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For the first 21 years of my life I did everything that was expected of me. I could picture each next step that I would take up until college. After that I spent even more time in college because I loved learning. I am still unmarried because twice I refused to settle.

A few years ago I had a snowflake tattooed in a place not so easy to hide. The snowflake signifies that my life is different and should be different and that it is maybe even beautiful. The location was chosen so that I cannot hide it or escape from it. I’m not sure that I can live a nonconformist life, but I’m sure I want to. I have marked my body permanently to remind myself of it.

Since then two things have happened. 1. I have found myself in a professional slump, and 2. I have chosen an extraordinary mate. The first one I increasingly feel must be remedied, I am tired of spending my day with making money for someone else as the focus. The second will be with me as I follow my life’s dreams, whatever they may be.

I read Chris Guillebeau to be inspired. I am in awe of the way that he lives his life. He has done amazing things (volunteered in Africa for 4 years) and been amazing places (81 different countries) at such a young age (30).

Chris published his eagerly anticipated (by me at least) Brief Guide to World Domination yesterday. Read it here.

One of the exercises in Chris’ manifesto is to answer two questions, the first of which is What do you really want to get out of life?

I think I can break it down into 3 basic things for me:
1. Create
2. Help
3. Learn

A little more detail:
1. I feel driven to create something. Over time I’ve struggled with what, but I’ll get there.
2. I want to help people. I love the feeling that volunteering brings. I want to lead a compassionate life.
3. I want to keep learning. This is a huge part of why librarianship draws me in.

Of course I also want things like financial security, but Chris says this can come with achieving our goals. It doesn’t need to be the goal itself. I am also fascinated by the environmental movement, and I’m not sure how this will fit in. I suppose that’s what this exercise is for.

To flesh it out with a post in the near future, I’ll define my ideal day. And read through the Ideal World exercise posted on Chris’ site.