Tripping Up

Abigail Hindson - Ecuador

July 5, 2011

If you’ve ever spent any good amount of time with me, you will find that I fall down a lot. I have this amazing ability to somehow find every tree root and every crack in the sidewalk, and promptly trip over it.  I know exactly how to get both my feet stuck in a wet pasture and…yup, you guessed it––fall straight into the mud, and probably lots of other lovely stuff you can find in pastures.  And, just to increase my embarrassment, I’ve done it twice…in different pastures (one was just last week!).  Despite my inherent clumsiness, however, my tendency to trip, stumble, or straight-out keel over has helped me to realize a lot about myself, my community, and what I hope to find in the Global Citizen Year program.  If this sounds kind of absurd, please just stick with me for a little bit and I might start making sense, though I’m making no promises here. I think my tendency to “trip up” (literally) in life has allowed me to see that sometimes the “normal” path isn’t right for everyone––including me.  By choosing to take a bridge year instead of heading straight to college, I’ll be making a new pathway for myself, and while I’m fully expecting to fall down along the way, I know I’ll be able to get up once more.

Another thing my clumsiness has taught me is the importance of being able to accept––and eventually laugh at––my mistakes. It has also taught me that we all have our quirks, but we shouldn’t have to hide them, because we can learn a lot from them.  And I really shouldn’t try to conceal this one of mine, because, well, frankly, I can’t.

What I love––yes, love––about falling over is that it has caused me to realize what a caring community I come from.  I have noticed that whenever I stumble or just fall over, there always seem to be others around to help me get up, brush off, and keep going.  In joining a new group of Global Citizen Year Fellows, I know I’m entering an adventure with a wonderful group of individuals who will all be there to help me when I falter–and laugh with me about it after.

It isn’t just friendship and fun I seek by taking a Global Citizen Year, however; I have been raised to pursue my dreams, however intimidating and unlikely they may seem just now.  By challenging myself to adapt to a new culture, surrounded by new people, I hope to be able to make the lasting change I have always dreamed of.  The Global Citizen Year experience will be, for me, like no other––a bridge year that will create a connection between who I am today, and the actions and worldview that I hope will define me in the future.

Abigail Hindson