Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why you are here?  Why do you do what you do?  It’s a difficult question to answer, even if you have spent hours thinking about the reasons and trying to figure out the rhymes.

I’ve found that I often get in trouble when I answer this question without going into depth behind the reasonings.  It’s so easy to step up and answer honestly, “I’m here because I made a commitment to this program.”

It’s true, but there is so much more and the words are so hard to find because I have still yet to discover them all for myself.

I’m here because my team is here.  I’m here to lead them, because they have led me to discover what it means to not only serve, but to lead.  I’m here not only to support them, I find that I love it here because I am supported by these individuals.

I do what I do because I am drawn to serve.  I want to be the change in the world.  I want to prove to myself that I am capable of saving myself from my own thoughts and fears.

Looking back, I’ve discovered something that scares me.  That reveals so much.  That is still a mystery in and of itself.

I chase the thrill of disasters, be it tornadoes, wildfires, or hurricanes.  I thrive off of that chaos.  I thrive off of the chase.  But it is also one of my greatest fears.  I fear what I will find.  I fear what I will see.  Experience.  Witness.

I am chased by my own demons.  Memories that continue to haunt the silence of the night.

I couldn’t save that little child that was brought into that little clinic in Africa.  I saw my fears in the nightmares that surrounded Joplin.  I couldn’t sleep because I saw things, heard things, smelled things for weeks after departing the city had been leveled by the roaring winds.

The darkness of night scarred me.  It scares me to this day.

I joined AmeriCorps*NCCC – FEMA Corps to serve.  To make a change.

To save someone.  Even if it is just myself.

After writing and thinking for several days, I’ve come to realize that I chase after the disasters to find myself.  To rediscover myself so that I may be able to help someone because I was helpless before.

There was nothing I could have done.  I know that.  But deep down, somehow, I’m trying to prepare myself for that instant when I don’t know who I am anymore.

I did make a commitment to this program.  I’ve turned my back on so many opportunities, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be.  I’m here because for so long I was lost, and I am finding my way back to who I am.  Back to my center.

It is not the questions that leave us asking for more, it’s the answers that reveal who we are.

We live in a society that is broken.  We are filled with our past.  Our trauma reveals who we are.  We fall and we learn to pick ourselves back up.  That is what makes us human.

God Bless and PEACE


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