April 11 was the midpoint of my Peace Corps service. I feel accomplished; like I did the hour I escaped high school, the minute I graduated college, and the instant I finished my first marathon.
We do a lot of things in life. Some of those things are pretty kick-ass and some are down right boring. But, we all have landmark moments. Those moments when we feel like we’re getting somewhere. That our lives might have meaning. That what we are doing is good. That we are moving in the right direction. That we are capable.
That’s how I feel, still in the glow of my one-year mark. I’m in a good spot. I’ve had successes and I still have work to do. I’ve taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, in tackling Paraguay, my Peace Corps work, and myself. I’d say, of all those projects, self-improvement has been the most extensive, difficult, and rewarding of all. I give myself a lot of pep talks. I think a lot about who I am—my strengths and weaknesses. The Peace Corps makes you confront yourself. Plopping down to work in another country shoves your shortcomings in your face. You lack language. Relationships take unexpected forms. Work is different. Getting around is hard. There are hours alone. It’s challenging to talk to friends and family still in the States. You have to build a completely new life—activities, friends, places…foods.
Not everyone is given the opportunity to take 2 years to cultivate the best person she can be. The rat race, the hyperactive, the go-getter, the conquer-all-be-“successful”-ASAP-don’t-think-just-do-it realities don’t leave much time for reflection. It’s hard to ponder when you’re always on the run. When there’s hardly time to sleep. I came from the rate race, and I’ll probably return to it when all is said and done. But, I like to think that after Paraguay I’ll never completely get lost in the scramble. I’ll always be type A, but I now know there’s many ways to be one.
One year in site. What a trip. I’ve learned so much. I’m happy to muddle through the low points and soar through the high ones. I know in a blink it will all be over. Like a dream. Paraguay. Shit, that’s a place I call home.