Welcome friends, supporters, countrymen.

Well, maybe not countrymen. More like “web-surfer.”

Anyways, welcome to the chronicle of my adventure with Global Citizen Year. I will begin by introducing the first chapter of this tale: My Identity and my Desire for a Happy, Productive Life.

Slow down! You might be thinking, you haven’t retired to the top of an isolated mountain and you’re already seeking happiness and stuff?

Well let me tell you something, reader. I am 18 years young and ready to begin my exploration of what happiness fulfilment in particular mean – heck, I have one life to live, after all! Let me share a little more about who I am before we discuss my philosophies.

Grown and raised in the great Pacific Northwest, I have flourished as an academic, naturalist, cellist, and friend. Instead of describing my drives and core being, I’ll let you know that my Myers-Briggs personality type is ISFJ (http://typelogic.com/isfj.html); it fits me to a “T.” If you haven’t taken a Myers-Briggs personality assessment, I recommend it because they can be great tools in understanding yourself and working with others. Back to my story, though!

Learning in an intensive and competitive academic program for the past seven years of my life, I was easily sucked into the mindset that happiness was the same as success, and success was achieved by getting into a prestigious university, earning a degree, and then getting a stable, respectable job, and… (insert description of a stereotypical picket-fence life). Not to say that all of those steps aren’t right for people out there. But visiting colleges this past May, I realized, to maximize my potential as a leader, thinker, and citizen, college is not where I should be next year. So a dialogue began between me, myself, and this organization called Global Citizen Year.

[Enter Maddy (myself) and I (myself again)]

Maddy: Gee, it seems like everyone expects me to go on to college and get a degree.

Maddy: I would have to agree. But I’m tired of the expectation that I should know what I want to do and what needs doing without being in the world.

Maddy: Well, I think that’s what university is for…

Maddy: I saw someone mention this “Global Citizen Year” thing on Facebook. I’m just going to check it out.

And when I read Global Citizen Year’s website, I knew. Knowing myself, I can say that Global Citizen Year’s mission “to unleash the potential of the next generation of Americans to approach the rigors of higher education and the challenges of the 21st century with innovative, insightful, and effective leadership” can and will be fulfilled through me. Just as my mission to serve the world and to understand just a little more of our global community will be fulfilled by Global Citizen Year.

Please enjoy my accounts of random events here as I begin my journey as an independent young woman out in the world.

In the words of Heidi Klum of Project Runway,

Auf wiedersehen!