13 Going on 30 is my all time favorite movie. As I am sitting here letting Billy Joel serenade me to the tune of Vienna, I am reminded of the power of a four letter word, rest. What comes to mind is the scene in 13 Going on 30, when Jennifer Gardner has to return home to New Jersey. After a few bumps and bruises in the “real world”, she ran to her safe place, the place where she knew she would always belong, home. She ran to her parents, the people she knew loved her regardless of the mistakes she had made. She found the thing she needed most, peace of mind.
If your life is anything like mine, the twenties are not a straight path. I am 23 and so far this journey I am on has had its share of detours, bumps and hills. The last few months I have had a lot on my plate. It seems like there have been a lot more bumps than smooth sailing. I am not sure how some women are able to work forty hours a week, get in a workout three to five days a week and put food on the table for other little mouths. I struggle to be able to do all of that just for myself.
If I could describe my life as of late, I would say exhausting. There is always somewhere to be. Something to get done. A meal to be made. An assignment to work on. Someone to meet. Someone to take care of. There’s always something. On top of that, I have had a lot of work and friend tensions the past few months. So much so that it has left my head spinning.
Earlier this week, I was sick and off from work. So I made the decision to allow myself some much needed rest. I decided to take care of myself, body, mind and spirit. I know that the season I am in right now will eventually pass. So it is important that I take from it the lessons it has come to teach me and remember to nurture myself along the way. Just like Jennifer Gardner in 13 Going on 30, I needed my own time of respite, rest and quiet. I didn’t get the smiley face pancakes or the chance to sleep in my parents’ bed the way she did in the movie, but I did get to go for a walk, have brunch with a friend, take a nap in the daytime, read before bedtime and cook a nice, warm meal.
Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):
“Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s alright, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize… Vienna waits for you?“
Vienna, as sung by Billy Joel
The thing that I have learned so far as a twenty something is that seasons come and go. Learn from each season what it has come to teach you about yourself. This season has taught me the importance of showing myself and others some much needed grace. It has taught me the importance of rest and solitude. So maybe, you’re like me and have had it rough lately. Maybe you have had so much on your plate with family, friends and work that it has left you feeling overwhelmed. My advice: rest. Take some time to yourself. If you’re exhausted, rest my friend. If you’re sad, cry. If you’re lonely, reach out to someone who you feel safe sharing with.
It’s completely okay to not have it all together all the time. A friend had to remind me of this the other day. Exhausted, she allowed me to fall apart in her arms. I was quite surprised and embarrassed by my tears. Life had taken its toll and my spirit was drained, but my friend reassured me that it was okay. She told me that while my go getter attitude is great, the tears I cried were even more beautiful. It was the first time I had allowed myself to be that vulnerable in a long time. After recovering from the initial shock of it, it actually felt pretty darn good. So often I try to be everything for everyone and wear a smile while doing it. Even super woman needs a day off to take care of herself. Even superwoman needs help sometimes. I am so glad a friend reminded me of this.
To all you twenty somethings, I ask, are you taking care of yourself? What does your situation look like? Are you at a new job or trying to adjust to a new city? Is work a little stressful? Are you having trouble getting along with someone at the office? Are you stressed looking for a job? Are you finding as you get older that you are growing apart from childhood friends? Are you going through a breakup? Are you stressed from having to take care of family members? Whatever is on your plate today, I encourage you to rest. Take care of you. It’s okay if you’re not feeling strong today. This season will pass friend, and I guarantee you will be stronger for it.