26 Things I've Learned in 26 Years

Today is my 26th birthday. Last year I talked about how my biological clock had a breakdown and I thought I was old as sin.
This year, though, I'm pretty at peace with it. I'm excited to be 26. I'm proud of my accomplishments and even prouder of my husband for putting up with me and being such an incredible provider for us. I'm another year older, so I'm supposed to be another year wiser... right? In light of that, here are a few things I've learned over 26 years. Of course, there are more where these came from... but the '26 in 26' was all cutesy. Enjoy!

1. You should be grateful you don't look the same as you did in 6th grade.

2. When you feel like no one loves you, not only does God remind you that you're loved by Him, He also places wonderful people in your life at just the right time. And those people make you feel love in a way you've never felt it before.

3. I regret not eating pizza crusts in my youth #breadandcheeseforever

4. Wine is never a bad idea.

5. God's timing is always perfect. ALWAYS.

6. Your dream job is probably nothing like what you imagined as a new college grad. Even when you think you landed your 'dream job,' time might prove it wrong.

7. Your actual dream job might be the hardest, most challenging, risky job... but those characteristics might be how you know it when you see it.

8. Learning how to cook and bake is a priceless talent. And it's a good one for impressing the fellas (truly, the way to their hearts is through food).

9. Your priorities will change with every new season, and learning to embrace those changes is detrimental to your happiness.

10. Loving people for just who they are instead of wishing they were different can help you love and appreciate them more than you thought you could.

11. You can never have too many back rubs.

12. Getting really sick can show you how strong you are... and it might be surprising how much you can handle!

13. Praying for your future spouse is never done in vain. Now, knowing the man for whom I prayed, I feel so much thankfulness. He is far better than any man I concocted in my head - hahaha! I'm happy to continue praying for the wonderful man that I call husband.

14. Your mother is always right. And she gets cooler the older you get. 

15. Your voice tone can make or break a conversation... or a relationship.

16. Strong faith, good communication, honesty, and LOTS of laughter is the perfect recipe for a great marriage.

17. ...but that doesn't mean marriage is always easy! You reap what you sow. Arguing can be very important as long as you learn how to do it right.

18. Sadly, your metabolism will never be like that of the Gilmore Girls. I can only dream of eating Poptarts for breakfast every day. 

19. Growing older also means growing more comfortable in being exactly who you are, unapologetically.

20. I'm not really me until I've had coffee.

21. Things are just that, and they can be taken from you or lose value. But places, experiences, and memories will last you a lifetime and can be shared with the people you love most. I'm grateful to have learned to always value experiences over things.

22. The power of forgiveness is truly astounding. What you can overcome by learning to forgive is incredible. And that we are forgiven, FREELY!

23. Fall is honestly the most superior season and living in Georgia extends it for months.

24. My dad was completely accurate in saying I shouldn't be allowed to drive or own a vehicle.

25. Thomas is the actual best. This should be shouted from a mountain top because I just love him to absolute pieces. In my 26 years, he has been the highlight by far.

26. That some of the best years of my life haven't even happened yet... and that is really, really rad.

Raise up a glass and let's toast to being 26! I know this year is going to hold exciting new adventures and lessons to learn. I'm thrilled to continue to share these moments with all of you lovely readers.

Do you have any other little lessons or pieces of advice that I should bring into my twenty-sixth year? Please share your wisdom with me today!

LifeJoy Johnson