Last week, I was saddened to learn about a free Dave Matthews concert taking place in Denver. A few weeks earlier, it was a Don Diablo set at Echostage. This coming weekend, I will be missing out on a dear friend’s wedding that I am heartbroken that I can’t attend.
These are the sacrifices that we agree to as Peace Corps
Volunteers. Very early into the preparation process, we were reminded to prepare our personal lives for two years of living abroad. On the surface, this seems to simply mean saying goodbye and ensuring we have everyone’s contact information in order so that we can keep in touch. This is an important piece of it, but it does not encompass everything.
Now that we are approaching a month in Rwanda, two things have happened. First, we trainees have started growing into our lives here. We better understand the routines and are more accustomed to this new way of living. Second, the worlds we left behind have started growing and moving on without us. Being told about these three events was just the first indicator that life has continued on in my absence. Soon I’ll be missing memories made and jokes told and I, personally, will be missing many must-see concert events. Meghan’s wedding is probably only the first in a string of major life events that I will not be able to be a part of.
It is painful. I wonder how missing these events will later affect my relationships with many of my friends; we will no longer share all of the important life memories that we’ve been making for so long. What does this mean in terms of how we talk to each other once I get home? Will it mean that we have more to share and will be able to chat for hours on end about all the things we’ve missed in each other’s lives? Or will we have nothing to talk about because our lives have simply diverged too much?
I don’t know when – or even if – I will have a good answer to these questions.
But, for the moment, I can find a way to also be content with having these unknowns in my life. While I (and my fellow volunteers) will continue to long to be a part of the events back home, life here in Rwanda has also continued to develop and there is so much to focus on here. I don’t know that my awareness of this dichotomy in my life will ever really disappear over the next few years, but I will continue pushing forward in the hopes that I can make it all worth it.
Listening To: Bartender, Dave Matthews Band
Word of the Day: Murakoze cyane! (Thank you very much!)