“30 is not the new 20” and reasons to live intentionally.

The TED Talk that I think every one of my 20-something friends should sit down and watch. Right now.

“Twenty-something’s are like airplanes just leaving LAX, bound for somewhere west. Right after take-off, a slight change in course is the difference between landing in Alaska or Fiji. Likewise, at 21 or 25 or even 29, one good conversation, one good break, one good TED Talk can have an enormous effect across years and even generations to come….Thirty is not the new twenty so claim your adulthood, get some identity capital, use your weak ties, pick your family. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do. You’re deciding your life right now.” – Meg Jay

Add “The Defining Decade”to the reading list because this TED Talk, “Why 30 is not the new 20,” by Meg Jay is one of the most relevant and best I have heard yet.

While this philosophy is part of the idea behind my 25 by 25 List, I’m just as guilty as so many of my 20-something counterparts who are living life a little to the whim. It’s time to live life intentionally. Make goals. Work forward. Don’t wait until 2018.

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Some days it’s easier to say than others, but I believe everything happens for a reason.

Tonight I’m thankful for unexpected the people you didn’t know you needed, who appear right when they could help you the most.

The past few weeks have been some of the most stressful that I think I’ve faced in a long time. Honestly, pardon the French, but May has been a bitch. Name any aspect of general life for a 24-year-old and I can give you a story for how this month had X, Y and Z challenges in every aspect. It’s a huge reason that you’ve not seen much writing on the blog since my race. I’ve tried to sweep the stress under the rug, but based on feedback from close friends, family and even co-workers—it’s confirmed that I’m a terrible actress. Luckily there is a “but” in this equation.

But: it’s just when you’re on the cusp of a breakdown that you find a breakthrough.

What has been arguably the hardest month of 2013 so far, has turned into being one of the most surprising. What I wanted to write off on May 20th as the worst month of the year, I’m now writing off as “the most rewardingly challenging.” See, it’s all about how you word it.

I do know that May is a curve in the path for me. May has been about changes. May has been about letting go. May has been about being vulnerable. Trusting. Enduring. Closing your eyes and hoping for the best. But one nice thing about May is that it has been about unexpected support. Surprising reminders.

It’s been easy in the midst of stress and anxiety to pray about all of these things with one eye open and clenched fists. Sometimes, as an admitted lover of control, it’s hard for me to let things go. And it’s really hard for me to hand things off to God to take care of.

This month, even with as detached as I have sometimes felt from God’s presence, He still managed to coordinate a gigantic relief. Just the time and just the way that I needed it.

Some things happen for perfect reason and at the perfect time and you can’t ask questions, all you can do is appreciate what just happened.

And tonight, I just know that everything happens for a reason. And that’s what gives me the grace to think that June? June is going to be a lot easier because of the sweat that May put me through : )

Turn It Up, Tuesday Morning: Gregory Alan Isakov

Week 25: Gregory Alan Isakov

Isakov has a new album hitting June 11th that I will be really excited to hear; especially after enjoying “This Empty Northern Hemisphere” so much. If you like Iron & Wine and then listen to Isakov–you won’t be surprised that Isakov likes them too. If you recognize the name, but not the song check out “The Stable Song” and it might ring a bell as one of Isakov’s better known songs. Sweet and soulful, this kind of acoustic is exactly what I needed to ease into a workday post-holiday weekend. Excuse the day-late Turn It Up, Monday : ).

Oh, man. I need to read.

Buzzfeed named their list of “65 Books You Need to Read in Your 20s” and I have ashamedly only read TWO.

Shame. shame. shame.

Luckily, I’m finishing up the books currently on my bookshelf.

How many have you read?

I’m considering adding Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” to the top of my list. Anyone read any of these 65 that are a definite personal recommendation?

Turn it up, Monday morning: Citizen Cope

Week 24: Citizen Cope

I’m doing my Monday music post a slight injustice by sharing music that I already have loved the past two weeks in a row. Citizen Cope’s “Son’s Gonna Rise” was an anthem of my earlier 2000s. Love this song just as much. When I heard it while watching The Lincoln Lawyer last night though, I had to go ahead and post for today’s jam. And if you haven’t listened to “Son’s Gonna Rise” recently, you should take a listen below and get in a good mood.