I am slowly feeling the weight of all I left behind in America. As I got to know my Peace Corps peers more and more, my pre-departure anxieties slowly subsided and I realized I was not alone. However, as I am in the thick of my fourth week as a Thai resident and fifth week as a PCT, many of those anxieties are gradually creeping back in. I am beyond grateful for my Peace Corps family and the wealth of knowledge I have attained from only my first month. However, I cannot help but remember my life in America and all that I left behind (people, places, a career) to embark on this journey.
I remember people like Seth and Lauren, Kate, Erica and Kassandra, Sarah, and so many others. I miss these people immensely in the rare moments I am able to catch my breath, and I can’t help but wonder in what ways these relationships would have progressed had I never left. Now, I am left wondering how many of my relationships may unfortunately dissolve over the remaining 26 months. It is a reality I am struggling to cope with.
On the other end of the spectrum, in just one month, I have formed some of my most meaningful relationships. People who were merely strangers some days ago have become people I can’t imagine life without. This family is my primary support as we experience the fluctuating emotions of this extraordinary path we have chosen to take. We rejoice in our successes and we conquer our many obstacles. We are the only people who are able to comprehend and articulate the sometimes obscure feelings that each day brings.
We have already lost two of the initial 67 trainees and we have mourned both terminations. As each day passes and we all continue to grow closer, I cannot fathom another brother or sister leaving. At this point, it would be truly devastating.
This has been a tough week. I was aware of what this week would bring as I came into it, but it was still taxing. I know there will be weeks that are more difficult to get through than others, but I also realize that the pain of each week, day or moment is only temporary. It is essential to remember that my past has molded me into who I am and God has adequately prepared me for this task. It will not be easy, but with God on my side, I will prevail.