Do you know the chilling fact that happens most of the time?
The crystallization of memory as if you left one person, one place, all swept up and clean and you hope to return to it one day without one piece of dust changed.
The crystallization is a brilliant process. It the pure freezing of time that we seek in our lives. Because that is what Peace Corps does. Gives you a slice of a world that never needed you, that existed on its own, and then it makes you love, live, and believe in the entire world. Then it ends and you hope you were part of something. You hope you could return to bliss.
But this is also the reason we remember our past romances and the reason we remember our childhood as our peaceful blissful years.
Even me, a child of domestic abuse with a parent who drank money away, I still could see the beauty in my childhood. The simplicity of the age and the fact that everything was simple. No decisions were made. Everything was made for us.
During my two years, my decisions were made for me. It was an ease I could quickly get used to because it was something I had to do. Nothing would work if I pushed for it. I was used to going with the flow as that was the cultural climate.
Then I was rushed back into the real world. And I thought I could use my skills to further my career. But everyone and I mean everyone did not care. They did not care how much I have gone through or how much I have learned because it didn’t help them or guide them. It may have tortured them with the guilt of lack of self-sacrifice or aggravated them that I couldn’t let go of my past.
My past will always be my present. Those two years have made me different. And yet, to the world, my experience is not worthwhile because even though I have experienced this, it is not good to dwell on the past. I have to move on and be better in a different environment just like I have adapted to the environment I was put in as a Peace Corps volunteer.
But now is the time to move on. To forget the past into rose colored filtered memories but to take what we have learned and grow from this. To remember it is our past and not for everyone to relive so that we have an optimal working space. Forgiveness is not our game. Forgive me, I am so used to other things.
What happened to my adaptability, I wondered?
What happened to my free-form style? Why am I so used to doing nothing? No drive behind my goals and dreams.
It wasn’t the lack of drive but the feeling of responsibility. I felt responsible for the lack of development I encountered in the village. I felt responsible for all the world’s problems that could be solved just because I got a taste of reality that made me feel like an international development believer. But instead, a dose of reality came after the reality check. That I am alone and one person in this field and that there are millions of strings and loops you have to take to get to where you want which is a developed country.
I also was ready for my easy career that was a perfect fit tailored to me. And that is the true problem. Struggle was part of these last two years.
Struggle. I was still a college graduate who had an entire path ahead where anything came come together from the lessons learned through Peace Corps. But the years have ended and I am closer to 26 than I ever was before.
Do I continue in development work? Do I go for public policy work to really change lives? Do I still write and become the writer that my ten year old self dearly wished to be?
And then another question came up to play: why wasn’t there enough time to conquer all these endeavors?
And the scariest thought of all:: Money.
I am here to say that this blog has always centered around travel and Peace Corps. But I am changing this. I am morphing this blog to represent me, Meghan Mathew.
I am an aspirational person and my dream was always to change the world either through the written word or the policies or organizations I start or work in that really make a calculatable impact.
I want to socially change the world through my actions and it may include all the goals I go for or may be through one. But you will see it unfold here. On my journey to joy.