Conviction, Dreams, and Adulthood

Emily Soule - Ecuador

July 23, 2012

Someone commented yesterday about how hard my decision must have been, “giving up a year to go abroad…not seeing your family. You must have had to think on that one a long time.” I smiled and nodded; yet did not bother to contradict her statement. The truth is choosing to participate in Global Citizen Year did not take any hours of agonizing indecision from my life. None at all.

It disquiets me. I am historically infamous at being indecisive. My favorite restaurants are buffets and I waited until 10:30 pm on May 1 in order to commit to a college – an hour and a half short of the deadline. Conviction is a new feeling, especially when I am facing so many unknowns with their pestilent voices.

Seriously…I am about to live a year of my life in Ecuador. Communicate solely in a foreign tongue and separate myself from my family. I should be having some more doubts, right?

The past few weeks have been spent processing this sensation and I think it comes down to two things: Dreams and Adulthood. Two words we do not often associate; yet, adults have dreams just as much as any child. Was Martin Luther King a youth? C.S. Lewis? The difference is that in growing-up, we start sacrificing for our dreams. In fact, maybe reality is what finally traverses the invisible distinction between child and adult.

I am going on a Global Citizen Year because I want to understand the world. I want to travel, speak different tongues, and enable others to see the beauty that I see so easily in far away places. I am pursuing my dream in a way I never have before in my life. This is why I have such unerring conviction in my decision. If I doubted my dream, it would cease to exist.

Instead, for the first time I feel like a grown-up. In the midst of heavy certainty, I feel free.

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Emily Soule