As I am preparing to go on this pilgrimage with the Youth Leadership Academy (YLA), I remind myself that I will be with all of my friends and familiar people, as my biggest concerns are having to meet with new people and having to speak in public. I am looking forward to being able to see how others outside of my community live, discover all of their struggles and the journeys that they have had and to be able to experience all of these things with them. Their “best” may not be the same as what we perceive as being great. Our lives are not nearly as hard as theirs, but they feel happy and are grateful for what they already have. Many of us often do not feel the way that they do in the United States, and I feel that we expect too many things to be handed to us when others have to work hard so that they are able to earn what they need in order for them to survive. I am very excited to observe and learn about how people deal with the circumstances life throws at them. I feel that this will help me to become more grateful for what I already have and give me more strength and confidence to go outside of my comfort zone. Through this journey and with the support of my peers, I choose to let go of my fear of public speaking and know that I will be able find the right words and my use of my voice. One thing I will be keeping in the back of my mind is that “Happiness comes from Hopefulness”.
~Meghan, St. James, Amesbury