Yesterday I was 28 and today I’m 29. I didn’t change much overnight, but I did over the last year. One year ago, I was settling back into living in Minnesota after spending three years in NYC. I was desperately missing public transportation, seamless web and of course, my friends. I became highly dependent on my GPS and spent nights researching good places to eat. Most of the people I grew up with were married and many had children. Popular bars from college were closed and Northeast was no longer just a place with a hockey rink. I was back in Minneapolis, but for some reason the city I spent a good part of my life in felt so foreign.
I spent the last year trying to find my footing, searching for a way to make Minnesota feel like home again. I found a great apartment with all of the things I would have given up a lot for in NYC. I started an amazing job with smart people who challenge me to be better every single day. I took Minnesota winters head-on and bought a new Jeep, with a snow feature. I started serving at Eagle Brook Church, got more involved in my small group and spent time reconnecting with friends. I traveled, met new people and even got my mom to run her first half marathon. It took a year, but today I realized the Minnesota I knew before isn’t and shouldn’t be the Minnesota I know now.
Every day we meet people, have experiences and make decisions that change us. We may not notice it overnight, but we are constantly becoming better versions of ourselves. We live in a world that has given us the opportunity to continuously grow, learn and change. In fact, I don’t want to live in a world that always feels comfortable. A little bit of discomfort, a feeling of being in a foreign place is a good thing. When we get complacent in our lives, we stop living in a sense. We have to keep challenging ourselves to live each day with a purpose. If we wake up every day and try something new, we are allowing ourselves and those around us to grow.
As I turn 29, I’m not going to reflect on the 20 things I learned in my 20s. Yes, I learned a lot. I made mistakes that turned into opportunities. I made decisions that turned into lifelong memories. I had experiences that changed how I see the world. Twenty-eight was another year in my journey that made me who I am today. I did a lot, but I could have done more. So my focus for 29 is going to be just that. Try something new every day. From small things like taking a new route to work to bigger things like backpacking through Germany, I’ll spend this year toeing the line between comfort and discomfort. Always learning and growing so I can turn 30 and do it all over again.
If you’re wondering what new thing I tried today, it was Goldschläger. Yes, a liqueur with 24K gold leaf flakes in it because the theme at my work birthday party was All Gold Everything. A theme that will continue throughout the year.