Before I left for Armenia, I had 7 siblings living at home with my parents.
When I came back, they were all still around, but some of them had grown a little bit.
Before I left for Armenia, I had 5 nieces and nephews.
When I came back, I had 11 and another on the way.
Before I left for Armenia, four of my siblings were married.
When I came back, five were married and another would be married within the next two months. (I’m going to that wedding in a couple weeks.)
Before I left for Armenia, my family had 0 horses.
When I came back, they had 2 horses stabled in the field across the road and I got to try riding one. (I’m no pro, I’ll admit that right away!)
There are tons of life changes that have happened in the past 27 months, and many of them are countable, as those I mentioned above.
But of course there are a lot more that aren’t quite so obvious, that I am still discovering. My relationships with the people I knew before Peace Corps have changed over time. The way I identify with the American way of life has changed. My priorities have changed.
How do you quantify all of that, or make sense of it?
I suppose you don’t. You just recognize that that’s the case, and go from there. You can’t cling onto the past, even if it’s hard or scary to embrace the future. I’m looking forward to seeing how my Peace Corps experience will shape the rest of my life. And I’m happy about all the changes that have taken place in the past two years, because that’s what keeps life interesting for me.
Most importantly, there is one thing that hasn’t changed: the support and love I feel for and from the important people in my life.
Before I left for Armenia, I had a going-away party at my family’s camp on the lake.
When I came back, I had a welcome home party at my family’s camp on the lake.
Thanks again to everyone for being there for me! And please keep checking back. I may be a traveling fiend and hard to track down at times, but this blog isn’t going anywhere!
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