Something New

Daniel Schwarz - Ecuador

September 18, 2012

I thought to myself, “I’m going to Ecuador for 8 months.” I didn’t know why but I knew it was what I was supposed to do. Something from within me knew it was right. Something from within me knew I wasn’t ready for college. I went with my gut, something that has never failed me, and now I’m here. Living in, and loving, Ecuador.

I’ve never been so content in my life. I wake up every morning refreshed and happy. I don’t dread waking up to doing the same things over and over again. My life is different, challenging, and vivid. I love every second of it. I’m never bored and I never know what to expect. Even with all the commotion and the busyness of Quito, I’m the most relaxed I’ve been in years. I no longer dwell on the past. I don’t have time to. My brain is working harder than ever, my mind is crystal clear, and I plan to use this to my advantage.

Perhaps I came here to figure myself out or to mature – I don’t really know. I can tell you this though, every day I fail. I get lost, I forget words, and 1,000 other things, but I love every second of it. I used to be afraid to fail. In high school for example, I never tried my hardest. I think I was afraid I wouldn’t get the grade I had hoped for. So, I always aimed for something that I knew I could achieve. I do regret this. Failing isn’t always a bad thing. It shows you where to improve and what to not forget. As weird as it sounds, right now I sort of live to fail. I’m no longer afraid. In fact, I embrace it because I know in time I will no longer fail and I will succeed.

It’s a scary yet marvelous experience living in another country. I never know what the next day will hold for me. I have a memorable interaction every day. I’ve come to realize how much I enjoy interacting with people, learning a new language, and challenging myself. I am so happy I took a bridge year. It gave me a way to figure something out for myself while helping others and learning things I never would in school. I recommend this to everyone. I send my love to all my family and friends.

Daniel Schwarz