Sometimes I think as a human race we all just need to pause for a collective minute, take a deep breath and remember at the end of it all, we’re all on the same team here. We’re all just trying to do life the best we can – and regardless of who you are, life is messy. It just is.
I recently turned 23 and it’s felt like a more significant birthday than 22 for a lot of reasons. Mostly, it just feels like the most adult age I’ve ever been. Even though I’ve essentially been out of college and “adulting” for over three years now, I feel like those years were almost like adulthood with training wheels. I’ll also say that I know being and adult is a very subjective concept, but for some reason this year feels distinctly different. It’s the little things – like finally taking the initiative to learn to cook dishes other than pasta or actually feeling a sense of pride in cleaning my home. But it’s also the bigger things – like realizing that prioritization is really a lot harder as you grow older. Things that were once critical, become less so. New priorities arise that take precedent. And while you’re trying to figure out your own mad schedule, you are also trying to see your friends who are simultaneously figuring out their mad schedules. Adulthood is a mess really. But adulthood might just be a pompous way of saying: life. Life is messy. The more life you get under your belt, the messier it seems to become. (Shouldn’t it be the opposite?)
All that to say, 23 feels different. And I don’t think I would have made it through my first month of being 23 while maintaining some semblance of sanity without the people I have around me. They in no way have it more figured out than I do. We all make mistakes. Shit hits the fan for us all – sometimes simultaneously, sometimes in different seasons. Nothing is perfect. But in the midst of the mess, we stand with each other. We walk beside one another and help pick up the pieces. We admit where we were wrong and apologize with humility. We call each other out and call each other to higher. We invite each other to cry on our couches, grocery shop together, worship God side by side, pray for one another and cheer on the times where we succeed.
Even when life feels overwhelming, scary, unknown and disheartening, I pause and I look at the people on my team and I feel gratitude.
My team isn’t full of perfect people. I don’t think anyone’s team is. But I have grace for my people and they have grace for me. More than the perfect advice, more than the right answer, that’s what I need from them and what they need from me. And I’ve just been thinking that maybe we all need to remember that everyone needs grace. I need grace. You need grace. The truck driver that cut us off in traffic needs grace. The slow coffee barista needs grace. Your coworkers need grace. Your friends and your family – they all need grace. This isn’t a world peace post – that’s above my pay grade – but this is a reminder to take a deep breath and remember life is messy and we’re all dealing with it. “Us” versus “them” is usually just in our heads. So let’s be kind where we can and extend grace to those who need it most.