I am sitting in my room in Stauceni looking around and wondering how in the world I am going to fit it all into my suitcases. I have only been here for 2 months and somehow I have accumulated much more than when I arrived. Training ended today and I'm still not sure how to feel about that. As you can tell from the title, Les Miserables has been in my head all week, I can't explain why. It is definitely time to move on, but there is still a sense of sadness. Not exactly sure why. I'll probably be saying that sentence a lot because all of these feelings and emotions are new.
I haven't posted in the past week because I've been trying to really soak up these people while I can. It sounds (and feels) so final like we're never going to see each other again. Yes, we are being spread around the country but the country is not that big. And it's not 25 years ago, I mean we talk to each other online every day now so it isn't that big of a deal. I guess it's just once again the breakup of a routine. I know I'm going to see certain people every day, I'm going to see certain people at least once a week, we can hike up to a field and have a party and play frisbee without being under the scrutiny of the public...all that is over. And it's unsettling. Much like family, it's time for that needed break when you love the people you are around but it's just time to get away from them for a while. But I still feel a little sad. We were all forced to become friends so quickly and be each other life lines and now we are separated. It brings back that pang of college when we said goodbye on graduation day like it was any other day but in reality it was goodbye for good. Granted we had no idea that the internet would become what it is and things are much easier now. And I can hop on a bus at any time and visit anybody, but it's not this same community feel. I'm not complaining, I'm just sad to see it end.
In February of 2010, I began thinking about this process. The idea came up and I researched it. I worked on my application for about 2 months which led into a very long medical screening process for about 9 months. I was formally invited in April, said goodbye to all my family and friends and comfort and moved halfway around the world to surround myself with strangers. Tomorrow, 18 months later, I will officially be sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Nowhere in any job interview in the past 10 years when they ask you that stupid question "where do you see yourself in 5 years" did I ever say "I'll be living in an ex-Soviet country promoting peace and friendship." And yet here I am.
Last year, 3 people were yanked from my life and it was really time to go out into the world and do something. Not only for me, but for them. So here I am.
I was sitting in Southern California doing the daily grind surrounded by people I loved, living the dream and yet didn't feel like I was contributing anything to the world. Thoughts always came and went that I should get up off the couch, throw away the fast food containers and go out and do something but it's so much easier to do nothing. And yet, here I am.
When someone asks 'where do you see yourself in 5 years' I can only hope that everybody is as clueless as I am. Because the fact that I am where I am is as much of a surprise to me as it is to anybody. But the fact that I didn't know I'd be here, is more satisfying than I could explain.
So here I am. I move to Cahul tomorrow to begin work at a non-profit organization that mentors teenagers and educates them on human trafficking. With that connection, I do hope to bring arts more into the community. I'm aware of the unique opportunity I have right now so what will I do with it? Probably going to fail numerous times but I have to do it. I'm pretty scared and pretty anxious. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it for all of those people who thought I was crazy, who thought I was giving up my nice, stable life for the unknown, for the people who thought I wouldn't last a week, for all the people who were nothing but encouraging from the word go, for all the people who wish they could do this but can't, for Selena, Dad and Cris who are gone but yet are still here every day and mostly for my family and friends who even though they miss me, never have anything but positive things to say to me to keep me going. Every day is hard without you. Thanks for getting me here. Here goes nothing!