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As of Tuesday, December 1, 2015, I have joined the ranks of the ag-ed ones. I am now twenty years old (although the long-standing joke around here is that I feel at least twenty five. Whether or not I act as old as I feel is another question altogether.). Twenty years should be a milestone, I suppose, but when I consider how many people I know who are considerably older than twenty, my two decades seem pretty insignificant and this birthday was just like any other.
So what goes through the head of a twenty-year-old girl/woman (just when does one receive the title of “woman”, I would like to know)? Some of you might be wondering. I’ve wondered. Perhaps you are so old that the memory of twenty is like the distant whisper of a far-off song. Perhaps you are old (old being a very relative term and in this case meaning anything older than twenty) but young at heart, and twenty seems like yesterday. To you two, I would like to hear your stories and advice. Perhaps you are young, even younger than my twenty years, and you are wondering what to expect from life. I would like to hear your expectations, and fondly be reminded of my own at your age.
Whether it is or not, Twenty sounds like legitimate adulthood: the break from the sometimes-confusing teenage years into the level-headed realm of the wise. Don’t be deceived, young squirt: Twenty is no different from what you became as Nineteen. The number will not age you; how you respond to life will create the adult or confirm the child. You, my young friend – you can be as adult at seventeen as Twenty is. That being said, Twenty carries three more years of experience, and experience is aging.
Twenty is less confusing than Fifteen, Seventeen, even Nineteen-and-a-Half. Those formative years take on exponential value. One year between Seventeen and Eighteen is equal to two between Nine and Eleven, or (I hypothesize) Twenty Five and Twenty Six. Age has a way of settling the questions of life through experience, but with experience comes responsibility. Is life easier at Twenty than Seventeen? Yes, in a way – but then not so much because Twenty (for me) means a job, a business of my own, pursuit of serious hobbies, making my own orthodontic appointments, and taxes. And no Thanksgiving Vacation. Sometimes I long for those school days in which my schedule was dictated and my goal for the day was to finish my homework before 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Any other free time was left to me to train horses, read a book, or really do whatever it was that called loudest. Now I take an hour or more on Thanksgiving morning to filter through notifications and emails. Free time means giving my room a much-needed organization, and even that has to be scheduled. Books to read pile up on the shelf, and I eat breakfast while systematically checking Facebook/email/Pinterest/blog comments. Riding also has to be prioritized or it doesn’t happen, and my hobby of singing has taken on a larger goal of “get good enough to get into a choral group somewhere.” Sometimes the responsibility can be overwhelming, but if you asked me to go back to my sixteen-year-old self, I would politely decline for the sake of my independence.
And life is good because God is good. Through the responsibility, God is teaching me to be flexible, to trust Him for the wisdom to prioritize and the strength to get through each day, to make use of the opportunities I am given as I interact with people. God has a reason for Twenty, just as He had a reason for Seventeen. Twenty promises to be interesting. Really, life seems to be getting more and more interesting the older I get. The element of surprise is another reason why I have no desire to time-travel backwards: school was predictable, but my life now is anything but. Two years ago, I never would’ve believed you if you would’ve told me that at age twenty I would be blogging for a living, writing a book, taking voice lessons, and *gasp* only riding horses recreationally. I was going to be a horse trainer with a big horse farm. I had dreams to apprentice with a horse trainer in France. God has a funny way of changing my plans around, which in hindsight I don’t mind at all, now that I think about it. His plans always turn out. Now to learn to accept that fact for the future and go with it instead of resisting – that’s the hard part.
Who knows what the Twenties will hold? They sure promise to be interesting.