Embracing the Question Mark

Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 12:20 pm by Ona in process | No Comments

My name is Ona. I am twenty years of age and as restless as ever.

I’ve traveled on a plane from my home country of America to the country of Aruba and so I have seen with my own eyes what my country looks like when in the sky’s traffic lane. I have seen the real images of the land passing under when in a plane. I even have pictures from the trip. Yet in my memory, I can’t seem to erase the engraved map from grade school texts books. So when I was asked to go to India, I immediately accepted without any thought of what it actually means to literally go there. To literally go from my country, which does not truthfully look like the map in my mind, to the country of India, which does not look like the map in my mind or any photos on the internet or any other preconceived notions that I might think I have. As much as I’d like to think I am definitely going to India, I won’t go until I get there and I most likely won’t have gotten there until I’ve returned home and have digested a full and literal understanding of what actually happened.

I have been asked to not only defy all of these original perceptions when traveling, but to travel to India with a purpose. A purpose that is rather vague and undefined pertaining to the culture. I’m not sure I can fully conceive of the culture to which I am immersed currently. Although I identify and ingest so much here in the U.S., I feel the real question I have to answer before I can define a purpose in India is, how many new perceptions can I swallow? How much information will it take for me to fully conceive culture and the many facets there are to that word depending upon who you are or where you come from. I can only hope that like our bodies, our minds will never become too full with impression and that we can keep digesting and taking in new experiences.

Yes, to all those curious, I am beyond excited to venture to India with respectable peers. To get my hands messy when eating, sweat a little more than usual, hear new codes that equal to languages and discover new communication, but I’m more excited to openly try and make sense of it all. I think the challenge I hold to myself is to take in without any caution or preconceived expectation.

I, someone usually impatient, am embracing the lingering question mark.

Although I will do research, to India I go, armed with only an eraser for my mind’s black board.