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26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years.

Today is my birthday.

It’s also my mom’s birthday. That’s right, we share it. We’ve spent it together every single year. Even in high school, when I spent every birthday on a mission trip with my youth group, she came along. It’s also my grandparents (her parents) anniversary. Needless to say, July 25th is a big day in our family.

Last year was the big “quarter of a century” and surprisingly, that one didn’t hit me at all. There’s just something about 26 – it’s like I’ve realized I’m closer to 30 than 20. I’m more than halfway out of my twenties. Like… what? I’m still a kid. How did this happen?suede romper with a fringe waist, cognac mules

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I’ve thought long and hard as to what to write in this post. My birthday, my Mom’s birthday, my one-year blogiversary. I mean… there’s a lot of options here. I really wanted to do one of those fun number balloon posts (because who doesn’t want to take super cute pictures with those balloons?) but I live in a town that doesn’t seem to have them… that I could find at least.

So here. Here’s the wisdom I’ve gained in these 26 years, the lessons that, if I could tell younger Emily, I would.

  1. That last bite of food after you start feeling full is not a good idea.
  2. Spending another night reading instead of sleeping is worth it, but it might make your presence miserable for everyone else the next day.
  3. Friendships last only as long as you make them last.
  4. Simply wanting something to happen will get you absolutely nowhere.
  5. If a friend wants to get together, even if you are a homebody, do it. That time is good for the soul.
  6. Sometimes, the best medicine is a glass of wine and a really good book. And a big comfy blanket.
  7. The best homes have a porch. Or deck, there’s no discrimination there.
  8. Taking risks is flat out scary.
  9. Everyone loves differently, and it’s up to you to figure out how best to love those whom you love.
  10. Learning how to make your favorite comfort foods from your Grandma’s kitchen is one of the best skills you can have.
  11. A little competition can be a whole lot of motivation.
  12. You never know the role someone you pass by might have in your life. 
  13. Believe it or not, it does not matter what people think about you. The ones who you should care about will accept you and see you, flaws and all.
  14. It will never harm you to lend an ear to a friend.
  15. A basket of nachos and some girl talk can cure a multitude of ills.
  16. Never pass up the chance to spend time with your family, especially when they’re as great as yours.
  17. Pick friends who have good shoulders and speak peaceful words, they’re the ones to hold on to.
  18. You will never be a morning person. Accept it, and quit trying.
  19. Nights where you stay up till five driving the parkway with friends – worth it.
  20. Doesn’t matter if you grow up a Carolina fan, you can throw yourself for a loop and go to Duke and your allegiance will never be the same.
  21. Teaching is harder than you ever would have dreamt it to be.
  22. You’re prettiest when you laugh.
  23. 5 years later, you are not going to regret buying that extra pair of shoes… especially when you still pull them out from time to time.
  24. Siblings are lucky enough to have a friendship different than that of any other.
  25. Commitment is scary, but you’ll realize that having someone who “gets you” and will put you first is so much more important than your fears.
  26. All of these friends, all of these lessons, all of these years mean nothing without your Lord. You are so lucky to know him. Hold him tight.

26 years down, friends. 26 happy, successful, deeply blessed years. You’re doing pretty good, Emily, if I do say so myself.

 

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