In precisely five days, I will be leaving behind the life I created for myself in Atlanta and hopping on a plane back home to Ohio. In 39 days, I will be headed to Philadelphia for staging, and four days later I will be in South Africa. Coincidentally, this will also be my birthday!
Needless to say, I have felt a mix of emotions as I’ve reached the end of my time here. Lately I’ve been describing it as “panexciting”- panicky and exciting all at the same time (trademark pending).
It’s a natural part of being human, I think. We must mourn for what will soon be in the past, for the life we created, the barren rooms, and the friends we’ll no longer be able to speak to every day. It’s necessary to create the space to really appreciate this new, exciting experience. Little moments in my day have so much more significance now– shutting down my computer at work and knowing tomorrow will be the last time that I do, turning in my last ever graduate school final, hugging my friends, petting my roommate’s dog. The final moment has been so long in coming that now that it’s nearly here, I simultaneously want to cling to the past and charge into the future without abandon.
This has also been a good time for self-reflection. I have lived a wonderful life, full of challenges and surprises; more importantly, it has been rich in incredible, supportive people. I know that Peace Corps will only further expose me to amazing individuals and a beautiful community. I’ve already had the opportunity to speak with some of my cohort, and I’m so excited to finally meet everyone. Even though I still feel panexcited, these thoughts give me comfort.