What my twenties are teaching me: Jenni from Story of My Life

My dear Jenni is here!  Check her out on her blog, pinterest, twitter!  enjoy this exceptional read (:

My last birthday was the big 2-5, and I can definitely say that, so far, the first five years of my twenties have probably taught me more than the previous twenty combined.  Maybe not more facts and figures like you learn in school, maybe not more about human nature (my waiting tables stint helped out plenty with that), but absolutely more about myself and about true love and about what matters.

During the first five years of my 20’s, I broke up with a boyfriend I really loved but knew wasn’t right for me.  Two days later I met my husband.  I learned that you won’t attract what you want and need until you make room for it.  When you make room for it, and live your life in such a way as to attract it, it will come. (more on that here.)

During the first five years of my 20’s, I got married, moved to a new city, and started up Story of My Life.  I learned that following your passions is essential to a fulfilling life.  A silly little passion for blogging turned into a passion for photography, and both combined are turning into something even greater, that I’m still watching unfold.  I learned that you have to give yourself a little time to explore those passions, even if they seem trivial to everyone else.

During the first five years of my twenties, I learned a lot about what it means to love someone, for better or for worse.  My husband and I have already been through a ton together, and we have learned to take our vows seriously, and do what it takes to make love last when things get REAL.  It involves sacrifice. Being intelligent about what you say and how you act and what you do (or don’t do) for each other.  I learned why they say marriage is work, but it’s work that I love.

During the first five years of my twenties, I watched someone I love die.  I watched as cancer ate away at my step dad’s physical body over a span of several years, and ultimately, I watched as it claimed his last breath.  What was stunning to me, though, and where I learned the most, was the way that cancer couldn’t take his spirit.  Couldn’t take the love between him and my mom. I learned that some things that wither up and kill and take away, cause other things grow, like love and dignity and courage.  It’s not just true for diseases, but for all the trials in our life.  The old Robert Browning Hamilton poem says is best: I walked a mile with Pleasure; She chatted all the way; But left me none the wiser, For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow, And ne’er a word said she; But, oh! The things I learned from her, When sorrow walked with me.”

Didn’t mean to get all heavy on you guys, but Sarah should know better than to ask me such a loaded question! πŸ˜›  Thanks so much for having me!!

*Photos above by Brittney Squire Photography.

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  • Reply christin

    Oh, I just adore Jenni. The story of Edd is so beautiful. Still sending loves to her and her family.

    May 2, 2012 at 11:45 am
  • Reply Megan

    chills at that last paragraph. i just love Jenni so much.

    May 2, 2012 at 11:52 am
  • Reply Blossom Lounge


    May 2, 2012 at 11:55 am
  • Reply Mrs. Robinson

    I really enjoyed this…it has me thinking about what my twenty's (so far) have taught me.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply Britt @ The Magnolia Pair

    This is beautiful Jenni ! I love all of it, but my favorite part is how much you treasure the good and the bad of marriage. Marriage is work, and some don't get that. Glad you share sucha meaningful message.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Shannon :: The Scribble Pad

    Sarah, so glad you had Jenni in this series. She always writes so eloquently about life's lessons, even some of the hardest.

    Jenni, thank you for continuing to share the story of Edd. Not only did cancer not kill his spirit while he was here fighting the wretched disease, but Edd's spirit continues to life in the lives he impacted, like you and your mom.

    Thank you girl!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm
  • Reply Whit

    Jenni, I love to read your posts! I am a week away from turning 30, and have really been thinking back through my twenties. I grew and learned more then than I may the rest of my life. It's amazing what can happen when you are open to it, I hope the next 5 bring so much more joy!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm
  • Reply Alex

    Seriously obsessed with this series. Jenni is such a strong lady, and I'm continually inspired by her and her writing. Love you lady!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm
  • Reply christine donee

    Jenni, you are beautiful inside and out.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply Amy @ Picture It

    Love this! Thanks for sharing Jenni.

    May 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm
  • Reply Tiffany

    Absolutely love this!!


    May 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm
  • Reply Lauryn

    Great post Jenni! You're inspiring me to quit a job that's holding me back and really start to pursue my passions and the things that make me happy. I'm sure my life will be better because of it!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm
  • Reply Lyndsy

    Just another reason why I love Jenni!

    May 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Cara

    Love this! Beautifully said, Jenni.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Alexis @ Christian WifeStyle

    Great answer, Jenni! πŸ™‚

    May 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm
  • Reply Olivia.Dee

    what a beautiful post.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm
  • Reply Celeste

    I love Jenni. What an inspiration she is. I love her depth, honesty and beauty.

    May 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm
  • Reply Kate

    Jenni rocks! This is such a beautifully written post.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm
  • Reply Kathi

    Breathtakingly beautiful. Tears.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm
  • Reply Lindsay

    SO gorgeous! You always speak right from your heart!

    May 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm
  • Reply Raven

    love this Jenni. Wise words here πŸ™‚

    May 3, 2012 at 12:22 am
  • Reply Rachel

    Sarah this is such a wonderful idea. So many times I look back and think, why did I wish away my teens. Those are our "prime" years, high school and college are the time of our lives.

    But you know what I realized, the reason I've wished away those years is because wisdom is beauty. Look at most celebrities, they look better with age because they grow into themselves.

    Jenni your path through your 20's has shaped you so much, leaving a love, to finding your soul mate and love of your life, to watching cancer take over Edd's body, to saying goodbye. It is these mosts that help shape us, it doesn't define us. Keep on living girl!


    May 3, 2012 at 12:39 am
  • Reply Morgan

    I'm a first timer here on your blog and I'm so happy that I found it! Considering I'm a hopeless romantic this is right up my ally! Love hearing of all the love stories! Hope you come visit! Have a great day!! πŸ™‚

    xo Morgan

    May 3, 2012 at 8:45 am
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