Color Outside the Lines

colorpencils

Crash and burns, falling outs, mishaps, mistakes, failures…..

The twenties areĀ  full of them. If this decade could be nicknamed anything, then I’d name it trial and error. You think when you are a kid that by your twenties you’ll have everything figured out. WRONG!!! So miserably, terribly and wholeheartedly wrong.

In your twenties (and for a matter of fact, every chapter of your life), you are bound to fail at something. Maybe you got that degree but didn’t land your dream job right after college. Or maybe you never finished college. Maybe your love life is a mess and that relationship you thought would be always and forever suddenly ended. Maybe you had to unexpectedly move back in with mom and dad. Maybe you set a personal goal for your twenties that you failed to reach. Maybe you dropped the ball and have more mess ups than you can count. If so, welcome to your twenties.

Here’s what I’ve been learning: Mistakes are bound to happen, but whether or not you rebound from them, that is up to you.

Thinking about my own mishaps and blunders in the first half of my twenties, sometimes I cringe from embarrassment and other times from pure horror. But then I stop and think, maybe there are lessons to be learned from them. Maybe these mistakes are all a part of a masterful painting called my life, where the mishaps blend so gracefully into the strokes that make the masterpiece.

Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):
“No one ever discovered anything new by coloring inside the lines.”

Thomas Vasquez

Something else I’ve been learning: Don’t last your past failures stop you. Whether your mistakes pertain to career, relationships, or personal goals, don’t let them stop you. The twenties are all about learning. So keep learning. Keep trying. Keep going. Keep making mistakes and keep learning from them. That, my friend, is what we call progress. Otherwise, you will just be living in fear.

Writing this blog every week for me is a constant “putting my foot in front of the other” thing. In the early days, there were definitely a number of posts that weren’t so good and that I would deem as mistakes. Sometimes I wonder if people are even reading. What if no one cares what I have to say? But I write anyway. It’s an act of faith, to keep trying and doing something I am passionate about despite any shortcomings thus far.

Forward motion. Growth. That is probably the best thing we can ask for in our twenties. So you had your heart broken once upon a time. Say yes to that date anyway. Ask that girl out for coffee anyway. Didn’t get the job you imagined? Get some more experience and apply again. Or better yet, apply to another position you are just as passionate about and qualified for. To be great, you must first dare to make mistakes and blunders.

I am sure Picasso colored outside the lines a few times as a kid before he ever mastered his art. Do the same. Make mistakes and learn. Try again.

-Stephkt

There is Only Where We Are

“There is no place that we should be. There is only where we are.” When I read this quote the other day, I was stopped dead in my tracks. A little taken aback, the author was clearly reading my mail. She was definitely talking to me.

Discontentment. Restlessness. Impatience.

Any of those words could describe the twenties. What do you do when the life you have doesn’t look like the life you planned? Do you quit and throw in the towel? Do you drown your sorrows in a bottle of Jack? Or do you stay faithful where you’re at and not quit?

roadI’d like to say the latter is always my first response when my dreams seem far away and the day to day grind is becoming all too monotonous, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, I too, want to give up.

But here is what that little quote reminded me….Life will never look exactly like we thought or planned it to. So it’s our job to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when it gets hard, especially then. The twenties are such a grueling time, full of change, loss, adversity. It will show you the stuff you’re made of. I’d like to encourage you to see that the stuff you are made of is courage, perseverance, resilience, persistence, creativity, and all the bounce back power you could ever need.

Twenty Something Advice (for Anybody):

“There is no place that we should be. There is only where we are.”

So maybe your life at 21, 24, 29 doesn’t look like what you thought it would. Isn’t that true for most of us? Instead of focusing on what you don’t have or where you think you ought to be, make the most of where you are now, what you have now and the people in your life now.

“But Stephanie, I’m tired. But you don’t know my situation. I’ve been stuck in a rut for so long. I’ve lost direction. My dreams seem so far away.” If we were together this very moment, I’d grab your hand and tell you to seize the day. In all of it’s imperfection, madness and chaos, seize the day. Make the most of where you are at. Stay faithful. Because all we have is now. Keep going my friend. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

– Stephkt