Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.

When I Grow Up

shoutout my iPhone and Liberty Kitchen for being delicious

I turn 23 on Friday, and since I'll be headed out on a lil road trip the day of, we had a family celebration last night — Liberty Kitchen, birthday pie, and, of course, a Spurs game to watch.

I may be another year older, but I'll be honest, when people jokingly ask if I feel older, the answer is no. Definitely not.

If anything, as you'll remember from my "adulting update" a few months back, I feel more like a kid than ever. For the first time in my life, it seems, I have no answer to the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

That doesn't mean I'm wandering around completely aimlessly, though. My ultimate goal, of course, is to be Ruby Schmidt* when I grow up; but as I plod along in that pursuit, I've found that every experience along the way has revealing power.

I've had upwards of 15 jobs in 23 years, and each one has shed a little more light on the career — and, 100 percent more importantly, I've learned, the kind of life I want for myself.

I've gleaned as many people skills as a barista that I have as a journalist. Washing dishes and scrubbing floors does build some character, turns out. Jobs I've loved have taught me what to look for in the future; jobs I've hated have taught me what to avoid. My priorities and values, strengths and weaknesses, what I like in theory versus what I like in practice are revealed bit by bit, and I just move forward from there.

I'm beginning to doubt there will ever be a day when I wake up with a clear and singular career path to follow; and I'm beginning to suspect that wouldn't be much fun, anyway.

So instead of worrying about what I don't know this birthday, I'm choosing to focus on what I do know. And what I do know is this:

When I grow up, I want to be...

...passionate about God and completely surrendered to whatever HE wants for me — because when it comes down to it, no matter what I want, I want what he wants more.

...a great daughter/sister/friend(/girlfriend?/wife?/mom?/plant lady? I'm not really an animal person I don't think, if we're being honest, so I always kind of figured I'd go with a nice garden over cats)/etc.





Here's to 23!

*Ruby Schmidt is the most wonderful woman from Bannockburn Baptist Church in Austin, and she is always hanging out with her beautiful family and cooking delicious food and doing interesting things like water aerobics and zinging one-liners on Facebook and basically, yes, I just want to be her when I grow up. All who know Ms. Ruby, back me up here.

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