Let that sink in.
Where were you ten years ago? What were you getting ready to do? Can you even imagine? Any given day, I couldn’t tell you without looking it up. But today I know. Today I know that ten years ago, I was leaving to forever change who I was. I don’t intend to be so dramatic but really I cannot express the impact that a single day ten years ago had on everything that has happened since then.
For those of you who might be new around here, ten years ago I boarded a plane for the first leg of my journey in the Peace Corps. I left the home I always knew, the people who were always around, and stepped into a world of discomfort, new things, aloneness, and belonging.
With that gravity, why would a kid version of myself do it? Even today those are things I struggle with. I’m not outgoing. I’m not comfortable in new situations. Part of me is still that kid and that part of me wonders why I would put myself through that kind of struggle. But then the bigger part of me steps in and shows me why. Why not?
In short, I was afraid. I feared going through life without doing anything I thought was interesting. I was afraid that if I never once left my comfort zone that I would end up being completely uninteresting. My life, having grown up in a small town and having gone to a fine college, would have been fine but nothing about it would be interesting to me. For me, being interesting is akin to amounting to something.
So it has been ten years on this journey of being interesting.
It is time to reflect on it and relive it. I want to tell the story, and tell it in a way that does it justice. I want to reconnect with those who were there for the journey. I want to reminisce even if it is just between me and this keyboard. I need to do this because every day my heart aches for what it was, what it is, and what it could have been. Everyday I wake up and that part of me that is still a kid wakes up too and is ready to step on that plane again. He is ready to experience it all over again, and again, and again.
There are so many experiences and stories that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing at the time and some that I did, but I know I didn’t do them justice. I want to be more honest than I ever have been as well for the stories, and I know that will be hard. And important because it will help me tell the story of how that small town kid made himself interesting.
As I do often, I’m setting myself a task to relive that part of my life, to reach out to those who I encountered along the way, and to share it all with you. I don’t know what the schedule is yet, but expect to hear more from me lately because now more than ever, I know how important it is to have these stories and to preserve them.
Expect to hear from me soon.