I often reflect on events in my life for being the pivotal moments when the trajectory of my life changed. Incredible moments like my Rotary Youth Exchange year and not so great moments like appendicitis in Kyrgyzstan have led me to who I am today. I am glad for all of these things because my life is truly a fortunate one, and I wouldn’t change how I got here. Hurricane Katrina is one of those events, and now after a decade has passed since that fateful day, I reflect on the impact it had on my life.
On this 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I take note that I rarely consider this event to be one that shaped the course of my life. I don’t know how I’ve missed it, I don’t know why I’ve been so consciously avoiding it, but that moment was for me, as for so many others, perhaps the most critical event of my life.
Katrina led me to two years of employment with the Red Cross. Katrina taught me everything I know about emergency preparedness. Katrina taught me about how easy it is for a disaster to strike close to home. Katrina taught me to be always generous when walking amongst the plight of others. Katrina is the reason why I chose to abandon my work responsibilities two years later during Hurricane Gustav and lend a hand once more to those in need in Louisiana. Katrina piled on a sense of responsibility in me when I joined the Peace Corps. Katrina gave me many of the tools I have today, making me a strong candidate for the US Foreign Service. Katrina is always with me, reminding me to be a service-oriented Rotarian.
Perhaps I’ve missed identifying this pivotal moment because I was too caught up in the moment, or maybe because I never wanted to view that disaster as something which molded me into a better person. Whatever it was, ten years later, I remember the experience and all of my loved ones who played inspiring roles in making that moment one that truly mattered.
Though I can’t say this about the storm, I can say wholeheartedly that I am thankful to each of you who were part of that trajectory change. Be well in the world wherever you are, and never forget.
Featured Photo Credit: From LSU: In The Eye of The Storm
Travel addict. Ambitious about making the world a better place. Writing what I learn along the way.View All Post