This question is both the easiest and hardest question for me to answer. In my mind it is simple and was feels like the natural choice. To put my reasons into words seems nearly impossible. How can I explain my reasoning behind what is arguably the biggest decision I have ever made?
The simple, and frankly rather cliché answer is: I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. While I believe there are very few truly selfless acts, I want to at least do something that is mutually beneficial. I have high hopes for the world, and I can’t just stand by waiting for things to change, I have to get involved. I hope to make an impact on a community while simultaneously enriching my own life. I want to work hard for something that really matters. I want to make a sustainable difference, however small it might be. I want to facilitate cultural exchange and explore a different way of life. I want to be a part of the world.
I have a wonderful life, family and friends who support me and who I adore, I am passionate about the career I have chosen, and I have had so many opportunities that I am eternally grateful for. There is no doubt that I will miss my family, friends, and the life I lead in the United States.
I have weighed the pros and cons and believe me there is a long list of cons (if anyone has ever been around when I have encountered a bug/lizard/spider/rodent you can guess what was at the top of my list) but in the end I decided the things on my list of pros were more meaningful to me. I did not take this decision lightly and I understand that for every positive experience, there will be numerous hardships. The following excerpt was instrumental in my decision making process and helped me see that I do not have to look past the inevitable hardships, but embrace them as a part of the wonderful journey I will have the opportunity to take as a Peace Corps volunteer.
This is an excerpt from a welcome packet:
“If you choose to accept this invitation you will be embarking on the experience of a lifetime. Leaving your friends and families behind, you will enter a foreign culture and be forced to communicate in languages with which you are most likely unfamiliar. You will be frustrated and challenged in multiple ways, and you will persevere. You will get sick, and you will recover. You will arrive in a new community with little more than the clothes on your back , and you will survive. You will conquer your own misgivings and the pessimism of others, and you will learn that you can do anything you set your mind to. You will make new friends of all ages and from all walks of life, and form new family ties within your community and within the Peace Corps. You will turn failures into victories, and the victories will be numerous. You will learn as much about yourself as you will learn about others.
You will learn the true meaning of hospitality, friendship, determination, hope, and peace.”
I am following my heart to the opportunity of a lifetime. Wish me luck!
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