Manifesto noun: a written statement of the beliefs, aims, and policies of an organization; especially a political party.
Shanifesto noun: a written statement of the beliefs, aims, and life goals of Shannon Flynn; her life is a party.
I believe that life is an adventure,
that each day is an invitation to become a living breathing reminder that choosing joy is always worth the risk.
I believe in the power of love, that it will always be the strongest force in the universe, that love is the greatest gift to be given, and the greatest challenge we face. I believe we were made from love, to be loved, to spread love.
I believe in God, in his intentional hand in everyday life, and the renewal of all things. I don’t believe in mistakes. I believe that broken people will never be able to represent the beauty of a perfect God and that The Church will never be Jesus.
I believe that this world is my teacher and that I can learn from anyone - no matter how young no matter how old no matter how different from me; wisdom does not discriminate.
I believe in people; that every human has a right to be seen, and that each of us has a story - a recipe full of experiences and beliefs that make us who we are.
I believe in intentional conversations, that vulnerability breeds intimacy, and that getting to know people is a great privilege. I believe that silence speaks just as loud as words and that sometimes, just being with someone is more powerful than trying to fix them.
I believe that emotions are a gift; meant to remind us who we are. There is a power in feeling them all. I believe that there is beauty in tragedy, and I always feel better after I cry. I have felt the weight of sadness, and I know it always ends. I have felt the joy of being alive, and I know it’s always within reach.
I believe that social media is the enemy of human connection. I believe that being yourself in human form is worth more than being yourself in a digital form; that the false sense of security found in the little red hearts on our photos is a weak substitute for our longing to be genuinely loved.
I believe in living life to the full wherever you are, and showing up fully to the people you are with. I’m not great at staying in touch. if I really need to talk to you I’ll call. I am not great at texting and I am much worse at snapchatting.
I believe in the power of friendship, in the power of family. I believe that people - not places - make somewhere feel like home. I believe that this world is meant to be explored; that the people who love you best will let you go to learn and see it all, and welcome you home will open arms, eager to hear your stories.
I believe in the power of good food, that meals are meant to be shared and the best moments happen around a table. I believe that eating food straight from the ground nourishes the soul. I believe that you should eat whatever makes you feel good, and I know that a steady diet of plants, coffee, and chocolate is the key to happiness.
I am sure that I don’t know what I am doing.
I learn and unlearn and relearn every day.
I believe in a God who surpasses understanding, so I’m content with not having all the answers.
I believe that being the best version of who God is creating me to be will always be worth more than trying to be someone I am not.
I believe that the people I surround myself with, the way I spend my time, and the things that I value will determine who I am becoming.
I want to build a life that looks more like love than anything else.
I want to be known by my heart; as a beautifully broken human soul who can look darkness in the face and still dance, knowing that life itself is a beautiful broken experience.
I will remind myself that I am beautiful on the days I don’t feel like it; that the truest thing about me is that I am lovable and fully loved, even when I can’t believe it.
I’ll wear a T-shirt and baggies whenever I want, and I’ll dress up and do my makeup some days to feel fancy. I’ll remember that my beauty is not contingent on my appearance, rather, that it stems from the way I interact with my world.
I will take care of myself. I will eat my vegetables and go to yoga and remind myself to exercise because endorphins make me happy. I will eat ice cream when I want to because the happiness it brings me is worth the tummy ache sometimes. I will not let myself judge my body for what it is not; I will thank it for everything it is.
I will sleep in late on Saturday mornings and make pancakes and dance in the kitchen in my pajamas. In fact, I will dance in the kitchen at all hours of the day, and I will invite the people I love to join in.*
**(This one has a star because it feels very important...just letting you know)
I won’t forget to write, and I will journal as often as I can. I will write letters and send postcards to the people I love. No one ever gets tired of hearing what’s most true about them.
I will eat breakfast three times a day if I feel like it, and always stand by my belief that breakfast is the happiest and most inclusive family of food.
I will keep flowers in my room, and I will remember to water them.
I will make playlists of my favorite songs to scream in the car and drive with my friends late at night; giggling at being alive and singing at the top of our lungs.
I will remind myself that I need alone time and that asking for it doesn’t make me weird.
I will discover new places, new cities, and new cultures.
I will remind myself that there are a million different ways to live and that no one is better than another. The secret is to find whichever works for you and get after it.
I will listen to live music and eat raw cookie dough and have snowball fights and go looking for magic. I will strive to never lose my sense of wonder.
I will jump in the water, even if it’s cold and I won’t worry about messing up my hair. I'll remind myself to swim laps because it makes me feel human and I’ll dance in the middle of summer storms.
I will take care of the planet. I will remember that I am just one person, but that I still should do my best. I will go thrift shopping. I will ride my bike, and walk, and take the train. I’ll bring my own bags to the grocery store.
I’ll spend time outside in the sun, and sleep out under the moon to remind myself that I feel most alive in nature.
I will sit in coffee shops and public parks and on trains and airports to marvel at the strange and beautiful unfolding of our collective life.
I will try my hardest to see people for their hearts and not their opinions.
I will agree to disagree.
I will remind myself that I am not always right, that my beliefs are just beliefs. I will do better at keeping my opinions to myself.
I won’t ever stop asking questions.
I will be patient with myself, with others, with the world.
And if my life were a book, I’d hope it’s a love story - the tale of a girl so infatuated with the art of being human. Each chapter more fantastic and adventurous than the last, as I fall deeper and deeper in love with this crazy beautiful world.