It’s amazing what a little contact can do. They keep saying that no news is good news, but it’s mostly just stressful. I guess there aren’t enough people to handle all the questions, or it’s just policy not to bother unless deemed important. The Peace Corps support personnel aren’t there to baby sit us, just to get us where we’re going.
It is good to have all of the contact with the other volunteers though. I can’t imagine how much harder it must have been in the times when you couldn’t contact anyone instantly, when you only have the people that you are leaving behind. Now, every email is a discussion, every requirement can be analyzed, and we can even hear immediately from the people who went in last year’s group.
I know I’m one of the oldest in the group. Most of the people I’ve heard from are in their twenties, but it doesn’t always make this easier. It’s hard not knowing what will be next. Even with the practice I’ve had before, I don’t really know what I will be doing or how I’m going to handle what’s to come. I just know that I will succeed.
When I was away, I often find myself forgetting how old I am, that I am older than almost all of my friends. That I am older than most of the people I talk to, and almost certainly than the people I drink with, but I never really feel old. I feel it here, the strangeness of not being in my twenties anymore. The weight of years, and knowing how stupid and wasteful I used to be.
From what I hear, you always look back and see how stupid you were ten years ago. No matter how old you get, you always used to be so young and stupid. I wonder if that is how it will look to me in ten years. I wonder if my life will still have as much potential as it does now.
I remember part of what changed my direction in life was my high school reunion. I went, but didn’t really enjoy it. There was no one I really knew, but I didn’t connect to many people in that school anyway. All but one of my best friends were a year ahead or a year behind. I went, but I still don’t know why.
I’m kind of glad I did. I spent the first ten years after high school doing nothing of value. I worked, I ate, and I put on a hundred and fifty pounds. My life had no meaning, and going there didn’t really show me anything I wanted to see. Everything of meaning in my life has happened since then. The event wasn’t a catalyst in itself, just one event of many that helped me find a different way.
Part of it, I think, is that this year is the twenty year reunion. I doubt I’ll be able to go, or that I really want to. If anything does happen, I’ll be in China, more than likely. I hated high school. It’s just a place where I did my best to hide from reality, but I was always too afraid to really do anything about it. I still carry that fear with me. I still feel it every day. I just don’t think that’s a bad thing anymore,