Finding a home

Nataly Miguez - Brazil


September 6, 2019

I woke up the morning of the first day of global launch and I was greeted by an overwhelming fear that trickled down my spine. Up until this moment, all I could think about was how ready and excited I was to finally start this journey and suddenly, it was the last thing I wanted to do. My mind was racing with thoughts about who I would meet, if I would fit in, and how I was going to handle being away from home for so long. The fact that I was leaving really hadn’t settled in until I found myself dragging my luggage to the car, and on my way to the airport. It was too late to turn back. Saying goodbye to my family, watching my mother’s eyes water as I gave her a final hug and I waited in line for airport security made me rethink about the decision I had made. What have I done. As soon as I sat on the airplane, I put on my headphones as i attempted to drown out every thought consuming my mind, until I fell asleep. After being greeted by the GCY staff at the airport, I was immediately thrown into conversation with the other arriving fellows. Just in that small group, I met so many people from so many parts of the world, some places I didn’t even know existed. I arrived at the Stanford campus, settled in, and went to the first grounding activity. I listened to all these new faces describe the exact same emotions I was feeling. In a crowd of almost 150 fellows, a myriad of strangers, I realized we shared a common ground: we were scared and confused. For someone who is usually shy and reserved, I found myself talking more than I’d ever expect myself to in an environment so fresh and different than what I’m used to. On my way to my dorm from dinner, I took a detour and decided to walk around campus. The breathtaking architecture reflecting the glow of the lavender sky made me stand there for some time and appreciate where I was standing. While thinking about how much I missed home, I thought about how home isn’t a physical place, or the people that I associate with a place. Home is this beating heart that I carry with me at all times. Home is what I make of the circumstances I’m in. No matter where I go, or how far I go, the only thing that remains constant is myself. As I go through the next 8 months learning more about myself and the world, I will go through this with myself. I am here for me, I am available for myself. People and places will come and go, but I will always be here. I am a constant. I am home, because I am my home. 

Nataly Miguez