The Mind of an Anxious, Pre-departing Fellow

Drew Erickson - Senegal


August 20, 2019

The Big Question: am I crazy or just crazy faithful? This question skips through my head day in and day out as the move to Senegal quickly approaches. In moments of pure joy and excitement, I find a voice in the back of my mind asking… is this too crazy? This decision to GO and live a different life where I am following a different route, a unique path, an eccentric choice, is this a crazy idea? Yes, I will have the time of my life. But I will probably also face some of the biggest challenges, climb some of the highest mountains, and experience some of the lowest valleys. So just like any other decisions, this one has its good and its bad. In this decision, does the bad outweigh the good? No. Or at least… I don’t think so. Maybe I am a little out of my mind, I know everyone thinks I’m a bit insane. But we are all here on the same globe, living through the same pain, feeling the same joy, and enjoying the same love. Everyone around the world understands and shares the same human experience in this way. Remembering this makes me feel a little less insane. Instead of asking if I’m crazy, I start asking why being crazy is so worth it. As people who live short lives, we should realize that the crazy choice might just be the better choice. Don’t ask why, ask why not. And now I’ve given you a sneak peak into my racing mind.

 

In mid-April, I was sitting in my living room asking “why college?” followed by “why Senegal?”. But as the list of obvious pros grew for college, something felt too safe. For someone who loves a thrill, college seemed in-reach, easy, secure. So, I asked the question that changed it all– why not? Why not Africa, why not a gap year? This is when I decided. Because with every con I made regarding a year in Senegal, I only grew in excitement. I was bursting with anticipation. I only saw another challenge that I would get the chance to overcome. I saw adventure (in the least cheesy way possible). Put simply, in every con, there was something to learn. And that– my friends– is how you know you’re making the right decision. As indecisive as I can be, this choice seemed so black and white. I live one life here on earth, and so does the rest of this world. What a shame it would be to never cross paths with a few more people just for the sake of starting college “on time”. This, this decision, this is the right decision. And I am crazy faithful of that. <journal entry of 8/14/19>

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Drew Erickson