I spent the better part of 2017’s last quarter working my way through The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte while huddled in the back of Rough Draft, drinking whatever latte the barista recommended that day. Pages and pages of my journal are filled with quotes and ponderings from the book, dotted occasionally with tear stains as I drank in the idea that my heart and emotions aren’t actually evil above all else.
[Briefly, the idea behind the book is to identify not what you wish to accomplish, but how you want to feel, and to learn to work in pursuit of those desires rather than material accomplishments.]
Therapy is another place I spent a lot of time at the end of 2017, sitting on a couch in downtown Hillsdale trying to figure out who I am and what I’m doing and what is even going on. In other words, being a young adult. When I told my therapist about this book, she asked a question that squeezed my very soul.
“What feelings would you chase if you believed you were worthy of feeling them?”
With that question ringing in my mind, I came up with these four core desired feelings. They’re not resolutions, “One Words,” or proclamations. They are the things I want to believe I am worthy of feeling. These are the desires I want to run after in 2018.
grounded. firmly planted with roots stretched deep into the ground, impossible to pull up. like a tree planted beside still waters, planted firm in the faith of my ancestors as it mingles with the things i am learning to believe for myself. feet in the grass, hands in the soil channeling nana baker as i dig and weed and prune. i want to be sure and secure in my identity, my relationships, my livelihood. to have my feet firmly planted in my truth and my arms wrapped securely around my people. i want to be connected to a community of likeminded people and to those who challenge me. to be truly known and heard and loved, to stand strong and sure in who i am and what i believe and where i come from. grounded.
insatiable. i want to always want more, to be thirsty for life and hungry for adventure. i never want to stop learning, yearning, reaching, trying. i want to always want. may life never be enough, may i always long for more joy and life and food and pleasure and adventure and peace and challenges and friends. i never want to stand throwing distance from my dreams and declare that i’m close enough. i never want to be satisfied. insatiable.
fulfilled. filled up. overflowing. i want to live out my calling, to spend my days doing work that matters and my nights pouring myself out for those i love. filled up to empty myself for others, to know beyond that shadow of a doubt that i am where i should be and doing what i should do. boots on the ground, feet on the grass, hands in the proverbial soil getting dirt under my nails while i dig ever deeper into life. constantly chasing that feeling of sitting on the porch of the miracle building with coffee on my armrest and my bible in my lap; always longing for the dirty feet and linked arms of dusty pucallpa nights. i want to do what i was made for, live the life intended for me. fulfilled.
safe. i don’t want to have to hide who i am or pretend not to be passionate about the things that light a fire inside me. i want to be myself, loudly and honestly and truly. i want to know that i am loved and cherished no matter what i do or who i am. i don’t want to walk on eggshells or have to guess what’s okay to feel that day. i want to laugh late into the night about things that won’t make sense in the morning, to know i’m not a burden or an annoyance or too much. to take care of myself unashamedly. i want to be protected, sheltered, cared for when the world caves in; to be held when i can’t stand up anymore. safe.