Letting go of certainty

Katarina Guillot - Ecuador


August 18, 2018

I have always been known to do the unexpected. All my life I have never wanted to be like anybody else, sound like anybody else or copy anybody else. My family always commented on my bold decisions in everything I did calling me a “leader“, not a follower. As high school was ending and I was destined to go to college something just didn’t add up in my head. I wasn’t enthusiastic. I was not excited to head off to college and continue my life. I wanted a pause. A time to reflect on my life, and where I want to take it. 

Suddenly, a few weeks before graduation, an opportunity fell perfectly into my lap in an email from my guidance counselor. A video labeled “Why take a gap year?” was attached with an application to Global Citizen Year. As I watched the video, I felt inspired and for once, in this whole year, I was excited to fill out an application. After numerous interviews, surveys, and phone calls, I began getting worried that this wasn’t going to happen and that my expectations were getting too high. 

One day in mid-June, I woke up to do my regular morning routine by checking my emails. A quick look at my inbox to see a “Congratulations” headline got me running faster than I thought I could downstairs and into my parent‘s room yelling “I got it!” 

As the days get closer to the departure date I get more awakened that this is my reality. I know for a fact that I am going to miss my friends from boarding school, my friends from Sacramento, and my loving family but knowing they support me puts my mind to ease that leaving is the right decision. 

I am uncertain what lies ahead but what is certainty exactly? As Tony Schwartz said, “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s opennesscuriosity, and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” 

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Katarina Guillot