It’s not a memo; it’s a mission statement.

August 24, 2009


It is infrequent, and often in spite of myself, that I have a frank discussion about matters of the heart or silly little things like longing and the significance of the soul and the originality that I think exists in people. Even as I write that sentence, I feel the compulsive need to flavor the predicate of it with a sardonic flourish or a self-deprecating quip. I am wearing down my backspace key forcing myself to refrain. You see, somewhere along the way to here, I learned and subsequently settled down in the very adult axiom that all of these topics were self-indulgent frivolities. They were foolish, insignificant fantasies. They were bogus obstacles to dealing with reality. Or that they’re something the great philosophers are able to discuss with virtue because they are great, but not something I could because I am small. Meanwhile, the innermost part of me has ironically grown to revere the people who clearly have a whole and humbling sense of their identities, and who are fearless enough to express themselves—all of themselves—both as naturally and willfully as I suppress my own self. Or as many adults suppress their own selves.

It is not until now, at 25, that I realize how stunted I have become. I mean, I enjoy writing and have found it to be a necessary outlet, and yet it’s taken me the better part of two years to put the first word of this on paper. (Or electronic paper I suppose, as technology rescues me yet again from my own miserable cacography.) This whole thought process has been wrong, wrong, wrong, and I’ve just let it linger and get all overgrown in my brain. Longing of the heart is not a bogus obstacle to dealing with reality, silly girl. It is your key to impacting your reality, if you should choose to pick it up and use it.

That being said, and with a nod to the practicality from which I have been operating almost solely (and practicality, like most things, is good in moderation), it is important to first identify what one’s longings are. To those of you who mastered the art of living your life according to your soul’s utmost integrity along with, say, the ability to ride a bike or the ability to shave—kudos. This may seem like a well-understood step in the road to self-satisfaction. It, in fact, is not an easy one for me.

So, at the great, great risk of sounding overly indulgent, I am putting it down in writing, signing my name to it, and exposing myself in a terribly unwise and foolhardy way. And not in the way that I typically have been known to expose myself…

And if you have never done this, I very much urge you to try (the emotional exposure, not necessarily the physical kind). It’s oddly liberating. Though let me warn, it leads to sudden acts of authoring self-mission statements and the daunting responsibility of holding yourself up to the aspirations you have for yourself, as you’ve now declared them publicly, and it would be terribly weak to go back into hiding afterward.

My heart’s longing:

To write—express all the sentiments and thoughts in my far, far overactive mind—truthful, spiritual, emotional, cynical, sick, disjointed, abstract, and specific, and to be validated in some way for these thoughts. To gain a piece of immortality by emptying some of my contents onto a page that will be read by any single person who will be around after I’m gone.

To experience the things that terrify me due to the fear of failing or appearing foolish.

To appear foolish more often for the benefit of myself, and more selectively for the benefit of others.

To put something new out into the world.

To find a way to fill in the important details of my life in a way that satisfies me, rather than satisfying society’s need for equilibrium, unimaginative propriety, and outdated tradition.

To not accept what is handed to me as a general way of operating, or from some need to keep peace amongst people (unless, clearly, it is the right thing to do).

To love greatly and without reservation, and to be loved in the same manner. And when not loved in the same manner, to not be afraid to let go and look elsewhere with all my heart.

Yeah, the word “heart” is in there a couple times too many for my comfort level. Gross, right? But that is okay. That is the point. There it is—it’s out there. You (bless you, you patient person) have read it. And now I have to live by it. Here goes.

The rest of this will not be so serious. This needed to get out of the way first, I think. Because without this, there’s no reason for anything that follows.

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