Yesterday I celebrated my 23rd year as a living, breathing, thinking, praying, doing, watching, hoping, wishing human being.
Fresh off of a move into a new apartment, I spent most of the weekend unpacking boxes, cleaning dusty corners, and trying not to panic at the explosion of kitchen stuff scattered far and wide. I’m far from settled, but things are looking much better than they did on Friday.
Leaving my old house behind was a mix of hope and heartache. Bare walls and empty kitchens are a real downer.
Up until last Thursday, I’ve always lived with family. With my parent’s recent relocation to northern Wisconsin and my sister in Utah, I’m officially on my own now. It’s exciting and new, and also sad and slightly terrifying.
I lived through several months of intense remodeling there, which only made the final finished project so much more gratifying.
I became an aunt in that house. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when we got the “It’s a boy!” text. I watched my nephew celebrate his first Christmas there.
A house is just a house, but what it represents can fill volumes. Moving out of this one for me is not just another move. It symbolizes the transition to a new phase of life, the soundless turn of a page as I start the next chapter.
At 23, my life is rolled out in front of me like a scroll with—Lord willing—years more moves and chapters ahead.
Twenty-three in real life is both harder and easier than I thought it would be. Easier because I’m through my “growing up” phase and no longer crave approval or acceptance like I used to. And harder because it’s sometimes really scary and lonely and filled with unknowns that make my brain hum a silent AHHHHHHH!!
Twenty-three in real life.
It’s paying bills. It’s learning how to deal with people. It’s being smart with resources. It’s committing to values and integrity in a whole new way. It’s realizing that the stakes are high, and being okay with it.
It’s feeling dreams flutter in your chest. It’s watching your nephew grow and thrive. It’s awaiting the arrival of a new little family member to love.
Twenty-three in real life is hard days, amazing days, and ho-hum days. It’s a lot of doing, but also a lot of waiting. A lot of being.
It’s trusting, leaning, and praying. It’s scary, and then it’s jubilant. It’s murky, and then it’s crystal clear.
If I’m being honest, it’s going to be harder than I thought to go through this stage of life “alone,” try as I might to rely heavily on my faith for companionship and strength.
I rarely (if ever?) talk about relationships here on the blog, because honestly my life just isn’t very dramatic on that front. But I will say this: sometimes being a single person with a heart that beats for the home, family, and hospitality is just hard.
In one of her many great posts, Ali shared her thoughts on this very topic, When Being Single Just Feels Hard. It’s like she climbed into my head and wrote every word I ever thought on the subject. I think it’s a great read for both singles and marrieds.
This was the sunset I watched from the living room of the old house on my final night there. It’s like the Giver of the night new exactly what I was going through and offered me a beautiful parting gift painted in the skies. I cried a little, and then laughed because I had to hunt through a stack of boxes to find the tissues that I’d already packed up.
Life is changing in big ways. To be honest, my emotions are all over the place. I’m feeling a little scattered and a little tattered.
I’m so hopeful about the future and eagerly expectant of what God has up His sleeve for me, but that doesn’t minimize the stress that big life transitions bring with them.
So as a birthday gift to myself, I’ve decided to take a short break from posting here. In my 5+ years of blogging, I’ve never gone more than 10 days without posting. I think it’s about time that this stressed 23 year old cut herself some slack!
In an effort to rejuvenate myself spiritually, emotionally, and physically, I think a brief blogging break is just what the doctor ordered. I’m thinking of it as a mini internet vacation where I’ll be spending a little less time online and a little more time in the places that fuel and restore me: nature, the kitchen, God’s Word, and in the company of loved ones.
Don’t panic—I’ll be back! And if you get hungry in the meantime, browse around the Daily Bites recipe archives. There are hundreds of dishes I know you’ll love.
Make no mistake about it. It’s an absolute joy and privilege for me to connect with you here. Doing this work is one of the highlights of my life. But I’m grateful that I can take a few steps back from it now and then to hit the refresh button and just take time to be.
Because after all, that’s what we are. Human beings. Not human doings. Someone should write a book and call it Practicing the Art of Being: Meditations on Doing Less and Being More. Maybe I will. :)
Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you soon.