Four Life Lessons From Waco, Texas

I've been officially moved out for over two weeks. And that feels real strange. Yet as I sit here in my living room in Cusco with a little time to myself, I am beyond thankful for what my last home taught me. Waco is where I became my own person, and it's where I found my people. 

I moved to Waco in February 2014 to get some healing and space with a people and church I trusted and to work with Chip and Joanna Gaines before the HGTV show even aired. I lived with the sweetest family of 7 and eased myself back into normal life one day at a time. I look back at that time as one of the most formative seasons in my life. 

I am thankful for those who took a chance to take me in and became like family to me. I am thankful for the friends who stood by me and those who became new friends in the process. Each of you helped shape me into who I am today. 

As I reflect on my last few years in the sweetest little town and community, a couple life lessons come to mind. Who knew one place could teach me so much as I navigated life in my early - mid 20's. #wacotown, you've been good to me. 

1. It's ok to fail; there will always be people to help pick you back up again. 

I'm so thankful for the ways God let me fail so that I'd learn not to depend on my own strength or abilities (easier said than done). I've failed many times, but my most noteworthy season of failure occurred just after I graduated college. I couldn't find a job, I was in several messy relationships, and I felt as though everything I tried to jump to next suddenly disappeared and I was left empty handed yet again. But the people around me carried and loved me in ways I can't seem to find words for. Some were expected, others were not, but the friends and family God placed in my corner shaped me in so many ways. 

2. When small people gather around a great vision, big things can happen. Team work makes the dream work, people. 

When I first moved to Waco, I stared working at a tiny bistro table in the shop window of what would eventually become Magnolia Market. I was tasked with launching and setting up the retail store and soon realized I was in wayyyyyyyy over my head. I still think it's a miracle they even trusted me with their vision - such an incredible honor. 

By beginning of July, the business was bursting at the seams, but our little team worked around the clock to turn dream to reality. Chip, especially, challenged our team to eliminate the word "impossible" from our vocabulary, trusting things could get done if we tried hard enough and committed to a vision bigger than ourselves. And it worked. I learned a valuable lesson about hard work and positivity and realized I could do a lot more than I thought I could. 

3. Your 20's are for trying, and it's ok not to get it right on the first try. 

Oftentimes I feel guilty when I think about all the different jobs and positions I've tried in the last 4 years. I don't want to be perceived as an uncommitted millennial who can't make her mind to save her life. But a friend told me once that your 20's are for trying - no one expects you to get right on the first try. This truth set me free as I realized this is the time in my life to try new things, fail, try again, and then work to find the best fit!

4. Building history with people is more valuable than building your resume. 

I've been challenged to view success differently, recently. And rather than seeing it as a black and white concept, I'm starting to think success encompasses much more than we think. To me, it's not about building the best LinkedIn profile or perfect resume. Instead, I think it's about embracing life and stepping forward confidently and wholeheartedly, tending to our own hearts and staying committed to others around us. I've heard it said that relationships make people rich, and if that's the case, that's the kind of success I want to pursue. 

Waco, you've changed me, and I never thought I'd grow to like you as much as I do now. Thanks for the mems. I'll be back soon.