Late post // Written 6/15/2015
I am in Tanzania, and my heart is heavy. I knew this moment would come for me as it has for so many in the past. After a night involving marriage proposals from men who were no more than strangers, looking for nothing with regard to love and everything with regard to a better life, I’m stuck wondering why I don’t have to think about that when considering who I marry. Through no choice of our own, these men were born in a land far away with few resources to help them along the way, while I have never been in need of the basic necessities and still have the chance to better my situation every day. I was born in the U.S.A., the “Land of Opportunity”, while millions– billions– look wistfully at this place that I have called home for 19 years.
I like to think that I’ve worked hard, that I’ve earned at least most of what has come to me, but the truth of it is, this is privilege. I live in a country of greatness thanks to the hard-working generations here before me. I am so close to so many Tanzanians who have worked harder than I likely ever will have to, who would give anything to be where I am in life. To call my situation anything but privilege is a slap in the face to my new friends here on the other side of the world. I am blessed with more than I knew I had, and it overwhelms me. After seeing this disparity that exists, I am left searching more fervently than ever for my purpose. I don’t know what it is, but I know it is to help people. That’s the only way I know how to accept what I have been given– to give it back. Whether that means selling all that I have and moving, or taking a good job in the States and giving abundantly, or somewhere in between, I do not know. All I know is that I cannot come away from this place and continue to live life as usual.