[written in Vienna, Austria, while on spring break in graduate school in England]
Where we are shapes what we do, and to a point, who we are–until, that is, we regain the initiative to let who we are shape what we do and where we are. And sometimes, to be able to change the “who” we must first change the “where.” So it’s not a sign of weakness that I had to step out of what I know to accomplish these changes; arguably, it’s a sign of strength. Even if it was only for about ten days, I made my life completely contingent on God and how far I was willing to push myself. And I’m excited about where I’ve ended up, both geographically and personally. I have seen with my own eyes places of the world and within myself that up till now I had only wondered about. I have seen them, and heard, smelled, tasted and touched them. I have loved them. I have made them a part of my story, a story written in purple prose by a girl whose heart explodes with love and gratitude and hope onto every page. Life doesn’t always come in chapters, but it does come in moments and scenes that make it an exquisite montage of who we are–who we all are individually but mostly who we all are collectively. These ten days have made me proud of my contribution to this amalgamation of color and music and texture that we call humanity, and they have made me even more eager to contribute further. Just as the world has helped to make me special, I can try to do the same for the (albeit already-special) world.
Thank you, God, as I leave this place with open eyes. I will soon return again with them closed.
(Later, as I sat on the train headed to Salzburg, where I would depart from to fly home, I added, “I gazed up at Rathaus one last time, still awestruck by its intricate beauty. I closed my eyes to ensure that I had sufficiently captured the image in my mind, smiled, and turned around. I walked away without looking back; I have more sights to look forward to.”)