The city lights pushed through the haze in the distance and the mountains’ shadows loomed just beyond.
I’d forgotten how far away the stars could appear. And just how small they could make me feel.
I found myself on the roof of the guest house where I'd been staying for the past two weeks.
My head was racked with more than I could really process, so I tucked headphones into my ears and just lay there, taking in all that surrounded.
Everything’s so much bigger than me—the sky, the world, the problems of this country and the problem of not knowing my place in it all. In the grand scope of things, in the entirety of my smallness against the world’s immensity, how can I really expect to have a place, a small hole designed for me to fill?
The wind that blew through the mango trees beside me and cooled my body as I lay there seemed to be the only thing that could bring me down and out of my own head. The breeze felt the way I imagine God's hand might feel if he was easing me back to the present.
In that moment, I found a sliver of understanding in my sea of unresolve as I noticed a line that played in my ears—a line I’ve heard a million times, resting inside one of my favorite songs.
“I was raised up believing I was somehow unique,like a snowflake, distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see. And now after some thinking, I think I’d rather be a functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me.”
The song reminded me of something I've known to be true:I want to serve a greater purpose. I’ll never be bigger than the problems I come into contact with, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a small part in something bigger than myself.
There’s no blinking sign, telling me just what to do to fill that role, but I have a strong feeling I’ll find it.
Here in Haiti, I’ve felt entirely alive. I’m alive when I take a picture that I hope brings both me and maybe another closer to understanding a culture outside our own. I’m alive when I write the stories of these people and the lessons they’re teaching me. I’m alive when I play with kids who speak a different language, yet we're still able to connect. I’m alive when I interact with people in this country pushing towards hope, compassion, peace and change—people who inspire me to do the same.
There's no therapy quite like being under a sky full of stars. In the moments when I feel entirely small, I'm reminded I want to be a part of something bigger.
“But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be. I’ll get back to you someday soon, you will see.”
Enjoying and learning from this chapter as the pages turn