Well…today I turn 28.
Two more years till I hit the big 3-0. Most people usually toss a “I could have sworn you were already 30” comment my way when they get wind of my age. I’m going to assume that’s because of my tendency to spit truth without biting my tongue or because I’m ‘wise beyond my years’ or an old soul or something of that nature and NOT because I look old than I really am. If that’s the case I may need to invest in anti-aging cream or something…but I digress.
Ironically or not, I spent the days leading up to my 28th birthday thinking about my High School yearbook. It’s boxed up in our Storage Unit, but for reasons I can’t seem to identify with, I started to think about my Senior Year. Maybe because my 10 year reunion came and went this past May and the fact that I’ve been out of high school for TEN years is just beyond me. But what I started to think about was the Senior Class Who’s Who.
I’m not sure that anyone anywhere even still does that, but it was a pretty big deal 10 years ago. To be voted on for crazy things like Most Likely to Go to Jail or Most Likely to Exaggerate (which I totally got by the way…not the jail thing, but the exaggeration thing. What can I say, I have a flair for a good story and what’s a good story with a great climatic ending?!). I was voted Most Likely to Succeed by my Senior Class in 2005. And, I don’t know about you, but that puts a lot of pressure on someone.
For the last several years I’ve had a really hard time with feeling adequate. More or less feeling like I wasn’t living up to some crazy expectation I’ve set for myself for reasons that, even now, I don’t really understand. That whole “most likely to succeed” thing really irked me for a while. Mainly because I was still trying to figure out what my version of success was.
Was it money?
Was it a high power career?
Was it owning my own business of some sort?
Was it nothing more than having a family?
There have been so many times where I battled and wrestled with those feelings of not being good enough that I battled in high school and college. I’m really my own worst enemy and my own biggest critic. I’m a perfectionist by nature and when things don’t go just like I think they need to, I have a hard time being okay with it.
But now 28 years old, I have had an epiphany.
Your success is what you make it.
There is no right or wrong version of being successful, like we all seem to think. That whole “American Dream” stigma has really put a damper on the human spirit I think. Teaching us to strive for worldly success and fame and fortune, when in reality, those kind of things are only temporary and the high that comes with them doesn’t last forever. Ask any celebrity. Most of them are rolling in cash and are still as unhappy and discontent as they can be.
In my 28 years, I’ve successfully graduated high school and earned scholarships to go to college. Pledged a sorority. Successfully failed at college and life in general for a while. Successfully pulled myself away from the thought of suicide. Gotten married. Birthed not one, but two,
beautiful handsome little boys who are growing up into fun, spirited, loving and compassionate young men. Managed and grew my own business to the point of needing to hire help. Lived and traveled all over the country and experienced a wide array of cultures and individuals. I’ve gotten a tattoo. I’ve discovered my passion in life and what I feel like I’m meant to do with this time I have on Earth. I’ve made a boatload of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons. I have lost people that I loved dearly; lost a lot of friends who left this world too soon, and watched those I love lose people they love. I have learned how to love someone and how not to make a marriage work. I’ve learned that I can’t do life without help. And I’ve made some of the very best friends in the whole entire world.
While I may not be a millionaire and may not have a huge house or a big, fancy car…I’ve achieved a level of personal success. Success in love. Success in family. Success in taking the lessons that this life teaches to heart. Success in learning from my stupid, ignorant and all out foolish mistakes. Success in overcoming things that would have destroyed a lot of people.
Success to me isn’t how much money is in the bank or the career you have…Success is loving the ones you have, loving the ones around you, and being a light to those who live in darkness.
I don’t know what the next 28 years old. I don’t know what the next 28 minutes hold. But I know the one who holds me in His arms. And so far, this story that he is weaving together, is turning out beautifully.
And I’m just enjoying the ride.
In honor of my birthday, I decided to host a fun little giveaway! I’m giving away a few of my very favorite things! Those of you who have been here a while know that I love, love, love a good book! Today you have a chance to win three of my all time favorite reads!
As well as a set of my favorite ink pens (for underlining and taking notes in the margins, of course),
a $10 Starbucks Gift Card and one of my Original Semicolon Art Prints!
So how do I enter?
Enter below using the Rafflecopter Giveaway tool! Good luck!