Global Citizen Year. Why am I doing it? I’ve been posed the question a hundred and one times and each answer seems to come out a bit differently. Buzz phrases such as “a great experience” and “gaining perspective” and “reenergizing myself” pop in frequently. Each time I jumble the words around and spit them back out, closing with a big smile to really delight the crowd. But despite all of my attempts to give an explanation for why I want to take the plunge of being a Global Citizen Year Fellow, I have yet to find the exact words to fit my emotions. All of my explanations hold true, but they don’t seem to encapsulate my overwhelming feeling of purpose as I step into this new adventure. I have never been one to sit back and watch from a distance, and Global Citizen Year is just the beginning of the up close and personal view I want to have of the world.
The best way I can find at the moment to describe my passion and excitement for the months that lie before me brings me back to the 1977 Woody Allen movie “Annie Hall.” In the last moments of the movie, Woody’s character, Alvy, stands on a street corner having just said goodbye to Annie after a chance meeting, and delivers his final monologue, summing up his feelings about his breakup with Annie and relationships in general. “I thought of that old joke. This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, ‘Doc, my brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.’ And the doctor says, ‘Well, why don’t you turn him in?’ And the guy says, ‘I would, but I need the eggs.'” As Alvy walks away the cars continue to pass on the street and he says, “Well, I guess that’s pretty much now how I feel about relationships. They’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd and…but I guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs.”
I’m not sure what all my Global Citizen Year will hold – what it will teach me, what it will show me, what I will gain from it. Maybe somewhere along the way I’ll find just the words I’m looking for, or maybe I never will. In many ways it seems totally irrational and crazy and absurd, but I guess I just need the eggs.