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Last days in Nicaragua and my life list

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The first time I saw David Seibel after I was awarded the Fellowship was at the Harvard Negotiation Project’s Mediation course at Harvard Law School. On my drive home I called my friend and said, “He told me that part of my responsibility is to cross things off my life list. Things I’ve always wanted to do, that this is my year to do them. I’m hearing him wrong, right?” As it turns out, I wasn’t. My first day at the Insight office I sat at my desk and scratched out a measly list of things I wanted to do in my lifetime. It varied from going to every Disney park on the planet to going to Mount Rushmore. David and I worked over the summer to really try and pinpoint why each item was on my list. To be honest, I was overwhelmed, if this is my year to do these things, I don’t want to skip a beat.

The past few weeks in Nicaragua have made me hyperaware of the fact that I have been crossing things off my life list that I didn’t even know where on my life list. Did you know you could sit on a sled and “volcano board” down the side of an active volcano? I didn’t, but you can only do it in Nicaragua, and this week that was both added and crossed off my list.

At this moment, as I sit and reflect about my life list, I’m almost finished crossing “Complete the Insight Fellowship” off, and I can’t believe it. The idea of this list and the structure of this fellowship have allowed me to take ownership of and get excited about so many facets of my life. In years past when I would have compared my life list to that of the person next to me, and I have become the Nicole Carli who is proud of every random item and of everything I want to accomplish and have accomplished. My life list no longer taunts me as it did ten months, I have found away to embrace its flexibility, and that makes me a more confident version of myself.