Transitions are difficult in general. Change is difficult.
Specifically for me, the transition of life in the United States within arms reach of my loved ones to Peace Corps trainee halfway around the world is huge. Yes, I’ve left the country for more than a vacation twice before, but this one seems different. I feel untethered.
This year has been the most difficult year of my life. Healing from past trauma, battling significant depression, and getting hit with the worst heartbreak I’ve ever dealt with in my young life has taken everything out of me. I’ve been single (consecutively) for longer than I’ve been in 8 years. The loneliness has been suffocating.
However, I never lose sight of my larger goals and passions. I never stop moving forward in a marine biology or marine conservation career path. I throw myself into my career when I feel other parts of my life to be off-kilter. Not as a way of avoidance, but because it helps me see the larger picture and lessens the significance of my own problems: “I can’t help myself right now, so I’m damn well going to try to help other people.”
Examining my fear responses this past year has been rewarding, and I am hopeful and near certain that this move is not a fear response. I am not “running away” to avoid problems at home. I actively deal with my problems while running towards my passions.
This doesn’t mean I don’t begin to question myself: is it selfish to use PC service to want to first and foremost gain direct career skills? Am I cutting too many people out of my life to do this? Will my grandparents die while I’m away? How will my mother deal with that without me, if so? Will my friends who battle depression be okay without me there to help? Will my sister be okay? What if something happens? What if anxiety overcomes me while I’m there? What if I’m running away from love that I refuse to accept or emote?
Why can’t I seem to trust my own decisions?
I’m excited to leave (a little over 4 days away). I’m also terrified. I’m impatient and also have my heels dug firmly into this Ohio soil. I’m exhausted and can’t seem to sleep. I need to pack. I have manic energy and corresponding intense emotions sprinting through my brain at all times. I’m making strange decisions. I’m wondering how much to share on this blog, and who will even read it. But why the hell write if you’re not going to write your absolute truth? My own insignificance within time comforts me more than anyone’s embrace ever could. I can’t seem to put my stream of consciousness into coherent thoughts.
I’m trying to put all of the Whys to rest. Although it often feels like a force outside myself led me to this point, I believe this feeling to be a form of disassociation, and I choose to trust past Charlotte’s decisions. I’m going to live in a remote area for two and a half years with people and communities currently unknown to me. I guess I’ll just see how it goes.