In the last few months I have had two experiences, both of which have taught me an important lesson. It began with participating in Minnesota State History Day, I had a goal to win the competition and go to the National History Day competition in Washington D.C. so I could see the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. When I didn’t make it to nationals (I was told that my project was too science focused) I was really sad. Although I still feel sad about not advancing, I have realized that it’s the journey that’s important, not the destination. It truly has been a wonderful journey.
Working on this history day presentation has opened so many doors for me. I have interviewed Susan Freeman (ISS engineer), Luca Parmitano (ESA astronaut), and Bob Blume (president of Aerospace Fabrications), among others. But perhaps the most incredible spinoff, if you’ll pardon my adjective, has been getting to see the shuttle Endeavour launch yesterday. The research online for my history day project led me to discover the upcoming launch of Endeavour and convince my mom to take me to Florida to witness this most incredible and historic event. I am thankful that my history day project pushed me towards this new path, a spectacular stepping-stone along my journey.
My new goal was to see the shuttle launch, and although I accomplished that I was once again reminded of the importance of the journey. I found the shuttle launch to be an absolutely amazing site, one that I will always remember, even if it was only a four second experience. And yet, it was not the best part of my trip. The best part of my trip was the people I met. I have been fortunate enough to meet an amazing number of wonderful people while at NASA. Below are some pictures of amazing people I met while on this launch journey. I come away from this trip with a truly valuable lesson, that it is the people you meet and the things you do along the way that are truly important.
I continue along my journey with renewed determination and persistence as I lead my generation, the Mars Generation, towards the great mark on history we are meant to make with our journey to Mars. Remembering in the future that although there are many incredible destinations, to not forget the importance of the journey.
That is, of course, unless the destination is mars. It would have to be a pretty amazing journey (I’m talking alien contact amazing) to beat that destination. 🙂