makethislast

people during a transition

Posted in Uncategorized by Diana on October 20, 2009

Do your best with what’s in front of you and leave the rest to the powers above you.

– Quote courtesy of Marc and Angel Hack Life.

During this transition process, some events have occurred way too quickly while others don’t come soon enough. A handful have even jolted me by surprise. I’m adjusting to the transition process (ha, the irony!) and, with the help of some friends, using this time to better understand people, sort of.

Friends and acquaintances are learning about my decision to join the Peace Corps. I’m leaving DC in December, living in California for two months, and moving to Morocco in March. I will serve there for 27 months (3 months of training, 2 years of service). What are their reactions?

By the way, this post is peppered with cliches. You’ve been warned, so here we go!

Congrats and come back!

(Okay, this isn’t a cliche. Actually, I googled the phrase and apparently no one’s said it (enough) for it to be searched for. The furthest I got was “Congrats and” before google stopped trying to suggest what I was searching for.)

By far, this has been the most overwhelming response. This mostly comes from friends I made since moving to DC. Most people are excited for and supportive of me. They think it’s bold and risky, and they want to hear about the experience. Majority of RPCVs who I’ve met wish they could relive their service again or, obligations withstanding, embark on another tour. They (re)assure me my scared and nervous excitement is part of the journey.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

This one comes from a mid-size group consisting mostly of friends since college and a few exceptional ones since high school. Surprised but not startled, my friends tell me, “I knew you’d do it,” as if, naturally, this is my next step. They know I want to help people and that this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was sixteen.

Over the years, these friends have always supported and encouraged my desire to expand my horizons.This time is no different – they are excited for me.  To this day, I am most grateful for their friendship. They provide a familiar comfort by way of an unspoken assurance of my return.

Grass is always greener on the other side.

Or not. My experiences have been unique but I always return. I come back to the people who know me best and stand by me with each forward step I take. Neither the distance nor amount of time away disintegrates these relationships.  I think my experiences enrich them.

Here’s what I’ve learned: Grass is not always greener on the other side. Rather, grass grows green in the places you’re willing to plant seeds, water the ground, and sustain with care and support. I consider myself lucky to have certain people in my life. I am willing to do the work because my friendships are invaluable to me.

Time heals all wounds.

One person’s response has reverberated the deepest even if it has not rang the loudest. It came from a someone who I considered especially close to me at one time. When faced with a transition that would be stressful, the person chose to take flight instead of fight. The reaction was not characteristic of the person’s behavior, which is usually logical and rational, and that made it all the more difficult to understand. As a result, I was left confused.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Fortunately, some time has passed and with the help of good friends – see, I told you I’m grateful for them! – I’ve gained a new perspective. I think I understand the person and situation so much better now.

Friendship is a mutually open two-way street. I’m a loyal, honest, and truthful friend; these are the qualities I ask for in return.  My greatest friends are the people who have been in my life for years. They are nonjudgemental and supportive. Best of all, they understand my long-term goals, even when I lose sight of them from time to time. (*Note to self: resume monthly projections.)

Carpe diem!

My friends are absolutely right: I have so much to look forward to in the months ahead. I will meet some of the most interesting people, some of whom will have traveled to the most amazing places. The world will be at my doorstep. I will travel across the world yet again!

My excitement is back, ya’lls, so much so that it’s bubbling over the top. I’m heading into the future and I hope you’ll stay along for the ride. The path won’t always be easy but you can be certain it’ll be full of  adventures.

Thank you in advance, everyone, for your support. 🙂

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