24 lessons.

Last year around this time, I wrote down 23 lessons I learned while I was 23. In the spirit of tradition (and the spirit of growing older AND wiser), here are 24 lessons I learned about myself and life in general while I was 24:

1. When I pray for patience, God gives me opportunities to be patient, not actual patience. I suppose this supports the give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish proverb.

2. Sometimes, it’s okay to go to bed with dishes in the sink. They will be harder to clean the next day, but the world will not come to an end.

3. Likewise, sometimes it’s okay to go to bed angry. Most people will tell you the opposite, but I beg to differ. It’s rare, but sometimes you need a full eight hours of sleep to get over your stubbornness and wake up with a fresh perspective and a forgiving heart. I actually learned this a few times while I was 24 (sorry Brett).

4. It’s never too early to plan for the future, because there is often significant joy to be found in that.

5. Sometimes God brings people into my life for a short season. Not every friendship is meant to last forever, and the quicker I accept that, the better.

6. Most friendships won’t last forever. And, that’s life.

7. My grandparents are a wealth of knowledge. Why it took me 24 years to figure this out is beyond me.

8. First world problems are not real problems, and I should not treat them as such.

9. When you give to God, he gives back (Malachi 3:10).

10. Photography is art. I’m sure there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, but if you like your work at the end of the day, that’s what matters. If other people do too, that’s even better.

11. Saving money for two years to spend it over 12 days is totally worth it when you’re going to Greece.

12. Date nights in > date nights out.

13. I, and only I, am responsible for my attitude. Having said that, I’ve learned that choosing joy is a lot easier when you surround yourself with those who choose joy as well.

14. I believe my life was meant to be shared with others, both offline and online. If God blessed me with a gift for communication, I should use it.

15. You cannot ask or expect other people to apologize for who they are.

16. Sometimes, Facebook is the devil.

17. My life is often too safe and too loud. Goal for 25? More quiet, and more risks.

18. I’m the kind of person who would rather not be your friend than be a bad friend.

19. Sometimes things have to get messy and ugly and absolutely terrible before they get better.

20. No matter how much I plan, and think about planning, and discuss my plan with others, it’s really up to God how that plan unfolds. The peace in that is immeasurable.

21. I believe I was meant to be a lot of things. A storyteller. A dreamer. A writer. An artist of sorts. But nothing compares to how sure I am that I am meant to be a mother some day.

22. Nobody will ever, ever believe in me or support me more than Brett does. Marriage is such a gift in that way, and one that I do not ever want to take for granted.

23. There is no greater feeling than laughing until you cry. Especially in a group where everyone is laughing just as hard.

24. Attaining simplicity is not very simple, but completely worth the effort to make it so.

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33 Responses to 24 lessons.

  1. meg says:

    love this! thank you for sharing.

  2. diana says:

    i’m always scared to ask for patience, because i know what will happen @_@

    this is a great list and i wish all women this young will learn these, they really do make life easier.
    diana´s last blog post ..Going to Japan Part 2

  3. Melissa Lynn says:

    Loved reading these Ashlee :)

    I think you’ve inspired me to take a look at what I have learned during ’24′!

    Also, I’m grateful and honored to have found a person who appreciates the same things in life as I do. I know you are truly an incredibly special person (and I barely know you!). That’s how well you portray yourself through your writing.

    Hope 25 is amazing! :)

  4. ashleyTIA says:

    This post makes me so grateful to be your friend, even if we are only internet buddies. You are wise beyond your 24 years. One truth I have taken to heart is that we really do become more like those people we surround ourselves with – I’m choosing to make my friends the kind of people I wouldn’t mind to be. <33
    ashleyTIA´s last blog post ..The one with a giveaway !!

  5. #5 and #21 are all lessons i’ve recently learned, too. :)
    katherine michael´s last blog post ..The Littlest Ewing

  6. Liz says:

    As usual, I love this. And you.
    Liz´s last blog post ..Link Bytes 3711

  7. Paulette Hawes says:

    My Dearest Ashlee –

    I love #21 because I truly believe I am meant to be a grandmother!!

    Love you and Brett, Mom

  8. Ruth says:

    such an inspiring & relate-able list. i loved reading it :)

  9. Ruth says:

    p.s. totally tagged this post as “inspiration” in my blog reader.

  10. Kellie says:

    Ashlee – sometimes you just have a way of writing exactly what I am feeling at the same time! Love # 2, 6, and 16 the most!
    Kellie´s last blog post ..3 good things in the midst of the waiting game

  11. Holly C says:

    I loved this post.
    I love #10, I think that’s cute.
    I can relate to #6, & it makes me sad, but you’re right, that is life.
    #2, I dislike doing the dishes, I’d rather wait!

  12. Jenny says:

    that was beautiful, seriously.

    You’re totally right about some friends being for a short season. I am learning that at 28.

  13. Larissa says:

    This is so beautiful. I was suppose to read this today. =] Thank you for posting.
    Larissa´s last blog post ..It has been

  14. lori says:

    I love reading these. You are an excellent writer and I hope you continue to share your gift. It seems like you are learning a lot about friendships in particular. I also love the idea of ‘choosing’ joy and I think I am going to join in on your choose joy pledge. I need to make a change this year. Thanks again.
    lori´s last blog post ..Miscellany Monday Tuesday

  15. kelly ann says:

    #6 is so true… I’m experiencing that in a MAJOR way right now. It’s really hard, but… dare I say, necessary?

    Facebook is totally the devil. Ugh.

    I like you.
    kelly ann´s last blog post ..sunchild

  16. Lauren says:

    THIS is why I love blogging and reading blogs: half of those “lessons” have also applied to my 24 great years. It’s impossible to feel alone in my experiences when I read fellow bloggers with inspirational lessons, like yours.
    Thanks for sharing:)

  17. #24 is my favorite. So true! I’m taking a class as part of my Master’s degree at Creighton university that I think you would really like. I’ll try to remember send you a link to my professors blog – one of his main themes is simplifying. He’s very Zen. I love it. Thanks for the post!

  18. Dad says:

    I have to agree with Mom. I am ready for Grandpa duties.

  19. vanessa says:

    #16…definitely!
    #21…aww, so sweet. :)

    love all these! thanks! :)

  20. Anna says:

    Ah, this is exactly what I needed this morning. Love it.

    (And looove your mom and dad’s comments, so cute!)
    Anna´s last blog post ..Always Take the Scenic Route

  21. kim says:

    beautiful. as always. it sounds like you’re a very wise 25 y/o with a very big, open heart. thank you. <3
    kim´s last blog post ..the summer of 2010 v1

  22. cailen says:

    you’re totally right – achieving simplicity is not simple. but it’s rewarding : )

    ps mentioned your blog in a post today http://cailenascher.blogspot.com/2011/03/wise-words.html
    cailen´s last blog post ..wise words

  23. Kelly says:

    Love you and miss you, sweet friend.

  24. dee says:

    thank you for this post. it’s brilliant!
    dee´s last blog post ..dance the night away

  25. Danielle says:

    I am like #18 as well.
    Danielle´s last blog post ..Linkable Friday

  26. Ashley says:

    LOVED this post!! F.Y.I!

    :)

  27. Ana* says:

    I love.love this post.
    every word, the 24 points you listed :)

  28. emily says:

    A beautiful post… thanking you from my heart for no. 19… i think I needed to hear that! love your blog x

  29. Miranda says:

    This is so wonderful! Having just turned 24 myself, I’m thinking a lot about what I learned in the past year. :) I love your blog!
    Blessings,
    Miranda

  30. Haley says:

    LOVED this post. I will be 24 next month and think I have learned quite a few of these lessons myself over the years. Beautifully written. I love reading blogs where people have the same faith and beliefs as me. So encouraging.

  31. i turned 25 this year too and did a list quite similar to yours. thought maybe you’d like to see my blog post… I sure enjoyed yours. :)
    http://goo.gl/y1bk9
    shaina longstreet´s last blog post ..december hair diaries

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