The Before

It’s really weird to think that in 2 days I’ll be hopping onto an airplane to fly to Berlin. Right now I’m in that awkward phase between unpacking from moving out of my dorm room to packing up a bag to last me for about 4 weeks in Europe. My room is in disarray, and it feels like everything I put up will just be taken out again to put into my suitcase for me to use across the Atlantic. My room isn’t the only thing in disarray either, my mind is as well. We tend to have the environments we live in reflect some aspect of our mind, conscious or unconscious, and that holds true for my room that is cluttered and confused. I am cluttered and confused. I have all these hopes, all these “what ifs” going around in my head, about the journey that I will embark on beginning Tuesday. Dr. Pitcock always told us to go into the experience with no expectations, but that is easier said than done. I feel like every single one of us has constructed some sort of model in our minds that we expect CR10 to be like. It’s only natural for us to do that, but the moment that it becomes real is the moment we let go of that prototype and allow CR to be CR the way it should be naturally. Currently, I am trying to let go of my thoughts of how CR should go and just let CR be CR. That being said, there’s no reason why I can’t have goals for myself on this experience. I feel like setting these goals for myself will allow me to open myself up more to the people around me and allow them to influence me to be a better version of myself, and hopefully I can do the same to them. I have 3 main goals for this experience:

1- I want to be able to connect to God on a different level

My faith is the single most important aspect of my life to me. I know that I could be the richest man in the world, but if I don’t have Jesus, I have nothing. I could be the poorest man in the world, but I have Jesus, then I have everything. I truly hope that God uses CR to help me learn more about Him and more about His plan for my life.

2- I want to learn more about European culture

This one may seem a little superficial, but it’s true. I have little to no global awareness of how other cultures operate, so I really want to be influenced by the culture overseas and allow it to broaden my horizons.

3- I want to let go of my hesitations and go all in for people

NOW we’re getting deep. So sometimes, especially with people I don’t know very well, I build walls up around myself and kind of hold back when getting to know people. Usually people have to open up to me before I open up to them. There is some value to this, and I’m not trying to be sharing my feelings with every stranger on the street, but I really want to work on being more intentional with my relationships with others and being a genuine positive influence on people’s lives, whether that’s a smile like when passing a stranger on a street, or being truly open and honest with someone that I see on a pretty regular basis (like the other 15 students on this experience) and allowing them to get to know me and me genuinely wanting to know them and be there for them. I hope I have the opportunity to be there for others to lean on, and also allow myself to lean on others on this experience.

So there they are. My 3 big goals for CR10. I haven no doubt that as CR progresses I will develop more goals based on our activities and relationships we build, but those are my big 3 goals before my plane leaves the runway on Tuesday.

The sun is rising on CR10. I can see it now, and for all of you Disney fans out there, you can just hear the opening song of the Lion King playing (but pretend the sun is rising over the streets of Berlin, not the African Savanna). I can’t wait to see where we go and how we mesh as a group on this amazing experience. See you in Europe.

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