Twenty Tomorrow

So I recently heard this song called Twenty Tomorrow by Ben Rector and I thought it would be a good song to cover since I will in fact be twenty tomorrow. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bh8hATqrq4&feature=youtu.be)  I rewrote some of the lyrics to make it reflect more of me and how I’m feeling at this point in my life.  I recorded the song and put together a video of some pictures from throughout the years.  It was so great to look back at memories from the past two decades.

Looking back at the people I’ve had in my life throughout the past 20 years has proved to me the fact that the people we have in our lives help make us who we are.  I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for all of the people that I’ve met along the way.  I am so incredibly thankful for every single person that I have had the privilege of knowing thus far.  Thank you for helping me find myself.

I am so blessed to have an amazing family.  I’m so happy that God placed me in a family with such an incredible group of people.  I know that we will all forever be close and love each other no matter what happens.  I have so many memories with these people and each and every one of them has taught me so much about life and about myself.  I don’t know where I would be without such a strong support system.  I know I wouldn’t even be close to be where I am today without them.

While I was looking through pictures, there were so many of me and my brothers.  Goodness, I love those three so much.  They are my best friends.  I honestly don’t know what I would do without them.  Though I always used to wish that at least one of them was a girl so that I could have a sister, and a lot of the memories we have involve fighting and arguing, and they always leave toothpaste in the sink, and sometimes it’s hard to love them, I cherish them so much.  I want the best for them.  I know that they will all grow up to be amazing men and I am so insanely proud of them.

I have some of the best friends I could ever ask for.  I feel so grateful to have such people in my life who love me for who I am.  People who know me and my struggles and are always there for me.  They’ve helped me break out of the box that I kept myself contained in for so long.  I am constantly inspired by each one of them.  They are such incredible men and women of God and I look up to them so much.  True friends are hard to find, but I truly believe I have found some of the truest friends ever.

I posted my first YouTube video when I was in eighth grade.  I never imagined that it would become what it has.  I honestly don’t know how it happened.  I never thought that people would listen to and buy my music.  I never even really thought that I would be comfortable singing in front of people.  It’s crazy to think of where I started and where I am now.  It still blows my mind to think that people all around the world watch my videos and have my music on their iPods.  To every fan; thank you.  Those two words don’t seem like enough, but thank you so much for supporting me and encouraging me these past six years.  Thank you for making this what it has come to be and helping me make my dreams come true.  I am so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you.

I have learned see the world around me.  This ever changing, sometimes scary world.  To slow down and really notice the little things.  The things that this fast-paced lifestyle has blurred out of our vision.  This is such a beautiful place and I have begun to look at it as that.  To take in all of the things that happen around me every day.  To look at the way that we interact with each other.  To love people–even those who are hard to love.  To try to do what I can to make this world a better place.  I’ve really taken notice to how short life is and make my best effort to make the most of every day.

If there’s one thing I never thought I would be–never in a million years–it would be a leader.  I never saw myself as someone who people looked up to.  I was never a very confident person.  I was always content standing in the background.  But through the past couple years, I have begun to see leadership qualities in myself that I never thought I had.  I am now a worship leader and a small group leader to a group of middle schoolers whos’ lives I am so happy to be able to be a part of.  From those experiences, I have learned so much about myself and about leading others.  It has helped me grow in who I am and in my relationship with God.  We learn new things about ourselves all the time.  There are things now that you never think you’ll be able to do or be.  Don’t count those things out.  One day, it just might happen.

I honestly can’t believe that I’ve been alive for twenty years.  I still feel so much like a kid.  Like I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I would at this point I my life.  I don’t feel like a “grown up”.  I don’t feel like I’m qualified to be an “adult”.  And I’m not sure I ever will.  And I think that’s kind of the beauty of it.  Time goes on and we get older whether we feel like we’re ready or not.  We’re thrown into the pool and expected to keep our head above water.  And the amazing thing is, we do.  We might not be ready when we’re thrown in, but we learn what we need to along the way and pretty soon, we’re swimming.

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Slow Down, This Part of Your Life Will Be Over Before You Know It.

I took a drive around my city tonight. I’ve lived here my whole life and I feel like I’ve never really taken a drive just to drive. To actually look at the city in which I grew up. To take a trip down memory lane.

So I did that. I drove just to drive. Passed my elementary school, middle school, and high school. Passed the soccer fields I grew up playing at. Passed the house that I spent most of my childhood living in. And I realized that there are so, so many places that hold memories for me. The different places I would ride bikes or go for walks with friends. The block that we walked down every morning to get to the bus stop in elementary school. I can remember which cracks in that sidewalk are just uneven enough that you would be able to trip on them. The morning that German Shepherd jumped over the fence and just about attacked us. There are so many memories in that neighborhood I grew up in. Playing football and soccer through three different backyards. So many summer nights of capture the flag and kick the can. The friends that lived close enough to walk over whenever to ask if you could come outside and play. Before cellphones and the internet were such a big part of our lives. When all we had was each other and our bikes.

There are so many times when I long to have those days back. To go back to when life was simple. To go back to being a kid who’s biggest responsibilities were to keep my room clean and to eat my vegetables. To go back to being that innocent little kid who’s biggest fear was the monsters under the bed.

When you’re a kid, all you want is to grow up. To be able to feel the freedom of being older. To outgrow your bedtime. You want to be able to drive and get a job and graduate high school. To be able to make your own rules. And even then, when you get to that point. When you get to the point where you’re the adult you’ve been waiting to be, there are times when you would give anything to be able to hide under the comfort of your parents rules. To go back to being that innocent little kid who had absolutely no idea how scary this world could be.

So slow down, because this part of your life will be over before you know it.

You don’t expect time to go by so fast. You don’t expect life to hit you so hard. And when you realize that you’ve grown up. That you’re not that innocent little kid anymore. It can just about break your heart.

Family Walk

So today, my parents told me and my brothers that they wanted to go for a walk. All of us together. It’s the last day of “nice” weather for the next week or so. And yeah, I would call mid-40’s in January in Wisconsin nice weather, but it’s supposed to get down to single digits tomorrow so they wanted to take advantage of this nice weather. Completely understandable. To me at least.

My brothers and I tend to spend a lot of time in our rooms working on music and school stuff or whatever else is going on at the time, so we don’t all hang out as much as I think we should. Although recently, I have been making an effort to hang out with my family more. The past two years or so, the importance of family has begun to sink in more and more. I’m sure graduating high school has something to do with that, life has changed so much the past two years. Family seems to be the one thing that’s constant. The one thing that’s always there and is always going to be there no matter what. These are the people I’ve known my entire life. The people who know me and my strangeness and who’s strangeness I hold so dear. The people who I adore so incredibly much.

Since graduating high school, I have come to realize how important family is. How much my family means to me and how much they have done for me and how they have helped me grow into the person I am today. So when my brothers were so reluctant to take a half hour out of their day to take a walk with the fam, it got to me. It frustrates me that they can’t see how incredible our family is and how lucky we are to have parents that want to go on a walk with us and spend time with us. How incredibly lucky we are to have parents who are active in our lives. I know that when I was their ages, I would have reacted the same exact way, not wanting to leave whatever unimportant thing I was doing to spend time with my parents and brothers, but I just pray that they realize how important family time is. One day we’re going to wish that we could go on a “family walk” as my dad called it. We’re going to wish that we could have more time to spend with each other.

I guess it comes with growing up. And I know that I have a lot more growing up to do. But if there’s one thing that I’ve come to understand completely since graduation, it’s that friends will come and go, but family is forever. No matter what.

Lost

Lost.

Yup, that basically describes my life right now. Lost in this astronomy class that I’m sitting in right now. Staring at a blank page that should probably be filled with notes. Lost in my thoughts, memories, dreams, fears. Lost in wondering whether or not tomorrow is gonna come. Lost in hoping that one day things will start to make sense. Lost in life.

I feel hopeless. Like one morning I woke up and any hope I had for the rest of the day, week, month, year, was gone. Nowhere to be found. I have no idea where I’m going, what I’m doing, or who I supposed to be anymore. I’m coming to realize just how hard life can be. Not so much physically hard, but mentally and emotionally hard. It’s busy and draining and is taking a huge toll on me lately. So many things to do, so many things to figure out, so many things to remember, being pulled in so many different directions by different commitments I’ve made because I just can’t let myself say no to anyone. I don’t want to make anyone unhappy. I don’t want to let anyone down.

Exhausted, empty, and lost. Three words that I have been feeling for months. I don’t let anyone see it. I know how to hide it, but I can’t seem to figure out how to make it go away. I want to feel free and like I know what I am doing. I want to find myself and who I was meant to be in this life. I want to help people and be there for people. I know that someday I will find myself. That day will come, I’m not doubting that. Everything will make sense at some point and I’ll look back at this time and see how it made that sense come about. It’s just this time now, feeling so lost, uncertain, scared, empty. I don’t know how to handle it. And admitting that makes me feel weak and small.

I know that everyone has times like this that they go through. I am not blind to that fact. I know that life isn’t always as peachy as we wish it were. But I’m not giving up. I’m trying to make the most of everyday that comes about. I’m trying to make the most of the time that I have with the people I love most. Despite how I may be feeling inside. I say this because, no matter how hard things might get, no matter how lost you feel, how empty you feel, there will come a day when those feelings are gone and replaced with peace. We just have to find hope for that time, have faith that it will come, and wait. Patiently wait.