The Ticking Clock

I’m on an emotional roller coaster and I couldn’t get off even if I tried. I’m up, I’m down; I’m sure of myself, and I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking.

Basically, I’m freaking out.

14 days to departure. T minus two weeks and counting. Holy sh…..

I’m scared out of my mind. Of what, I couldn’t tell you, but that’s probably contributing to my fear. I don’t know what’s in store for me when I get to Jamaica. I don’t know who I’m going to meet, or what my living conditions will be like. An idea, sure, but every situation is circumstantial.

I’m nervous about not doing well. I spent a lot of time thinking, how hard could it possibly be, despite how many times I’ve read or heard about the “hardships” a PCV faces. Now, in the wake of my sudden apprehension, I worry I was being too cocky.

What am I doing!?

I go from feeling on top of the world about it, to having a feeling at the pit of my stomach like I’m making a terrible mistake. I walk around with confidence, proud of myself and this accomplishment, and then I hug a friend goodbye and I feel the ground crumbling beneath my feet. In the span of a moment, I could easily begin with “I got this sh**.” to “Oh my god what the hell is wrong with me?” My perception and my feelings are constantly changing. I keep finding new things to be excited about, and new things I’m terrified to be leaving behind.

Let me say this now, so you don’t misunderstand: I’M NOT GIVING THIS UP.

The Peace Corps was not a decision I made lightly. In truth, the idea began brewing my mind during my junior year of college; over five years ago. It started as a mere interesting in traveling and seeing the world. It began to transform into a desire to meet new people and experience new cultures. Then it ignited into a passion for helping others. Next thing you know, I am sitting in an auditorium, listening to a recruiter talk about “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”

In October 2011, I bit the bullet and submitted an application. I didn’t think I’d get in. I was convinced I wasn’t good enough to be accepted into such a prestigious group. And now it’s 14 days to departure.

I can do this. I know I can. I’ve taught myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. I wanted this, and so I went out and got it. Later tonight, ask me how I feel, and I bet you’ll get a different answer.

Today, my time is devoted to seeing my family. We’ve got a great day/evening planned, and at its close, I’ll kiss everyone goodbye and I wont be seeing them again for another two years.

Two years without my family? I signed up for that? This was that I wanted? Please, remind me again, why?

See? Up and down. I’ve got this sh**, but really, what am I doing?

14 days.

7 thoughts on “The Ticking Clock

  1. I’m a Peace Corps volunteer right now, and I remember the days leading to departure. You just gotta dive in and go with it once the craziness starts. And make sure you spend as much time with fam and friends before you go.

  2. My sweet Angel, I have never written on a blog in my life and I am proud to say that you will be my first!! I guess by now you are there in your new home and I am very trusting that you have found your path. You are a shinning light and I can see you from here. I cant thank you enough for the gift you gave me, i treasure it.
    I hold you close to my heart always.
    I wish you peace, love and light on this journey.

    Your friend,

  3. I’m about to leave for Jamaica myself and was searching for advice from someone who felt the same as me. I leave in 4 days and I am terrified of leaving my family and friends. Thanks for writing something so honest.

    • Hi Hannah, it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, or even terrified. This is a big step in your life and regardless of how much you want it, it’s still a little scary to think about. My best advice to you is to take things one day at a time, and be willing to be open and adaptable. There are going to be things about Jamaica that you love right away, and things you aren’t too fond of. There are also going to be things that will grow on you in time, or grate on you in time. You might even find some of those things are one and the same. Just remember that you’re coming to a new place, and that you will grow from this experience, in one way or another, regardless of how much time you spend on the island. You should also remember that you are NOT ALONE. You have people in your group who are just as nervous as you are, and people, like me, who have been where you are and can tell you, with confidence, that “every lickle ting gwan be alright.” 😉

      Big up! You’re off to amazing adventures!

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