Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The wish bracelet

Those of you that have known me the past few years might have heard my story about the wish bracelet from Argentina. 

If not, here's the short version: 
(You can read my original blog entry about the bracelet in my Argentina blog, Becca's Adventures in Argentina). 

I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina from July-December of 2007. I had only been there a few weeks when I struck up a conversation with a hippie/artist in Plaza Serrano while waiting on some friends. After talking for a few minutes, he gave me a bracelet and explained that it was a wish bracelet ("una pulsera de deseos"). I had to make a wish on it while he tied it on my wrist and when it fell off it would come true. Knowing that study abroad could be a life-changing experience,  I wished for "direction."

the bracelet
I feel like my life turned upside down during my semester in Argentina -- for better or for worse it was a true growing experience. I tried new things and was open to new ideas and new perspectives. Looking back, I feel like I tried to live out other extremes of my personality in an attempt to "test" the person everyone knew me as back home and really to figure out who I was. But the bracelet stayed on my wrist. 

Since then I graduated from Elon University, applied and declined grad schools in the US, was awarded the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, applied and was accepted to UNAM and the Universidad de Guadalajara, worked for Education Based Latino Outreach in Baltimore and moved to Mexico City and started my Master's program at UNAM. 

And on Sunday -- after 3 years and 3 months -- the bracelet fell off. 

I had always joked that I wanted the bracelet to fall off at some monumental moment or to coincide with a major epiphany (And really? After 3 years? I wanted something to justify it being on my wrist that long!), but that wasn't the case. 

I can tell you that I now "know where I'm going" (to Chiapas for a vacation in December, which I had decided on a few days earlier). 

Or since it flung off my wrist as I realized, "Oh no, I'm late. I need to get going!" I can tell you it means my direction is to "get up and get moving" with my life.  

Or maybe it's an accumulative thing. Whereas in Argentina I was trying to live a completely separate and distinct life from what I had known previously, here in Mexico I'm living my life -- it just happens to be taking place in a different country at the moment. Do I have my life all figured out now? Absolutely not. But I have definitely grown and learned a ton since that August day in 2007. 

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