a page from my global leadership journal

It is so crazy to me that one week from today, I will be in Guatemala!!!  It is scary how each year, time seems to rush by even faster than the one before.

I am really getting excited for this trip, and also trying to quell my fears/ nerves/ insecurities.  I imagine this trip may be similar to the first time I ever snorkeled in crystal clear water: I will be seeing an entire new world, one that I knew existed, and had heard about plenty, but could never really grasp until I was really in it.  Crazy.

I was really thrilled that my wife got to meet some of my peers at the NSCS induction the other night.  I was especially grateful that she got to meet David and Tricia, who are also married, and have been/ are going on the Guatemala trip.  She got a chance to speak to David about it, who went last year, and I think it helped her put things into perspective.  I am so grateful to have Tricia in our class–not only is she also several years older than many of the other students, but she is also married, and going on this trip “alone” [sans spouse].  I am so grateful that Stephanie got to talk to David about it, and hear his thoughts and feelings on academic traveling without your spouse.  Stephanie has traveled alone plenty of times in her life, but it was when she was single, and I know that she has been struggling to understand my reasons behind this big adventure.

I really feel like I’m discovering myself.  I know it sounds cheesy, and it’s something I can’t talk about with many people [hence the beauty of writing!], but I know that it’s true..I don’t know exactly who I want to be, or who I’m meant to be, but I know that I am becoming that person, slowly but surely.  I am taking chances and risks, I’m doing things that scare me, I’m really challenging myself.  I know now that traveling is hugely important to quenching the thirst of my soul, and is especially necessary in helping me put things into perspective.  I know that I need to do some things alone, without the comfort of my wife, to prove that I am still as strong as I have always been [even if I don’t have to be anymore].  I know that I have a passion for Spanish language and culture, and want to see where that takes me.  I know that the only way to stop being so afraid is to do the things that scare me: not just to go through the motions and check it off my list, but to jump in, head first, and swan dive into the terrifyingly beautiful abyss of who I really am: because that is really what I have always been scared of, I think.

When I was growing up, I was taught that the most important things are to be pretty, proper, and popular.  I was never really any of those things [though I did take an etiquette class and was in Cotillion for three years, haha!!], and for a long time, that made me feel guilty and insecure and undeserving.  Recently I have really been focusing on caring less about those things, and more about how I feel about myself when I wake up in the morning, and when I go to bed at night.  It is an ongoing struggle, and I have a long way to go, but I’m getting there.  And I know that educating myself, and traveling, and having these experiences, and helping other people, is definitely a huge part of my journey.

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