Sunday, May 14th, 2017. 9:53pm. Ciudad de Mexico, MX.
Crazy. Today marks the official final day of the Bonderman fellowship for me. As I sit and vibe to hip-hop instrumentals, I reflect on what a journey it has been. I become increasingly grateful for my memories captured within the pages of my notebooks and with the lens of my iPhone camera, for the minds' memory book becomes fickle with time and I never want to forget the fine details of this remarkable journey.
These pages not only holds the progression of my growth, but within them also holds my healing. I came upon this blessing after a year of many achievements, yes, but only after weathering some of the greatest hardships within; storms that I just barely climbed out of. I think God was watching during my worst times, and decided to grant this girl a wish – not only the wish to see the world and grow – but also a journey towards the manifestation of inner peace and faith - in Him and in myself. I needed respite, a reboot, a renewal of confidence, strength and trust in myself. And what’s more, I believe this journey has done just that for me.
So I sit back in awe at what I’ve just done – visiting places I’d only dreamt of seeing someday, the people and cultures that have moved me so, the adventures, the lessons – now permanent reminders that life can be beautiful. That I’ve seen heaven on Earth all around the world, and that it gets better; pleasant surprises are always around the corner when you’re open to them.
I’m relieved. I’m grateful. I’m eager to observe the extent of my growth upon return and seeing what aspects of my life change as a result. 8 months as a Bonderman fellow now at it’s conclusion – but I maintain the firm knowing in my heart that this conclusion is simply the beginning of a lifetime of traveling, adventure, and novel experiences. The travel bug is in my blood – my curiosity about the world can never be quelled; my thirst for connection, for knowing, for seeing new places will never die.
Thank God, first and foremost. Thank you Bonderman for creating such a dream opportunity for students. Thank you Umich, LSA, CGIS, and the Bonderman committee for seeing something in me that propelled you to select me as 1 of 4 to embark on this journey of a lifetime. I thank my Mom and family for supporting this dream of mine. And I thank myself, for putting the wheels in motion and applying, despite my darkest hour.
“Perhaps our intuition still speaks to us, even if just a whisper, reminding us to never forget our dreams and to believe in our power to manifest them into reality” – Mook (K.D.)
Peace, love and blessings y’all!