Over the past few weeks, I have been asked over and over and over and over and over and over and over again if I am having second thoughts about leaving soon for the Peace Corps. Each time, I answer, “No. I know this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now.” Each time the words were 100% true and they still are, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not freaking the f- out right now –I am.
27 months is a long time to be away from family and friends. If I WASN’T freaking out right now, that would be cause for concern. Of course I’m nervous. Of course I’m scared. Of COURSE I know that there are times when I may be in danger and times when I won’t be able to talk to the people I love. I know that I need to be careful. I know that there are animals and big bugs. In case you didn’t know this about me (but I’m REALLY not sure how that would even be possible if you have ever met me), I have an anxiety disorder. All of those nice little dangerous scenarios that have run through my family members’ and friends’ heads have gone through mine over and over and over again. I have researched the Peace Corps in South Africa for more hours than I’m willing to admit
There have been too many times in my life when I have let the anxiety win and missed out on experiences. My fight, flight, or freeze response doesn’t work like a normal person’s does. Most people’s FFF response is triggered when there is actual danger…not mine! Some days it’s like it’s just popping up to say “Oh hey, I’m still here! Nope, you aren’t in any real danger, but you’re going to get to feel like you are for a while now. Isn’t this fun?”
My point is- anxiety and nervousness and feeling scared are all perfectly normal things for me to be feeling right now. This is a HUGE transition and more or less everything in my life is about to change. So over the next two weeks if you see me and are thinking of asking me if I’m having second thoughts, you should know that I have never felt as sure of anything as I am that the Peace Corps is the right next step for me. I’m still terrified- change is always scary and unnerving, but being scared is exhausting and it’s only one of the many many feelings I am having right now.