This time last year I was preparing for my Gap-Year. I was in a daze and mind boggled by the thought of me being out of the country for 7 months. Would the experience help me? Would it make me stronger? What will I learn? Well this time around, I can answer these questions. Not at their full volumes because I still have 2 more weeks, but coming this far, I can truly say that I have went from bud to mid-blossom. I am, in the words of Dennis, "THRIVING". I may not have started my own organization, and I may be still confused about my community project, but I can honestly say I am becoming more grounded in self, which is why I embarked on this gap-year journey. I sit in my spacious room on my comfortably firm bed, and I think about the emotional and mental transformation I have made throughout this entire experience and I can surely say I have awaken.
Sometimes it takes drastic situations to truly awaken us on a level deeper than the surface. Here in India, I have experienced some of the most challenging experiences of my life, and I have also had some of the most terrifyingly adventurous moments. Be it trying to walk home from a place that’s not too far from home and I get lost. Or, maybe it's late at night and i've found myself lost in an auto with an Hindi/ Marathi only speaking driver, his phone has died, and my phone has died. Sigh, yeah this has become quite a familiar disaster, especially coming from someone who constantly breaks their personal phone. I am often forced to at times bear with the GCY phone with an unreliable battery. In these situations, I have learned to define trust in a new way. In moments like these, an individual is forced to put their trust and safety in the hands of others. This same kind of trust is a level of trust I did not cope well with before coming to India. I have coped with and adapted to a new perspective. Deep inside I began to realize the immensely intense level of vulnerability India has brought out of me. India has so far, humbled me. It has forced me to bow to unpredictable circumstances and to see the good in huge situations that may from the surface only appear to be ugly. India has given me a special magnifying class that has not only allowed me to see deeper within myself, but I now see deeper into others, situations, and experiences.
From my challenging experiences I have gathered lots of strength and inspiration. Comparing my mental and emotional capacity months ago to now I will say they have both expanded significantly. I can now control myself in situations that I once lacked emotional and mental discipline in. Fortunately, my ability to communicate has also became stronger. I can now speak up about things I was once afraid to say something about. For example, I now have no problem communicating my true honest feelings in the moment. When it comes to inspiration I have been inspired to work harder in making a change in this world, even if that change is as simple as making someone happy or giving them the experience of feeling loved or supported. When people are at their lowest points it opens a great opportunity for you to be that change in their lives with just a simple smile, support, and genuine kindness.