i wouldn't even know how to begin to discuss the last two months or all of the realizations and revelations or backwards forwards motion that has been going on in my life. i've been out and about for the last month. i went home for my brother's graduation and christmas and then to jamaica for new years. i came back to saint lucia and just wrapped up my close of service for peace corps and in the midst of all of that have been riding through an existential crisis that i am sure is another rite of passage for those of us that choose peace corps, or really, for anyone who has chosen the wanderlust path less walked. so i don't know how to begin all the things i have realized over these past two months but i have a few poignant things standing out in my mind that i'd love to share with anyone who will listen. so here goes.
my time at home was pretty incredible. my first day back i went to a yoga class and at the end of class while in my final resting pose, i started sobbing. not just crying, sobbing. i couldn't figure out what was going on at first but as i settled into the emotions that were rising i realized that it was the first time in a long time that i felt safe. i felt fully supported on that hardwood floor and able to just let go. and so i did. i let my guard down, i stopped protecting myself around every corner. i breathed a little deeper, cried a little harder, and let go. and it was the first time i really stopped to check how all of the things i have experienced over these two years have affected me. peace corps doesn't come with a play by play of all the chaotic life situations you are about to walk into or a clear lesson on how to deal with the exponential growth that meets you around every corner and that no one else seems to understand. they don't really talk to you about the impact of having to quiet yourself or hold some of your most intricately beautiful pieces to yourself because they won't make sense in the culture you are in. and no one can prepare you for the impact of letting all those things go at one time when you reach a place that will allow you to do so. and so, on my mat that night, and many more nights to come, i let go. i got overwhelmed, i cried, i got lost, i got found...and i know it was just the tip of the iceberg to realizing where i have been and where i am yet to go.
when i reached jamaica i felt like maybe a new piece was opening up. a new understanding. jamaica has this special place in my soul. like when i get there i settle easily because somehow, deep inside, i know it. deeply. one of the most profound experiences i had there was standing on a seaside cliff in the countryside where the majority of the houses are tiny shacks built on land that does not belong to them but that have been standing for twenty or more years overlooking this view any american or westerner would pay ridiculous amounts of money to build their ginormous houses on. but here, the daily grind is waking up, making breakfast, sweeping, and resting. it made such an impression on me after coming from the excess of the states to see this small village where everyone knows each other full of love and laughter and life but holding on by threads. clean air, beauty around every turn and what seemed like a disregard for how amazing that all is. and it made me realize it doesn't really matter where you are in the world, the grass will always be greener on the other side. so as i sat and tried to figure out what my next steps in life might be, on that seaside cliff, i promised myself to never forget that every corner of the world holds this beauty and to never take any of it for granted and always remember the beauty in simplicity. it is so easy to get caught up in any direction...whether it's what you have, don't have, or want...we all are human...
so then saint lucia. i returned here with a fervor. a heightened sense of purpose and gratitude. i came back with this certainty that i wanted to extend my service and do the work i have been called to do. that lasted until the plane wheels hit the runway and then something in my soul started stirring. and then it was our close of service conference...and it kept stirring. and i've been confused and lost and guarded all over again. saint lucia has been my home for the last two years and peace corps my world view. thinking about walking away from that seems to make little to no sense. and so i have been fighting and fighting with myself and my fifteen minute mood swings. but today something profound happened...i stepped on my mat...which is where i always find myself again...it's like coming home over and over again. and through the entire practice it became more and more clear what i was doing and where i needed to be heading. i realized that if i stay in saint lucia i hold myself back from the next phase of growth that comes from this experience. i realized that i have so many dents and grooves to make on this planet that sitting in limbo...stagnant will not feed my soul and certainly will not feed this big beautiful world. from that point...i remembered my ultimate goal of working with youth in the juvenile justice system and incorporating yoga and meditation. i started to remember who i was again and i realized that when i came back this time i got lost quickly. so it's time to go. where, when, how? the doors are opening. but i know that the world is calling and i can't keep pretending like i don't hear. this experience, life, place has changed me forever...but now...it is time to see what i can do with that and how even more so it will affect others.
but....hang out...cause i might change my mind again in fifteen minutes. ;)