So this blog will have absolutely nothing to do with what is going on in Thailand and everything to do with what has been going on in my head. One of the best/worst things about Peace Corps service is there is a lot of time to think. During countless meetings spoken in very rapid Thai I find myself staring into space thinking about my life.
I am not a big believer in fate, or destiny, or anything else that gives the impression that we are living predetermined lives. However, the more I think about it the more I believe in something…God’s timing maybe? I have spent a lot of time trying to wrangle my life into what I wanted, and it is always in those moments that I silence my inner control freak that things seem to fall into place.
For example, how I ended up in Thailand. I have been talking about joining the Peace Corps and going to Africa since I was 5…5! So when I received an email last June from Peace Corps Headquarters saying I could go to Southeast Asia in January or Sub-Saharan Africa in March it should have been one of those “duh” moments right?!? Except what happened as I read that email was I got an overwhelming desire to choose Southeast Asia. Wtf. I spent the entire day trying to convince myself that I didn’t want to go back to Asia I wanted to go to Africa, like I had always planned for the last 25 years. It wasn’t suppose to be this difficult. If the Peace Corps gives you an opportunity to go to Africa, you go to Africa! So what did I do? I wrote them back that night saying I would love to go to Southeast Asia, palm-slap to the forehead.
I tried to rationalize my decision, as us super rational people like to do 🙂 Clearly I must have chosen Southeast Asia because I did not want to turn 30 while living in my parents basement, and this way I would leave before my birthday. That makes sense. I like when things make sense. I made that my battle cry, “adventure before 30!” However, in those many hours here when I have no idea what is going on and I’m alone with my thoughts I often wonder if that was really the reason. My gut reaction to choose Asia was instant and strong and really came out of nowhere. I didn’t even understand myself as I accepted the Southeast Asia offer.
This is not what I had planned for my life. This is not the Peace Corps experience I pictured for 25 years. And I’m happy. And things I didnt even expect are falling into place. And I feel like I was meant to be here at this exact moment. Was it because I just let life happen instead of trying to beat it into submission? Is it something else or somebody else’s timing? Is it really necessary that I understand my life, or should I just embrace it as mine?
See what happens when you have so much time to think!?!? I know that a lot of this post may not make sense to everyone. It doesn’t include any huge epiphanies, because I haven’t had them yet, about why we make the decisions we do or why life happens like it does. Instead you get a glimpse of one of my many steps on my way to learning to just let the past go and be grateful and mindful of the present. I certainly don’t understand why I made the decisions I did, but I’m happy where I ended up.
So I will leave you with this quote from the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed:
“It was my life – like all lives, mysterious, and irrevocable, and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.”