A Letter to My 30-Year Old Self

In my senior year of high school, my AP Lit teacher had us do a bunch of time-capsule-esque activities to both document and reflect on the milestone. One such activity was writing a letter to a future version of ourselves. She kept them and mailed them out a few years later. It was amazing to not only see the evolution of myself, but to receive validation that I was doing and becoming who I’d wanted to even just a few years before.

Tomorrow, I turn 25 so I've decided to resurrect the activity for old times sake. I’m ringing in 25 with a nod to 30. In five years, this is what I want myself to know:

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There are a lot of things that you’ve wanted for yourself by this day. I’m sure some of them have been checked off of that list, but I am even more sure that there are others that remain checkless, that plague you even as you bask in the glory of our journey thus far. Although, it’s amazing to look back and revel in the blessings and accomplishments we’ve always wanted, I’d argue that it’s those empty boxes on that checklist that matter more.

They represent plans you’ve had for yourself that didn’t meet expectation. And usually we’re conditioned to believe it’s a bad thing. Disappointment from fallen expectations assumes that what you’ve conjured up in your mind is the best case scenario. As life would have it, specifically your life, God has a way of obliterating those expectations and replacing them with scenarios we’ve come to prefer, yet would never think of. In fact, I’ve come to believe that the Ephesians 3:20 life that is exceeding and abundant, speaks not so much to literal blessings that are far more than what you’ve expected, but are more so an attempt to describe those mind blowing moments in which things come together perfectly in a way that you never would’ve chosen for yourself.

Those are the moments that deserve the most gratefulness because they are the ones that shift you closer to who you are. While I’m convinced you’ll never reach the perfection of God’s plan in that regard due to the nature of our human imperfections, I know that it is the pursuit of that vision that makes us better in the long run.

There’s still so much more to see, do and become, but today we celebrate. We celebrate your resilience, vision and obedience in growing to this place. And more importantly we celebrate the new levels that lay before you waiting for a mindset that produces a new degree of surrender. Just when you get comfortable it’s time to move again and it is your commitment to the uncomfortable that has made you excellent.

Happy 30th, Nelson.