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The Peace Corps: Getting Through the Hard Times
November 4, 2011, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

I’ve had a hard time this week, for no particular reason. Without turning this into a giant self-pitying post, I’ll merely say that the stress of being completely immersed in a foreign culture for five months seems to have taken it’s toll on me, and I’ve experienced a complete rainbow of emotions in the past five days: boredom, anger, depression, joy, happiness, frustration, fear. All of these weird insecurities that never bothered me before are suddenly popping up, and I’ve been battling with questions such as ‘What kind of skills do I have to offer my community besides absolutely nothing?’ (a little melodramatic, but I allowed it). I also find myself reacting with ridiculous pettiness to situations that never bothered me before. Culture shock strikes again.

The Peace Corps likes to call our two years of service ‘The Emotional Roller Coaster’- with crazy highs and crazier lows, it’s fairly normal for a Peace Corps Volunteer to get into ruts like the one I’ve just experienced, so don’t worry too much friends- I’m keeping it all in perspective. What I really wanted to share is something I wrote in my journal tonight. For everyone out there, this is what gets me through the hard times- and this is also a big reason why I joined the Peace Corps:

 

I think in the future, when the Peace Corps is over, like all things I will only remember the good parts. But I just want to say now that being in the Peace Corps is VERY hard, and challenging, and difficult in ways I never conceived. All of my insecurities about myself are manifesting here, and it is so difficult to face them. But I know that I will be a stronger person because of it. And I want to say right here that it is important I remember these hard times and challenges, because these are the things that will make me grow into a better person. So when I develop those characteristics later in life that I so admire in Returned Peace Corps Volunteers- patience, depth, kindness- I will know that it is precisely those hard times that made me stronger, kinder, more understanding, more humble. 

 

Things are lookin’ up.

Much love,

Brittany


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