Twenty Something-Then What?

When I read Emily’s post I shook my head and smiled, thinking of the wasteland of transition some of us find ourselves in between college and settling down. Emily shares with honesty and humor and her story resides within the reality of many twenty-somethings. I have been lucky enough to watch her tackle some life challenges and she does so with a fierceness and boldness that is empowering and infectious. As a added bonus, she is a blast. Emily is from Spring Valley, MN and her hobbies include quality family time, late night pintresting, and working on her application to Hogwarts. She is a 2012 graduate of Mt. Mercy University where she tied the school record for most three’s scored in a year playing basketball for the Lady Mustangs, among many other accomplishments. Enjoy. 



I’m slowly starting to believe that it is possible to have a mid-twenty’s crisis… and that I am currently in one, despite the constant reminder from elders saying that these are supposed to be the best years of my life. Hmmm… In the past year I have: changed my job, became an accountant, purchased a home and car, returned to school for my Master’s degree, picked up a second job “for fun”, and on top of all of that I coach basketball. All of these things are great, don’t get me wrong, and I am so thankful for all that I have and every opportunity that has landed in my lap. BUT DANG. It’s exhausting and slightly overwhelming.

These are my constant battles…. (I wish there was an off button-you feel me?)

I feel like my life status right now is stuck on pending. I feel stuck. I am stuck in the middle of my college years and the natural desire to want to “grow up.” Things like getting married, starting a family, and having babies are always on my mind-all day, everyday. Reality is I don’t think I’m ready for any of this, but I don’t know how to shut it off.  Is this just another part of growing up? Is it because I’m an OCD planner, and I want my life down on a blue print? Or is it just because I’m an oversensitive woman? Whatever it is, it is intense.

Good ole’ social media. It engulfs me every second. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel like I’m losing the race. I’m behind and sometimes it makes me question my own identity. Am I really posting this because I’m proud of it, or because I want to boast or brag? Do I follow this person because we are friends, or am I just curious of their life? The list goes on…Also if we are being honest, the underlying tone to everything out there these days has PERFECTION stamped all over it. Pinterest has pictures of perfection all the way from the PERFECT painted toe nails to the PERFECT wedding. Instagram adds a new filter to their list every day in order to increase the chance of that PERFECT picture. Facebook is the modern day “Keeping up with the Kardashians” …because are you really involved in the lives of all 1500 “friends” you have on FB? I know I’m not, but I’m currently at 1322 Facebook friends and I promise you I talk to less than 50 of them on a monthly basis. I just want to keep tabs on their PERFECT lives. Twitter is untouchable; it’s a constant newsfeed of everyone’s PERFECT life. Let’s say there was such a thing as a Celebrity Dictionary. Flip to were you find the word PERFECT… per·fect [adj., n.pur-fikt; v. per-fekt] = BEYONCE. DUH. Right?

Moral of the story:  in my head if you’re not perfect, you are losing the race.

I am moving one step forward, and then three steps behind. Right when I do the overall life check on myself, my shoes are tied (even double knotted some days), jeans rolled up, quick scan of where I’m walking (no ice, large potholes, etc.)… I should be good to go, first step…then BOOM. I fall flat on my face. I feel like no matter what I do to prepare myself for the next move in my life somehow I am always falling on my face.  When will the path smooth out?

I have these red stamps at work, one says PAID, one says SENT… and I’m thinking about getting one that says APPROVED. I catch myself doing things in my everyday routine for a sense of approval. Constantly trying to fill the voids in my life with someone’s approval, because then what I did had to have been cool, right?

The list of battles could keep on going for me (I’m a hot mess some days), but this last one is a daily battle and a battle I choose to fight. This battle is a cure/medicine for all the other battles I have already listed. This battle gives me strength even after a long fight. This battle is my want to change. And do you know who my tag team partner is? Jesus. (he’s got the best finishing move ever, it’s a combo of Love, Grace, and Hope, nothing is getting past that move).  I battle walking in his path over my own wants and ambitions. I fall short every single day, but like I said before he comes in strong with that finisher. I’m scared, and am constantly filled with “what if’s”. But in my fear he gives me hope, shows me  grace, and loves me more than I can ever imagine.

Music is my thing. It’s my thing when I’m happy, sad, mad, lonely, etc.  I love that this blog channels music with life. The song that doesn’t stop playing in my head is “Change” by Lystra’s Silence. It covers the pain I feel when I choose my own way. It covers my want to change. It covers the feeling of this void in my life. But most importantly this song is my surrender. “Im throwing up my hands now, to the one who saves me!”- and the one that hushes the voices of perfection.

Twenty something, and then what? Well, life is going to keep happening. My challenge for you, and me, is to eliminate the garbage and just BE REAL. Be real with yourself, and with others. Don’t hold yourself to anyone else’s expectation and don’t try to be perfect because you will run out of energy. Take time every day for some “me” time. You have to know and love yourself before anyone else can. When you fall, just dust the dirt off, and keep pushing. You are beautiful, and so is life.

Lastly, don’t forget your closer. Jesus. He is always my light at the end of the tunnel, showing me grace when I don’t deserve it, loving me unconditionally, and constantly changing me for the better. He doesn’t need me to be perfect. He just needs me to be ME. Besides, all of who I am is exactly what God had in mind when he created me. I am choosing for his “like” to be enough, and his love to be my sustaining strength.

Here’s to change, and my twenty-something crisis.


Life is better lived with good people. These women in the photo below have been role models and have shaped me for the good. They were part of my life during some of the most vulnerable stages. We laughed, cried, yelled, loved, fought, and cared for each other unconditionally. These girls, and Jesus have challenged me to be a “better” me.

emily bball

 Lystra’s Silence~Change~

I feel the void
I sense that something needs to change
I dig inside
I know that all I need is You

I’m holding out a broken heart
Oh, Lord I’ve chosen my own way
This leads to pain
You respond with so much grace
Lift my head and bring me strength
I can say I’m ready now for…

Change, oh I can feel the way You’re slowly taking over
God, I will surrender
To this thing called change

I breathe it in
The hope that something soon will change
You grab the core
You show me I need to learn to die
Throw my ambitions to the side
A breath, a step of faith away

You speak my name
I could never be the same
Lift my head and bring me strength
I can say I love the way You…

Change me, I can feel the way You’re slowly taking over
God, I will surrender
I’m throwing up my hands now
To the One who saves me
You give hope so freely
Here I am, invade me
Fill me with your change

* Plenty more from where this came from! If you loved Emily’s story like onelyric on Facebook and read countless stories of hope and awesome tunes! *

4 thoughts on “Twenty Something-Then What?

  1. Well written Emily! :) I am proud of your skills! As for being “stuck” in pending….don’t fret too much! I was “stuck” in pending for a long time too. I survived and so will you! Some days I even long for those good ‘ol busy “stuck” days! :)

  2. Emily – well written, very soulful and mind altering. Thank you for bringing out the importance of being real, being who you are, what you are and what you will become. Always being mindful of the importance of you. Cherish the struggles, relish in the rewards, every day is given and day by day you will continue to succeed, love and praise!

    • Deb, Im so glad you enjoyed the read, and understand the importance of being “real” as I do : ). Thanks for your kind words!

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