In the musical Les Miserables, Jean Valjean asks who am I? He struggles between keeping his identity hidden or telling the truth so an innocent man will not be imprisoned. In the end he declares that he is Jean Valjean, even if it means that he would go back to prison. We all, at some point, wonder who we are, what our life means, and what we are supposed to do with our lives. I have asked myself this question a thousand times, especially recently. As a recent college graduate I have struggled to figure out what I am being called to do. Instead of doing what society, and my parents, said I should do: go to graduate school, spend thousands of dollars, and come out with a degree I wasn’t sure I wanted, I decided to take a year off. Mind you this was two weeks before graduation, after I had been accepted into a great graduate program. As I look back on my decision, it was possibly the best choice I could have made.
So who am I? I am Hannah, a devout Catholic, the oldest of 6 kids, and an avid American history buff. I love to hike, camp, horseback ride, pretty much anything that involves the outdoors. I am Conservative, with strong beliefs based on tradition. I value honesty, hard-work, family and volunteer work. I believe that God put me here for a purpose greater than myself. I do not know what that purpose is but I am beginning to understand it. I am passionate about modern-day slavery issues, particularly human trafficking and sex-slavery. I believe that we must fight for those whom society has forgotten.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated that “success is to laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Through my work and my writing I hope to reach one or two people who will pass on the knowledge and remember to fight for those once forgotten.