On the last day of my silent retreat in April, I wrote out the things I want to be, have, and do in my life. I also wrote out a short personal mission statement and core values. I thought I’d share those with you on my birthday but I forgot to finish the post, so here they are a few months later… It is the cumulative result of 27 years of love and investment by so many throughout my life. It is not meant to be well-written or polished. It is only meant to be from my heart. Some things have changed even in the last few months but I thought I would keep this preserved as documentation of the journey.
At 27, what do I want to be?
Trustworthy, reliable, what you see is what you get, fun and light-hearted at times, faithful to a higher cause: love. Compassionate, to things and people in need; truthful, a teller of truth, humble. I want to be full of life, passion, zest, and energy; serene, imperturbable, skeptical of lies, curious, well-read, a lover of ideas but slave to none. I want to walk with love, to breathe love, to become compassion. I want to have good boundaries so when I can’t do something I humbly admit to it and trust that love is all-powerful and that if it’s meant to happen, it will. I want to trust that to everything there is a season. I don’t want to be self-deprecating but I want to be quick to point out to myself and others the things that I could have done better. I want to be a very hard worker, always pushing myself in every sphere of life to grow and learn, and to face the greatest of fears and challenges in the word. I would like to mostly eat vegetarian – especially back in the US. I want to be a generalist with deep knowledge across a wide array of disciplines, topics, beliefs, and interests. I want to be bright, thoughtful, mindful, and a seeker of truth. I never want to pretend that I know something I don’t, even if I should. I want to always humbly admit any lack of knowledge I possess but allow that to drive me to learn more… I want to love and be loved, to live in community, to have silence but to work tirelessly for peace – firstly and always in my own heart and spirit.
At 27, what do I want to have?
Very little. I want to have the bare minimum that I discern I need to serve the causes of love. I want to have a silent retreat at least once a year to look intensely at my life, goals, and spirit. I would like to have a good laptop and phone, a Kindle, clothes that are suitable for my job but not superb or expensive. And I don’t want too many clothes. I want to have a few, high quality things that last. I want a bicycle and not really a car. I hope I don’t need a car but if I do need it to carry out the purposes of love and community then that’s what I’ll see it as, literally a vehicle of love. And I want all my possessions to be that way – not something I possess but something for carrying out a higher purpose.
At 27, what do I want to do?
I’m not sure yet. I know I want it to be life-giving, to serve others, to break new ground, to alter first and foremost my own way of looking at life. I want what I do to be love-focused and love-centered. Always returning to love, forgiveness, hope and peace; I want to be a generalist, so in some ways I want to help all people. What I want to do is not limited to any one people group of demographic. That being said, my cultural and educational experiences may provide a good starting point. I am passionate about education and using education as a tool to serve others and bring about social change. I still need to listen – where am I going to find the most meaning in my life? Perhaps one day in starting a university or consulting universities on how to develop?
My mission statement at 27:
Explore. Welcome the journey. Search for truth, peace, and hope. Love above all. Discern more and more the meaning of love and allow love to bring me closer to all creation and love itself. Let go of fear, control, and power and live in simplicity.
My core values at 27:
Laughter – honesty – searching – silence – love – hard work – perseverance – friendship – community – truth – home – peace – family – humility – letting go – simplicity – discovery – newness – oldness – diversity – orange – sharing – listening – journey – service – accomplishment.
I don’t know what the next part of the journey will hold. I’m a little nervous about it all. Still, there’s a sense of peace that things will work out as they should. At the same time, part of me knows I can choose what I will do, where I will go, who I will be. I am not a victim. I want to learn, stretch my mind as far as it will go and then stretch it farther. I want to face up to any latent fears or any comforts that need to be disturbed. I want it all. Let the journey continue.