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things i've learned at twenty-six.

here's what i looked like today, my last day of being twenty-six, while i was writing this post

Tomorrow is my twenty-seventh birthday, so I thought today I would share with you a few - admittedly heavy - things I've learned in my twenty-sixth year, that I consider important.

+ We live in a scary world. And sometimes, the events that happen in this world will make you want to fold in on yourself, never leave your house, & become a hermit. BUT this is not the answer. Rather than locking yourself indoors like you'd like to, go out & live your life each day. Worrying about things that are out of your control is futile. I've decided the best thing for me to do is pray to God for the safety of myself & my loved ones. Hand over your problems & worries to God, as they say. This affords extreme comfort in the face of these scary situations.

+ We also live in a beautiful world. People are out there helping others each day. Some are researchers, slaving away in laboratories to discover elusive cures to diseases; some are social workers, delivering aid to those who need it the most; some are doctors, tending to the sick; some are simply people, loving others unconditionally & outwardly. And then, there's artistic expression, which will overwhelm you with its awesomeness, if you will let it. Focus on these things, not the bad, & your life will improve exponentially. 

+ One of the most groundbreaking things [personally speaking] that I have discovered this year is, I guess, something that I didn't really discover, but rather learned how to recognize in myself. For years, I have had episodes of random restlessness, anxiety, & pit-in-my-stomach worry. And I've learned to recognize it as.... anxiety. That may sound silly, but if you don't know that what you're experiencing is anxiety, it can make it an even scarier, even more anxiety-producing thing. When I start feeling that feeling, I can now identify it, & tell myself that it will pass, & that makes all the difference in the world.

+ The smallest things are what matter the most. This sounds like a cliche', & it pretty much is, but I'll give you an example to make it a little less cliche'-y. The night before my wedding day, I was very stressed out. Not because I was nervous - I knew better than I knew anything ever before that Justin was the person I was supposed to be marrying. The stress was more related to the details of the wedding, & I think anyone who has gotten married can relate. But after the rehearsal dinner, & after Justin & I had exchanged gifts, my bridesmaids & house party gave me a lingerie shower in our cottage. We sipped champagne, I opened pink boxes, & we all laughed & had a great time. But here is where the little thing comes in: One of the girls gifted me with the movie Bridesmaids that night, & one of the other girls had their husband come into the cottage & hook a laptop up to the TV so we could all lie in bed & watch it. I cannot express to you the comfort & ease this very small act provided me. Aside from the obvious - marrying my best friend, Justin - this is my favorite memory of my wedding.

+ Your life is going to progress, whether you like it or not. The ONLY thing you can do is make the most of it. Live your life the way you want to, be friends with those that you want to be friends with, & love on those in your life that you couldn't imagine being without. It is extremely morbid to think of the terminal quality of life, but it is a fact that I was confronted with when I took my Developmental Psychology course this summer. Rather than getting depressed over the indisputable fact that life as we know it on this planet will one day end, I have decided to celebrate my pants off. Celebrate the fact that I've woken to another glorious day of life. Celebrate the fact that I've finally become a morning person. Celebrate the fact that I like my handwriting. Celebrate the fact that I've got a husband, family, & friends who love me, despite my obvious flaws. Celebrate the fact that I am blessed enough to be in school again. 

C E L E B R A T E. Everything. Nothing is too small to celebrate. I repeat, nothing. 

So, there you have it. The things I've learned this year. The things that have changed my life. 

Have you discovered anything lately that's changed your perspective? Please, do share.


siddathornton said…
You're right, we do live in a scary but beautiful world. choosing which one to focus on makes a huge difference. I love what you said about recognizing anxiety. I think that identifying something makes it much easier to tackle and much less scary.

Sounds like you've had a great 26th year, so here's to an even better 27th. Happy Birthday tomorrow. :)
siddathornton said…
What a perfect post. :) I may be 6 months behind you getting to 27, but I cannot tell you how much this post spoke to me. As if you plucked it right out of my brain! From the scary/beautiful world, to recognizing anxiety, to wanting to celebrate everything- yes. A million times over. Thanks for sharing in such an honest way. Happiest of happy birthdays!
siddathornton said…
What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing all these inspiring lessons. I hope you don't mind if I link to this post in my weekly recap on Saturday. I think everyone who reads blogs should see this!
siddathornton said…
I SO have to enjoy more of the little things in life - I think we're all guilty of missing out on them these days! :)


sorelle in style
siddathornton said…
These are wonderful lessons, Lauren, even if some of them were hard. I agree that it's so important to soak in the good and the beauty that exists in the world. When one of my dear childhood friends was diagnosed with cancer this summer, it was a huge wake-up call to me that I can't take people for granted and that I need to actively nurture my relationships instead of just expecting people to always be there. We need to create those small, meaningful, beautiful moments for ourselves and others, and we need to notice and appreciate them as they happen.
siddathornton said…
Girlfrand, you are wise beyond your years. Happy early birthday!! :)
siddathornton said…
this is so wonderful. i love reading your blog and i love you and your sister. happy birthday!

love, rachel
siddathornton said…
Good morning, Birthday Girl! I needed every word of this post this morning. I miss you and your profound way of bringing true beauty and honesty to simple things. With love, Jenny
siddathornton said…
Great post! I agree completely with how the smallest things always matter & that life will forever be a progress. Too true :) Happy 27th B-day!
siddathornton said…
Just found your blog, and I can tell I'm really going to enjoy it! All of these are spot-on. Happy birthday!
siddathornton said…
hello my dear. thank you for this comment :) i miss you too!
siddathornton said…
thank you, rachel! this comment made my day <3
siddathornton said…
exactly. EXACTLY. the effort we have to put in to create those wonderful moments is paid back to us ten-fold in the memories & feelings we get from them. i am praying for your friend.
siddathornton said…
we definitely are - it's so easy to get wrapped up with social media & stay glued to our phones. i've been trying really hard lately to put the phone away & focus on the NOW.
siddathornton said…
i'm so glad you related to this post. it came straight from my heart, & knowing i'm not alone in these thoughts & feelings means a lot to me. i hope you enjoy your last few months of twenty-six - but so far, twenty-seven isn't so bad ;)
siddathornton said…
exactly. it's all about choosing which side of the spectrum to focus on. i still have days when i can't turn away from focusing on the negative & scary things that are happening, but that never does me one ounce of good.

thank you for the happy birthday! :)

ps - i miss your blog posts.

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about me.

Hello! And welcome to siddathornton.
My name is Lauren. I am 29 years old. Here are a few random factoids about me & my life...
- I'm originally from Louisiana, but I live in North Carolina with my husband, Justin. We aren't from New Orleans. Every time we tell someone we're from Louisiana, this is immediately what they assume. We actually come from a town in northwest Louisiana - Shreveport - which may as well be Texas, it's so close to the state line.
- Due to my love of the written word, I majored in Journalism at Louisiana Tech University. Tech is located in the quaint town of Ruston, Louisiana, and I like to think that attending college in a small town shaped much of who I am today. And as much as I would have liked the overly-romaticized dream of becoming a professional writer to have come to fruition for me, I'm in the midst of a career change, via occupational therapy school.
- There are a few things for which I have an unhealthy obsession: reading, co…

the sunday currently, volume 124.

beautiful flowers all around vail
readingFierce, by Aly Raisman. A couple of weeks ago, I finally finished Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty, which I really enjoyed.
writing a lot in my bullet journal, including adding photos and keepsakes. It's been a while since I've done this kind of journaling, and it really is my favorite.
listening to the Office while typing out this blog post. Nothing makes me feel better like this show does.
thinking that I am really glad that Justin and I built in some trip recovery time on the back end of our trek to Colorado. It really does take some time to get re-acclimated to the time zone you've returned to. We've both been feeling so tired since we got back.
smelling coffee and donuts. The breakfast of champions.
wishing for some tortilla soup today. I had some at a place called Hacienda Colorado in Denver. It was so good, and I've been craving it ever since.
hoping for a productive and joyful week ahead.
wearing pajamas, just like I have …

the sunday currently.

When I started blogging on siddathornton back in July of 2011, the beginning of my currently posts wasn't far off. I've long enjoyed compiling lists of what's going on in the moment, but I never thought about making it a link-up or an always-on-Sundays thing until September 16, 2012. As you can read in that post, I was elated, due to the responses I was getting from other bloggers, letting me know that they, too were doing "currently" posts and had decided to dedicate the writing of them to Sundays each week. Thus, The Sunday Currently was born, and I have currently penned over 100 posts, some with over 50 people linking up and sharing what they're up to, too. If you feel so inclined, please join! Let's celebrate the little moments of our lives that we never want to forget.

See all past editions of The Sunday Currentlyhere.