12 lessons at 24

On Sunday, I'll turn 24. While I really do enjoy my birthday (Valentine's Day), I have a lot on my mind this year. It's not all heavy stuff, just stuff that I'm praying through and wanting to share with you. Birthdays are a time to celebrate with loved ones, but they're also a time to reflect on memories gone by and dreams hopefully still to pursue. 

With that in mind, I've compiled a list of 12 things to share with y'all. Many of them revolve around themes of my life in New York, but others are just "Drew things" that I think can prove helpful to anyone with a dream. So, here it goes: 

  1. Eye contact is a great first step. (It shows respect and makes it easier to focus.)
  2. Don't be afraid to ask the follow up. (Concentrate on the conversation, and look for ways to learn. It's okay to not always know everything.)
  3. Seriousness is okay, just not all the time. (Work hard, but know when to bring the funk.)
  4. Embrace the things you think make you "weird." (I like watching live performances of the National Anthem on YouTube—Whitney's Super Bowl 1991 is my favorite.)
  5. Travel. (Just do it. The world is a beautiful place.)
  6. If you think about it often, pursue it. (I want to have my own company and walk in Fashion Week.)
  7. Avoid groupthink. (Affirmation is great, but you'll grow more if you seek advice elsewhere.)
  8. Plan with a backup in mind. (Sometimes the first proposal is declined.)
  9. Find your "unwinding place." (Mine is a coffee shop, the gym, or doing dishes while blasting music.)
  10. Tell those for which you care, that you care. (Send a card, or give them a call.)
  11. Authenticity is overused and under-delivered. (Be you, more than the "Instagram" you.)
  12. Seek wisdom and direction from God. (He loves you, and His timing is perfect.)

I've been a little anxious about this birthday mostly because I have lots on my list to do and see. Nevertheless, I'm learning to surrender this pressure to God and to press onward recalling the blessings that have gone before me, clinging to those that bring community, and opening up to possibilities that I might not yet have considered. Twenty-four is going to be a good year.