My First Full Day As 20

8:32 AM





Hola readers!

My home is surrounded by fog and the woods remind me of something out Robin Hood or Lord of the Rings. It's only eight in the morning but feels nowhere near like the beginning of fall. The temperature reads 67 and the humidity is high.
I'm ready for flannels and my new boots, but I think we may have an Indian Summer. Our pool is still up in the back yard and I'll probably go swimming later today.

And I'm 20.

Wow that's weird to say.
I'm saying goodbye to being a teenager, farewell to that chapter, farewell to identifying with being a teen. My High School friends will probably start calling me 'old.'
In a way I feel really happy. My teenager years were good years, but they were bad years too. I made a lot of mistakes I deeply regret. My High School years were scary and confusing and full of pain and a deep sense of brokenness. I spent many hours on the floor broken before God and the world.
But there was beauty too.
I wrote two full length books and one novella. I joined the world of social media, the blogging world, and went on several amazing vacations with my bestie. I flew on an airplane, dyed my hair red (I never did share photos of that, did I?), and tried different hairstyles (I recently got it cut fairly short for me).  I went to powerful moving concerts, got my first job, and tried weird food like octopus.
The teenage years were full of highs and lows. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Because I learned a lot, grew a lot. That thirteen year old Kara, wow she had a lot of growing up to do. But I'm ready for something new, for a fresh start, for beginnings as well as endings.

And I may no longer be 19 or a teenager or a child.

But I still get mistaken for being sixteen. I got asked if I was ready for back to school recently.
I told the lady I was (but only because that means I can go into the mall without being bombarded by a bunch of kids). She said I looked sixteen. I smiled and thanked her and moved on.
I was always really self conscious about my age and about what people think of me. I hope that fades with age. I hope that my awkwardness may go with it, but I'm probably tied to that forever.
And in a very real way, I don't want to lose that sense of what it means to be a teenager. I don't want to let go of that. I don't want to forget being thirteen and the deep confusion. I don't want to forget the body changes and acne and ups and downs and the darkness I experienced. I don't want to forget what it was like feeling friendless and sad and depressed and bored and scared and worried. I don't want to forget the anxiety that wracked me as an older teenager or that I always wanted one older (but still cool) adult to just come up to me and just ask me if I was okay.
I don't want to forget how I longed for the older generation in their 20s to just look my way and give me Grace. I don't want to forget how I wanted a Light in my life when everything else felt dark.
I don't want to forget that because now I'm 20, and I can be that person I always wanted. I want to be that person who steps out and is that person I needed to the other girls. I want to be that friend to the friendless. None of us should forget that behind me is another generation who needs what we needed, who needs someone like we needed someone.

And I don't have to let my past hurts define these new 20s. They're new and completely mine. I can choose how to handle them and trust for God to get me through the darkest moments.
I don't have to cling to past hurts.
I don't have to cling to past expectations or dreams or goals or aspirations that have left me chained at fifteen or sixteen or even nineteen.
I no longer have to hate the girl in the mirror.
I can choose.
Life is a choice and we often forget that.

I can choose for my 20s to be another step in the growing process.
An even bigger journey then the teens were.

It's my choice.
And I'm really ready for 20.

Now I think I'll just enjoy my second day as 20 with an old sit com, catching up on to-dos and trying to conquer this Whole30 cleansing diet I'm on.

Happy weekend readers!




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16 of your thoughts

  1. Twenty...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Where did those years go? -June

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  2. Hapyyyyyyy birthdayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!! It's crazy you're twenty. :)

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

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    1. It is very crazy - I feel very adult this morning haha. Thank you for the b-day wishes!

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  3. Happy Birthday, Kara!! You made it through the teen years, and you get to start your journey as an adult! You are amazing. :D

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    1. Aw thanks, girl!!! XOXO Right back at at you - you're fantastic.

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  4. I like the photos. :) I remember the change from nineteen to twenty; it was a strange elation and nostalgia in one - similar to how you described your experience. It is a responsibility, growing older, but it is amazing to think we can have a positive impact on those who are where we once were, as you said. Thanks for the reminder!

    And yes, show us photos of your hair! (If you want to, of course. :)

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    1. Yes - you described it perfectly! Leaving the teen years is very interesting and new and scary and sad. It's going to be fun doing the 20s together. *Hugs*

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  5. I enjoyed reading this, Kara!
    No matter what age we are we continue to learn.

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    1. YES YES. The learning never stops! XOXO
      Thanks for commenting, Sarah. <3

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  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! <3 Last year when I turned 20 I was shock by wonder of what might happen in the next decade of my life. I am sure you are too! THIS POST IS SO WONDERFULLY WRITTEN!! I can relate to a lot of the things you say. The teen years being both good and bad and people thinking your much younger than you are. (It happens to me all the time!) Wishing you a brilliant year. God bless you!
    Simply Me

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    1. Aw thanks so much Vanessa - to think we have lived 20 or so years already is both shocking and breathtaking. Can't wait to see what God will do in both our lives!!! XOXO

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  7. Happy (late) birthday, Kara! I know I've been a bit absent from commenting around here lately, but I've still read all your posts and continue to love them. Thanks for being such an inspiration through what you write! xx

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    1. I've missed you girl but I totally understand - obviously it took me a bit to post your comment so as you can see, I've been absent from posting the comments. ;)
      Thank you for the b-day wishes - I really appreciate it! *Hugs*

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