Monday, November 4, 2013

To Be or Not to Be

So many thoughts...

I'm trying to figure out who I am; who I want to be; and how to continue that journey.  I want to help.. to make an impact.. to create change in areas in the community that need it. I want to look back in a year or 5 or 10 and see that something (anything really) is better than it was when I started.

Currently, I am doing that in my job with Emerge Tampa Bay.  
I am serving as an advisor with ADPi at USF overseeing membership education. 
I joined the board of the Sulphur Springs YMCA.
I am serving on the Adelphean Compass Committee for Leadership Seminar 2014
I joined the YES! Committee with the Centre Club 
I am considering being an ambassador with Metropolitan Ministries

I share this because I'm trying to figure out my life's mission statement. I want to make sure I am living my purpose and not saying yes to everything. I wrote this statement a while back and feel it still holds true today.

"I am striving to be the change in my community. I'm living each day trying to make a difference. I am just a normal girl with a big dream! My dream is for all of us to be the best people possible! The sky is the limit if we all work together! We need to love each other and lift each other up. We all have our bad days, but imagine if everyone around you supported you and loved you no matter what the situation. Some say "Let your life make a statement"...well what statement are you going to make?

I am standing here announcing to you that I want to make a difference. Not only do I want to...I'm going to. I'm not going to sit around waiting for someone else to do it!! I am going to be the change!

"sincere" derived from the Latin sine = "without", cera = "wax". I am going to live my life WITHOUT WAX...sincerely!!

If you ever need anything, I will listen and I won't pass judgment. It's not my place to judge you. It's my place to love you and be your friend unconditionally!"

When asked about my life goals--that's often what I say. "I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference in the lives of others the way Megan Vadnais was a change-agent and mentor to me.  If I can impact one person's life... that is enough."  

The question I often think as I'm saying this--is that even a goal? People tell me all the time that I'm already doing that. What else? Yikes! I don't know what else and I think that's where I get stuck.  There is so much to be accomplished, but how do you know where to begin?  The organizations I am involved in have a purpose for me.  They provide an opportunity to give back and share my skills to make these organizations stronger--building up our future leaders or serving as a brand ambassador for things I think are important.  I think you represent every brand you carry for better or worse.  How do you determine what level you support each group? Some choose to be all in to one cause or one organization; others choose to many organizations to be apart of.  I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do this--but what way should I choose? What way makes sense for me ... 

I ask this advice of my mentors often. I receive different feedback depending on the person and the current standing of my life! Many share lessons learned--don't burn out, you can't be everything to all people, follow your gut... well currently I still don't know!  I'm not seeing any magical sign or arrows pointing me to the path I should take! 

I realize this is silly and that there isn't a road map of a perfect balanced life...  but boy how I wish there was! When I get too critical I think of this quote, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway.  Don't you feel that many quotes or life principals contradict one another? They do--there is proof below! :) 

Good things come to those who wait. 
He who hesitates is lost. 

Birds of a feather flock together. 
Opposites attract. 

Clothes make the man. 
Never judge a book by its cover.

Actions speak louder than words.
The pen is mightier than the sword. 

A silent man is a wise one. 
A man without words is a man without thoughts. 

The more, the merrier.
Two's company; three's a crowd. 

The best things in life are free. 
You get what you pay for. 

Never too old to learn. 
You can't teach an old dog new tricks.      

These are the things my mind often thinks about! I just want everything to make sense, lol. :) I'm hoping that by writing down my thoughts that things will start becoming more clear. There will be many quotes along the way as often times people articulate how I feel in a very clear and concise way.  Goal: Become more concise and more clear!

“Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.” ― Oscar Wilde

“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. 
Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” ― Steve Maraboli

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard."- David McCullough

Haha, Lorrie (my boss) would die laughing at the last quote! I can write my emotion all day--but to write in a professional manner stresses me out! I often over-think many things--but professional anything really boggles me. I have joked from a very young age that "I bring the personality not the professionalism." Don't get me wrong--I can be professional but that's not part of my core identity. It's funny how your self-speak plays such a large role. I tell myself who I am and what I'm "known for" which can be good and bad depending on the skill set.  This is why having people that are honest with you are good.

On this note: be careful what you ask for. I have a few people that have no hesitation of being honest but often give me the "what i need to improve on" and forget that although I want to learn and improve--that hearing constant negative feedback can take it's toll.  That's one thing I learned from Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In. The importance of setting boundaries on feedback and expectations on when and how it occurs.  

Anyway--this post is going off on a million tangents.  I will try to reflect at least 1-2 times a week and see if any trends occur. Curious if I write my thoughts down more often--maybe things on paper will be more clear than in my head!

I'll close with this awesome quote I just found!

“Dare to Be...
When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can –
At all times, Dare to be!” 

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Homework for thought:

Something to discuss later is the whole balance of personal and professional life. The more I focus on my community involvement the further I feel from my friends and family.  I really struggle in this area of balance and am looking forward to figuring out how to do a better job managing both aspects. I want it all. I want to live life to the fullest--giving to everyone I can. I want to be a good friend, a good employee, a good daughter, a good neighbor, a good community servant. (oh ya, and one day a good girl friend or wife, haha) Is this possible without being burnt out? Does burn out only happen when you aren't happy with your involvement in all things? Is it more about width or depth that causes burn out... things to ponder another time.


Cloudy Mind!