In a few hours I will be starting my staging, perhaps the true beginning of a my journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In other ways, there have been many “starts” to this journey: submitting my application 6 months ago, getting my invitation to serve, quitting my job, saying goodbye to my family and friends, boarding the plane to LA… Regardless, of when it truly started, I know that I am on my way. I am excited and eager and enjoying every minute of it, both the good feelings and the slightly soured ones. The sadness of leaving my loved ones behind is faint but present, like the feeling you are forgetting something, it tugs at a heart string somewhere deep inside of me. And, honestly, I am finding words a little hard to put together. My heart is overwhelmed, and the words I wish to say are not coming out as I wish they would. Instead, I will share with you a section from one of my favorite poems:
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.
The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)
– Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road, Stanza I
I cannot thank enough people for their support on this journey; there are so many that have given me words of encouragement, amusement, and joy over the past few months. But it is my parents that gave me this life and let me live it in whichever crazy, wild way I wanted, and for that I will be grateful forever.
With much love and many more updates to come,
The Wondering Wandering Woman