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Waiting is the Hardest Part

Waiting is the Hardest Part

Peace Corps

Here I still am guys. Living in Lubbock, Texas waiting tables to make a living. 5 months after being accepted into the Peace Corps.

My summer job that I got while figuring shit out has turned into a year-long commitment. And by the time I end up leaving, it’ll have been 10 months since I started the Peace Corps application process.

The newness of the Peace Corps is wearing off. And I haven’t even begun yet!! Sometimes, I feel like the whole thing is a dream and it’s never actually going to happen.

Right now, I’m stuck in the in-between. I can’t make any big life changes-because one is coming up! I’m gearing up, practicing French, and taking part in pre-lessons, busy anticipating the next few years. I miss my boyfriend, family, and friends, and then realize that I still have two months ahead of me. It’s not time to be sad yet!!

Basically, I’m waiting for the unknown. Apprehensive and excited for the next step in my life. But not quite there yet.

The funny thing is-I’m certain this waiting period is the hardest part. (Don’t make me eat my words in a few months Peace Corps).

Right now, there’s plenty of gnawing anxiety and uncertainty about the future. Will plane tickets ever be bought??? Am I really going?? Will I have to eat meat?? Will it be hard as a woman living in Africa?? Is my French going to be good enough?

I feel like a fake. Someone who is in the Peace Corps but also just lives back in her hometown working at a restaurant to make ends meet.

But at the same time, I do have a highly competitive job that I’m prepping for. I’m moving to Africa where I’ll live with giraffes, elephants, and lions! And I’m pursuing my career in International Relations. I’m not a fake at all.

Every major event in my life has had a long, anxious, and exciting, wait before it. Even small things, like going to the dentist or giving a presentation, are worse in the before when I’m anticipating pain or forgetting my words.

And the Peace Corps has a nice lengthy waiting period before you actually get to step on a plane.

So what do you do about it??? How do you keep yourself motivated and get through the waiting period??

Guys, full disclosure, I’m not quite sure on this one.

I’ve been managing by attempting to keep up healthy lifestyle habits, only to gorge myself on Torchy’s queso with the excuse of not having it in a few months. Or would I perhaps be doing this anyway??

I’ve also been doing a lot of retail therapy. Or, uh, prepping for my trip.

But honestly, there are a lot of things that I do need. Appropriate clothing. Camera bags. Adapters. Solar panels!

I guess my answer is that I’m taking everything one step at a time. I’m trying to be present in the moment. But I’ve also got an eye on what’s coming and taking the steps to be prepared for my new life.

And while a huge part of me is attempting to get through work and the next few months, I’m also trying new things. Yeah, I can’t change careers. And no, I can’t take up some expensive new hobby. But, I’ve been cooking new recipes. Attempting to brew my own kombucha. And challenging myself creatively (i.e. with this blog and my camera.)

Even though I’m waiting, life is still happening. And I mean to be engaged in it!

So, if you’re waiting to depart on a Peace Corps journey like me, or anticipating graduation or a new job, just remember that it’s the literal worst part. Meanwhile, just try to appreciate where you are now. We’ll all get there soon enough anyway!

Your Turn: Any other PCVs here remembering their lengthy application process?? Are you waiting on a big life change??? Let me know in the comments and give me your opinions on coping with coming change!

About the author

I got my first taste of long-term travel when I took a gap year before beginning college. I lived and worked in Australia in one of the most transformative years of my life. Like many others, I caught the wanderlust bug and now I'm always busy adding to my bucketlist. Besides traveling, I'm into hiking and photography. I'm currently finishing up my senior year in college and planning my next big adventure!