When I chose this path, I stepped into a new role and accepted new responsibilities. Now, it’s my turn to take a step away from all that I know and into everything I don’t. I’m stepping back from this life I’m living in order to make it my own. It’s my duty to listen and observe and embrace – to appreciate this world for everything it has to offer.

            It’s all too easy to take each day for granted. We get so accustomed to routines and schedules and habits; we’re caught up in the traffic of our own minds, unable to free ourselves. I, too, was subject to my own self-importance until the day I arrived at Pre-Departure Training.

            It was in the heart of California’s coastal redwoods that I discovered I had everything to be grateful for. The most important of which being that, in a short week, I’ve formed relationships stronger than any I’ve ever had. Together, we’ve stepped outside of our comfort zones and started a journey of life-long growth. I’ve opened my soul to these people; I’ve loved them without hesitation. Although many of us may be parting ways in the morning, my global cohort will hold a special place in my heart throughout the next eight months.

            The fellows I’ve met have given me purpose. They’ve inspired me to hold this world close to my heart and understand it in a deeper way than ever before. These priceless relationships I’ve formed are giving my life meaning, that is how I undoubtedly know I’m right where I belong.



I believe that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. Life works in ways we can’t quite comprehend and fate guides our footsteps – I could’ve landed anywhere but here. I didn’t. If my world had to fall apart and rebuild itself in order to set me on this path, then so be it; I am right where I belong.