After what seems like a million years, I received word that I've been medically cleared for Peace Corps. Seriously, I started on this process back in November and am just pretty relieved to have things finished. It's also exciting, but I'm also very concious of the way that this makes PC a REAL, basically done deal. Now, I'll get an invitation (possibly in the next week or so) and be heading to some unknown part of the world very shortly. It's suddenly scary.
I say shortly because I made a mistake and misread my nomination. According to my recruiter, I'm slated to leave in late May-early June, rather than the July, August, September that I'd been counting on ever since I was nominated. I don't know if I'd have done things very much differently, but it's still a bit of a shock. I have a plan, which works if I'm nominated and staging on a date that I think I am (I'll let you know for sure when I know), but it's still going to mean missing a lot of the things that I had planned to do this summer. I'm not going to be able to visit my sister and her baby on the reservation and I'm not going to be able to go to a Proddies concert or any of the Irish festivals. I'm not going to have very much time to be in Indianapolis and say goodbye to people. I'm going to miss Indypex. I'm probably going to miss the race, but mostly because I'll still be in Europe.
I am going to see a dear friend who'll be travelling around Britain this summer. I am going to see j00j one way or another. I am going to be able to spend time with my bestest friend and with my wonderful godparents. I am going to do that trip to Kosovo and North Cyprus to see Baaaa and my ECMUN co-hort in crime, Tanyel, who I've missed since last seeing her at our graduation from Earlham. I'm in real danger of being upset about the things that I'll be missing and just have to keep myself focused on the positives.
Worst of all, I'm going to have to leave my wonderful, wonderful boy behind. It's been almost a year now and it's going to suck to high heaven to leave. There's no real alternative. Even if I didn't go to PC, my visa would expire in July and I'd have to leave then. And it was going to hurt whenever the geographically induced split happened; really, I was delaying the inevitable because I was (and am) so happy. I have so much sympathy for my darling Juliet who just went through a similar situation when her boy finished his service in Niger and watching her struggle has really brought this whole situation home to me, even though it's a couple of months off.
I guess, it's going to suck to leave London as well. My mom hated the word 'suck' and forbid me to use it, but I think it's a good way to describe the way I'm going to feel for awhile. I love this city and feel so much at home here, as well as there being so much that I still haven't seen or want to do again. I'm going to go through a period of depression just about the National Theatre and all the amazing things that I'm going to miss seeing. I know that's silly, but it's really how I felt after study abroad, too. I just have to be determined to come back some day. For good. As long as I can import mac & cheese, I'm happy to be an expat.
There are good things to come, I know it. The country that I think I'm going to sounds like a dream assignment and SO MUCH LESS hardcore than Niger. Which, frankly, is ok by me (Jules, you will always be more hardcore than me, but we already knew that!). Still Africa, but with seasons and mountains and the possibility of seeing an occasional rugby match and Cadbury chocolate in the country 'next' door. Plus, the work sounds challenging but just like the sort of thing that I wanted to do in Peace Corps. And, I think that my adjustment won't be as crazy, given that I've not really lived in the US for a long time. Not using public transportation? What's that? You know. I think I'm more used to the less materialistic attitudes that places have outside the US and to damp and cold and to waiting for your clothes to dry on the line. And I'm certainly used to being away from friends and family. I don't always like being away from the people who are dear to me, but I'm definitely better at knowing when and how to say in touch than I was when I moved here and I'm better at missing them without it affecting the way that I live. Then again, I'll have a new set of dear friends to miss and that stinks.
Oh, and the blog'll get a new title when I find out for sure where I'm going. Just a head's up!