Throughout this trip, I have been so focused on work, work, and work, that I forgot the reason why I enjoyed this course so much last year. I became so encapsulated in what I could do to help, that I forgot how important is was to be a team player. “Two heads are better than one.” Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I put so much focus on my own willingness to learn in my own special way, that I forget to open my eyes and let experiences come as they come. I put myself out there in hopes of catching attention that can spark conversation, but I end up with silence.
I am slightly offended at first but remember, “Seek to understand before you ask to be understood. ”
This speaks to my heart. I forgot how much willpower it takes to open up and be real with strangers. I forgot how a super extroverted personality can come off as too threatening. I was and have been so ready to step up to the plate, that I disregard how significant being a fly on the wall can be. Observing from the outside as well as engaging in every opportunity I am given can further enhance my learning and understand of my community.
This epiphany came to me as I was journaling. Sometimes my deepest thoughts come out while I am writing. When I can see on paper how I am feeling, I begin to look deeper into why I feel the way I do and what provokes me to feel that way. I further note how selfish I can seem on paper.
Me, me, me…
That’s not what it is about! When I first came on the trip, I was so happy and overwhelmed by everything, I just wanted a buddy to be with me all the time and get to know everyone because we were all sharing similar experiences. As I reflect on this week though, I note how out of touch with myself I have become. Sometimes in my quest to gain of knowledge and wisdom I push aside such great understanding of life that others can provide for me. I push them away in an attempt to create clarity for myself.
When I sit back and recognize this, I change. My thoughts and feelings manifest into guilt and shame. This feeling that I have let down my classmates. I have become selfish.
Over these last few days in New Orleans, I hope to better reach out and seek to understand my classmates, and my friends. Because they are what truly make the trip unforgettable.
With Deep Gratitude & Appreciation,