On May 9th I passed from my twenties into my thirties and launched a new series as a way of looking back at both the highs and the lows (more here). One of the best parts of my twenties was getting to know myself. I know at first glance that kind of sounds egotistical but I'm not referring to being self-centred rather I'm referring to being self-aware.
When you're in your twenties no one expects you to have arrived yet. It's a time of trying things out: education, different jobs, new relationships, even living in different places. For me I loved having the chance to explore and try things out that would have never happened if I had already settled down with a family or even a mortgage for that matter. Some of the things I tried I learned were for me and others not so much, but in either case they helped me to learn a lot about how I am wired and who God created me to be.
In the process I reconnected with my creative side that I had embraced in my childhood but completely ignored during my teen years. As a twentysomething I learned that God wired me to create and that I look at the world much differently than others and that's okay. Having the freedom to explore helped me to learn that creativity is not a childish thing that I should suppress, but rather a gift that I should build on. That lead to a much different career path than what I had settled on in my teen years and I truly love what I do. 80% of it is all creative in different forms: writing, video and audio creations, photography and design.
Other bonus' that have come along thanks to the self-awareness that my twenties brought:
-I've learned and can clearly define the things I like and the things I'm not so fond of.
-I know more about my personality and have learned how to approach things from my unique perspective.
-I can now see that my spiritual health can be only as good as my emotional health is, therefore I need to pay close attention to both.
-I understand boundaries and know that it's okay to set them with myself and others.
-I can understand the difference between what other people think of me and what God thinks of me and have a better perspective on how to make decisions based solely on the latter.
-I have come to look at life (and others) in less black and white terms. By realizing that as a human I have a limited perspective it has helped to show me that I'm not capable of fully understanding life's turns or the motives of other people. Only God can and He doesn't expect me to. He just asks that I love others and trust Him.
No matter what age you might find yourself at, self-awareness isn't something that only people in their twenties benefit from. If you want to learn more two books I very highly recommend are:
Changes That Heal (Dr. Henry Cloud)
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Peter Scazzero)