I’m writing this from Washington, D.C. and it’s 11:00 PM here. Today I have seen so much in so little time that I still don’t think I am here. I’ve never even thought that it would be possible for me to go to D.C and here I am. I’ve visited the White House, the MLK Memorial, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, I’ve seen the Smithsonian, I visited with the UNCF headquarters, hell I even went to see a Wizards vs Knicks game.
And throughout this entire trip, I couldn’t help but think about what I was doing with my life– post graduation. I’ve had such a strategic plan for how I want the next 10 years to look like and this small service trip I went on, has not only made all of that feel obtainable, it’s made it feel so real for me. Walking through the MLK Memorial, I read so many things that he said during his life about education and freedom for black and brown bodies that I truly believe is still possible to accomplish. During this trip, I met so many amazing people and truly can’t wait to start changing lives.
Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), I didn’t expect to get so emotional. I saw so much of our history behind those glass walls and knew that sometimes you have to GO there to GET there. I knew that I had to go out of my comfort zone with this service trip, to get to my desired level of self-identity and understand what my purpose was in life. I wouldn’t have been able to experience this trip in it’s entirety without pushing my boundaries. I broke down so many times in the museum just because I knew that people who weren’t fortunate enough to travel to D.C wouldn’t experience this museum like I had the opportunity to. I knew that some people wouldn’t even be able to learn some of the things featured in the museum based off what school districts they are in.
While this trip comes to end, I have realized in so many different ways what I am meant to do and how to leave my mark on people– even if it is just on one person. I’m a firm believer in education being one path that leads to liberation and self-identity. It’s important for people to rediscover Black history–especially black people. I picked up some books from the museum and one was titled Writings on the Wall by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and throughout the book he explores how the America of today is a fractured society and how it;s divided along the lines of race, religion, gender, political party, and economic class. Reading only a few chapters of the book has encouraged me to continue with the path God created for me and that realization wouldn’t have hit me unless I traveled 20 hours to D.C. and been uncomfortable in those spaces at first.
I say all of this to say that sometimes you have to go somewhere (spiritually or physically) to get there (where you know you need to be in life). I think that sometimes we get so caught up in comparing ourselves to people on the internet and where they are in their life not realizing that people move at different paces for different reasons. You have to be willing to step in new spaces to continue your personal development. Continuing to go through life at one stage at a time has helped me so much in understanding my purpose and understanding that sometimes my purpose may change but it still requires growth from me.