The Thing about New Chapters 


The thing about a new chapter is that you have to close the old ones, even if it is just a temporary closure or a “to be continued at a further date”, in order to progress in your story. Although the Peace Corps has been a dream of mine for many years, I have always, in the back of my mind, been preparing for the impending goodbyes. Or as I prefer to say, the “see you laters”. Well, here I am in the deep of the hugs and the tears. Unfortunately, no mental preparation can really alleviate the reality of how much I will miss my family and friends.

I know I know. Counter to previous accusations, I actually DO have feelings. *Gasp*

So, the “see you later ” party is over. Tomorrow I get on an airplane to Philadelphia. In a few days and some long hours sitting on my butt, I’ll be in Africa.

It’s easy to find myself clinging to the things that I am going to miss. I secretly and selfishly pray that no major engagements, pregnancies, or life events happen while I am away…as unrealistic as that is. However, life is just one paradigm on top of another. The paradigm lenses we put on every day determine how we will live our lives, the attitudes that we develop , and how we will decide to shift those attitudes and events. So, it’s my time to shift.

Here is to getting excited.

Thank God that I was home for the changing of the leaves. However, I am excited to experience a new climate. I have a feeling that it will be Maryland summers on a larger scale. Here’s to two years of permasweat.

Although I LOVE being home, I am pretty excited to have a rehab from my last minute pasta binge for a while. The Italian within me curses that I want to get away from pasta. Watch me eat those words in a few weeks. But really, I am excited to experience some new food, a new diet, and an entirely new culture.

I am excited to meet my fellow Peace Corps training cohort! What a new experience this will be for all of us.

I am excited to learn and grow. My passion for health is about to be stretched, molded, and tested in ways that I probably can’t even imagine.

As I am sitting in my comfy bed in my childhood room, it seems strange to want to leave it. This room is so familiar, although more tidy than when I lived in it full time. Unfamiliarity will be good, though.I look forward to living differently. Different concepts of time,necessity, family, etc. will only do me a world of good.

Lastly, I am excited to make a difference. The thought of being able to use my skills in an area that is hungry for change and development is amazing. I was led to and joined this institution to help others.  As nervous as I am to put myself out in such unfamiliar territory, none of that matters when I have the ability to improve the wellbeing of even one person.

I’m going to miss my home and the people that make it home. (Looking at you mom) 

The missing will only be temporary, though.  Here’s to an ended chapter and a crisp white blank page to begin a new one. The thought of tomorrow scares me, excites me, and kind of makes me want to vomit…but one thing I know is that the next to years are going to be great, and the friends, family, and community I have behind me are the best.

Pray that my short layover tomorrow isn’t TOO SHORT and that I don’t get crushed beneath the asinine amount of luggage that I have.

Thank you all. You know who you are.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Marilyn says:

    Stephi, this is what it’s all about. Life is a journey that shouldn’t be squashed. I’m so proud of you. You make me laugh and cry at the same time. (I feel a little bit like vomiting, too!) I’ll miss our nightly tooth routine and all the hugs, but, you can be sure, I WILL see you in The Gambia!


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