On Being 29...

A few weeks ago I turned 29, and a lot of people have made comments about next year being the big 3-0. What's my "before I turn 30 bucket list"?! What do I hope to accomplish? What have I learned in my 20s? 

So naturally, I spent a bit of time thinking about this "bucket list" and I got stuck. I honestly couldn't think of anything I really hope to do. (Except get a tattoo. I'm stuck on overcoming my fear of the commitment of getting that tattoo darnet.) What kept coming to mind was WHO am I, not what I wanted to accomplish. 

Over the years, I realize I have become comfortable with being an anxious, bitter, melancholy version of who I am, and I want to be done with that. To admit some of these negative qualities isn't easy. Because who wants to talk about being a bitter, anxious, negative, controlling person? It's not that I believe that's all I am, but unfortunately, those qualities tend to rear their ugly head more often than the qualities I'd love to possess. And even more unfortunately, I have become so comfortable with being that way that it is almost frightening to think about what my life could look like if I was joyful and let God do all He says He will do. Has anyone else ever gotten to this point? How sad to think it's been so long since I focused on being who God wants me to be and who God says I am, that I am more comfortable being someone that I am not happy with.

I can't be the only one who feels that pressure of being an adult! Figure it out, get your life together, get a good job, pay the bills, make the meals, discover your purpose, clean the house, stay in shape, keep a baby alive...I mean, most days I get up and legitimately think, "I can't adult today." I am so apologetic to my husband because I think this downhill slope sped up when I got married. It's not his fault. Joy, spontaneity, and carefreeness, all come very naturally to him. Maybe I just thought, "Vittoria, you're a wife now. It's time to get your act together and take care of business." But I don't believe that's what God wants for me. Because in the process I also stopped trusting Him to take care of us. 

Maria Goff, in her book "Love Lives Here", says "Somewhere along the way, a lot of us misplaced our childlike imaginations and stopped believing we could either get around the lava or build something beautiful on top of it when it cooled. We began to question what was possible ad what we're actually capable of We ran and fell, or tried and failed, or risked and lost. Doubt and fear crept under the door and distracted us from who God made us to be. The disappointments in our lives become like volcanoes, and if we're not careful, we'll just see the lava, not the way over it."

Somewhere along the road, I stopped dreaming. I became so practical. Somewhere along the road, I let being an adult consume me so much that I lost the person that would break out into song without shame, who would take on new challenges without fear, who allowed herself to experience joy in all circumstances. I refuse to have a funeral for that Vittoria. That Vittoria needs a kiss from Jesus to bring her back to life. She's somewhere deep inside, I just know it. So instead of growing up, 29 is going to be my year of becoming a child again.  

I want to quit worrying about tomorrow and be present today. I want to have joy. Gosh, I miss the joy. I want to be spontaneous. I want to enjoy all the little moments throughout each day. I want to trust the Lord to provide for all the needs I am so stressed out about. I want to fully enjoy every moment with my daughter. I want to serve my husband better. I want to rest. 

Every so often, the Lord reminds me what my name means. I'm not claiming to hear the audible voice of the Lord here. It's just that sometimes, I suddenly think about it and I am not a believer in coincidences. I know that is the Holy Spirit nudging me to remember who I am. Vittoria = victorious. Vincenza = conqueror. That overwhelms me a bit. I feel like having a name that means victorious conqueror means I should be conquering a few more things in my life than I am. So 29 is going to be a year where I claim victory over the pirate I've become and reclaim the lost (girl) inside me. And I hope I can encourage others to do the same.