“You are only one decision away from a totally different life.” – Mark Batterson
“Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know what’s even scarier? Regret.” – Zig Ziglar
“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” – Anthony Robbins
“There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page or closing the book.” – Josh Jameson
“By knowing that you can fail and making the choice to take the risk, you will be setting yourself up for success and not failure.” – Jennifer N. Smith
“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we are proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we choose to be.” – Graham Brown
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” – Lewis Carroll
“You and only you are responsible for your life choices and decisions.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki
I did not expect to be writing this blog post. However, life is full of curveballs, change, and opportunities. The past four months with the Peace Corps in beautiful Mozambique have been great. I have learned so much about the Peace Corps, Mozambique, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and myself. I have also met so many incredible people. With that said, I have decided to resign, or in Peace Corps lingo, early-terminate (ET). This is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make and I do not take the decision lightly. While we have indeed been incredibly busy these first four months in the country, I have had a lot of time to think and reflect and I feel at this time it is the right decision for my future and me.
In the Peace Corps world, “ET-ing” often is looked at in a negative aspect. There are many reasons why volunteers decide to ET (family issues, boyfriends/girlfriends back home, medical reasons, change of heart, job opportunity, schooling opportunity, etc.) so, why is it usually seen as a negative? Is it because we take the US oath? Is it because we are volunteers in a foreign country? Is it because those who ET are thought to be in over their heads or weak? I do not have the answer to the question, but I do not view it as a negative. Are there people who ET for the wrong reasons? Maybe. Nevertheless, there are also plenty of people who ET because it is the right decision for them. In the end, we are all individuals and all have our own lives, goals, dreams, desires, families, etc. While it may not be the decision you would make, it does not mean it is the wrong decision for them.
What are my plans now that the next two years have suddenly changed? Well, I am going to spend the next few months in Michigan spending time with my family during the holiday season. In addition, I am going to be pursuing a goal of mine that I have had for several years. What is the goal? Going to graduate school in Germany for my master’s degree. In the coming months I will be preparing my applications, applying for graduate school, and getting back into studying German (do not worry, the master’s program is in English). Some may ask why I don't wait until after Peace Corps to go to graduate school as so many volunteers do. Could I stay in Mozambique for two years and go to graduate school after? Yes. However, after much thought, consideration, and prayer, I believe that in the end, this decision right now is best for my future.
To my family and friends in the States, thank you for always encouraging me to follow my dreams and supporting me in my decisions. I know many of my decisions have not been decisions that you would make or the decisions you would choose for me but you accept them anyway and encourage me.
To Peace Corps Mozambique, staff, host families, colleagues, host-country nationals, volunteers, and fellow cohort members, thank you for an amazing four months. It was great getting to know all of you and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of you. Whether it be in Mozambique, the US, or anywhere else in the world, I know you all will do great things in life. I will forever be grateful for the amazing friendships I have gained and the memories we have shared. Estamos juntos, sempre.