For me finding my passions has always been something I have struggled with. For the longest time I would pick something up attempt to get into it- just to put it down again after a week. I have never been great at motivating myself and I attribute most of that due to the fact that I am terrible at setting goals for myself. This has left me feeling without a purpose for sometime. Over this summer I have been able to truly discover my passion and dive into experiencing life with a full heart.
In June I was able to travel to Ecuador with an organization called Global Student Embassy which is an environmental activism program combined with international collaboration. This was something completely foreign to me as I had never been outside of the United States before and had never used Spanish outside of my Spanish class. Through this trip I was able to discover what I really love to do- service projects, traveling, experiencing different cultures, speaking spanish, and making so many new friends. This was an opportunity that took me a while to grasp. For the months prior to the trip I was uncertain if this really was something for me. Once I was able to tell myself this was something I was going to commit my whole heart into experiencing I was able to embrace every experience with open arms. This began back in January when I began to write letters asking for support for my trip both monetarily and through prayer. I would encourage others to not be afraid to take opportunities when they are within your reach. Through this experience I have learned so much about fully living life. I am going to be taking this new mindset into my senior year of high school and from there into college. I would encourage everyone to get involved whether it be locally or internationally because any sort of service helps so much. Serving is something so fulfilling because as much as you put in you will get out. By doing community service projects in Ecuador I became so much more aware of my selfishness of living a privileged life and gained a whole new world view. There is something so special about interacting with people of another country. Prior to the trip I had completed Honors Spanish Three and I was able to converse quite well with those in Ecuador. Language has gained a whole new meaning to me through this experience. Every conversation that I had in Ecuador that was in Spanish was such a learning experience for me that I am so grateful for.
Just this last week I returned from a five day mission trip with my church to Mexico. Once again another experience that has completely changed my life. Walking and working alongside those living in extreme poverty is so humbling and something we should experience. I have learned so much about myself as a person from this and also so much about what it is like in places other than my small town in California. For those of us living comfortably it is important to acknowledge those less fortunate than us. This can be seen within our close to home communities or on an international scale. From both Ecuador and Mexico I have found my purpose to serve those around me to the best of my ability.
Sometimes it is about putting yourself in an uncomfortable position in order to learn and grow from something new. Having recently turned eighteen I am so grateful for this situations that have taught me so much about stepping outside of my comfort zone. Many of us are not fully experiencing life because we are too afraid of the uncertain. We need to embrace the uncertainty and uncomfortableness because without change there is no growth.
Follow along with Eve as she travels and grows through life: