A friend recently overheard a young woman talking in a public setting. She was just coming home from the Peace Corps. Her “grand adventure” ended earlier than she predicted, or wanted. My friend, being a courage and brave person, approached the young woman and said she knows someone who was in the Peace Corps and was evacuated. The woman acknowledged her statement and said she knew me and my story. As it turns, we are acquaintances and I didn’t realize she was in the Peace Corps at all. My friend felt she needed to approach this woman, offer her an olive branch of some sort of shared compassion.
“She reminds me of a sad Heather Mangan. She reminds me of Heather Mangan when she got back from Niger.”
I honestly don’t remember much of February, after Egypt, and March. It’s a hazy swirl of depression and confusion. I was sad. I was depressed. My entire world was turned upside over and I was forced to figure out a new path.
Now, I sit on the other side of those feelings, with excitement in my heart as I prepare for Lesotho. My heart breaks for that young woman. I know how she is feeling, I know how much it hurts, how unfair it is. I want to hug her, I want to console her. Most of all, I want to tell her that it will be OK. Maybe I didn’t believe that eight months ago, but I do know. Life in Lesotho will not be any easier and I am sure I will face hardships there. But, I’ve come to understand that I am not just trying to leap from one rock to the next. This is all part of my journey, it’s not the journey.
It is and it will be OK.