My high school sorority was full of beautiful rituals and traditions. We had a song for every moment, candles were required for any transition, meetings ran solely by parliamentary procedure, and spooey was a must (you don’t even want to know). One tradition I wish was implemented outside that utopian society was the way we closed any communication. Whether it be an email, a speech, an article, or a motion, we would always close by saying, “With an undying love for…” and we would list the things we truly had an undying love for.
Now, as an adult, I look back and recognize how silly some of the things we would put in the potentially never ending paragraph of undying loves were- inside jokes, celebrity crushes, food (for me, ice cream always made the list), articles of clothing, and spooey (you still don’t want to know). And, on the flip side- the more serious undying loves we included- life changing experiences, a dear friend who had died, the name of our chapter which in the moment was our heartbeat, the boards we served on, the sports we played, the causes we stood for.
Each of these things- the serious and the silly- were intentionally placed there because, in the moment, our hearts literally felt we would die without them. They were the things that kept us going. They were the things we held most dear. And when you examine these undying loves I wrote as a child, or any of my brother’s or sister’s wrote, you would learn about who we are as people. You would learn where we invested our time, our money, our energy.
You would learn our values.
How often, as adults (or potentially ever in our lives), are we as transparent with our heart? How often do we lay out, for our world to see, the aspects of our lives that make us who we are? And why don’t we?
For the sake of experience, I attempted to create a list of my undying loves. It is an exercise I have not experimented with in just over 8 years. And… it is hard! Who could potentially read this? What do I really want others to know about me? How much should I explain? What was too silly to include? What was too serious, too real, too vulnerable? And many more questions continued to block my creative intention. But, alas, my first draft can be seen below.
With an undying love for my family group text, Values Based Leadership, Just-Ask ice cream, the healthy relationship I have with my boyfriend, BBYO & BBG, H2P, broken experiences I have grown from, time to myself, my “be the change you wish to see in the world” ring, formatting, #ignitinghumanpotential, taking action, pencil skirts, a light breeze on a hot day, facilitating a-ha moments, my sensational team, to-do lists, and sparkles,
Danielle Elizabeth Aaronson
If you were to create a paragraph of undying loves, what would you include?