Photo Credit: From LSU: In The Eye of The Storm
There are events in my life that I often reflect on for being the pivotal moments when the trajectory of my life changed. Great 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 the life I live now is truly a fortunate one and I wouldn’t change how I got here. Hurricane Katrina is one of these events, and now after a decade has passed since that destructive day, I reflect on how my life has been impacted.
On this 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I take note that I rarely consider this event to be one which 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 single most important 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 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 which makes 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 which truly mattered.
Though I can’t say this about the storm, I can say wholeheartedly that I am thankful to each and every one of you who were part of that trajectory change. Be well in the world wherever you are, and never forget.
Preview my new book now and learn how to:
Just let me know where to send it!