I write this entry from my mom's house in Oregon as I am working my way back into life in the US. This comes earlier than expected, as my service in the Dominican Republic was not set to finish for another year, but here I am.
Deciding to come home was a very difficult, personal decision, but it was the right one. I could list out all the factors that brought me to this place, but they are many and private, and so suffice it to say that after fighting to be happy for a little more than a year, I decided enough was enough. I had a good hard think, asking myself whether I could change my internal or external environment enough to turn things around for the remainder of my service. My answer to myself was "I don't think so," so, to oversimplify the whole decision making process, I came home.
I am sad Peace Corps didn't work out; I so wanted it to. I was sure. I was committed. I finish what I start. I am disappointed that this amazing experience turned out to not be for me, and I feel like I let my community down. But, I know that I am the only person in the world who can make my happiness a top priority, and I have a responsibility to myself to do that. I have no regrets about going to Peace Corps--not for all it took to get there in the first place or of spending a year of my life there, with all the physical and emotional trials and tribulations. I am glad that I went, and glad that I came home. It would have been a shame to "stick it out" for another 15 months and wind up resenting Peace Corps, my community and the Dominican Republic. I think that might have happened for me. So, I am thankful for what I was able to contribute in my short time, and I am thankful for what I have learned--about the world, about life, about myself.
I am still too close to my experience to be able to prepare my soundbite about being in Peace Corps, but I do know that I am more me now. More comfortable in my skin, more sure of what I want and of who I am. In such an intense environment, I learned a lot about my values and priorities and what I am (or am not) willing to negotiate. The value of this personal growth is not lost on me. I only wish I had been able to contribute as much as I feel I've gained.
That's it for now, for this diary of my time as a PCV in the Caribbean. Thanks for reading!!!!