Monday, July 7, 2014

"Hasta luego, Michelle!"

"La vida es un libro del que, quien no ha visto más que su patria, no ha leído más que una página."
 - Filippo Pananti

(Life is a book; those who have not seen more than their homeland have not read more than a page.)

Unpacked bags littered the floor. Clothing and toiletries were scattered across a couch. Uncertainty and excitement buzzed over this scene in my living room while my mind rattled anxiously.
This was the state in which I left my house this evening to supposedly “just say goodbye to one friend before you go.” As it turned out, a whole surprise party awaited me.

Needless to say I was VERY surprised. And moved. And grateful. Reality finally sunk in that these were the people, the memories, and the life I would be leaving behind. As a Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) fellow, I will be volunteering for an international non-profit called Endeavor in Mexico City to help support and promote high-impact entrepreneurship in the city. The months of applying, deciding to accept the offer, and planning to move to Mexico for a year finally culminated in a rush of goodbye hugs and a plane leaving in two days. And, yes, I cried. But I also couldn’t stop smiling.

This unexpected send-off celebration reminded me of some important things that I had momentarily forgotten in the rush of preparation:

1. My family and friends will remain a source of support and encouragement, even from across the border.

2. I am ready. I am eager for this new chapter of my life and the challenges and successes it will bring.

3. Working for a year in Mexico is a big step, but it is one that I chose in order to continue learning how to contribute to this world as a global citizen.

4. Despite moving to a country which (in my opinion) has some of the best cuisine on earth, the party’s Chipotle catering reminded me that I will in fact miss Chipotle, of all things, while I am in Mexico (I guess this truly exposes me as a gringa).

5. The unattended pile in my living room doesn’t really matter; what I bring with me won’t define this experience. What WILL define this fellowship experience is my willingness to meet new people, embrace change, seek challenges, and explore a new culture. 

And I couldn’t have asked for a better send-off reminder than that.


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  2. Let the adventure begin! Go and make your impact on the world and know that you are thought of everyday by your family and friends back in the USA.
    Love, the Mohacsi's