I have not posted on this blog in a long time, because I have been serving as a Peace Corps Education Volunteer in Uganda since November 11th, 2013. Feel free to continue reading and journeying with me on my adventures and experiences for the next 26 months at my new Uganda Peace Corps Blog: mountainsbeyondmountainsuganda.wordpress.com
Today just felt like an off day for some reason. I woke up at 8am and it was cold outside. I mean, it was freezing cold outside to the point that my hands started to freeze even though I wore skiing gloves. My professor got confused when it came to solving the 2nd Order Differential Equation for Mass Balance in terms of concentrations of pollutants and that just frustrated me. I screwed up singing a song in front of a group of people, and then I get back home and stress out about how to pay for the Peace Corps when I’m away. You see I called a bunch of different offices today ranging from the Peace Corps national office, to the regional office, to the Federal Student Loan HQ, to my specific borrowers, to Boston University financial aid, to my parents. I finally figured out how to deal with paying back my loans during my leave of absence if I am eventually accepted into the Peace Corps, but it still sucks that I have this dream and it seems so far away. Only a few thousand measly dollars separates me from having the funds to pay for my loans while I am away volunteering,
Usually I have this hope that everything will somehow work out; however, for some reason today I just don’t feel it. I feel kinda spoiled, but it’s one of those days where all I wanna do is just curl up into a ball and sleep forever. Not everyone in the world can say that. I guess that I can start by saving more money instead of spending it as soon as I get my weekly paycheck.
I’m sure that a good night’s sleep in my chilly room will do me some good and help to clear my mind off of some things. I still hold true that things will somehow work themselves out in the end, because that’s how it’s supposed to happen. People are naturally good and everything will work out in the end. It has to.
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
~On the Road, Jack Kerouac
So it’s the last night before I bid a temporary farewell to this old and empty house back in Owings Mills, MD. I have been attempting to finish my reading of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road so that it can be returned back to the library in Maryland before I head back to Boston early in the morning. Once again I start to feel that pang of wanting to move and be dynamic. I just can’t stand wasting away in the same old houses and apartments without actively doing something with my life. I sometimes feel as if I am not using my skills to the fullest: during the school year I never take full advantage of my talents and end up wasting time with procrastination, and then during the breaks all I do is sleep, eat, and think about when things will start up again.
Everything around me is changing and moving beyond any control. When I leave for Boston tomorrow in a 10am Megabus, it will be the last time that I will head there before my graduation. It will be the last time that I say another goodbye to my old Maryland home and welcome the familiarity of my Boston home for the last time before everything changes and starts again anew.
I just feel stuck right now: stuck between the verges of new homes and new lives. I went back to my high school today to give a presentation about engineering in college to two classes of seniors who are taking an introductory engineering course. I couldn’t believe that I was only 4 years gone from their position and that they too would come to understand the glory of life after high school. I guess that I just also have to work on not holding on to things too much. I tend to remember a lot of things in the past, and as a result I tend to get stuck on how things were and how good they seemed to be back then. If I only I could have gone back to those moments with the wisdom and experience that I had now and did things differently. But then again I would never have gained that insight had I not first gone through those experiences with my naivete and innocence.
I started reading On the Road with feelings of joy and ecstasy as I read about the adventures and the Sal’s calling to once again fulfill that wanderlust to move into the unknown. I think that it is a very fitting book for me, because I think that I have always felt this urge to keep challenging myself to tread upon those lesser known paths and experiences. With that comes reckless abandonment, which may have seemed romantic and lofty at first, but then reveals itself to have no real purpose. My only worry is that I will soon find nothing in this world that can fill this aching desire. For Sal, it is to be upon that vast and foreign road filled with glory and mystery. For me, it is to discover that new secret or next part of my life that starts to make sense of this mess. Then again, we all have our ups and downs just like any old road, but this one doesn’t have an end in sight.
The nest stage for me is definitely the Peace Corps, and spending those 2+ years away in a developing country. What’s eating me away is that I made good headway on my application, only to have screwed up and pass the 30 day refreshing deadline. When I last checked on my application it was all deleted and I then had to start over again by scratch. It is a long and arduous process, but I know that in my heart of hearts that it is what I was called to do regardless of what anyone else has said to me. So for the time being, I need to finish my book, pack my bags, and head on to this last stage of my college career and see where that “huge vaulting world” takes me.