Coming Home Right. Tracing the Footsteps of Social Change
I'm still in awe of the lived experience I experienced over in Africa. Words can't express how humbled and how grateful I am to have gone on an experience like the one encountered during our global seminar. Originally I was really sad about my return back to The States. How could I possibly explain to people how much my life changed in 3 weeks, how much I grew, how motivated I feel, how enlightened my thoughts are. With barely any time to recover from the jet lag it seems to be a strenuous task mentally and emotionally.
What I had to realize was that in order for me to come home in the right mindset, ready to jump back into the busy life that awaited me I couldn't feel sad or emotionally uneasy about leaving my new favorite place. I thought Cape Town was my paradise, but in all reality paradise was in my mind, Cape Town just helped me find it again. This trip allowed me to be myself and accepting of all of the layers that make up who I am.
As transition back to life in America I'll remember that I just spend time with people who had fewer material belongings and more happiness, so that I can be content with what I have and appreciative. I remembered how surrounding yourself with a group of positive people can really enforce the necessity for community and social awareness. As I travel to new spaces I'll keep in mind that there may be lived experiences in every individual that cause differences opinion or action. Genuine relationships take time, and it's absolutely necessary to accept the process.
Initially I was sad about coming home back to the states, worrying that no one would understand the way my life and perspective have changed. Now my main concern is making sure that I'm maintaining the new sense of awareness and identity when the realities of a global and changing world are less visible in my every day activities.
"As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Nelson Mandela.
No longer will I walk into unfamiliar spaces fearing the unknown. There is value in my ability to walk into uncharted territories paving the way and creating my own path to a destiny made especially from me.This is what the leaders and liberators of South Africa did, and I feel inspired to do the same. Africa reminded me that there's a beauty in the world that is only seen by those willing to go out and search for it. Those who find it must be willing to fight for it. Cape Town, South Africa reminded me that we have something in the world worth fighting for, and now I can go home in the right state of mind. Remembering the footsteps that have been made before me I'll leave my own traces in history inspired by ones I experienced in one of the meccas of social change. Thank you Cape Town for the reconciliation of my identity and for allowing me to trace the footsteps of social change.