The Beginning

Holly Shankin - Ecuador


August 31, 2018

A lot is happening in this week before I leave for California, and let me
tell you it is not easy. A week full of anxiety and seemingly empty of
everything else. It’s really, for lack of a better word, weird. While
visiting my friends and sisters at college my feelings are jumbled up all
on top of each other. Some of these feelings consist of being an outcast
(the only one not in college), being incredibly proud of doing what I want
to, rather than choosing the path that was paved for me, and being
overwhelmed by the changes about to come. Because of this, I have had a
very hard time mentally preparing and processing what’s to come. I am so
sad to be away from so many amazing people and such an amazing support
group, and I am scared I won’t find the support I need on my new adventure.

But I realized that I am made myself too busy being overwhelmed by what’s
to come that I forgot to get excited. I am too focused thinking about
everything I’m leaving I haven’t even begun to think about all of the
crazy, probably stressful, definitely amazing things that are going to
happen. Earlier this summer and earlier in my life (probably since 7th
grade) I have been dreaming about spending a few months abroad, living and
learning in a beautiful country, building friendships and forming stories
that will follow me for the rest of my life, and my dream is about to come
true.

I have no doubt that if I start thinking about everything at one time I
will be overwhelmed so right now I am focusing on being excited about going
to California. I am so excited to arrive in San Francisco, and to ride the
plane wondering if anyone else on it are going on this adventure with me. I
am excited to finally meet all of the GCY employees who have been helping
me with all of the tasks that I had trouble finishing, and to meet my
cohort and stay in a dorm (even better tha

Holly Shankin