Editor’s Note: The DC Service Corps class of 2019 – 2020 introduces themselves through personal reflection on what matters most to them. 

When I close my eyes and try to imagine my last days on Earth, there are a few significant figures in my life that immediately come to mind: my mother, my father, my sister, my boyfriend, a few childhood and college best friends, my dog, and my cat–to name a few. That would be the simple approach to answering the question, “What matters most to me?”,  a question that led to a flood of overwhelming emotions the first time I attempted to answer it in this post. But, upon deeper reflection, I realized how much more is behind this simple answer.

What matters most to me is not only these important people in my life but also the memories I hold with each one of them. Memories of being 7 years old sitting on my father’s lap alongside my sister as we watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special on the television while the smell of turkey roasting in the oven filled the kitchen. Or the memories of riding shotgun in my mom’s mini van as we sang our hearts out to “Beautiful Soul” by Jessie McCartney. 

And still, there are more memories: the night we picked up my pup named Duncan (who has since become a beacon of love and light in my life), spontaneous road trips with my family to New Hampshire so my mom could see a moose, or the times my older sister, Caroline, and I would explore the woods behind my grandma’s house hoping to spot a deer. My sister means a great deal to me, and I feel as though, without her, I would not be the person I am today: a woman who is passionate, strong, intuitive and open to growth. All these moments are among the things that matter most to me because they are what helped shape my connections with others and my standards for unconditional love. 

At the same time, music, movies, books, and poetry also matter a great deal to me. Sometimes being asked to name my favorite movie, song or book can feel like an insurmountable feat, so here are some lists of my favorites as of today: 

Current favorite books: 

  • Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde 
  • Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
  • The Alchemist 
  • The Hunger Games

Favorite Music

  • Ribs by Lorde
  • Midnight City by MGMT
  • Warm Glow by Hippo Campus
  • ABSOLUTELY any song by Hozier
  • Pristine by Snail Mail
  • Light On by Maggie Rogers
  • House of the Rising Sun by The Animals
  • Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Blue by Jon Bellion 

Favorite movies & TV shows:

  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • Bridesmaids 
  • Across The Universe 
  • Princess and the Frog
  • Easy A
  • The Office
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Game Of Thrones

The longer I analyze this list, the more I’m sure it could go on forever, so I won’t bore you with the details. My point is that the common theme that comes to my mind and heart the longer I reflect on the question that started this post is love. So, if asked again what matters most to me, I would answer in an even simpler way with one word: love. In all its many shapes and forms, love is the binding force between humans, all parts of nature, hobbies, interests, relationships, faith and even suffering. This is something I truly believe. So, it is love that matters most to me, and for all that it encompasses within my life I am grateful.  

Megan McCarthy

Communications Associate at Franciscan Mission Service Headquarters