Why am I Here Anyway?
After our first night in Essouira, something really hit me, well a whole list of things to be honest. First of all, how beyond thankful I am to be here; second of all, that maturity doesn't go along with age; and thirdly, what I want to get out of this year.
Exchange isn't a walk in the park. There are difficult times. Be it with the program, host family, friends, or school, frustration is inevitable. The question is not the frustration, but what you decide to do with it. Yes, maybe I can’t leave Rabat without my host family, but that makes traveling so much more special, and forces me to get out and explore Rabat-Sale in a way that I wouldn't have otherwise. Yes, maybe school here is far from inviting, but I am attending that school for free. There are thousands of people in this world who would love to go to a private French school in Morocco, but I’m here for free.
How can I complain about my program when I am living in Morocco for free? How can I even peep about stipends when I get one in the first place? I walk past people on the streets every day who would love to even a dirham to buy some bread, yet I have the luxury to splurge on ice cream every now and then. I am so lucky. Let me reiterate that, I am SO lucky to be here. No matter how hard it can be, or how frustrated I am, I am so thankful to be here. This year was, and still is, a dream come true. Every hardship, every tear, every laugh, every smile, is shaping me, molding me. Each experience here is adding onto my life, my story. It’s so exciting to climb into bed each night knowing that I've learned something.
This got me thinking about what I wanted to get out of the year; why I’m here in the first place. Over the course of the past 6 months, I've seen some pretty amazing things. I've eaten some pretty amazing tagine. That’s the thing though; I didn't come here for the camel rides, or the food, or even for the French. I came here for the personal growth. I came here for the life-long relationships I’d build. I came here because I believe in the YES mission statement, and because I want to make a difference!
That night was a turning point for me. I’m confident. I’m thankful. I know my days here are numbered, and I know that I’m lucky to have each and every one of them. I am confident in my maturity and everything I’m learning. But beyond all that, I know why I’m here. I know what I want to get out of this year and that’s what I’m going to do.