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today i am excited about everything.

The Big 3(0): You

on February 5, 2014

A short series where I write about the three BIG things I’ve learned before 30, in honor of my new decade and turning the BIG 3-0. Which, by the way, happened recently, just in case we’re not friends in real life and you missed the 97 reminders I gave you. So.

At 20, I was just realizing that I didn’t know it all.

It’s a bummer, isn’t it? To exit those glorious…ly awkward and wonderful teen years, where you know everything about everyone about everything. And then it’s on college where it turns out you know…

  1. A bit about Shakespeare, from that summer where you read all of Shakespeare’s plays for some reason.
  2. Sort-of how to do laundry.
  3. End of list.

So, nothing. Enter the 5 stages of grief.

The good news? By 30, that grief will just be a distant memory, replaced by 147 jobs in 152 cities (rough estimate), with more friends and lost loves than any human should be un/lucky enough to have. The amount of things that will be packed into the next 10 years will be ridiculous, in the truest, realest sense of the word.

It will turn out you don’t have to know it all. (Thank you, God.)

But you must know you.

Not because of a self help book that shouts at you from a bookshelf. Or because it’s kind of trendy to sit on a mountaintop in the cold somewhere in high in the sky and consider who you’d like to be. It’s simply because The Creator who pieced and poured and knit you together, did that for a reason. If you don’t know you, it will be devastatingly difficult to know what that reason is.

Because at 30, it will turn out that you’re not a famous opera singer. Praise be to the One who made you, 20 year old girl.

You think you want that, but you just don’t know you, yet. It turns out that you love early mornings, and you hate late nights. This will be awesome when you’re trekking towards (oh so many) early morning hospital visits, and watching the sunrise as you study words that you will impart to the sweetest of forming spirits. And you love crafts! Glitter! Foam board! All of this will make you want to sing songs of joy when you enter Hobby Lobby. Literally. Songs of Fricken’ Joy.

You’re creative, it turns out, and not as administrative as you want. And that’s fine, because people will still hire you to do things. In fact, they will hire you to do things you’re actually good at, and they will let you not be good at details. THANK GOD, because you’re really tragically bad at details. And keeping schedules. And To Do lists. And… not spilling things and turning off the stove and closing cabinet doors, and… so very many things. The list of things you’re terrible at will grow and grow, and you will still be okay. When you figure this out, it changes your life.

You learn how to feel again, and cry- and cry- and cry some more- this decade. You will no longer be forced by some unknown power within you to pretend things are fine, always. And although you’re sure it will make you weaker, in one of life’s great mysteries, it strengthens your spirit. You learn to love and serve in ways you don’t know are possible right now.

And while others are at home with children they have birthed with sweat, blood, and tears (a lovely experience, I’m certain), you will be in the homes of others, late into the night, flinging playdoh and footballs, and stroking hair as you speak blessings over the smallest sweet spirits. You are teaching them: I love you. Your church family loves you. God loves you.

It will be the inexplicably the greatest gift you ever get to give, in your 30 years.

And it couldn’t have happened at 20. When you were so sure you knew The Things. All The Things.

There’s more of you and life to know, I’m sure of it, around the corner and across the street into the next decade. But here, at the intersection that reads “30” from both sides, knowing the free-spirited 29 + 365 days version of you is enough.

Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. John Calvin

I desire to know God and the soul.
Nothing more?
Nothing whatever.
St. Augustine


7 responses to “The Big 3(0): You

  1. Holly Taylor says:

    I love to read your blog- so insightful and full of truth. Get started on your first book. Love you Annie!! Mom

  2. John Taylor says:

    If anyone needs proof, I can vouch for the spilling, stove, and cabinet doors! Actually, it makes me wonder if your mother and I did something right if you are figuring out at 30 what it took me turning 60 to learn! Love! Dad

  3. jessica says:

    i love this. it is filled with truth and grace. SO MUCH GRACE. I love you, dear friend.

  4. Beverly says:

    Oh sweet Anne, very well said. Once you figure out you, God continues to mold and shape and everyday brings new awareness and adventures. I, personally, am so glad God brought me you. I love you so!

  5. Bonnie says:

    You my sweet friend are a true delight. I’m sure Jesus smiles at you often. Love you!

  6. […] just in case we’re not friends in real life and you missed the 97 reminders I gave you. So. (Part I here, Part II […]

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