Seven months ago, I set out on a journey that pulled me halfway across the country to Saint Louis University. To say that this adventure was always easy would be lying. Change is difficult. Moving away from family is hard. Continuously discovering and rediscovering who you are and who you want to be takes a lot of work! When we stop and really think about it though, what is all of that work for?
(Gabriela Keator, pictured center, with two friends Hannah and Julia.)
I feel as though many work through life trying to be something. I cannot tell you how many times either I have asked another person or have been asked myself: “What do you want to do? What do you want to be? What is your plan?”
"Outliving yourself can only happen when you first have the courage to truly live."
I have come to realize over the past seven months that, while these questions are important, there is another question that has infinitely more impact. At the very end of the day, I care much less about what I want to do with my life and am far more concerned with who I want to be and who I want to continue to become during this one, wild, and precious life that I have been gifted.
Outliving yourself can only happen when you first have the courage to truly live. I want to run through this life unashamed and unafraid, my eyes fixed on God and God’s plans for me. I want to live full of passion and compassion, intensity, and intention.
"I strive to outlive myself every day simply by being present and loving those I encounter."
Through singing with a praise and worship band, tutoring a little boy from Ethiopia, raising money for local Children’s Hospitals, and by simply being willing to smile walking through my campus, I am moving closer and closer to becoming the person I want to be. I strive to outlive myself every day simply by being present and loving those I encounter. Not all days are easy, but the people I meet and the experiences I have along the way are worth it. I am so blessed to be where I am right now and cannot wait to continue living and outliving myself and see where the adventure leads.
Gabriela Keator is a student at St. Louis University and a recipient of a 2017 Taylor's Gift Scholarship presented by NIKE North America Merchandising.
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