The New Year
Today is Rosh Hashanah, the New Year. This time of year always makes me reflect, as it is intended to do. I think about many things – where I am now, where I was a year ago, and the different paths I have traveled through my life.
A year ago, I was sending in my medical paperwork to Peace Corps. I was waiting for legal clearance (which ended up taking a long time because of my house). My house was on the market, at a price far less than I owed on it. I was unemployed. I was going to shul every week, and struggling to make it through every day. Yet I was volunteering my time, trying to help others. However, I was also still job searching, as Peace Corps was not a certain thing. I was lonely, isolated, feeling like I had no friends, like a complete failure in life.
Two years ago I was also unemployed, focused more on trying to find a job and continue with life as I knew it.
Where am I today? I am in Ukraine, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I am working as a Community Developer in Kirovograd – not exactly where I thought I would be a year ago, when I was nominated for Business Advising in Francophone Africa! But as I have come to believe, things always work out for the best, even if we don’t think so or understand at the time.
This is not to say that life here is without challenges – the point of being in Peace Corps is that it IS challenging. There are some days when I wonder “why am I even here?” and others where I feel as if I have not accomplished anything. I am having a hard time understanding people, as I learned one language (kind of) and they speak another. So I am switching to learning that language (Russian) in the hopes that one day I will actually understand what is going on. I am not able to find the foods that I find in the US, and I hear that winter is going to be pretty rough.
But you know what? I am not bored, and I am finally doing something that I wanted to do for many years. Despite the challenges, I feel like this is where I am supposed to be in my life right now. I am hoping that after I am done serving in Ukraine, I will be able to find a job internationally, or in DC.
The most important word if that prior paragraph is “hope”. Though life is not perfect, and I have some really hard days, I am still able to have hope. Sometimes it’s all that keeps a person going, is hope. Hope that things can get better, that things will get better, and that the box, the prison of your mind will someday open up and release you, and that you will be free.