In two weeks I will officially start my serve with the Peace Corps. It still hasn’t hit me in a lot of ways, but visiting Arkansas has made me realize a lot that myself and how I am dealing with being abroad for a long amount of time.
1. I am focusing on other parts of my life and worrying about them in order to not stress and get nervous about the Peace Corps. Before I studied abroad in Ghana I was stressed and very nervous because I was convinced that I wouldn’t make any friends and I wouldn’t enjoy it. I was completely wrong and experiencing being abroad has given me the confidence to know I will be just fine.
2. I am gone for 27 months. I am trying to not look at this as an overwhelming number, but just half of the time I spent at college. When everyone asks me how long I will be in Macedonia, lately I have been trying to say just two years to put myself in a better place. I will really need to NOT focus on time, but rather focus on what I want to get out this experience.
Having downtime in Arkansas where I can relax and just enjoy the relationships I have made in the state has allowed me to reflect and process my tour to Macedonia.
My goals, as of right now, going into the Peace Corps. (Why am I doing this?)
1. To discover my introverted side and be able to entertain myself, by myself. Whether that be through reading, writing, singing, writing music, playing music, painting, running, or playing sports. Discovering what makes me happy in a new raw environment without the support systems I have in Colorado and Arkansas.
2. Become invested and devoted to the community I am with. I want to be seriously engaged with the people around me and create a strong support system with my community.
3. Learn Macedonian. I am not expecting myself to be hands down completely fluent in the language, but I want to learn it enough that I can confidently socialize and meet my extroverted needs.
4. Share my passions with my community. In order to do this, I will need to connect to the community. My dreams are to have a running club, have a field day (like I had when I was in Ghana), maybe start a field hockey team, have an environmental club, have a science/math club, and have anything else I realize is important to me that I want to share with my community.
5. Battle my fear: loneliness. Face my fear eye to eye and confidently say I overcame this fear.
6. Learn from my teaching peers and learn where I am needed and what I need to do in order to benefit the community I am in.
7. Find ways to stay positive in moments of darkness. When I was in Ghana and I found myself in a slump I was not very good a building myself back up. I would like to acknowledge my darkness and navigate ways out of the darkness.
8. Find the beautiful in everyday life. I want to stop to smell the roses everyday. Though this is a cliche, it is so true. I think it is so critical to find the beautiful in everyday life and thats how I will overcome a lot of pessimistic moments.
9. Show my appreciation. I am someone who takes my loved ones for granted very often. I assume they will always be there for me. I am grateful I have that strong of a support system, but while abroad I need to make sure NOT to take anyone for granted. Anyone who goes the extra mile to communicate with me while abroad is someone worth the HUGE thank you.
10. Discover a new hobby. I have many interests, but I want to learn something new and with a lot of free time in the Peace Corps, why not now?
I am sorry my blog is a bit all over the place, but thank you for reading my thoughts, much appreciated!