I have not been blogging about my Peace Corps experience for a bit. There were several reasons for this.
The decision to join the Peace Corps and go to Mozambique has been a deeply personal one, that has elicited conflicting responses from friends and family. I would be lying if I said that I have not had second and third thoughts about this. I am leaving my life for 27 months, and at this point, I am down to the final stages.
My bags are packed, my tickets are booked, my belongings have been sold or donated, and I am taking my last visit with my friends and family. It still seems surreal.
Another reason that I have been quiet lately is that I have been giving thought to just how much social media I want "out there" when I am leaving the country. I have closed all of my social media accounts except Facebook, and that is only because of my family and friends. I have seriously blocked down what I share. Perhaps I am doing this out of an overabundance of caution, but I'd rather err on the side of disclosing too little than too much.
I have been asked over and over again if I am excited or scared about this. I can say that at this point, I am stoic. I have prepared as much as I am able, and there is little point in overanalyzing what I cannot know right now. With the cyclone that hit Mozambique not too long ago, I am fully aware that I will be entering a country that is suffering even more than usual. The fact that we do not have any sites affected by the storm does not mean that we will escape it completely. In addition to the humanitarian crisis, there is the very real threat of disease outbreak.
So, I am embracing my friends and family. I am enjoying the comforts of home and taking full advantage of warm, large bathtubs, cool air conditioning, my favorite meals, and even wearing the jewelry that I cannot bring with me. I am studying the few gray hairs that are on the crown of my head, and wondering what it will be like in 2 years. I doubt I will have access to hair dye, or that it will even be a priority. I spend most days considering, then reconsidering just what will be important to me. What will I miss most? What can't I live without?
As I have been cleaning up my blog today, I have realized that this decision has been coming for a very long time. I have been ready to let go of all that I am to welcome the new. There is no way that I will be unaffected by this journey. When I have spoken with other former volunteers, I have yet to meet any who did not love their experience. I have to wonder what priorities I will have up my return. Will I return to the States? Will I return to massage therapy? Will these experiences open new opportunities for foreign work? Will I be able to handle it?
I also think about the people that I care about. I do not expect anyone to wait for me. If someone is meant to be in my life, they will be. I have realized that time and distance is meaningless to the connections we have with one another. Just because my children live in another state does not make our reunions any less meaningful. I just reconnected with friends and family in Florida whom I have not seen in almost a year, and we picked up where we left off. I suppose I have finally learned how to trust and appreciate others without feeling the controlling need to grasp. We all have our paths to follow and lessons to learn in life. If those experiences bring me back to those who mean something to me, I will rejoice with and celebrate them. I suppose I am ready to let it all go with full faith that my greatest adventures and experiences are yet to come. I am eager for that.
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.