Being Uncomfortable with 28

I sat in the back of my yoga class, defeated. 20 minutes into a 60 minute class and I gave up. I was trying not to throw up, trying not to pass out, trying to ignore my limbs falling asleep when I stayed in a pose too long – I figured it was better to sit through the reminder of the class than do anything embarrassing. But also it felt so embarrassing to be the person to sit through the majority of a class, when I once was the girl in the front of the room working on her handstand.

I’ve been trying to force myself back into my old habits lately. Getting back into yoga after months with mono. Getting back into writing (hi, internet!) after months of staring at a screen – only to give up and scroll through Instagram. Getting back into… what, exactly? Or, should I say, who?

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I turned 28 last week. It’s a weird age to turn, pretty innocuous, really. Late 20s officially start at 27 (so I’ve been told) and it’s not your last year of your 20s like 29. 28 is just…. there. It’s not a big deal. Except for me, it was supposed to be.

I thought I’d be moving to Nashville when I turned 28 (yes, I am that basic white girl). It was the one promise I made myself – if I was still single by 28, I’d pick up and move. Not because there’s anything wrong with being un-partnered at that age, but because I could. What would be stopping me? When I was 24 and visiting with a friend I devised this plan for myself: I knew I wasn’t ready to leave San Diego just yet, but at 28 – four whole years away! – a new place, a new adventure, a new life seemed like a good idea.

I thought I’d be graduating with my masters at 28. That was the plan when I enrolled in seminary two years ago. Two and a half years – 5 semesters! – and I’d be done. Easy peasy. I’d be 28 and a Master of Christian Thought and life would look so different.

I thought I’d be healthy. My 27th year started with yet another round of not-fun health news, after years of frustration. I thought last year was the last year. I thought I’d figure things out. I was dating a doctor, after all. There were so many things I expected to do when I got healthy, so many plans I made. The key word: when. I never considered an “if”.

I had these plans set for 28. And I know I know: if you want to make God laugh – tell her your plans. We don’t get to plan the big things in life, I’m learning that. I’m forever learning that, I should say – because I keep wanting to. We have no control over when we fall in love. Or with who. At least I didn’t. We have no control over what our physical bodies may or may not do. We have no control over other people’s choices and life plans. This past year was full of so much out of my control, so many plans interrupted – sometimes in the very best way. But also sometimes in the worst.

I never imagined at 28 I’d be planning a wedding, no longer in grad school, still figuring out my health. It’s so much good and so much bad that it feels strange to even say it all in one sentence. I’m getting married to the most amazing person I never even fathomed existed – why am I concerned about not moving to Nashville? My seminary left me, not the other way around – shouldn’t I be more angry than sad? It’s all so complicated. 28 just feels so complicated.

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I’m just uncomfortable. That’s what I realize. As I’m sitting in the back of yoga class, I’m uncomfortable I can’t join in, uncomfortable I have to sit and watch while others participate. As I’m having trouble sleeping two nights later, my body is uncomfortable as muscles I haven’t used in a while scream at me every time I adjust. And as I turn 28, a year that was supposed to hold some milestones but now will hold others, I’m just uncomfortable.

And suddenly, it’s okay. Naming it makes it okay. It always does for me. They joke Enneagram 5s need to understand a feeling before they can feel it, and I am most definitely that cliche. It’s been a confusing week and a confusing year, and suddenly understanding that I simply am uncomfortable helps a lot. A whole lot.

Uncomfortable isn’t bad. It isn’t not excited. It isn’t upset. It isn’t sad. It’s just adjusting. It’s getting used to a new thing, that doesn’t feel like your thing quite yet. It’s the transition. And I really hate transitions. I’m not mad I’m not moving to Nashville this year. I wouldn’t want to, now – not without RJ. I’m not upset I’m not graduating this summer as much as I am bummed – and a little embarrassed, if I’m being honest. I’m not mad that my body… okay, that one I’m still making peace with, but it’s a work in process. When you’re simply uncomfortable – it’s more of a need to adjust than anger. Things just need to settle. Getting comfortable takes time.

I’m uncomfortable with how many of my dearest friends no longer live down the street from me. How life is busy and exhausting and sometimes people take a week to text back. Sometimes I take a week to text back. I’m uncomfortable with how long it takes to build a community – especially a shared community with your significant other – with busy schedules and busy lives. I’m uncomfortable with meshing two families into one, with building a family of our own when we each have scars and wounds and issues from before we met. I’m uncomfortable with the loss of my family of 4, the loss of my life as a single, the loss of the freedom of deciding things just for me – even as I’m so excited we grew (almost overnight) to a family of 6, excited to become a team with RJ, excited to make decisions and build a life together.

I’m uncomfortable with this transition – to a change that I want and said YES! to and am so excited for. But the transition is still hard. And I’m uncomfortable with the transition of changes that I didn’t choose and had no say in, and now simply have to live with. And I think it’s okay to be uncomfortable for a bit. I think it’s okay to allow yourself all the complicated joys and losses involved in being a human.

At least I’m trying to be okay with it. It’s complicated 😉

Summer Booklist 2019

Every year, like summers past, I post an end-of-summer booklist. Every summer, like summers past, I fill up on YA I would otherwise skip (“beach reads” as I call them), allow myself to check out one-too-many items from the library (to remind myself of my childhood), and enjoy the simple joy of a good book in the sunshine. IT’S MY FAVORITE.

Sadly, this summer, unlike summers past – I read a lot of so-so items. Blame it on my lack of planning, blame it on my mono (I was kind of mad at everything this summer…) or blame it on bad luck. You win some, you lose some – right?

What did you love this summer?? Any I should pick up before 2019 ends?

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Best Reads:
Little Fires Everywhere
Honestly, this book blew me away on page one. By far the best novel I read this summer, if not this year (and it’s only September). Ng’s storytelling is truly a craft. (Bonus: she’s also a fun follow on Twitter!)
PLUS Reese Witherspoon’s wonderful Hello Sunshine is making a Hulu adaptation! Yes please.
Read More

You Say You’re Pro-Life, but I Don’t Believe You

A few months ago New York passed the Reproductive Health Act, sparking outrage from the pro-life camp. My newsfeed was flooded with Christians grieving, bemoaning the heartlessness of humanity, crying out about the sanctity of life.

If I’m being honest, I rolled my eyes.

No, I’m not a huge fan of abortions at 40 weeks (as I was accused of after someone saw my said eye roll). Yes, I believe in protecting the marginalized – and I think the unborn fall under that. But the legislation surrounding reproductive health is so much more complicated than we are led to believe. And my frustration isn’t so much with abortion, as most Christians’ is. My frustration is with the people who claim to be pro-life.

And, yes, I say claim. Because I just don’t believe them anymore. Read More

When Your Friends’ Lives Change, but Yours Stay the Same

We were sitting on the couch, three in a row; two of us looking over her shoulder as she browsed her laptop. She was looking for post maternity clothes, and I couldn’t help but think back to three years ago when we were sitting in the same formation on a different couch, looking over her shoulder as she searched for the color of bridesmaid dresses she wanted us to wear.

These friends have gone through so much with me, and I have gone through so much with them. I’ve walked through engagement and wedding planning with them both. Trying to offer advice and insight but also keeping my mouth shut a bit – what did I know about engagement rings? Fast forward to now and I was holding her newborn, giving mama’s arms a much deserved break and offering color choices – you wear a lot of gray, how about that that stripped one?? – but also trying to keep my mouth shut a bit. What do I know about nursing tanks?friends-lives-change

Life gets funny, when your friends start to enter very different life stages at very different times. When we met, it was all so easy. We were all in college. We were all at the same college. We met up on Monday nights because none of us has class, we lived within a 2 mile radius of each other (and that felt far!), we texted the afternoon of to see what groceries we all had to contribute to our hodgepodge meal that evening. We turned 21, all in a row. We graduated college, all in a row. But suddenly one of us was engaged, which was exciting and new. And then two of us were in relationships and, before you knew it, it was me plus two married couples.

(Now it’s 6 adults and a baby. Our little group grew, as families tend to do.) Read More

Because of RHE

It’s weird to mourn the death of someone you’ve never met.

It’s weird to be so sad over the loss of someone who you’ve never shared words with… but whose words you hold so dear. A friend put it best, after the tragic passing of Rachel Held Evans this weekend – writers feel like mentors. Their words matter to us, their lives feel intertwined with ours. Their joy, our joy. Their pain, our pain. Their death… it’s unimaginable.

It feels unfair. It feels unjust. A women so godly – surely, God would heal? A woman so prayed for, surely God would answer the prayers of thousands across the world? She had so much more work to do. She had babies to raise. She had a marriage to see age. She had conferences to plan and people to mentor and – selfishly – she had more books to write for people like me to read. She had thoughts that still needed sharing, words still in her our world needed to hear. Read More

Resurrection & Expectations

It’s Holy Week and, like years past, I’m stuck on resurrection. I’m dwelling on the areas of my life that feel so dead, so very much over, so that door has been slammed shut. And the resurrection they preach of on Sunday mornings means new life and second chances and healing and restoration in those areas of life, right? Resurrection means life conquers death and God reigns, hallelujah, amen. Resurrection means it’s all going to be okay. Right? Right??

I always feel a little guilty, come Easter. I’m always reminded that God brings LIFE and He LIVES and we should never forget He can BRING LIFE TO THE DEAD. Every year I feel bad about the areas in my life where I, resignedly, claimed death. Endings. Donezo. El fin. Areas of life I had given up on, places I knew would never be fixed, relationships and people that would never be part of my future. And Easter Sunday would come and I’d think, okay, okay – maybe there’s life still to be had here. Maybe these bones will come to life. Maybe God will breath new life into these ashes.

But what if resurrection is something else? What if some of those doors that slammed shut stay shut? What if some of those broken relationships remain broken? What if God meets us in the death and destruction, sits down with us in the ashes – and instead of breathing new life, He simply points the way out. Read More

Small Joys

Life has been a bit rough lately. We don’t need to go into specifics. We don’t need to talk about what time I left work last night. We don’t need to discuss how many times I’ve cried in the past week. Let’s just leave it at “wow, what a year” (it’s March).

As unexpected as life has been in lots of areas, I’ve found myself doing something I’ve never chosen to use my free time for before: watching comedy specials on Netflix. Did Netflix add a million or does the suggested browsing read my mind? Because suddenly there are hundreds to choose from. And among the many things I’ve thought lately – could I go into stand up? A set feels like a bunch of blogs squished together, but said out loud… Hmmmmmm. I dunno, I think I’m pretty funny when I’ve had time to rehearse all my jokes and no one can interrupt me… I’m not too good with weird voices, though… That lady jumping, on stage, in heels, is pretty damn impressive. How can someone be this funny for this long??  – I’m realizing what a joy it is to laugh. Read More

2018 Book List

2019 is, like, actually here! Some days I really didn’t think we were going to survive 2018, and then all of a sudden we’re a week in to this new year and I’m still working on my December to-do list. Oops.

I always try to post my yearly book lists in December because, Christmas gifts. There is nothing I love more than giving (or getting!) for Christmas than books. So ignore the fact that it is currently January (double oops), and think of all the books you can *exchange your other gifts for*. You’re welcome!

In 2017, I tried to read 30 books in a year – and I accidentally read 51 (I blame both insomnia and the Harry Potter series). This year I, once again, tried to read 30 – and I read TWENTY NINE AND A HALF. Triple oops. Read More

Christmas Presence

It’s finals week and I can barely remember what day it is. What time it is. I have 0 groceries and pretty sure I’ve spent more time at the library than I have at home. It’s been a blur of carrying my backpack to one library to another to a coffee shop, just to dump it on the floor and sleep for a bit before the next round. People ask me what I did last Friday and I stare at them blankly because, what is Friday? When was that? Who is that? Huh?

I had to say no to 5 Christmas parties this past weekend. I’ve had to say no to SO many things, so many people. I’m so ready to not have to respond with, “Can’t, I have to study” and “Ah, I’ll be at the library” or “Wish I could, but I have school!”. I’m so ready to sit with people and not be thinking about all the precious minutes of studying I’m missing out on. So ready to not pack up 4 different bags in the morning, with 3 different meals, and 2 additional layers. I’m ready for this semester to be done. Read More

26 Was Rough

This week I’m saying goodbye to 26. Birthdays always make me nostalgic, always make me think back on what the past year of life held. This year, I’m realizing I’m not too sad to see 26 go. I’m realizing I wasn’t the biggest fan.

26 was when life got overwhelming.  Life felt like it was heading one way and it suddenly, jarringly, changed directions. It felt like in so many areas of life I kept hitting this impenetrable wall. In so many areas I was spinning plates while treading water while trying to put out various fires.

26 was when I started to question a lot. My current life, my potential future. What I wanted, what I needed. If I should come up with a new life plan. If I even needed to have a life plan.

26 was when friendships got rough. Easy, life-giving relationships all of a sudden started taking lot of effort. They started taking work. They started taking energy, in a season where I seemed to have so little of it. Read More