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Through the Journey

September 19, 2012

By Aaron Bryant, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Langston Hughes Academy

In City Year culture there is a hierarchy that we all go through. It is a reference to Greek Mythos and is called the Hero’s Journey. Three steps are involved in the Hero’s Journey.  The  first is actually traveling to the location. This is usually characterized by the hero traveling to his trial and being unsure or unprepared for what lies ahead. This is a brief glimpse into my journey.

I look at what lay before me.  Ten steps to the car.  Ten steps into the unknown. My goodbyes said and the car packed, this was the last 10 steps I would take in my old life. My first step went sound, but the moment my foot kissed the pavement something within me changed. Like a snake in the grass, fear slithered into my heart and limbs, making them stiff.

Step two. I am now paralyzed. Something primal in me has awakened.
This was no longer fear but rather unabashed and unmitigated horror stemming from knowing I would soon face the unknown. This feeling grew in my belly until it weighed like a stone inside of me. My body felt a jolt as my heart pumped adrenaline into my body. My mind screamed “RUN, RUN!”

Steps three through seven were my attempt to run back, to return to the haven of my household.  In my haste and confusion, I found myself running to my car.  What was happening?  Was my body telling me to go, to leave the old behind and start the new?

The final three steps were surreal.  A new change swept over me.  I slowed myself to a halt. I breathed deep and clear. The humid air winding through my lungs steadied me.  I grabbed the door handle.  The cold steel bended to my will and opened the door with a reassuring click.  This was the right decision.

I sat in the car and closed the door and away we drove… my fear and I.

Even though that was barely more than two months ago, these emotions that were a part of me seem like a distant memory. Now that I am in service, fear has moved out of my heart.  In its place lives a heart of courage which gives me the drive to serve these children and the City of New Orleans.



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