Most of my friends and I are cruising along in the single lane of life and have been for some time now. All of our stories vary but we have this one thing in common: we never thought we would be single THIS long.
Maybe it was because we are all highly driven leaders in our own respective fields and thus are used to having a plan and executing it. Whatever the reason, we have been surprised to find ourselves on the other side of 30 and no wedding band. That has offered its own disappointments. But one thing I’m really proud of us for, is the fact that we have LIVED and are LIVING our lives to the fullest.
So, just in case you feel “left behind” in the fast-paced world of milestones and societal expectations (fast-paced, because, well, waiting is SLOW) here are just a few items I encourage you to pursue that we have experienced that have made this season just a little more
bearable, I mean sweeter :).
1. Complete an advanced degree.
I finished my degree a couple of years ago while working full time. It was an amazingly disciplined season of my life and also a walk of faith. I pursued a field that was previously a huge area of weakness but I felt the Holy Spirit leading me on that path. He was true to His word and I flourished academically.
Maybe you just need to complete your undergrad or even just a license/certificate. Maybe you are not academic at all. If that is the case I would encourage you in continuing to become learned however that looks for you. Brains + Beauty = Double Threat.
Getting your schooling out of the way pre-marriage and kids is such a blessing. Do it while you can.
2. Run a marathon!
Or a half marathon. Or heck even a 5K :). Just 2 weeks after I finished grad school I ran my first half marathon. And maybe my last :). I had been running for years and did several other races but this was by far my longest stretch. It was a great experience.
I trained with one of my closest friends. We were so dedicated that one night we ran 10 miles straight, ended at 10pm and went to work the next day. That is a great benefit of being in your 20’s. Your energy level is sky high :).
3. Accumulate assets!
A while back I really wanted to purchase a home. In hindsight I’m grateful that was not the route God had me take as I think I would have been in over my head. Home ownership is a pretty big deal. Instead, I ended up buying my first vehicle. I tell you, there is nothing like not having a car note! Also, I’m sure having a tangible asset can only make you even more of an asset to whoever you end up with :).
4. Pay off Debt!
Now this is definitely a sore spot for me. But I totally appreciate anyone who is able to accomplish this feat! I’ve heard finances are a major reason for marital conflict. Now is the time to get your stuff in order. Those who are faithful over a little, can be faithful over much.
Earlier this year I was blessed to go on my first cruise. Snorkeling, ATV’s, kayaking and lying on white sandy beaches filled my time. There is nothing like seeing the world to broaden your own horizon and outlook on life.
Who can feel “lonely” when taking in God’s beauty painted over landscapes of deep blue oceans? My traveling companion and I also made a really good friend who is from Italy on the cruise. We plan on visiting her in her home country next year.
It was on my heart to do some service work in my community last year. I assisted a local organization with Christmas gift wrapping for local families. That was a great experience as the holidays are usually a downer for me. What better way to take your mind off yourself and help someone less fortunate? I also did some tutoring with this organization and helped an adult improve her reading skills.
7. Write a book.
Or paint a picture. Or whatever other creative project you’ve been putting on a shelf, yet are itching to complete. I am in the midst of getting my manuscript published. This was a total God idea as I never saw myself as an author. Yet here I am swimming in the seas of blogging and positioned to dive into authorship. Writing has been such a great therapeutic outlet for me and God has used it even to unfold His will for my life and give me PEACE. Maybe He will do the same for you?
8. Take a missionary trip.
I myself have only done a service project once but several of my friends have been on missionary trips. One friend was so taken by her experience overseas that she is now a full time missionary. Even if you are unable to get away, maybe you can donate to someone else’s trip and support their cause.
Last summer my girls and I went zip-lining for the first time and man was it a wild experience! As we climbed our way to the top of the course, we made comments about how fun it would be to zip line with a wedding party. Well, by the time we actually performed this crazy feat, we were taking back those statements! I may or may not do zip lining again but I can at least check it off my bucket list. And I’m glad to have that shared experience with the ones who have stood by me for so long.
10. Adopt a healthy lifestyle!
I have had my share of work out classes. Ranging from boxing to zumba to weight lifting to kickboxing. I like to be active and stay in shape. Exercising is a great way to lift anyone’s mood who may be feeling a little “blah”.
In addition to working out, I have been practicing a “clean eating” lifestyle for almost 2 years now. As a result I’ve lost 25 lbs and dropped 2 pants sizes. I’m sure I’ve bypassed a lot of illnesses and diseases that I was susceptible to simply b/c of my ethnicity and family history. Another benefit of taking care of your body is, you can increase the potential for attracting that special someone :).
These are just a few of the ways I can see God has kept my friends and I busy as we continue on this path that looks so different then what we planned.
These accomplishments and experiences were not completed in any type of attempt to “do works” for God’s kingdom or “get us closer to the alter”.
They were just birthed out of His plan for our lives.
I hope you will see the good things He has in store for you in THIS season. I hope that every desire He has for you will be fulfilled in His timing.
~ Author and Blogger, Nicole Miller