And now we’ve come down to it. I knew this would be the hardest week, with Saturday and Sunday being the hardest days. I leave for Peace Corps staging in Philadelphia on Sunday, which is the day I leave home for the next two years. Today being Friday, I’m already feeling more than a bit weepy, or “having all the feelings” as my sister would say.
Feelings, of course, ranging from extreme excitement at going to Morocco all the way down to a deep sadness at leaving a place where I have greatly enjoyed living and my family, whom I love more than anything. Wishing I could just skip these next few days and go right to staging doesn’t make time travel any more of a possibility, and sadness has to be experienced and dealt with.
It’s ok, because even though I am sad to leave, Peace Corps is going to be awesome, simply because I am going to make it awesome. In the past few years, I’ve tried to latch on to the “positive thinking” mentality, one day deciding that my life would be great, and then it was. So far it’s been working and will continue to work no matter where I am.
It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be excited. It’s ok to ask for help when you need it. It’s ok to be laughed at and make mistakes. If Frodo and Sam made it to Mordor and if Laura Ingalls and her family can cross half the country in a covered wagon, I can do this, no question.
While I’m waiting out “the hard week,” taking deep breaths on a regular basis, I’m also eating as much of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant – Border Grill for all you Marquette County people – as possible and doing things I enjoy, like watching old MGM movie musicals with my sister. Moses supposes his toeses are roses…
I have successfully fit all my desired items into my allotted suitcases, none of which even come close to the 50-pound per bag limit. If I’ve forgotten anything, besides important paperwork which I check and double check that I have every half hour or so, I’ll make due without it. I have to check into my flight tomorrow and print off that information.
I won’t say “I’m ready,” because how ready are you ever for brand new experiences? But I’m going, and that’s what matters.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
~ David Wagoner ~