28 - What Does Having It Together Look Like?

by - 2:46 AM

Twenty-eight.

Honestly, just saying that sounds strange. I feel like it’s an age that nobody ever talked to me about. Growing up I knew all the age milestones: 18, 21, 30, 50, etc. but we never talked about 28. It’s that number that stands somewhere between you are no longer just a young 20 something trying to figure it out and feeling the need to have it together. 

However, It doesn’t feel like I have it figured out most days and sometimes I wonder what does "having it together" look like. Is it married, married with kids, or maybe it is owning my own business? I wonder if my together is being influenced by where society says I should be at this age. And if you think people aren’t already reminding you at 28 about your biological clock then think again.

Some days I appreciate the season that I am in and on others, I find myself longing for a life I’ve never experienced but in my heart, it feels familiar. Realizing though that what's familiar is not my reality. I go back to that innocent place as a teenager and think about the desires that I had then. The dreams and the place that I saw myself being in life at 28. I can tell that somewhere along the way I suppressed that young girl with those dreams because it’s easier to face your life where it is then to feel the sting of disappointment.

I am at an age where the majority of my friends are married and have children which I actually like because I’m able to ask questions and get knowledge on things that I haven’t even experienced yet. I don’t think I tell them enough but I cherish my best friends that open up to me about marriage and just the different struggles that come with that season and with being a parent. I was talking to one of my close friends the other day and one thing she said she missed was her sleep before having a baby. She explained that restful sleep as a mom and wife is different than as a single person. I know it’s something so small but it made me laugh because in these moments I never think about things like rest. I had some more heart to heart conversations with my other friends and I think one thing that I grasped at the end of our talk is that in some way we all miss something that we no longer have and long for the things we have yet to experience. Either way, it helped me to realize that instead of wishing for tomorrow and hoping for a future that I can’t see, I should enjoy the season I am in and live in the present. Tomorrow will come soon enough.

My 20s up until this point have not always gone the way that I saw it. If I’m being honest, they look nothing like what I envisioned as a child. Seasons of pain, hurt, disappointment, and just challenges. In some ways, I wish I would have read more about difficulties growing up. I wish it would have been explained that yes, we can go to school to be whatever we want to be but you may face financial hardship and long nights with it. That’s not my story but that’s just an example of things we don’t talk about. As children, we learn about who we can be, what we can do, and where we can go but we never talk about the challenges that may get you off track on your way.

In Lysa Terkeurst's book, It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered, she said, "What would happen if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God's love in the midst of our disappointments?" I know what being assured of God’s love when things are going right looks like but what about when you’re 28 and your life thus far has not always been what you imagined? I knew that God was reminding me that even in the middle of uncertainty He had not forgotten about me, He still loves me, and has good things planned for my life.

I’ve had some time to sit and think on 28 and I do feel a shift happening. I have felt it for a while these last few months. God working on my heart and doing an inner work within me. I’m still in the middle of that shift but one thing I know is that God wants me to embrace the season that He has me in right now. Given all the recent events, it has really put into perspective life. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say that I spent most of it hoping for tomorrow. I want to be a person that lives in the present no matter what the present looks like. I want to be able to say that I embraced every season. So, to answer my question earlier, what does having it together look like? Right now, together for me looks like spiritual growth, healthy eating, committing to working out, and strengthening my mind. On some days together looks like just showing up for life even if I don’t get anything done. If you haven’t realized it yet, together isn’t really together. We all have something that we are going through or facing.

I am committing year 28 to doing what I can with what I have. Embracing the season that I am in because when it’s gone it will be gone. I don’t want to be there looking back and wishing that I would have cherished this time in my life more.

So, happy birthday to me! This is 28. 

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