The Deal Breaker

  So the semester ended and it was a rough one.  It was pretty odd too i must admit, just knowing I should have graduated if I weren’t behind.  But you know what?  I don’t regret anything, except for one thing… selfishness.  I guess when you’re a 23 year old and single, you have one person to look after.  I’m fighting for what I want to do, what I want to be, who I want to grow into… all the while forgetting what life is really about.  Life is about love.  A handful of people may or may not know the adventure I’m headed on in a few days, I tried not to boast about it because it is something that’s very dear to my heart. 

  On Tuesday I’ll be boarding a plane in D.C. to Bo, Sierra Leone for 2 weeks.  My sorority sister Nicky has done it for a few years and I contacted her because I knew this was something I wanted to do.  I really don’t know a lot, I have to admit.  But what I do know is that I will be spending two weeks in Africa, living in an orphange with no elecricity, makeup, celebrity gossip, reality TV, or any of the other mindless topics that so consume our society.  We are going to spend 2 weeks with children that have never known their parents; that fight off sickness and war everyday yet have an appreciation for life in way that we could never imagine.  When I first talked to Nicky about going on the trip I was a little nervous.  This group is affiliated with a church, and although I believe and love God dearly, I was nervous about preaching it because I’m not sure how confident I was in that.  Nicky looked at me and said “Kelly, these kids are more religious than you could ever dream.”  I’ll never forget that.  Here I am living in suburban America with the world handed to me, while these kids have literally n.o.t.h.i.n.g, yet they have more love inside of them than I could ever dream of.  I’m excited about meeting a ten year old that could teach me more about life than I’ve ever learned before.  The first team meeting we was in August and I went because I had been working up in DC this summer.  We went around the table and asked each other why we were going on the trip.  On a side note, I knew nobody hahah.  Anways, everyone said their piece, and one of the guys said “This trip is a deal breaker, I mean my life is changed because of this.  I am a college student and really I need to be spending my money on car payments but making this trip is more important to me.” 

  I loved how he said “this trip is a deal breaker.”  I feel like secretly that’s what we are all looking for.  Something deeper than where we are now.  We all want a life changing experience.  It may not be that we want these things, but as people in this generation we need experiences that help us appreciate all the simple things we have in life.  I mean to think that in a week I will be brushing my teeth with a candle and avoiding water at all costs due to parasites, I hope to come back and think fondly of all the simple things we do daily.  This trip is not going to be easy, and I hope it’s not for the lack of elecricity, warm water, or comfortable bed… but that I’ll have to leave an orphanage full of children I fall in love with.  I want this trip to be difficult because I met a kid (or kids) that just completely turned my life upside down, and made me realize how much I love all that I have and all the people in my life.  I want this trip to be difficult because when I hug those kids goodbye I’ll feel like I leave a piece of my heart with them.  I’m ready for a “deal breaker.”  This may be a little too much information for some of you reading this, but no matter what you believe in… I’m going to go ahead and say it.  I believe that God put me on the earth to be a part of missions like this.  I think this is why I am here at the end of the day, to share love. 

  We all know you don’t need to go to Africa to do this.  It’s the person next door, the lonely person in your class, the old woman at your church that sits alone everytime, the friend you haven’t called in a long time that you know is going through a rough time, your parents you love, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your best friend… they all deserve to recieve a glimpse of the love that these children in Africa give everyday.  No matter what your faith is, or if you have one at all.. the message is the same.   “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Mitch Albom.  In the spirit of the holidays, whatever it is, or just the fact that you are alive… go love somebody today.  A simple smile or acknoledgement that you care about what the other person has to say could change somebody’s life.  “Be the change you wish to see in this world. – Ghandi” I will be writing in my diary daily, so expect blog posts when I get back to technology….

I love people, I love God, I love this wonderful chance to live.  I love you 🙂 

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