Friday, May 28, 2010

On Packing Lightly

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us ... Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do ... It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-marianne williamson

I'm slowly packing up my life.

After simplifying, all of my belongings magically fit into four 60 gallon tubs. Who knew that such small containers could store so much of my life? With every rolled garment of clothing, neatly stacked and organized, it's starting to settle in that I'm starting an entirely new life; a life that fits neatly into a medium sized duffle bag. Have you ever fit the necessities of your life into a duffel bag? It's a strange feeling ... knowing you can carry your life on your back. Oddly satisfying, in fact.

I'm simultaneously nervous and anxious - nervous for the unknown, knowing that I'll have relatively little control over my life for the next few months; anxious to finally be doing what I've waited so long to achieve. I am trying my hardest to shine, as the poem above illustrates; I am mostly fearless.

This is probably the terrifying moment I'm supposed to realize I'm really growing up ... that moment my life changes so completely, it will be unrecognizable. Am I terrified? Of course. But more afraid of the creepy-crawlers under the bed than the prospect of being dropped off in Africa. This is an adventure of a lifetime - this is going to change me forever. How many people get to experience that at 23? What better than to leap, spread my arms, and try my hardest to touch the sky? In the words of a fellow blogger:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I want to be a tree."

Am I going to be a tree? Am I going to be a leaf on a tree? Am I going to be the sunshine, causing shadow and light between the leaves of a tree? Or will I be all of it at once? 
I guess now it's up to me.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

'May' Must Be 'Twi' for Goodbye

I found out recently that I'm leaving for Ghana on June 1st. It is the first country the Peace Corps ever landed in - it has a 40+ year mission legacy (no pressure) and I've been given the opportunity to work in the exact program I wanted (no pressure). I feel like the luckiest girl in America - to be given the opportunity to follow my dreams and put a tiny mark on the world. This experience is going to line up the rest of my life. I'm ecstatic ... and completely terrified of failing those expectations, despite having come so far.

To have people telling me that they're proud of me, that I inspire them in some minute way, is the most humbling experience of my life. It erases every mistake. My perspective has shifted ever so slightly in the right direction and, suddenly, the minutiae has completely disappeared. Why? Because I have people counting on me, people holding me responsible for my goals.

What a fantastic way to make yourself accountable for all of your dreams: to simply tell someone about them?

I am completely in-love with the idea of possibility. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been thrust in the direction of my aspirations. I'm finally beginning to do the things that define who I am, the kind of person I want to be. I couldn't be more grateful.

This has only made me realize I must make the most of my time. This way the people who matter don't doubt it and the one's who don't aren't revealed too late. What I'm most excited about, though, is the first month I've had off in over a year - and the memories I'll be able to stock away, in bulk. I have a feeling I'm going to need them.