The last embrace

The last embrace


Dearest gentle reader,

This shall be my last piece of writing for EmbrACE. If you have read through my writings this academic year, I really appreciate your existence and if you did not you can change that now. This blog is purely about my journey with ACE.

During the Introduction week of my masters program I saw ACE people around a lot but I never interacted with anyone until January when I came across a trip to Seville. I needed a drastic change in my life so I booked it without knowing anyone going on that trip. That trip changed my outlook on life. Almost every single person on the trip was way younger than me. The trip made me realize that although I had more than half a decade of university education behind me I had completely skipped the part where I truly enjoyed being part of this environment.

After the trip, I tried holding on to that feeling by staying in touch with a few people but my masters thesis stress weighed more than my hope for enjoyment. The true turning point in my ACE journey was the study trip to Sicily and Tunisia. I think there are very few moments in life to which you can point and say this is where it changed for the good. Mine would be the study trip. As an only child who spent most of her life in her room by herself, living with 18 other people for 12 days was a game changer. It made me realize that I thrive in community living. I love having people to talk to, eat meals with, play board games with, and annoy each other with. I must confess I enjoyed the waiting time in the airport, the long bus rides, and even overcrowded trains with people almost falling on top of each other. Sometimes I wished for delays so I could be able to spend more time with these people. I desperately wanted to hit pause. My childhood prayers had been finally answered. I felt alive on the trip. I don’t think I was living my best life before the trip. I wasn’t even close. I was barely existing. It was the people that filled me with joy and warmth.

In the last year being an active member in ACE, I have come to the realization that ACE is what it is because of the warm, inclusive and lovely people in it. ACE made me step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to try out things that scared me. I urge you, dear reader, to try the same. I can promise you, there will be people to cheer you on through it like there were for me in ACE.

I am deeply grateful for this journey and to the wonderful people I met here. I do not take any of this for granted. I wish I could have had more of it. It is bittersweet that before ACE there wasn’t anything tying me to Rotterdam. There was nothing for me to leave back or to miss. While I wish I could carry ACE with me back to India. I have an extra bag of lifelong memories and stories to share thanks to ACE.

Thank you for everything!

With all my love,