Lessons Learned Abroad

It would be easy for me to say that my life is not different for having worked abroad.  I could just go back to doing and living the same way I was before I left and the experience would remain there…in a time capsule.  But, the reality is that events before and after working in Buenos Aires have shaped and changed my outlook on many things.  Many of the beliefs I never questioned were challenged and I had to take a stand for a few and may have to let others go to the wayside.

In Buenos Aires I realized how much influence my parents had on my actions.  They taught me to treat people with respect and dignity no matter where they came from and no matter who they were.  My mother’s actions showed me what a woman expects of a gentleman; my father’s actions showed me how it was done.  It never sunk in how much their “lead by example” influence had permeated my behavior until I arrived in Buenos Aires.

Many, while traveling abroad, act completely alien to who they are.  They act as if the world is their playground and forget they are entering another culture and someone else’s home.  I was lucky enough to meet wonderful people in Buenos Aires who helped me understand their culture while deepening the knowledge of my own.  I asked a lot of questions and received a lot of answers.  I will forever be different for the experience and I highly recommend working abroad to anyone.  Traveling for leisure is great and beautiful but working with others is its own reward and gives a deeper sense of connection with a place and its people.

This coming school year I want to be a little better to myself and others everyday.  Last year was very tough for me because of some personal demons I was dealing with along with sidelining injuries.  This year, hopefully my last at Southwestern Law School, is going to have its unique set of trials and I am confident that the lessons learned abroad will bring forth fruit at home.

Generally my personal feelings and thoughts are pretty well guarded.  I try to make my opinion as clear as possible and at the same time not give to much away.  I keep things private.  Why?  Years ago I discovered how easy it is to be negative and how difficult it is to stay positive.  For every great thing I saw there were three negative ones.  I do not want to be a part of that cycle of complaining…its not my style.  No one needs to know why you feel bad today, or why this or that plan did not work out; what would be better is if we all shared how we are going to go beyond our trials and difficulties instead of wallowing in them.  I am as guilty as anyone else, so I choose to make it a point to keep it to a minimum.

Thus, I focus on sharing positive things I believe inspire and can bring a smile.  Instead what I do is a positivity dump.  I want to throw all the positive vibes I can into the world in the hopes that they will find their way back when I need a little boost.

I know its selfish but you would be surprised how many times in my dark hours, when the “black dog” is near light shines from random places.  A stranger smiles, a friend texts or a colleague mentions that my extreme running has helped him or her get off the couch and sign up for a race.  Good vibes make their way back.

My plan for next year is three fold; (1) I plan to train hard and give myself the shot to finish top 10 in an ultra distance race, (2) graduate law school, (3) and pass the California Bar Exam.  It is important to understand that we are not what the world sees but instead what each person sees when they look in the mirror.  We are all a universe unto ourselves and sometimes we do not let each other in because we fear reprisals, fear judgements or fear ourselves.

Buenos Aires challenged me to know myself & let others in.  This is me letting others in.  I have a laundry list of things I need and want to do but some of those are a couple years away so I am going to tackle what is infront of me.  I am going to do my best to chronicle the next year of training and law here in the hopes that if someone finds some motivation to get moving and get going on their own goals my positivity dump into the world has had its desired effect.

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