I applied for the Peace Corps last night.
I have always had a desire to travel the world. I am restless and open for challenge and adventure. When I was a teenager, I had tried to join, only to discover I did not have the tools and training.
When I was in college, I would see recruiters for the State Dept, and my mind would immediately entertain dreams of exotic locales and a life abroad. By then, though, I was already a mother of two.
I find myself now at a point where my desires, skills, and life circumstances have finally coalesced. Since this reentered my consciousness about a month ago, I have been pondering it and weighing the options. I have actually had the application tab for the Peace Corps open on my computer since I first pulled it up in St Thomas. Last night, it was finally the time.
This morning, my mind is swimming with the possibilities. I am open to going wherever my talents will be most useful, so I truly am letting the Universe guide me where I am meant to be. There are posts available from Africa to Asia to South America, and I truly do not mind wherever they send me.
I feel slightly light-headed. I feel energized, excited, and eager. I have no idea if this will come to pass, but I have finally, at 44 years old, taken the step I have desired for so long.
I know that on the other side of this, I will be irrevocably changed. With every adventure that happens, I move further and further from who I once was. I feel like me, and yet, I am not even recognized as a Southerner anymore.
I was out to dinner last night, and my friend and I were laughing because the waitress thought I was from elsewhere. It was amusing since I have known my friend for over 20 years. He was pointing out that I don’t drink sweet tea anymore. I hold my utensils differently. I speak differently. Even though there is a slight Southern accent to my words if I speak fast or have been drinking, most of the time, I have been accused of sounding British.
I can only imagine how this will further shape me. I am reminded of the quote:
“One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
I am curious to see, by joining the Peace Corps, just how far my mind can grow.