Lessons I learnt
It’s been roughly a month since I returned back from my bridge year with Global Citizen Year. The time – in combination with the lack of friends – has allowed me to reflect and think back upon my year, and draw some important lessons from it:
1: I remember myself in the beginning of last summer, I have just finished high school, and was full of fear and doubt regarding my decision to live so far away from my family, in a new and undiscovered place. looking back to the fearful teenager that I was, I now understand that a very large amount of that fear, was derived from not knowing if I would be able to ‘create’ some sort of safe space, and a support system (also known to some as a family), which for me was (and still is) a very important thing. And so, it was only a week into my immersion in my community, when I looked at my host mom and knew, that I could always go and speak to her about anything that bothers me, and that she, in return, would always be there to listen. (roughly) 9 months after that moment, I can say that my Ecuadorian mom was (and still is) a big inspiration, and motivation, to what I choose to do, and the perspective I have on things. Hence my first important lesson: You will always be able to adapt and make the most out of a new place – if you’re truly dedicated to it.
2: It was around February, when I began making (insanely good) turkish coffee in the afternoons when I returned back from work. Since my Ecuadorean parents would work all day, there was a helper in the house, to get my brother back from school, and make sure that everything is ‘functioning’ in the house. And so, I began sharing my coffee with the helper – better known as tia marlene. We would sit together, drink coffee, eat some (very good) bread and sometimes even speak a little. All that whilst my brother would run around doing his own thing – he’s a cool dude. These afternoons – although short – became a big part of my day, and I managed to get closer with my brother, and tia marlene, through something so insignificant (to some but not me) as coffee. Hence my second lesson: share a part of yourself , and others will share a part of themselves.
3: Music was always present in my life, through some form – usually an instrument laying around the house, and traditional indian or arabic music playing in the background – and so naturally I ended up playing a few different instruments. However, this year I really wanted to dedicate myself to just one instrument, and see how that contributes to my life. Luckily I found a very good guitar teacher, which was also willing to deal with my obsession with learning as many Nick Mulvey songs as possible in 8 months. And so I gradually improved my guitar skills, and spent a lot of time playing certain songs over and over again. That, in hindsight, kept me emotionally sane. Hence my third and last lesson: Always try and find a medium with which you can be 100% vulnerable, and in which you can express yourself in whichever way you choose.
Finally, a lot of people have been asking me upon my return, if now, after this bridge year, I finally know what I want to do. Unfortunately, I still have no clue. HOWEVER, since returning, I have grown to become a more assertive, self respecting human being, which continues to grow and learn from the various people and places he discovers.
Thank you all, for reading, supporting and listening to me throughout this year.