By Carolyn Shields
It's a pivotal decade and boy is twenty worlds away from twenty-nine. The arc can cover your first relationship, your final years in college, your first years as a wife or a mother or an aunt, your first job, and so on. It's been called the Defining Decade and for good reason; according to Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, 80% of life's most defining moments take place by about age 35. Female fertility peaks at age twenty-eight (eep!). And this decade contains three age milestones: twenty-one, twenty-five, and thirty.
Our twenties offer its fair share of emotional challenges, risks and rewards, and opportunities that make us the women we strive to be if we only say yes and take that chance. But, as many of us know, it's also easy to get lost in this decade, especially when we see our old college roommates married the summer after their senior year (WHUT, HOW!), girlfriends having not just their first baby but their second and sometimes even their third, or childhood friends acing an awesome career when we are just still trying to figure it out.
Que John Paul II and probably his most famous quote, announced repeatedly in his inaugural Mass: do not be afraid. We need to find some time in the big 2-0s where we slow down and listen to what the Lord is whispering to us. He is our infinite answer, but there are several questions every young Catholic woman should ask during this time. Bring them before the Lord as you ask yourself this list first, and then listen to His responses to them.
And as we seek our answers, keep in mind that sometimes the simple act of asking the questions is enough. In a world that spits out and computes and has an answer for everything and tells us what to believe, find solace in the fact that the Church is at times shrouded in great mystery. Revel in that. Rest in that. In the absence of understanding, come take a breather in the mystical 'I-don't-knows, and that's-okays, and I-believe-anyways.' We need more faith like that.
So without further ado, the top ten questions every twenty something should ask themselves:
1) Who are you? / Jesus, who do you say that I am?
2) What are you looking for? / Jesus, what should I seek?
3) And are you finding it where you're looking? / Jesus, where might I find it?
4) Where are you going? / Jesus, where are you leading me?
5) Why rest? / Jesus, when should I move and why do you call me to be still?
6) What is beyond your control? / Jesus, what are my limits?
7) What should you let go? / Jesus, what must you carry for me?
8) How have you grown? / Jesus, what is my source of life?
9) What is your deepest longing? / Jesus, what can you teach me from this ache?
10) Where does your worth come from? / Jesus, can you draw it back to you?