Finding meaning in “Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning”


"Twenty-Two" by Allison Trowbridge
Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning by Allison Trowbridge

When I was 22, Taylor Swift was too. Her song “22”, was blasted on the radio, and I’d sing along, because it was catchy, and to me a bit satirical. It didn’t depict my experiences, or reality for that matter. It wasn’t a mantra I identified with anymore than I identified with Taylor Swift herself. At first, that’s how I felt about Allison Trowbridge’s book, Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning. Continue reading “Finding meaning in “Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning””

Easter Days

This post was originally published on the Anthem Church blog. You can read it there by clicking here.


Easter has come and gone, and in the wake of our echoing He is risen indeed, wilting white lilies, plastic egg hunts, leftover ham, our Easter bests rumpled on the floor, and our eyes so fixated on the Cross– life presses on. We all woke up for work on Monday, to take care of children, to let out the dog, to get ready for school. Life happened and it’s so easy to move on, leaving Easter in the dust, asking “what now?” and looking to what’s next. But I’ll tell you what’s next: Easter. Continue reading “Easter Days”

Live in the Deep End

One of my favorite things to do growing up was swim to the bottom of my grandma’s pool and lie on the floor of the deep end, watching my air bubbles float up to the sunny, glassy surface. Sometimes my heart aches for those days, so full of simplicity where it was always summer and it was all wet hair and wet towels and neon bathing suites and the smell of chlorine and sunblock that left you white, when all I wanted out of life was to be a mermaid. It’s true. You can ask my mother. I wanted to have a fin instead of legs and be Ariel and live in the ocean and have my best friend be a talking fish. Continue reading “Live in the Deep End”

When Doing the Right Thing Sucks

I was jilted at the Goodwill counter. I had in my hands a beautiful mid-century modern side table, teak wood, all original, and the girl in line ahead of me was going to buy it. “Well this is awkward,” she said to me as I stopped behind her, “I’m in line to buy that.” We locked eyes. I had seen her before. She was the same girl who was looking over my shoulder as I was inspecting the table. She must have bolted to the front to try and beat me to the purchase. I looked down at the table and back at her, up at the employee at the register who clearly did not want to get involved in the event that was transpiring. I knew I had to give it up.

Continue reading “When Doing the Right Thing Sucks”

Do One Thing Well

I struggle with the desire to be perfect at everything, to have time to do everything perfectly. Well reality is calling Lizzy, you just can’t do it all. I guess that notion didn’t dawn on me as I sat at the sewing machine last Saturday, trying to madly finish hemming a baby blanket for a friend’s shower that was happening in little less than an hour, remembering that I had agreed to bake something for it too, I started having a domestic melt down. Continue reading “Do One Thing Well”

The Wedding Ring Paradox

I was sitting next to a woman I had never met before and we were talking about her kid. I found my eyes slide over to her left hand to look for a wedding ring. It wasn’t there. Just a bare finger. I suddenly found myself thinking she was divorced, or had a kid out of wedlock,  judging her situation, her life, her choices. Then in the next breathe, she mentioned her husband. I realized that a wedding band or engagement ring mattered to me. It was a determination of worth and success, of doing things right. So I asked myself the question, “If you’re married and don’t wear a ring, are you really still married?” Continue reading “The Wedding Ring Paradox”

An Introduction to Dating

I really don’t know why I’m suddenly talking about dating here. For a while, I thought this was going to be a topic I would avoid on Spirited Life, even though it’s actually a subject I’m quite passionate about. I can go on and on and on about dating and love and singleness and relationships. Perhaps it was the collective 10-hour drive from my home in Southern California to my parent’s place in the Bay Area where I binged on the podcast “Why Oh Why?” by Andrea Silenzi. Maybe it was the recent conversations I had with a couple really good friends and my younger sister about how much dating can suck. Or maybe I’m just realizing that more of us need to be honest about this life stage and the dating culture we are confronted with and are trying to navigate through and I might as well chime in with the chatter. So if you’re looking for a how-to date, sorry, but that’s not what you’re about to get. Consider this the first of many posts on this subject matter, and this is only the introduction.

Continue reading “An Introduction to Dating”

Boiling Frogs and Popping the Comfort Zone Bubble

I’ve lived in a Christian bubble before and it was terrible. It’s was dangerous and I languished in it for far too long. All I did was church stuff, hung out with church people, went to church, and was in a church small group. I guess it has something to do with comfort. I think when you live in a bubble too long you end up like a boiled frog in a pot of water. I feel like I’m starting to boil again and I want to jump from the pot. But it’s hard to do.

The thing is, when you’re living in a bubble, you’re kicking back in a froggy Jacuzzi with other content frogs and you’re all just sinking into the steam until it’s too late. The next thing you know, you’re legs are being served up at some French restaurant or you’re being dissected in a high school Biology class. Gross. Continue reading “Boiling Frogs and Popping the Comfort Zone Bubble”

A Dormant Dreamer

A friend of mine asked me what my dreams in life were. I stuttered. I stumbled. I freaked out. I gave them an answer that wasn’t really what I wanted to say. Maybe it was the nature of the conversation, the heaviness of such a loaded question. Maybe if they had asked the 20 year old Lizzy, still in college, fresh, flowering, a bright gleam in her eye, then they would have gotten the answer that gets you right in your gut, the kind that stirs you full of passion. I must have stopped dreaming because the mid-twenty something Lizzy’s answer kind of sucked. I’ve forgotten to dream. Oh sure I have bucket list dreams, get my novel published, see every national park, live in another state, but the entirety of my life has just become one big whatever and I don’t know when that happened.

Continue reading “A Dormant Dreamer”