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I grew up in a home that was, in my opinion, fairly balanced. My mom brought us to church and encouraged us to grow in our faith and pursue our dreams. My dad taught us how to survive in the real world with logical thinking…and to also pursue our dreams. Really, we were sheltered; our parents protected us from having to learn anything before we were truly ready to handle it. We all have the basics: respect others, trust your gut, don’t take candy from strangers. Some other lessons were learned: things you’ll be grounded for, how to respond if someone disagrees with you, getting up after a fall (physical or metaphorical). I’d say they did pretty great. But for some of the millions of questions I’ve asked over the years or the snotty arguments I created for the lack of answers, it was always the same: Krystin, you’ll understand one day when you’re older. BARF! As a young (read: stubborn) girl, that’s the last thing you want to hear. Growing up doesn’t come with a manual, but I think if it did, this would be the chapter called: “Damnit, They Were All Right.”

I can remember a few choice moments where that stupid answer was given to me that in hindsight was the right answer to give.

When I moved to Tennessee, I was prepared to take over the world. I moved in with my mentor and thought I had officially made it because a 27-year-old Artist Manager for one of the biggest names in the local singer-songwriter circle was letting a 20-year-old move into her space. I, of course, was young and dumb – out until 2 and 3 in the morning getting nachos (which is smart at midnight…SARCASM), driving to love circle to admire a city that didn’t know we were the rulers of, throwing dance parties at each others houses with cakes for a treat…because nothing says dance party like cake. I begged and begged my mentor to come hang with me and all my friends, knowing that her presence would add to my own coolness. Repeatedly, she would turn me down. “Krystin, one day when you’re older and have a big girl job, you’ll understand the importance of your own bed and will appreciate solitude.”  Never!

Nope, she was right. Here I am, 27, with a big girl job that begins at 7:30 each day and rearranging my evenings to know what I can and can’t handle when I have to be up so early. I’m not saying I always say no to people when they call, I certainly don’t…especially if it’s someone I truly enjoy. But I do cut myself off and send myself home.

Way back when I was 14, I was a freshman in love (read: obsessed) with a senior boy. Seriously, it was bad. It’s not one of my better seasons in life and, deny it all I want, it’s still part of my story. I prided myself on being the youngest person to be a part of one of our teacher’s “Backyard Club” – a group of HS students that would all go hang out at her house. (There’s a lesson on appropriateness somewhere in there, but we’ll save that for a later time.) I’d go over and spend time at her house knowing this boy would show up and hoping he’d realize by getting to know me how perfect we were for each other. As a starter on the football team, I’d get him good luck gifts that made his lockergirl jealous. I remember one time while out purchasing gifts for this boy, my ever-supportive mother asked me if I wanted to really be doing all this for him. “YES!” She let me know her actual thoughts on the situation and gave me some “advice” on self-respect and what actual relationships look like. She followed the rolling of my eyes with a “Krystin, one day when you’re older, you’ll understand just what a gem you are and how you deserve to be treated.”  UGH!

…………she was right. That boy was a jerk and a royal one at that. It was pretty devastating to my ego and worse on my heart. I wish I could say he was the last jerk that I let into my world, but that would be a lie (one of those things I get grounded for). Let’s just not open the can of worms on emotionally unavailable boys I’ve fallen for since then and what that says about me. Ha! Suffice it to say it’s a lesson that I’m still learning – even to this day. People accept the love they think they deserve. That truth hurts just a little, right?

In June of 2004, I traveled with Young Life to Egmont, British Columbia, Canada for a week-long camp where I ended up truly meeting Jesus for the first time. Quick backstory, I’m a planner. I like to know the details before just jumping into things – at least for the most part. I had been dreaming of the University of Texas my whole life. It’s all I wanted. So here I am, in Canada, a singular week after receiving my HS diploma and I have a little conversation with Jesus about who’s better at making plans: me or Him. Duh. It’s me…wait…it’s not? Crap. It was there that my whole world flipped upside down and the dream I had always had for UT, which I was leaving for in just two short months, dissipated. So, I asked what should I do if my dreams don’t mean anything? “Krystin, one day when you’re older, you’ll understand that dreams can change.”  Blasphemy!

……………………………………………..I really do have a hard time admitting when I’m wrong, so doing it three times in one post is KILLING ME and, I digress. He was, and still is, right. See, if I’d gone to UT, I never would’ve come to Nashville. I wouldn’t have the friendships that I have today that are continuously shaping me into who I’m becoming. I’d never be able to tell you stories about getting a best friend out of Hootie and the Blowfish, or being on Kelly Clarkson’s guest list, or playing Dream Phone for hours on end because it’s the funniest thing you haven’t seen since you were ten. My life here isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect for me. So, I don’t mind admitting that I was wrong on this one.

If you’ve found yourself here for one reason or another and are just so sick of hearing someone tell you “one day when you’re older,” know you’re not alone. But know, that the journey of learning you were wrong is probably going to be one of the best times of your life. Embrace your mistakes, learn from them, and forge ahead ready to be wrong again. If nothing else, you’ll have some hilariously embarrassing stories about yourself for the future.

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Earlier this week, I read a great blog from Chad Missildine. In it, he dissected what he thought was the biggest mistake that single people make. (It’s being discontent, for the record.) I have to say that I agree. But since reading that, I’ve realized that we could take it one step further. So, I want to take a minute to unearth what single girls are doing wrong.

As girls – like it or not (and I don’t) – we analyze. There’s a step-by-step thought process to what we wear, who we’re spending time with, what we eat – and don’t forget the ‘why’ for all of this – and on and on and on. Relationships are a whole different story. Personally, my tendency is to assume the worst and really sabotage my friendships and relationships because I don’t feel like I deserve them (Lies). As I was thinking about a recent friendationship (you can have that one…it’s free), I realized something huge for me. Ladies and gentlemen, pay attention. I’m about to let you in on the big secret. Here we go…

Girls often confuse convenience with love.

Whoa…I know. Pump. Those. Brakes. Let’s dig in.

Tara-Leigh Cobble, a friend of mine and very talented writer, in her book
Here’s to Hindsight
had this to say:

“In my experience, the inherent problem with male-female friendships is this: girls tend to fall for familiarity, and guys tend to fall for mystery. As the girl gets to know her guy friend better and learns about his character, he becomes more and more attractive to her; meanwhile she becomes less mysterious and intriguing to him, and she slowly sinks into the quicksand of ‘Just-Friends Land’.”

Pretty smart, right? That about sums it up for me. I think we often get mixed up in thinking that just because there’s someone who cares for us that’s frequently around that there should be some sort of romanticism there. Definitely not the case. We need to stop settling for just “what’s around.” The amount of stories I’ve heard about girls (though I’ve seen guys do this, too) saying and doing whatever necessary to keep a relationship that they know is NEVER going to work, if they’re being honest, moving forward is appalling. We weren’t made for just okay. Especially not when God has our best interest at heart.

Yes, I believe there comes a point where discontentment is the issue. Our parents’ society set us up to believe that there is a formula for our lives: we go to school, then college, get a job, get married, start a family, keep working, spoil some grandkids, retire, the end. For so many years, I’ve been shooting for “what’s next” on the list of things to do in my life. The problem is our generation is waiting longer and longer to get married. It’s a conflict of interest; I’m not ready to even THINK about marriage, but I feel unfulfilled – like I’m missing out on something by being 25 and only casually dating.

I’ve lost count of how many times my friends and I have sat around talking about our guys friends and the thought “I just can’t read if he’s interested or not” comes in to play. Why do we feel the need to complicate these things? If the other person is interested, they’re going to let you know. It’s time to stop worrying about it and just enjoy each other. I know I’d rather just kick back and watch the game with my boys than wonder which one may or may not “like me”. No one likes confusion and games (and we’re getting a liiiiiiittle too old for them), so let’s just agree to stop playing them. Let’s enjoy this season of learning, growth, and independence and remember that, at the end of the day, what’s gonna happen will happen. Besides, the other secret is this: there’s no rush.

Just sayin’.

little birdy told me…

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