Essentially, I have a million options for this itinerary, and not enough time or dough to fully bake the cake, so I’m getting creative.
As many of you know, I recently switched my majors back to Global Studies and English (good timing going into my fourth year, eh? Let’s just hope my search for self-identity in academia settles here!). For quite some time now, stretching back to at least the beginning of high-school, I have had the longing to share life with people unlike myself across the globe. This desire has never fully flourished to a “missionary” type goal, so the struggle between global interest as hobby, career, my other life dreams, and the fact that I actually lack tangible international experience – always clashed and argued in my head – in addition to my actual inexperience overseas – and made any sort of plans/goals/decisions difficult. As the poignant and truthful cliché goes: the real learning and movement towards understanding happens outside the classroom (though that’s important too – stay in school, kids).
My life journey this year has been incredible; becoming more self-aware than ever before, and really forcing myself to understand how I am impacting this world, and how I fit in relation to those in my immediate sphere - and beyond that. ...Because, we all impact the world; minutely, and on a larger scale – whether for positive or negative – “no man is an island” – though I think many fail to aknowledge this (not just blindly ignorant, but intentionally). Anyway, I’m not preaching sainthood, but merely self-awareness, other-awareness, and the strong relationship between the two. My decision to enter back into the program I was once passionate about is linked to my decision to push myself into dreaming bigger, and working hard to actually achieve small and big things of real importance (which is a whole other discussion). Because we do not (and should not think we) work for ourselves.
We have to work to love each other, and understand that all we do comes from, and involves pieces of that word, love. If we think love comes naturally, or should be easy – we are sadly mistaken. Until I realized where I was failing as an individual – where I realized I wasn’t paying attention to working on me and others – I couldn’t move forward. I think this trip is beginning to seem a little more meant to be than I ever could have thought. I have some ideas floating around my head as to what I am going to try to do while I am here, but I’ll let those simmer for a while before concretely posting them on the interweb.
My intention on going away was to give of myself and thankfully there have been some places where I have been needed, but more than I expected, thought or planned, this trip is helping me. The feelings of being on your own, completely submersed in the unfamiliar is scary, lonely, exciting, nerve-wracking, stimulating, inspiring, uplifting, overwhelming, and absolutely unreal. I have been forced to trust people I have never met before – and faced the warm side of humanity – crossing all barriers of language, culture, religion, race, age, and familiarity. The blessings cannot be counted...and I have only been here 4 days.
No matter what happens with this up-in-the-air itinerary, nothing will go to waste. It’s already been a steep climb, and it’s going to be a wild ride.
"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing – Ben Franklin”
peace, for now,
(p.s. you should check out the poem that titled this post in case you’ve never read it!)