Watching a movie after Friday night dinner was somewhat of a regular occurrence in our Salesian community
over the last year. Only a few weeks after our arrival, Cait and I were given the honor of making the film selection, and we chose none other than Disney’s Tangled. Classic. It was a hit!
It’s funny how animated Disney magic never gets old. In the movie, Rapunzel spends her whole life in her tower room watching the floating lanterns that glow every year on her birthday and dreaming of seeing them up close. She meets a charming young man who accompanies her on her journey and, just as they reach that spectacular moment for which she’d been waiting, Rapunzel stops in her tracks, anxious about what is about to happen. She didn’t know what she would do after her hopes were fulfilled, once her lifelong dream had become reality. She expresses her fear to the man, and he responds, “Well, that’s the good part. You get to go find a new dream.”
Interesting enough, this simple kids’ movie that I’ve seen so many times hit me in that moment, and all these months later, I still haven’t forgotten. That day, as my dream was at a launching point, I was just beginning to taste the sweetness of my new mission and anxious for all the glory to come. And here I am today, at its close. I’m feeling that uncomfortable mixture of joy and pain at saying goodbye to something that has been so good, while anticipating with excitement the comforts of home and being wrapped in the arms of my family and friends in the coming days. I feel peace, and I know that God is guiding me towards my future. But there’s a significant corner of my mind that is fearful, like Rapunzel, of what’s next. As of now, I have no plans, no idea of what’s in store for this next chapter of my life. What I do know, is that I will never be the same. Life in America as I once knew it can no longer be the same, because I have been changed by a people and a culture that have taught me the meaning of life. I don’t know what tomorrow looks or feels like, but I have nothing left to do but go figure it out. As I sit here in this seat, soaring at an altitude of 34,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, I feel with certainty that when this plane taps down on American soil, something incredible is about to begin. I’m off to find my new dream.