Wow. To say I am shocked, amazed, and overwhelmed would be an understatement. I had no idea so many people would resonate with my last post. To everyone who wrote an encouraging note, thank you-your kindness is truly touching. I have read every comment and I wish I could respond personally to each of you. I’d also like to take a moment to address some of the most common critiques, for which I am grateful; you help me think more clearly and write more articulately.
- I have not accomplished every item on my list. I am not writing a “how to” for happiness or a must-do list for 20-somethings. My hope is that this list will inspire myself and others to think about true happiness and the purpose of life. I believe finding oneself will never happen outside of a relationship with Christ and no one will ever be able to love and serve others fully if we do not realize our own brokenness. My love for others is generated solely out of God’s love for me. In recognizing my own need, I am free to love, give, and serve freely because I am no longer imprisoned to my own need for self-improvement, self-generated worth, or any imposition of society.
- “You are just judging her for choosing to live her life a different way.” – My response to the original article was born out of frustration with many similar articles and not out of judgment of this particular person. I was reacting to an overall sentiment I perceived among 20-somethings as a whole. I chose to respond to the author of #23things because her post seemed to be the most popular and kept appearing on my news feed. This was not a personal attack or judgement on her life. The author of the original #23things is free to live her life in a manner she chooses. As stated before, my goal was to provide an alternative suggestion and spark conversation – a goal that has been exceeded beyond my wildest imagination!
- “Your list doesn’t have to be done as a single person.” – You are absolutely correct. My list is not limited to single people. The title of the article was written to mirror the first article #23things. Just about everything on the list is possible in most stages of life.
- “The original article was satire. Your response is invalid.” – The original article may have been satire, but the best satire is grounded in truth. Yes, it is clear some of the original list were exaggerated for the point of attention. However, the overall sentiment, in my opinion, is reflective of a larger trend among 20-somethings. The difficulty of the Internet is words take on a life of their own once they are shared. Neither the author of #23things nor I will be able to fully express our thoughts completely in a single blog. This is a good – nuance allows for discussion and thought provoking conversation, both of which are healthy.
Thank you again to everyone who has taken time to read my words. I am blown away by your overwhelmingly kind responses. I’d love to hear your ideas of things to do before or after the age of 24 and/or marriage!
So tell me, what am I missing from the original list?