You guys, it’s July already! How did that even happen?
Okay, I know how it happened, as I am semi-well-versed in the workings of the universe, specifically the concept of time, but ya know, all that aside– how did it get to be July already?
July is a month of many changes for me. (That last line sounds like I’m reading a fortune cookie). I quit my job, for real, this month and I pack up all my things and move them back to Atlanta, where they’ll be stationed for the next two years. Moving is so bittersweet. We’ve already started to move some things over to the boyfriend’s new apartment and it’s a funny feeling seeing your home empty out. I glance around expecting things to be there that aren’t anymore, like a bookcase or my dearly departed pet. I remember this feeling from when my childhood dog died last year. There are noises that you always thought the dog or rat made but it turns out its a fan, or the upstairs neighbor, or something outside. Still, I hear a squeak and think of Pepper, only to realize she’s no long apart of the apartment, merely preceding the rest of my things.
But, there is an upside. Soon, the adventure will begin. I will get to start a chapter of my life that I’ve been waiting a very, very long time to start. Like I told my interviewer, I’ve had my eye on the Peace Corps for approximately 10 years now. Something so long-term coming to fruition is a big deal for me, and I’m trying to let the feelings of accomplishment, excitement, and anticipation drown the thoughts of loneliness, longing, and dread over leaving the people I love. It’s not forever, just a while.
The thing that keeps me sure of my decision when times get worrisome is the thought of what life would be like if I didn’t go. What it would be like if I crumpled into a heap and said “you’re right, it’s too scary, too hard, too foreign. I just won’t do it”. I’ve certainly had people try to get me to that point. I’ve been told that my service will never make a difference, that I’m asking to get molested, that I’m selfish for leaving my family and boyfriend for some silly two year vacation, that I’m just a immature girl with a naive dream, and my favorite “You know the Peace Corps is dirty, right?”
But, I would be so disappointing in myself for not even trying. It may indeed be scary, hard, and certainly foreign, (along with naive, selfish and dirty) but I won’t know if I can handle it until I try. The thought of balking at the chance to make a difference in some capacity just because it might be frightening is shameful to me. I want to be brave. I want to be strong. I want to be impactful. I only have this one life to live, and I refuse to live it passively, no matter how much those both worried and jaded tell me I should.
Perhaps someday I’ll look back after settling in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a husband who goes to work everyday while I tend the home and think of what a silly girl I was then, but to me my silly Peace Corps dreams are far better than the pangs of regret I’ll have if I don’t follow through. I’m lucky to have the flip side of what’s mentioned above as well, people who believe in me and that change can happen, albeit sometimes small. I suppose I’ll just have to keep listening to those people instead, drowning out the others with the French lessons I’ve bee practicing for September.