Over this past year, I have been living my life in “lasts”: the last high school football game, the last soccer game, the last day of high school. I have even found myself categorizing these last few weeks before my trip as “lasts”: the last meal as a family, the last hangout with my girls, the last hug for 8 full months. As I prepare myself to embark on my journey, I have found it harder and harder to cope with the idea of doing something for the final time. I think we can all relate to having a case of the “lasts”. Unfortunately, if we spend all of our time dreading these moments, we lose sight of the firsts in life.
A week from now I will leave the place I call home– luggage in hand, tears in my eyes, and full of emotions. Even though there are a lot of unknowns about what I will encounter, I do know my trip to Ecuador will hold a tremendous amount of firsts: the first time in California, the first time I meet the 2015 Fellows, the first time I meet my new family.
While talking with my grandparents the other day about my endeavors, they gave me a bit of advice that I think all of us can appreciate– “Bailey, always remember that it’s not what you do in life that’s important, it’s how it impacts you.” No matter whether we are going to college in the next few weeks, going to work, or traveling abroad, it’s not about what we are doing; it’s how the experience is impacting our lives.
I hope that through this blog each of you can gain a little insight as to what I am doing while in Ecuador. I hope that you can see the transformation that is happening in me as I move past the “lasts” and experience the “firsts”.