2014: The Year Everything Changed

Dear 2014, I have made quite a list of resolutions for myself this year. It’s an interesting tradition that I have yet to faithfully participate in, however, this year is going to be different. This will be the year everything changed.

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So I have come up with some resolutions that I hope are realistic:

  • Begin and end every day with a gratitude
  • Seek out mutually inspiring relationships and mentorships
  • Participate in community regularly (i.e. make time for friends & family)
  • Take care of my body, prioritize self-care
  • Keep sabbath
  • Cook more
  • Color more
  • Read more
  • Play more
  • Dance more
  • Write more, write a poem a month
  • Take time to (re)connect with divinity/the Divine daily
  • Explore Chicago
  • Give the comedy thing a try, for real
  • Practice hospitality – be a guest, be a host
  • Love freely, openly, and honestly; embrace love in its many forms
  • Pick up the phone and call someone
  • Take time in between things
  • Dream big and plan ahead, no more procrastinating

As a first step in making some of these things happen I decided to start a blog – something I think (and hope) will help hold me accountable to my resolutions like writing more. I’m calling it “Real Talk Theology” in honor of the young people I work with in Chicago.

Real Talk (n.)
The philosophy of talking candidly, openly, and honestly without fear of what others might think…

  • usually for another’s benefit; to let them know of something that is usually hard to discuss.
  • to let others know that what you are expressing is not a joke, that you are being unabashedly true to your own thoughts and feelings. “This is for real, no joke. I actually mean what I am saying.”
  • to affirm what someone is saying; something that resonates and rings true to you too.

This is what often happens in spaces and communities of young people, real talk. At least, this has been my experience as a youth worker and pastor, someone who works with young people in and outside of the church, in shelters, on the streets, etc. In contrast to my  seminary education, young people have been some of my realest teachers and challenging theologians. So again, this blog is dedicated to them, as well as, those other youth workers and pastors who try to keep it real with them.

With this in mind, I am committing myself to posting at least once a week. One week it might be a bare bones lesson plan (see next post). Other weeks, it’ll be articles, websites, poetry, music, etc. – links to things (i.e. youth issues and interests) that I have found throughout the week to help me stay connected with my work  so that I might be a better listener, advocate, ally, and friend to the young people who invite me into their lives.

Real T,

alli

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3 Comments

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  1. Terrific stuff, Ali. Word! In the future, in my experience, shorter has more punch. Consider writing the blog post and then posting half one day, then the second half a couple of days later. People seem to digest that better. I have bookmarked this, look forward to more! Susan

  2. Your list made me cry. With longing, I think. Thanks for inspiring.

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