately nixed social media for as long as I’ve been away from my blog. Well, I kept Pinterest and YouTube because I find Pinterest to be inspirational, and I don’t know how I’d live without YouTube, but outside of that everything else had to go.

The first few days were hard. I would pick up my phone and go to those apps just to find that they weren’t there anymore. I had either deleted them or logged out. By day four, it was like I never had social media in the first place. I loved it! I had more time on my hands, I could focus on me instead of the lives of others, and I got a chance to know myself better instead of comparing myself to other. I know it sounds cliche but it’s true.

It’s crazy what can happen when you’re not always checking up on people that you know, don’t know, secretly envy or even dislike. It’s crazy what happens when you’re not secretly plotting your next post on Instagram (I have been guilty of this in the past) or pretending to live a life you don’t actually live.

Now that I have my social media back, I feel like a lot has changed. I get on Instagram, once every two days… maybe, which is a significant improvement from 10+ times a day. I barely get on Twitter, unless of course there is a major event happening (an awards show, sporting event, etc.). In that case, Twitter becomes my go to. I get on Facebook just to check sometimes. I was never big on Snapchat. There is something about people knowing my exact location in real time that freaks me out. For all other social media, I probably don’t use it considering I can’t remember it now. With all of this said, my quality of life has improved tremendously!

I don’t want you to walk away thinking that you need to go on a social media detox to see life improvement. Though the results from my detox were great and I highly recommend it, that was my situation. I do recommend that you evaluate your social media habits and the value you put on the content you see.

Make sure your habits are healthy. Make sure you’re not comparing yourself, and that you realize people are showing you their best days. Most importantly, make sure you know that you’re freaking amazing, bring something different to the table than everyone else and that social media will never be able to fully capture or define that in a single post, feed, or account.

You’re on your own journey in life, so don’t allow social media to make you second guess if you’re doing it right. With that said, happy posting peeps! If you feel so compelled, comment down below any social media detox experiments you have done, if you plan to do one, and anything else you might want to add.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.