I’m looking back at the previous words I’ve applied to my past days and my head is spinning. While I’ve so enjoyed these past few months to pursue this glamorous life of professional volunteering…I’ve also pursued EVERY. SINGLE.OPPORTUNITY. This is no bueno…that’s Spanish for nuh-uh…no way…stop doing this to yourself. Simplify and STREAMLINE. Instead of being all over…I really need to define my purpose and work on accomplishing my main goals. What ARE my main goals though?
A true passion of mine is working with our youth and attempting to stop this vicious cycle of creating broken and unloved humans. I’ve been guilty of complaining about the homeless population…disrespectful teens and adults…the de-evolution and stilted growth of our communities and the brokenness of our family homes. I was once guilty of complaining about these things and not proactively being a part of the solution. Now I’m guilty of trying to solve all of these and watching my head spin. STREAMLINING will most definitely help me figure out what my small role can be in helping with the degeneration I see around me.
Planting mentoring programs in much needed schools and communities is so needed…and I feel I can do it. Working with foster youth…in order to coach and guide them to a place where they are no longer at risk for repeating the cycle of creating broken homes…well…I place that high up on my list of priorities also. I love tutoring women in missions and passing out food to the worst and most desolate people on the streets. Where do I give 100% though? How on Earth does someone figure out what’s the most important? Can’t we just figure out this whole cloning thing so I can delegate to myself where to go and what organizations to work with? I’d listen to me….
Reading and studying has helped me to begin to figure out what I feel my gifts are and where I can be used according to those. I stumbled upon this link https://markmanson.net/life-purpose and it was a great read for me as I began my journey. I’ve also been pretty devoted to Francis Chan sermons (found here http://crazylove.org/sermons). Both have fed my Christian beliefs and need to continue to learn and figure out what my life’s purpose is. (I know…I know…who ISN’T pursuing this?)
Well…here’s to STREAMLINING and figuring out purpose. In the meantime…should anyone figure out my life’s purpose…shoot me a message so I can get on with life and stop mulling and wasting precious time on thinking and thoughts and all that. It’s really such a waste of time. (she said with sarcasm).
Often I get asked…”So what DO you do?” I hem and I haw and I blankly stare. Since leaving a job I love at Courthouse Fitness I’ve been pursuing my health full time. Technically I’m still employed by the company as a fitness instructor and that has helped to have an answer in the holster for inquiring minds. But what DO I do?
I’ve taken to filling my time with helping people and I’ve become obsessed with plugging people into volunteer opportunities. There is such a beauty in seeing a person light up when they find their place alongside a fellow human. During my time off from “work” I’ve become obsessed with volunteer work and connecting people to volunteer work. (Specifically with rescue mission work…foster youth transition and helping homeless youth and adults transition back into general population.)The thought of saying I’m a professional volunteer has crossed my mind. Is that a thing?
Looking up VOLUNTEER…with good old Siri YET AGAIN….shows me that the definition is to freely offer to do something. No compensation. Not a lot of glory. Free of accolades. The reward you get is knowing you gave of yourself and hopefully you changed the pattern or journey in someone’s world. Come to think of it….that’s a pretty great payment…at least…I think so. I could get behind a full time…non paid…no benefits job like that.
So let’s practice this…”Hey Ang…what DO you do?” My response…”I’m a professional VOLUNTEER!…(oh and I work part time for https://courthousefit.com/)’
Side note: I currently volunteer with a women’s mission in Salem, Oregon and one in Las Vegas. Both are in huge need for help. Here are the links if you are in either area and have an hour or two to spare. https://ugmsalem.org/ https://vegasrescue.org/
Everyone around me seems to have latched on to the idea of a word for the year, but I am constantly fighting what word will see me through a week, a day, or a tough moment. While I wish there was a word that spoke to me enough that I’d commit to it for a year, I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of commitment. No offense LOVE and INSPIRATION and AMBITION, but I revel more in the gritty words like AGGRESSIVE PURSUIT, REFUGE and IMMERSION. My decision is to pursue a relationship with them, but only for a day. Call it commitment issues, but that’s all I’ve got.
As I begin the year of 2018 I’m going to hang my hat on ACTION for a week or two. I’ve been using social media to digitally “slap and psyche myself up,” but it’s now time to really delve in and get my hands dirty and I mean this quite literally. As I communicate and bond with homeless and displaced teens and adults, I hope I’m brave enough to stick a hand out and shake with a human who hasn’t washed their hands in God knows how long. I pray my nose doesn’t involuntarily wrinkle at the smell of b.o., feces and dirt and I always try and respect the person and not the appearance. While I might be fighting my own desires for that perfume Julia Roberts advertises…which smells like patchouli oil and ice cream (to me at least) and has a name that makes it sounds like I’ve traveled over an ocean, I realize that there are people who would love to have a bar of hotel soap and a shower. Believe me, I see the contrast and I flush when I type or confess these thoughts…but I don’t think I’m the only person who battles that.
My action, this month, is one that will have me being able to only afford that free hotel soap and saving for a year for that french celeb parfum (tell me you read that with the accent) . I can’t tell you what it is just yet, but I can assure you that I am investing time back to the homeless community I’ve always sworn I’d dedicate my life too. My promise is that this week and this month, I have appointments and goals that will start the process of my one on one interaction with some of our city’s broken, rehabilitating and overlooked people. In my journey…this is metaphorically me walking to the car and getting ready to start it…..my keys are in hand and I’m opening the door…..(to be continued)…..