Sometimes I worry that I don’t have what it takes to chase my dreams. That my passion is low, my strength on empty. Successful people and me, we don’t have the same DNA.
Today is Peace Corps Day, 56 years from when John F. Kennedy signed the Peace Corps into law. I was reflecting on my time in Niger and Lesotho today and looking back at what those experiences demanded of me and it felt like I was recalling someone else’s history.
The first time I applied they said no. My first assignment ended after seven months. My friend died. My reapplication was stalled for months. My school nearly closed. I was medically evacuated. Laughed at because I couldn’t speak the language. Missing weddings, holidays, births. Filthy from days without a shower. Parasites and amebas wreaking my insides. Experiencing the deepest loneliness I may ever know.
I may not feel like I am worthy or strong most days, but today I get to remember how far I’ve come and know that those attributes are still inside of me. I fought like hell to one day call myself a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and I can fight to do all the other things I aspire. For the rest of my life I will continue to discover lessons from those three and half years, but this one I need to carry daily.
Read more about my Peace Corps service here.