I already know the who (me, obviously), the what (Jesuit Volunteer Corps Domestic), the when (August 2011 - August 2012), the where (Boston), and now all that's left to tell people is the why.
Why, as in, why do I want to spend a year of my life making basically no money in exchange for incredibly hard work when I could get a real job or go on to grad school? Why do I want to move to a city where I don't know anyone to live with a group of people I've never met?
This is a meaningful question, and one that I have been asked and have been asking myself for quite some time now.
Because at some point over the past year, the idea of doing anything else stopped being enough.
I considered doing a lot of other things: grad school, traveling, getting a "real" job, etc. But the more time when on, when I thought of passing up this opportunity, I began to question myself. I spent a lot of time discerning if this was the right thing for me to do, and eventually I just had a moment where I realized that it would be stupid to pass up this opportunity. I knew I would wonder, and I wondered if I'd regret. There's nothing wrong with these other options, but that just wasn't the right path for me, at least at this time.
Because it's time to give back.
To those whom much is given, much is expected. And boy, have I been given a lot. SLU has given be a new conception of the meaning of service and of social justice. I've been born into a life of privilege; I've been blessed. The word "privilege" has a lot of connotations that I'm only now beginning to unpack, but I know for certain that it's a label I fit into.
Because I need to do something different.
I need to do something that's not school. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I enjoy school; I like learning and I love the challenge of academia. However, I will be the first to admit that college has taught me that there is so much more to life than just school. I have let far too much of my identity be dictated by what I do in the classroom and not enough be dictated by who I am and what I value. Rome taught me a lot about what real learning meant, and perhaps the most important lesson was that very little true learning takes place in a classroom.
Because it's a calling.
Simply put, I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. And my heart has never led me wrong before... and I'm trusting that that will pull me through.