The other day I turned twenty-one and I must say other than being able to legally buy alcohol I don’t feel much different but I do feel different than I felt at the age of 13. Why 13? That was when I officially became a teenager and I remember that birthday being a big deal because soon I would be in high school and things were changing.
10 Things I have learned about myself between the age of 13 and now (I was going to do 21 but I couldn’t think of that many without getting really nitpicky):
1. The biggest thing I have learned about myself since the age of thirteen is that I am a huge introvert. I always used to think there was something wrong with me when I preferred the company of myself to others but I am totally ok with that now. Discovering that I am an introvert and that there is nothing wrong with that really helped my self-esteem. I no longer consider myself weird and force myself to socialize if I don’t feel like it. I am totally ok with staying in, watching Netflix, and eating pizza.
2. I want to get married someday but that is no longer a life goal. There was a point in my life where all I wanted was to get married and have a ton of kids and be a house wife. That was my big dream down to my wedding vows. I had a big crush on a guy a few years ago and seriously wondered if he was the one but God was like nope. He had been trying to tell me this the whole time to wait, especially when I was part of a bible study where we talked about giving God our Alabaster box of dreams. It was in reference to the story of the woman who washed Jesus’s feet with a bottle of perfume. This bottle was most likely made out of Alabaster and could have been her dowry if she ever got married. She literally gave God her future marriage and even then I wasn’t seeing the big picture. I met some incredible women three years ago who talked about when they finally decided to wait and let God control their lives he brought someone to them. It took me another year to realize what God was telling me: give Me your alabaster box-give me your biggest dream. However, every once in a while when I feel weepy about not being married and having kids (this usually happens when yet again another relative or friend posts a pregnancy announcement or wedding announcement or wedding pictures, you get the picture), I write a letter to my future husband and stick it in my alabaster box (which is really this cute box I got from Michaels craft store). Someday if I get married I will give this box to my husband and show him how I finally learned to wait and realized that serving God with my life should be my number one goal and not getting married.
3. I like wearing shorts. This may seem a little weird but I have always been extremely self conscious so I hated wearing shorts because I hated my legs. I love my legs now because of something my mom’s cousin told me once: “Carlie, I have ugly legs and I know that. It doesn’t stop me from wearing shorts however”. I took a look at my legs realized they aren’t toned like Cary Walsh-Jennings but I love them anyway so I wear shorts now. Having ugly legs isn’t worth dying of heat exhaustion.
4. If I don’t eat, I get low blood sugar and will eventually pass out (I haven’t yet because I always catch myself but there have been some close calls). There is a term for this: Hypoglycemia but I don’t think I am there yet. I know lots of people who get low blood sugar from not eating but knowing this about myself helps me realize why I get tired sometimes around meal times or when I don’t eat a high protein breakfast and I feel like passing out at ten o’clock in the morning.
5. I have an obsession with books and by obsession I mean I own over 600 books. I love books however, so I wouldn’t change for the world. Someday my library of books is going to inspire a love of reading in teenagers, who I personally feel spend way too much time on social media.
6. I want to be a high school English teacher! You would think after two years worth of education classes later I would realize this but it wasn’t until this last summer of being a camp counselor to a cabin full of pre-teen and teen girls that I realized this where I wanted to be. A lot of people have told me I am great with little kids and that they see me as an elementary teacher but what they don’t realize is I like little kids in doses. If I had to work with little kids all day every day I would go insane. I want to be able to build relationships with my kids and joke with them on a more mature level, if you know what I mean. I love my sassy teenagers :).
7. My love language is gifts. I never did take a test, or maybe I did but whatever, I know in my heart of hearts that my love language is gifts. I love giving gifts and I love receiving them. It is not because I like material stuff it is rather the thought that goes into the gift giving process. I pick out presents based on the person and their interests. A gift shows that person that I know them and have taken the time to know them well enough to get them something without asking them what they like. Gifts are just very personal to me.
8. I never want to live somewhere with humidity. After having lived in the south and moving to the north I realize that I HATE humidity and will never go back! I do miss my childhood home some days more than others but I could never go back because I am not that person anymore. God knew what he was doing when he moved me half way across the country. I couldn’t see who I would become at the time but as always He is amazing and knew the kind of woman I would become some day and He knew that required me moving. I am a planner, which is another thing I learned about myself but I am lumping it into this one. I had a whole life plan and God was like nope, I have even greater things imagined for and it will be painful because growing is never easy but the end result will be beyond beautiful. I am going to do great things in the name of God.
9. I am learning to let go. There are a lot of things in my past that at one time I was very bitter about but that was in the past and I am a different person now. I am learning to let go of those old hurts and see how God used them for my good. I am learning to let go of old friendships and old pains so that God can work in me and through me.
10. Last of all I am learning how to adult. I still haven’t scheduled a doctor’s appointment by myself but I am learning to work a “real job” (it’s in retail), pay rent and bills, budget my money (haha), schedule my time, and be dependable. For the first time in a long time I feel more like an adult and less like the child I was. That is terrifying because a lot about my childhood defines who I am today, but as God has been teaching me, change isn’t all that bad and sometimes it is necessary.