Surprisingly, although I have not posted, my life in the Peace Corps has gone on.
On Tuesday, I shared my “Last Supper” with the family. And in some sort of way it was refreshing. They found a way to be strong for me, suppress their emotions, and help me enjoy the best meal created by the Food Gods: Chicken and Dumplings. (Thank you guys, it’s truly a memory I will cherish over the next few years).
Dinner was followed by an exodus of my belongings. In a sort of, “he won’t be needing this” kind of fashion, I watched as my room became unfamiliar. Laughs were shared in an attempt to take pressure of everyone’s restless nerves. In that room, feelings of fear were conquered by courage. Everyone rested their emotions in the now, because tomorrow was the day for tears.
I remember reading a story: “My mom was dying. A friend told me ‘you have your whole life to freak out about this– don’t do it in front of her.’ You have your entire life to process pain, but, right now, share with her in this moment.”
Although, my venture was one of my own choosing– not marked with a lasting disappearance– I liken how I felt that night to this story. For that, I can’t help but to thank you guys for your ongoing support and love.
Wednesday morning, was not particularly my favorite. Those happy moments that we were living in had moved on, now were the moments marked with somberness. My last night in my bed. My last meal with the family. My last time driving for two years (whoa). Rolling my bags, the 130 pounds which now hold all my belongings. Few words were shared that morning, although many attempts for conversation were made.
Our time shared at the airport was filled with some laughs. But each laugh forged cracks in our weak visages which allowed for the emotions we were otherwise suppressing to yelp out. When time came for our hugs, the cracks ripped through the hull of our emotions, broke way for tears, and sunk the ships which we all were attempting to navigate away from this very moment.
“I’ll see you soon” came out but the disconnect between what was said and what was true guarded us all from the reality of our situation. Two years relative to the span of a life are short, but two years relative to a single moment is forever.
I headed towards security, reminded myself why I was doing this. Why I had gone through so many months of waiting, testing, and preparing. I walked away from my family sad, but, with each step, I became happier that I had decided to chase my dreams.
I would like to reassure you all, since leaving, I am happy that I took those steps. That I, like the 37 other strangers who I now consider my friends, did this for a reason. That our reasons for joining are larger than our fears, which may whisper in moments of weakness, for us to leave.
To those invitees who soon leave: enjoy the “now” with your families. Sadness is inevitable, but don’t let it steal the spotlight– there will be a moment when sadness is the “now” but until then it is “later.”
To those back home: I love you.