I’ve put off writing my “aspiration statements” for a few days but now that I’ve actually sat down to write, I completely understand why this is required work. Originally, I was worried that I didn’t have the right answers, because, frankly, I didn’t have any answered. “How are you going to adapt?” …. As well as I can? “How will this help you aspirations after your service?” … I have no idea what I’ll be doing then so how will I know what this will help?
The planning for the essays seemed to just cause more questions but once I finally sat down and sucked it up, I was actually able to come up with answers that I’m happy with. No, my answers aren’t perfect, and maybe they were written a little hurriedly, but I’m not trying to win a Pulitzer, I’m just trying to be as truthful as I can so my country director gets to know me a little better.
Even more than helping the staff in Senegal, this is really helping me. The pointed questions about what skills I’m bringing, what I hope to learn, how this fits within my personal aspirations, etc., are helping me express what I’ve been trying to say each time I’m asked “so why are you doing it?”. Even with this exercise in articulation I can’t completely say why I’m doing this but, man, am I happy I am.
Every moment I seem to get a new feeling about leaving and they range across the board from nervous to completely ecstatic. Tonight, however, as I looked at the June, July, and August calendars on my wall, I realized that I’m actually going. I’m actually joining the Peace Corps. I know it seems ridiculous that I’m having this realization now, 2 months before I leave, but I’m joining an organization that’s been portrayed in movies… I’m one of those characters who goes off and joins the Peace Corps. This realization probably isn’t as brilliant to you as it was to me, but this is an organization established by JFK to achieve 3 simple goals (paraphrased): to help people internationally, to explain what being an American is like, and to explain other cultures to those still in the U.S. Whether or not I’m right, which I’m sure I’ll find out when I’m actually there, I have to believe those 3 goals are still being attempted at everyday by Americans around the world and I’m so excited to join that group.
Why am I doing this? I don’t know and I’m not sure I’ll ever have a perfect answer to that question but I’m doing it whole heartedly and I can’t wait.