Tomorrow, I leave to begin my Indian adventure. Tonight, I am feeling a bit a bit anxious, overwhelmed, and excited. I am currently plagued by the realization that I didn’t buy the extra can of dry shampoo and that I might disgust my hosts with my super oily hair. Then, I realize that my suitcases are already quite full and that surely if oily hair is offensive in India, the offended parties will sell me some dry shampoo there. Crisis averted. Welcome to my thought process.
Luckily, my thoughts keep returning to how amazing my life is and how much I am leaving behind for the next few weeks. Starting with India ice cream cake and ending with last night’s farewell happy hour, I have been showered with love and well wishes for my summer abroad. All the people in my life seem genuinely glad to be rid of me for a few weeks. Or maybe they are just intuitive enough to know how much I need this summer away.
I have been well loved my entire life, and my support system and safety net are infallible. I am truly lucky to have the best (and biggest) family ever and a vast network of selfless and devoted friends. As I am preparing to travel alone, I am reflecting on the fact that not everyone is so lucky. I have no idea what lives my almost students are living and whether they will ever have the chance to study abroad. If they do, I hope they feel this grateful for the life they are temporarily leaving and this excited about the new opportunities that await them.
One of the missions that we have been tasked with this summer is forming collaborative relationships with educators and students from India. We are supposed to have a real exchange of ideas about education and culture and literacy and global cooperation. I am so thankful that I get to be part of this discovery and that I get to expand my horizons, meet new friends, and be refreshed and inspired as an educator. I promise to do my best to authentically and positively represent myself, my family, Bowie High, and America.
I never studied abroad in college because it was too costly and I couldn’t have torn myself away from campus for a whole semester. So, in some ways, this is an experience that feels a bit delayed, but mostly, it feels like an opportunity that is coming at just the right time. I am the best me that I have been, and I am ready for whatever comes. I have always been a lucky girl who seems to be a favorite of fate, so I feel pretty sure that magic awaits.