12 Lessons

I can almost always tell you what I was doing a year ago. A year ago from today, I was getting over a really bad flu and this was the first day I could eat. I went shopping and met a friend for coffee.

I also knew I was going to take a course that would require me to start a blog. The blog was percolating. I knew I wanted it to be about trying hard things. I knew it was going to be about doing things outside of my comfort zone. It was around this time that the phrase “choose butterflies” crossed my mind. And I knew that was what this was going to be about.

Since that moment, “choose butterflies” has become a mantra. Not just in my life, but in other’s too. Because being brave begets being brave.

And while I’m sure blogs all over the world will recap the year, I’m hopping on that bandwagon too. Because I’ve learned a lot this year.

Photo by geralt, creative commons

Photo by geralt, creative commons

  1. Life is made up of choices. We can choose to do what’s easy or we can choose to what’s hard. It is entirely up to us. No one else.
  2. Being outside of your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean jumping out of a plane. It could mean dropping food off for a family that’s grieving. It could mean going on a coffee date. It could mean cheering on someone else when you’d rather they stay put.
  3. A job doesn’t define you. It doesn’t define what’s good about you or what’s bad about you. It doesn’t define your worth. It might be where your passion lies, it might not be. But it’s just part of who you are.
  4. God is good. He is bigger than our problems. That is always true.
  5. Sometimes all you have to do is show up. You don’t have to solve someone’s problems or say something profound or be everything to that person. Sometimes you just show up. You sit in the muckiness.
  6. Life is meant to be done in community. We’re not meant to do it alone. Find people that love you, challenge you, sit with you. And then love, challenge and sit with them right back.
  7. Read non-fiction books. Read books that make you think new things, and consider new perspectives. And then reread them. Underline them, make them messy, share them.
  8. Find something that amazes and excites you. For me, that’s anything to do with Broadway.
  9. Find something that calms you right down, where you find peace and presence. For me, that’s anywhere by the water.
  10. Patience, persistence and faithfulness. Practicing these three things are hard, but I’ve got to believe it’ll be worth it.
  11. Don’t let potential consequences stop you from experiencing amazing things.
  12. Write. Write every day if you can. Even if no one will read it. Really cool things happen when you do that.
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