Finding Meaning – Part 1 – Who We Are

To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul–would you understand why that’s much harder?
-Ayn Rand

In the last post I briefly mentioned we’re living the life we’ve always dreamed.

I think that’s a lot to say and not actually talk about. Don’t you? Of course, talking about it will likely take more than one post. It will likely take more than two. We’re talking about our DREAMS here.

Last year in New Jersey, one of the church’s overseers and dear friend of ours, Scott Turner gave us a bit of advice we followed and we’re thankful both for the advice and that we followed it! He told us we needed to figure out what our values are. What are we Hagens all about? We kinda know what we’re about and on what we base decisions we make, but we hadn’t actually talked about it together. We each wrote out a list of our personal values and then compared.
Most of them lined up and the ones that didn’t we discussed whether they should be added to our family values or kept as personal values. After putting God first in everything we do, here’s what we came up with:

1. Relationships – honesty, openness, authenticity, inspiration
2. The Moment – opportunities, fun, adventure, rest
3. Moving Forward – failing, learning, growing, impacting
4. Quality – food, music, design, decisions

If what we’re doing isn’t about these 4 things, we don’t need to be a part of it. This is part of what made the decision to leave New Jersey easier for us. We didn’t really have the authentic, inspiring relationships we were desiring (though there are some we miss dearly!), and the work we were in and the culture of the area wasn’t one of living in the moment, moving forward, or the desire for quality we were looking for.

It’s been 8 months and while we don’t have “dream” jobs, a big house or money coming out our ears, the culture we are in lines up with our core family values. There is a song I have been listening to on repeat lately by Steve Moakler. (Warning: he’s pretty twangy, so if you don’t like country, just read the lyrics. If you like country, buy the whole album! I can’t stop listening to it!) Here are some of the lyrics I relate to:

I could trade this guitar
For a tie wrapped around my neck
Grab a 401K, rent would never be late
I could cash my dreams for some check

I’d rather make a living
Just being myself
I’d rather make a living being myself
Than a killing being someone else
‘Cause you can’t call it living if you’re someone else

Sometimes it ain’t clear where to go
Without a ladder to climb or a path to follow
But these dreams won’t let me go

As I said before we’re unconventional. Wearing ties and 401Ks are great, but we really want to try all our options to find out the best way for us instead of taking safety or success‘s word for it. So, we’ve wiped the slate clean and quite figuratively started life over.

And this time we have a foundation to go from. We have our family values to accept or reject the opportunities that arise. We feel more like we’re in this together than ever before. We don’t expect this to be easy. As Ayn Rand said, the easy thing is to sell your soul. And we’re still figuring out exactly where we’re headed, but we’re headed there together for better or worse and we’re so thankful to have you in our lives.

More on figuring out where we’re headed in Part 2!

Finding Meaning – Part 1 – Who We Are

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