Choosing Love Over Fear

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It is true that life becomes a momentous journey when you decide to choose love over fear in everything you do, and I mean EVERYTHING.

When I decided what language to study in college for my major I chose with love, which led me to Swahili. There was an intrigue that arose within me for a challenge that evolves from learning a non-european language. Instead of listening to my doubtful fears that this was not worth my time or energy, I leaped into what would be one of the best decisions I have made thus far. In the end, Swahili led me to East Africa and back. I found that along the way choosing my love and passion for learning, communicating, and adventure over fear of discomfort, failure or even misunderstanding brought me even more than I could have ever imagined. It was in a small village in Northern Tanzania where this notion of love over fear manifested into a new reality for me, the reality of applying my swahili studies in a way that I would never forget… 

A woman and two children with stickers of their head smile at the camera.

This was it. This was the moment I knew that all of my hard work, dedication, and commitment to language would pay off. It was within this small classroom, in the middle of a rural town in Northern Tanzania, that I finally realized the possibilities that learning Swahili could bring to my life, my experience, and my confidence.

That afternoon I had the opportunity to teach english, math, and science to thirty incredibly energetic, and passionate students. Being able to teach them in a language other than my own brought me a true sense of humility, knowing that each and every one of them could understand, feel at home, and connect in familiarity as I led the class. I may never be a teacher, but it was in this moment, thousands of miles away from home, that I recognized a counterpoint in my language learning – it can go beyond the classroom, and it will if you are dedicated enough.

Always choose love over fear, especially when it comes to learning a new language. 

A woman smiles at the camera in front of water.

 – Story by Kristen Gmerek