After 2 years of talking, planning, waiting, hoop-jumping, and more talking…. our plan to go to the Peace Corps is becoming a reality. Ilana and I like to talk about this change as more of a 90 degree turn than a pause. But the turn happens so slowly it can sneak up on you.
Until a few days ago it didn’t really feel real. Sharing the news with friends and family was exciting; their reactions overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Resigning from my job was a bit harder, I think because when I moved here in 2005 I didn’t know anyone or anything about teaching. I hesitated on the steps up to my office, I think because resigning meant giving up something I worked so hard to build. Even though it took ten times longer than I thought it would, it was cathartic to be putting things in boxes and selling everything. “Sometimes our things can end up owning us” I told myself… several deep breaths later everything we decided to keep was in 6 boxes bound for my parents’ storage unit. “Psshhh… this isn’t so hard,” I thought. Sneaky little turn.
But on Thanksgiving weekend a little crack started to show itself. Our friends Jon, Noemi, and Cat had decided to join us at my parents for Thanksgiving. It was epic… my family went all out: 2 huge trays of lobster, crab claws, and shrimp, cheese balls as big as your face, homemade cookies, 16 lbs of turk-ular glory, all the trimmings, then more trimmings. We were practically paralyzed with happiness the whole time. None of us even wanted to leave each other’s company to go to the bathroom, much less bed. Even after all the food I think I lost a pound or two from all the laughter. But something felt different… the Publix commercial (the one with the grandma baking the cake) left me misty-eyed; I didn’t check my email or phone once in 4 days; I got emotional when my brother left for NC even though I know I’m going to see him for Christmas. “What the hell,” I thought. Turned a little more.
Now, a few weeks later and only a little more than a day left in Gainesville I have an overwhelming feeling that skydivers must get right before they jump out of the plane. We’re really excited, a little scared… but not as much as I though we’d be. I think that’s because of how much support we feel from our family, friends, co-workers, even people we didn’t expect. If I had a nickel for all the times that Ilana or I have said how lucky we feel and how incredibly much we’ve learned from our community…. I’d have a sh-t ton of nickels. Thank you all so much!
P.S. I promise to make my future posts less sappy :)