Clarity. It’s a simple word, with a simple meaning. Though it was never a simple concept for me to grasp. Looking back on my sophomore year at school, I realized as the intricate web of high school got more and more complex, my understanding of clarity got less and less coherent. What should have been simple thoughts and interactions became difficult and complex. Clarity in my mind was what I lacked because I had clarity with my music; I had clarity with athletics, and academics, just not in my head. Throughout the year much I questioned almost everything, and never came up with answers, which led to musty thoughts. While I watched many of my friends continue to excel in certain areas in their life, I didn’t see a particular path for myself. The year ended without much satisfaction. I was so relieved to see summer’s face. I knew I needed the summer to reflect and dissect the school year and honestly tell myself what went wrong. I needed to make sure that when it’s the middle of the school year, and there is no sunlight, I’ll still be operating with the same zest and enthusiasm I’ll have at the beginning of the school year. Soon, summer will be meeting the midway point and I need to look back and make sure that I’m on my way.
I’m on my way back from Ahmedabad right now, about 6 hours from my home in Roxbury. Now that the program in India is over, I'm drawing on the most important thing it’s given me; the clarity I’d been longing for. I didn’t have an epiphany or reach enlightenment, I just gained clarity. No doubt Niswarth put me through numerous difficulties I’d been warned about, but just decided to not really pay attention to because I thought they wouldn’t affect me. Wrong. Niswarth threw curve balls at from pretty much every direction. Many things during the trip I expected to happen never happened and the things I would have least expected showed up sitting right next to me. Surprisingly, through this, a clarity hit me. Perhaps the clarity came from a conversation I had one night with a close friend. Or maybe it was through playing at an anganwadi (preschool) with my main man Sayid. Perhaps it came from the group discussion we had about leadership or the one about the works of Dr. King, and Mahatma Gandhi. Maybe it was the silent dinner we had. Or perhaps it came from that time I couldn’t control my emotions, and all the pressing thoughts in my mind poured out and my roommate was right there with me.
Honestly, I didn’t think there was one exact moment when I reached this happened. The accumulation of all the places I found myself in, and all the people I found myself talking to led me toward this. Everything that Niswarth has contributed to my clarity and understating I'm taking back to the US. Having this clarity doesn’t really mean I have the answers to anything. It means that I now have the capacity to begin to find answers to the important issues in my life. It’s interesting to think that it took traveling across the world to a foreign country for me to get to this point—but I'm so glad I'm here. The appreciation I have can only begin to be expressed in words. Some of the thanks simply can’t be because words simply aren’t enough. And truthfully, I'm running out of them. So thank you so much Niswarth, I love you, and always will.