Since the beginning of high school I have been the type of person who organizes my day, hour by hour, in my cell phone calendar, written in a planner and memorized in my head. Now, do I usually follow through with my specific every day plan? No because although I am extremely organized, I also happen to be a naturally impulsive individual and I have yet to make the two correlate well with each other. For example, I had my entire Tuesday planned out to the tee: wake up at eight, get ready, drive to Bloomington, meet with the Office of Overseas Study, go to my favorite all-vegan bakery in Bloomington, drive to Indianapolis, have dinner with my boyfriend and then drive home. A beautiful day of productivity incredibly planned and brilliantly constructed, so when I woke up at 2:15 AM with an overwhelming anxious feeling that kept me up the rest of the night, I knew my too-good-to-be-true Tuesday was just that, too good to be true.
I planned to go to Bloomington today to meet with the Office of Overseas Study to discuss my Semester at Sea acceptance, plan my intended courses and evaluate my necessary degree requirements for this voyage, but all I could think about this morning was if I was being selfish for accepting this opportunity. Is it selfish to leave my parents, my brothers, my family, my boyfriend, my AXO sisters and my friends for six months with limited communication? Is it selfish of me to be fundraising money for something I could have only ever dreamed of doing? Is it selfish of me to spend a semester at sea and then a year later begin applying for graduate school, and spending even more money? As I sat in bed, I could not help but think that the answer to all of those questions was: Yes.
But after a solid pep-talk from my mom (at five in the morning) and a trip to destress at the grocery store (it is a weird habit), I realized that I was wrong because accepting and pursuing an opportunity of a lifetime is not selfish, it is remarkable. Over 104 days I will travel by ship to fourteen cities, thirteen countries and four continents all while remaining a full-time student through Colorado State University and Indiana University. I will encounter new places, new cultures, new foods, new religions and extraordinary experiences hands on, I will travel a huge section of the world as just a junior in college and I will be able to document every single aspect of this journey to share with you all.
Despite not being a home-body, leaving the people I am closest with will be unbelievably difficult. I will miss birthdays, I will miss Thanksgiving, I will miss half of my last year living in the big white house, I will miss IU tailgate season, I will miss a lot of things that I would love to be apart of, but I will be getting an education beyond the books, beyond a desk and beyond a campus. I will be growing mentally, spiritually, emotionally and educationally as a person and I will develop a greater appreciation for the people around us, the cultures and religions practiced by millions across the globe and I will develop a greater appreciation and extensive perspective for the beautiful, incredible world we live in.
Although this next year of preparing for this voyage may have difficult times, slow growth periods and anxious outbreaks, I know I have the support that I need to overcome all of that and I want to thank you. Whether that support is financially, emotionally, spiritually or simply by following along the journey through my blog posts and social media, every single person who reads one word, donates one dollar or prays one prayer, makes such an immense difference in this journey.
So stay tuned for updates, for future fundraising events and for big announcements as we take on this opportunity of a lifetime together –