My watchword for this year is grace and one of the books that I am reading (and have been looking forward to for a long while) is Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.
Quotes of the Day:
“Now fully able to cheer wildly for friends and colleagues, I am free to be me without the constrictive mesh netting around my heart, everyone else is free to be themselves, and I am thrilled about us all.” – pg 15
“You decide your day should contain laughter and grace, strength and security. You realize insecurity, striving, jealousy, and living in comparison will eventually define your entire life, and that is NOT the legacy you want.” – pg 16
“This is your place. These are your people. This is your beautiful, precious life. Probably about halfway done here on earth, you lay down angst and pick up contentment.” – pg 16
From Chapter 2: “On Turning Forty”.
This chapter is written as a small treatise from her now-forty-year-old self to those who are coming up behind her in their twenties. I am not yet forty but so much of this resonated with me, even at (only) thirty-two. What Jen writes here feels very much like what I am processing through right now.
“Oh, my stars, when I was twenty-nine, I was so hamstrung by what everyone else was accomplishing. Other people were my benchmarks, and comparison stole entire years. I lost much time in jealousy, judgement, and imitation. I just couldn’t find my own song (15).”
I could have honestly written this myself and it couldn’t be any more true. I lost years comparing myself to others and finding myself wanting or thinking that others found me wanting in important ways. I gave up a great deal of power to others over what I perceived was their disapproval or my being “too much”. It’s only now, quite a few years later, that I am finding a place of peace with myself and others, stopping the looking sideways so much, and, as Jen puts, it “developing some chops”.
My favorite quote, though, is at the end of this chapter:
“So, sure, your body and mind get whack, but I promise: you wouldn’t return to your twenties for all the unwrinkled skin on earth. You’ll like it here. You will love better, stand taller, laugh louder. You’ll pass out grace like candy. Real life will temper your arrogance and fear, and you will adore the next version of yourself. We all will (16).”