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Being Brave

Being in Thailand has been a challenge.

The community in which I live is so different from what I am used to, with its bucket showers and squat toilets, loud calls to prayer from the mosque, tiny children driving motorcycles, students in classrooms with no supervision, lady boys that hoot and holler as you bike by, but I have learned to love the strangeness and the painful awkwardness of it all. I have learned to lean into my fear and search for the courage to carry on. I have learned to stop always trying to control the things around me and to instead, become a living, breathing part of the present moment. There is so much out there that I don’t understand, and, to be honest, a lot of it scares me. But I’ve come to realize that being afraid is the first step towards being brave – or at least learning how to be brave.

I have also come to realize that even though I may not be perfect, I am still worthy and always have something to give, to offer.

Imperfection is the fuel that keeps us striving for something more – a better, brighter future, not only for ourselves, but for everyone around us. Knowing that I have so much more to learn from the world and from others makes me gaze out at the unknown with a curiosity and wonder that I refuse to let fade. There is a light that shines, I think, in all of us that must not be allowed to go out, and so, I am here to continue to stoke the flame. My goal, my mission in life is to help make school more than just about learning, but about experiencing a relationship between conscious individuals that care about what it means to be human, to ride the ups and downs of life with a smile and an open heart.

And that, I’ve learned, is the real challenge.

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