In Her Own WordsBy Olivia Calvi
Growing up Unitarian Universalist, I felt a lot of pressure to figure out what my beliefs were. The adults in my life would always tell me that I could believe anything I wanted to believe. I felt like that message carried a hidden one: I had to believe something and I had to know what I believed. As you can imagine that caused a great inner struggle when I went through Coming of Age. I got through the experience, but I never really gained much from it because I did not feel the need to solidify my beliefs. My credo was a wish-wash of what could be, but there were no certainties.
It wasn’t until I completed the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Chaplaincy Chrysalis Training that I realized what my true calling was. I realized I did not have to solidify my beliefs because I was called to help others determine theirs. Each person has a story, a set of experiences unique to them, that have influenced the person they are. It is these life experiences that change how people react to the world. Somewhere in the midst of that training I decided that my story would be one of service. I was inspired and committed myself to helping youth find their place in the world.
I have never, and still don’t feel the need to make my beliefs concrete. And honestly, I rarely think about them. I love working with others on issues central to their identity because I am mystified by others perspectives. I felt called to enter into positions like Youth Caucus Dean and Youth Observer to the UUA Board of Trustees because they give me the foundation and inspiration to help others find their purpose. Every person I have encountered in the work I do has impacted my life in some way. By opening up to me, these individuals have educated me and truly given me the world without knowing it. This is my opportunity to give back to the world. I choose to serve as a voice for youth because to me, their message is the most important. And their stories deserve to be shared.