Turning 22: Redefine Your Oxygen

Tomorrow I turn 22, and that feels like becoming an official, official adult. And while it feels like the best and the worst are still yet to come, I can't help but reflect on the few things that I've begun to understand more deeply since entering college. If I could give some advice to my younger self, even my 21-year old self, I think it would look something like this:

You don’t always have the answer
But you will always know your answer.

Your soul cannot serve two masters.
Your heart cannot fall between two souls.
It will shatter.
Or tear itself apart.
Whichever one comes first. 

You want them to understand and like you.
Don’t force them to do the former.
There are better things to do with your mind.
They gone learn either way. 
Don’t beg them to do the latter.
There are better things to do with your time.
Most will ghost you anyway.
Don’t take for granted those who stay.
Don’t mistake those who say the name of the Lord
For those who pray.

You want to be strong enough to carry everyone around you.
Be strong enough to let them carry themselves. 

Don’t ask for wisdom,
Receive it,
Then proceed to ignore it.
That is the worst kind of foolishness.

Don't be a punk. 
Live what you preach. 
Uplift those courageous enough to speak. 
Be weak enough to let them see you bleed,
Let them see how He redeems.

There's something very ugly
About never seeing the value in what you have until it's gone.
I repeat: don’t be a punk.

Don't complicate life, you will only ever have two options:
Choose wisdom or do not. 
One of those choices will end in regret.
The other
Will not. 
If you insist on speaking,
The Spirit will let you.
Glory doesn’t make noise. 

Even when you lack the words
And the common sense to grovel at His throne
Don’t lose His voice.
His silence is heavy. 
His silence is deafening.

Stay in the minor chord,
Don’t play rhythms you weren’t given,
Don’t ignore isms you don’t experience,
Don’t let the silence become fiction,
Don’t be half-holy/half-wolf in sheepskin
Or let the swing of your feelings
Mix and master your standards
Till you start to sink in imbalance
From taking more love than you can manage.
This world is messy, the silence is heavy, this culture is backwards.
Don’t ignore it. That’s even more backwards. 

It’s okay to host shame and laughter in the same broken temple.
It’s okay to be the villain if it saves the whole village. 

Don’t ponder your vision, embody it.
Don’t let them change how you see your body and
Don’t stress the verse, 
Just body it like this pen is an extension of your body and
Truth is its prime occupant.

Write like you know there’s something real amidst all this fake
And before all else fails,

Let wisdom become your oxygen.