If you frequently read my blog, you know that I’ve had quite a rough life. Ten months ago, I realized that I finally hit rock bottom and I was tasked to make a choice: either live or die. Of course, it wasn’t that simple. As I’ve said before, suicide has been on my radar since I was ten and greatly progressed as I got older. I knew that if I decided to live something had to change and that something is what sparked me to create a mission statement.
While surfing the web I found a blog that included a how-to create a mission statement PDF worksheet. I printed it out and got to work. After ten minutes I started bawling as I realized that I couldn’t identify any of my strengths even though I quickly compiled a list of my weaknesses. But I refused to let my fear of failure hold me back from the opportunity to dive headfirst into self-improvement. And before I knew it, I had already discovered one of my strengths: I’m determined and (typically) highly-motivated. From there, I started to think about where I wanted to be without disrespecting the me of today. Here is the finished product. Note: In typical me fashion I didn’t “follow the rules” but what I came up with works for me and that’s all that matters. After all it is my mission, right?
To establish healthy, emotional boundaries with others, to treat my body with the respect that it deserves, and to unload some of my bags filled with obligations and worries by embracing fun, relaxation, and creativity.
I wrote this down on two sticky notes and pasted them on the side of my bedroom wall and on my desk wall. For months, I passed them while stuffing my face with cookies from the eighty-millionth batch I baked or typing yet another term paper near-tears at my desk. I would always start to read the statement but would stop abruptly from the guilt of failing myself (yet again). By chance, I was sitting at my desk yesterday, singing along to a song, calmly chewing gum when I looked up, and read the statement aloud in its entirety. This time I smiled. I’m not at the mythical “there” yet but I’m on a road, not traveling fast, but not particularly slow. I’m cruising along, feeling the heat of the sun during the daytime and the cool, unpredictable breeze during the evening. Sure, there are seasonal changes, wrong turns taken, and car repairs but that’s okay because I am learning to cope with things that are outside of my control. Let me tell you, it’s scary but there is something so amazing about liberating your mind of unnecessary worry, anxiety, and stress.
For me, the visibility of my statement reminds me to re-center myself even in the midst of chaos. It affirms that my feelings and state of being matter and if I happen to get the funny idea that they don’t, there are other avenues (other than not sleeping, eating, and crying) to release negative energy.