Places that have changed my life for the better.

  1. San Antonio, Texas
    1.  In January of 2017 I attended the SEEK 2017 conference for young adults. Before going to SEEK, a few friends and I submitted original songs into a contest and ended up winning a spot to sing at SEEK! Sharing our passion for singing and song writing with others is like nothing else. Standing up on stage, we could see how our music touched people which is an amazing feeling to experience. Also on SEEK I quite literally revaluated my entire life. All of the talks and the people were so inspiring that I revaluated my life and changed it for the better.
  2. Lourdes, France
    1. During the summer after my sophomore year I traveled throughout France singing in a choir called Chester Country Voices Abroad. The first stop on our travels was Lourdes, where we sang for mass and a candlelight precession. I’m not too sure how to explain the precession other than it was a form of healing. We were praising Mother Mary and her many miracles, there were so many people with various diseases and disorders. After we sang a little girl with downs syndrome came up to me and thanked me because we sang her favorite song Ave Maria. I talked to her and her caretaker for a couple minutes, after they left I broke down in tears. First because of how beautiful the precession was but also about how happy and thankful this little girl was. With everything going on her life she was just happy to be alive, meanwhile I would complain about every little thing in my life. After this experience I really started to try to enjoy just the simple things in life and to be grateful for all I have.
  3. Steubenville, Ohio
    1. For many reasons Steubenville had to be on this list. Steubenville, Ohio is where Franciscan University is. Both my parents, my brother and his wife, and now myself attended the University. Over the course of my whole life I have usually visited Franciscan at least once a year. The main moment that really put Steubenville on this list is the summer of 2016 I attended a Steubenville conference, which is a Catholic youth conference for high schoolers. I had been to previous conferences, but this one really stuck out to me because I went with people I actually knew and went to high school with. We were a group of unlikely friends, but over the course of the conference we became closer in friendship and faith and we are still close friends today. It makes life so much better with people who help you grow in your faith life. I know that the people I went with always want what is best for me which is not something everyone can say. Other than conferences I go to school here. In the short time I have been in college I have made so many friends who are the most amazing people, I know that I will know them for the rest of my life and I am totally okay with that.
  4. Rome, Italy
    1. The summer after my freshmen year, I had the opportunity once again to travel with Chester County Voices Abroad. We traveled all throughout Italy. One of the places we sang in was the Vatican for mass. Since faith is one of the biggest aspects of my life, singing in the Vatican is a BIG deal. The mass was beautiful and though I didn’t have something happen to me, just being able to say that I sang in the Vatican is life changing.
  5. Ontario, Canada
    1. My senior year of high school, the school band traveled to Canada. I was able to attend and sing for the jazz band. We sang at Niagara Falls. WOW. Niagara Falls is so breathtakingly beautiful. Going to Niagara Falls as well as various other places in Canada just made me really appreciate the beauty of the world. Its so crazy to think of all of the beautiful places in the world. Even just a simple sunset is amazing. Like my experience at Lourdes, I learned to enjoy the simple things in life.
  6. New York City, New York
    1. I have been to New York City multiple time for various reasons. The majority of the trips that I have made to New York City were because of my high school choir. We went on a trip there to sing every year. Each year I had a different experience. But every year we always touched someone. That is why New York City is on this list. No matter what I am feeling once I start singing, I really try to portray the meaning of the song and what it means. Even if I don’t have a special connection or feeling towards the song someone else might, and I want to be able to have made an impact on whomever listens.
  7. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
    1. The last place on this list is Grand Turk. The summer after my junior year I went on a cruise with my family. I had never been on a cruise or been to the Caribbean before. When you see picture online of clear blue waters trust me they are NOT photo shopped. This trip changed my life because it really gave my family the chance to bond. In the chaos of this life it is easy to let things get in the way of what is really important. At the time my brother was engaged and our time living in the same house was limited. For those of you who do not know me personally then you probably don’t know that my brother is my best friend. So spending quality time with him is very important to me. Also as everyone knows, there is no such thing as a “perfect” family. Even though most would say my family is “normal” we all still have our problems. My mom and I’s relationship has not always been a smooth road. On this trip we were able to bond. Also I believe my parents got closer, my parents were having problems (no, they were not getting a divorce or anything) On his vacation they got to spend quality time with each other, almost like a second honeymoon. Anyways enough with family drama. basically this is the last place on my list because it reminds me of how easy life can be when you just take time to relax and enjoy the time you have with the people who mean the most to you.

Love Always,

Mary

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