During every semester of college, I always had a small bit of envy for people who weren’t in school. I fully understand the importance of and have great appreciation and desire for education, but having friends who were not stressing about finishing a paper or lab report or studying all night for an exam made me a tad bit envious. Now that I’m back in Knoxville with no school, all I do is work. I come home at night and don’t have to worry if I forgot about some assignment that’s due tomorrow (or, in my case, exams that I forgot were the following morning). I don’t have to make myself feel guilty for sitting in front of the TV for a couple of hours, taking a nap, or just reading a book for pleasure. This has been my schedule for the past few weeks now. Looking at friends who are still in school stressing about midterms and writing papers, I can feel the envy inside of them that I once had towards other people in my boat. I think it’s human nature to sometimes think the grass will be greener on the other side. It’s a funny thing when you finally get to the other side and all you can think about is wanting to go back. In my situation, this is not the case! I do not miss those late nights leaving work to head to the library to study for an exam. Or those nights when all I want to do is go home and make a good dinner and chill on the couch, but instead I have to pick up food from Cookout and start on a lab report. I am enjoying this just as much as I thought I would. Okay, I’ll be honest, I still do love a milkshake from Cookout, and I still stay up pretty late in front of my computer learning new things or having to get something done, but hey, it’s still really nice not having to show up to classes or take tests anymore.
I am now completely booked between work and doing things for Peace Corps. If I’m not at work, I’m on my computer looking for places to get my medical tests and vaccines done. If I’m not doing either of those, I’m actually at the dentist or doctor’s office getting this stuff done. So far, I’ve been to the dentist three times and the Health Department twice. I have at least three more visits to the dentist/ orthodontist (I have to get one more filling done and then all four wisdom teeth pulled), at least two more doctor visits (physical exam and blood work), and two more vaccines to get (and several more when I get to Lesotho). In addition to getting things done for final medical clearance, I have shipped my passport off to get a No-Fee Passport, sent in my Aspiration Statement and resume to Lesotho, and started looking for things I need to buy before leaving. I never realized how difficult packing for 2+ years would be. Typing that last sentence felt strange and brings to reality what’s actually about to happen. I think for the first time, it’s actually hitting me. I spoke with a family today at work about PC because they were curious about what I was doing with my life. They asked questions that I’ve been asked before, but never felt so embarrassed about my uncertainty: “What exactly will you be doing,” “Will family or friends come visit you,” “Do you think you will get to come home,” “Aren’t you going to miss people?” Except for the last one, I have no real answers for these questions, and this saddens me. I know I signed up for this and this is what I want to do, but for the first time I’m a little sad about it. Even when we know the grass is greener on the other side, we’re still hesitant to go sometimes. The uncertainty of all of this is scary right now, but this is how life should be and I think I’m right where I am supposed to be. I’m 100 days from take-off! Time is flying by and I will enjoy each and every day.