I’m not gonna lie, 24 seems like a pretty obscure age if you ask me. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever given the age 24 any sort of serious thought. It seems like it’s just…. there. As if it’s the first birthday in a while that doesn’t carry any special weight to it.
I mean, just think about the past 4 birthdays….
20 is special because you’re no longer a teenager.
21 is special because you’re officially an adult.
22 is special because T-Swift. (Aka killer Instagram captions.)
23 is special because it’s your “Jordan Year.” (This time last year I was like, “Ain’t got no job but I got J’s on my feet!” Not really though.)
Then…. 24 hits. Oh. Hey there. I thought you were just a TV show.
When you turn 24, you’ve now entered your mid-20s. Or what I like to call “the messy middle.”
The messy middle is where the script of life ends. The script that says “Go to high school, graduate, go to college, graduate, get a job, start the job…..”
Enter 24. Enter the messy middle. The middle ground between graduating college and “settling down.” The middle ground between your first job and your dream job. The middle ground (for many) between marriage and your first child.
There is no script. There is no one right way to go about it. For the first time, everyone’s on a different track, pursuing different things, in a different place, at a different pace.
So for a guy like me…. That begs a big question: When there’s no script, how do you navigate this season of life well?
When there’s no one right way to do it, how do you discover the common themes of people who’ve made the most of their 20s?
I’m not totally sure.
This year — this birthday blog post — I don’t have a list of answers for you. I don’t have a list of numbers that match the age I just turned (‘cause I’m clever like that) with nuggets of wisdom I’ve picked up over the years.
Not this year. Because this year is the start of the messy middle.
But here’s what I do know.
1. These years will shape us.
A mentor once told me, “In your 20s, focus less on what you do and more on who you work for.” Another said, “In you’re 20s, who you become is more important that what you do.” Simply put, these are some of the most defining years of your life.
2. These years will challenge us.
The days of the comfy college bubble are well over. The responsibility is greater, and so too are the challenges. From career to community to finances to everything else.
3. These years, like all years, are filled with God’s grace.
When the script is over, it’s easy to look for comfort and security in things besides the good news of the gospel. It’s tempting to find our identity in created things rather than the Creator of those things. Thankfully, we can rest in God’s grace no matter the circumstance.
. . .
I don’t have all the answers, so here’s what I’m gonna do. For the entirety of 2018, I’m gonna record what I am learning.
Each week, I’m gonna share an idea — something I am learning about navigating your mid-20s.
It might be about building a career. Or finding community in a new and unfamiliar city. Or relationships. Or finances. Or leaf-blowers and yard work. (It’s getting real, man.)
If you’re in the messy middle or coming up on it soon, I would love for you to join me on this journey.
Click here to sign up for my weekly email (starting in January 2018) where I will drop a fresh idea into your inbox each week.
I’m excited to learn together, and I hope you will join me!
Here’s to 24!
. . .
Past birthday posts: