I am writing this journal as a way of closing my journey here in Peace Corps. I am seeking to close this with the same peace and sense of hope I came here to Peru with. I was indeed nervous and scared what the future would bring, and what an adventure it brought. Now I must look ahead to what is next for me.
I would be lying to myself, if I were to state that the emotions that are rising in my chest, that are rising in my soul are the first time I have felt this way. This is a familiar reaction to the unknown, and to that, I have always risen to the challenges and opportunities that change brings.
Every other step I have taken has had an accompanying goal in sight, a timetable and somewhat a determined plan. Even with the sense of adventure that is projected on Peace Corps, which is indeed an adventure, it also has a prescribed model that the grand majority of over 220,000 volunteers over 50 years have adhered to. You apply, they fly you with a group of wide eyed individuals to a country, you work, you travel, you laugh you cry, and you do that for 27 months give or take, and you go fly back to your door step. Very few have Americans chosen to have the Peace Corps equation to their life, but there is indeed a basic principles that guide our otherwise unique experience.
I must open my heart to that sense of possibility once more, as I take the next leap in my life. I wonder what other equations I may add to my life. Two years of grad school? A certificate program? A move across the state? Across the states? Will my puppy still remember me? Will I remember to turn on both faucets when I bathe or will my first shower be either frigid or scalding?
There will undoubtedly be a combination of getting used to who I am now in the context of what the US is now after three years of our paths diverging and yet I always being within America’s shadow. I want to capture the essences of this transition with the due dignity it deserves rather than letting the worry and doubt color an otherwise exciting time in my life.
I will be using Charlotte Kasl book, If the Buddha Got Stuck to explore some deeper aspects of myself as a whole as well as the particular journey I am on now. I have always been drawn to the teachings of Buddhist philosophy, not necessarily as a means of religion but as an alternate paradigm to compassionately take in this world. It had been my intention to use Charlotte’s book throughout my Peace Corps journey, and perhaps the reasons I didn’t will come to light. The book is prescribed as a handbook for change on a spiritual path and I am excited to see what insights this may bring up for me.
So we begin where how every journey does, with step one.