Stop reading this. Go to your favorite plane ticket website. Or maybe take a boat. Teleport or just jump inside the shell of a giant snail with all your lingually gifted animal friends and get over here. ‘CAUSE YOU AND I SHOULD BE CELEBRATING.
I, along with around 40 other beautiful souls, have completed one year of our Peace Corps commitment in Armenia.
I went this weekend with other current volunteers and PC staff to pick up new volunteers from the airport. They made me feel a little like old fruit. They were fresh and shiny and in new wrappers; we on the other hand are perhaps not so lustrous and have quite a bit more bruises. Following this analogy, it should be said that my mother always told me bruises on bananas were really just compacted sugar. [shrug]
After spending some time with them in sunny mid-country, I have eventually ended up in my cloudy Northern town, again.
… … … hmpf.
This was going to be a cheerful meta-post about what it means to have served in Peace Corps for one year. But truth is, I’m channeling Eeyore again. Because you’re not riding the snail over here anytime soon. And there is no party for this one year anniversary. And I’m not really going to be great friends with the new volunteers for at least a couple of months. And I’ve traded in hot float-in-the-pool afternoons for a gray, sweater-weather summer. And the fact that I may not get a site-mate (another Peace Corps volunteer) in my town this summer, meaning another 15 months without an American to provide my regular social-crack fix, hangs over me like a bell that rings “WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS? …. WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS?…WHERE ARE YOUR FRIENDS?”
Aaaaaaaaaaand, exhale. Really, I do love my life, but there is a give and take, a pull of tides, with every turn of my own little world. I can love this life all I want; I still miss so many things about the kind of life I used to live. Meeting 60 new people = a reminder of what sharing a cultural heartbeat is like. And I’m pretty sure I now begrudge Middle Armenia all that sun, as if they were hogging it and not sharing it with the rest of the country. The Missing is flaring up today.
The Missing, the clouds, the magnitude of a year away from home, the upset counterpart, the sad office-mate who’s husband left yesterday for an undetermined amount of time to work Moscow, it’s all a bit much.
I know I’ll be fine. Until then, I think I’m going to go walk my dog.