Estoy Lista.

Madeline Lisaius - Ecuador


August 14, 2013

Recently, I have been thinking about give-and-take. To get the “Debbie-Downer” material out of the way, I fractured my arm and have been somewhat puzzled by it. A year ago, I probably would have been angry, sullen, and all “why me?” about the break. But when a member at the gym I worked at gave me that stereotypical concerned expression, I heard myself say (and quite confidently, I might add), “I’m considering it as a life experience.”

Woah. “I’m considering it as a life experience”? Never expected that line out of myself. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize it’s true. Sure, I’ve given up my neat handwriting, cello playing posture, and ponytail tying abilities for now. But I know what cracking a bone feels like, I’ve been to the ER for the first time ever, and I appreciate my former lack of early-morning arm pain. This give-and-take is really OK, and being able to radically accept not-super-awesome situations and move on with my life is more than OK. It’s fantastic.

Global Citizen Year has this give-and-take philosophy. I describe Global Citizen Year as “taking away a comfortable future,” and I mean that in the best way possible. By choosing a bridge year, the normalized college experience is delayed, the school-break-school-break cycle is broken, and the expectation of always being so connected is challenged. And where I am in my life phases, having the opportunity to step into a somewhat scary and unknown future is a true gift. Because I believe that being too comfortable with where life is headed isn’t really conducive to positive things. 

So looking into the future, what give-and-take do I expect? I expect to be challenged by many of the changes I will face while adapting to a new culture, but I look forward to the insights such a shift in perspective these changes will bring. I expect to have some really hard days, but I look forward to how much more I will appreciate the good ones. I expect that there will be so much unexpectedness.

Which is scary. But hey, isn’t that life?

Estoy lista para mi vida.

I’m ready for my life.

Madeline Lisaius