As David Foster Wallace explained, a fish does not know it is in water. In fact, he might even ask what water is, if you told him he was in it. Yes, we have all these things around us, but we often do not recognize it or how impactful it is.
As I am nearing closer to departing to Ecuador, I am realizing more and more that I did not notice my water. My family and friends are a big part of my own personal water. They are always there, yet I did not always realize just how much they held my world together. I find that I am clinging on to any time I can spend with them because, well, I am going to miss them in my water.
Inside my water there is also a cultural identity that, until recently, I did not even know I had. I was shown a chart which depicted American identity in comparison to other cultures and I was shocked. The importance in my life, for example, of independence and being so time effective was something I have grown up valuing, which I did not realize is really American culture. I thought the water I was in could not have been culture since I had been told that Americans lack culture, which is wrong.
For a person who has never even left the country before, in Ecuador I might just feel like a fish out of water at first. The difference now is that I am ready to be outside of what is comfortable and better myself from it. What is so important to me, is realizing what I am in now, appreciating all I have, and then welcoming in whatever is to come. Because really, the goal one day would be to have more culturally diverse water, and water that I am aware I am swimming in.