Where do I even begin? So it’s been nearly 3 months since I left Moldova. It’s still surreal. I wish I could find a way to describe every bit of emotion and feeling I’ve had since being back, but I can’t. And even if I could, I don’t think anyone would want to read an endless post. So, I’ll do my best and cover what I think is the most important.
First of all, I want to say thanks to all those people – my people – that made my last week or so in country painless. You all know who you are, and if you don’t I’ll make sure to reach out and let you know. One of my hesitations leaving was all the people I’d be leaving behind. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you probably know how important my new friends were to me. I was afraid to lose them. It’s taking some time, and I’m not fully there yet, but I’m starting to realize that just because we’re not in the same country or on the same continent doesn’t weaken our friendship. Yes, it looks different than it did before but that’s only natural. I love my dear friends in Moldova and wouldn’t trade them for anything. I’m rooting for each and every one of them ♥
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my decision to leave. Part of me regrets it. I think about certain days or aspects of the service. I think about the school and students I left behind, partner teachers, host family, community members. There are times, more often than I’d like to admit, that I miss it whole heartedly. I miss walking to school and seeing students run around in the courtyard before the bell. I miss talking in broken Romanian to the teachers before and in between classes. I miss classes and my partner teachers. I miss the feeling that I was a part of something bigger than myself. Then I take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
I remember that most days I came home and cried (alone, on the phone or via Skype). I remember safety incidences that threatened my health and safety. I remember either standing in the back of the classroom occasionally saying a word in English. Or I remember the complete opposite, being left completely alone with a class of students and no lesson plan. I remember my host mother nagging me to: Mânca! Mânca! I remember my host father making “helpful” comments about my body. Ultimately, I remember I can’t romanticize my experience.
There were good and bad days, moments, weeks. I can’t categorize my experience in a black and white way, no matter how hard I try. The one thing I know, and will always know, is that I am so grateful for the experience – every part.
Re-entry into American life was incredibly difficult, and at times it still is. Everything is so different and frankly overwhelming. I’ll admit I’ve broken down a time or two since being back, but it’s all a part of the process (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). I’m happy to be back with family and friends. I’ve enjoyed going to my younger brother’s basketball games, being able to drive, and so many other things. I don’t think I’m fully readjusted. I know it’s a process.
My life plans were flipped on their side. It was always: college, Peace Corps, grad school, career. That’s not the timeline anymore. I still plan to travel and go to grad school but the timeline’s different. I’m only slowly starting to put one together. I’m cautiously optimistic.
I wasn’t sure what to do with this blog after I left. For a while I thought about deleting it. I’m not in Moldova, it seemed logical. I’ve changed my mind. Writing here is almost therapeutic. I don’t know how often I’ll write, or even what about but I’m going to keep it for the time being. It should be interesting!