What are you leaving behind?

I have always been the type of person that needs a plan, a definitive structure, with little room for getting lost. And if I happened to get lost, it was expected and there was a place for it in the plan. Especially as I became a student at PA, I had a plan for every day down to the minute. Deviating from that plan stressed me out almost as much as my work did. I didn’t realize that making a plan everyday for an entire school year puts you in a cycle, one that is difficult to recognize. Constant preparation for the future becomes a habit, a habit that stops you from being fully present. This trip I want to emphasize slowing down and becoming completely present. So, I am going to leave behind my tendency to live in the plan instead of the event. While plans are helpful and a definitive structure can be necessary, there is a fine line between living for the future and living in present. To live in the present is to be absolutely mindful within an experience, to indulge yourself the luxury of forgetting the plan, and pulling all of your focus to one place. This journey is like no other, it is a completely unique experience with remarkable people. So, to honor this opportunity, I want to leave behind the focus I constantly place on the future, and find a new focus that exists only in the present. I am leaving behind the mental planner and the metaphorical time table; instead, I want to embrace the novelty of the moment. In leaving these things behind I can make room for something new, something that when I leave Bhutan I will take with me. 

- Claudine