Stability versus Uncertainty

Some days, in between classes, I go to a few trusty job search engines (including one that connected me to my first job post college) and browse around.

I’m interested in what kinds of jobs are available and where they are located. Do my skills match or would I need more schooling, I think as I click are different postings.

A few times I have found a few that stop me. Based on the blurbs, these positions seem perfect for my passion and skills. I could do this, I think. I could live there, I say.

And then my mind wanders to the little life I could have with this job. The 8-5 with the occasional long night. The reassurance of doing what I enjoy combined with what I think I should do. My desk, cluttered with papers and inspiration. The cute little apartment I’d have a few blocks away, near a yoga studio and my new favorite coffee shop. I could visit farmer’s markets on Saturdays and take cooking lessons. I would have brunch and happy hours. It could be a good life.

But I never hit the “Apply Here” button.

I didn’t come to Peace Corps because I wasn’t sure what else to do with my life. I didn’t leave everything behind because I wasn’t ready for the real world or didn’t think I could find a job. I came here because being a volunteer is something I’ve dreamed of for years. It’s something I wasn’t sure I could do but wanted to prove that I could. I hit pause on my life because I knew I needed to be here.

And I am not always reassured by that decision. I do wonder what if there is something else I should be doing. I do wonder, if four years as a volunteer abroad, is a terrible mistake.

Deep down, I know that it is not. It’s hard to see that, though, on the tough days. On the days when you feel like you are not making any progress, externally or internally. When the entire world is fighting you, doubt is all you have.

A friend recently wrote to me about the doubt he is having in his own life. He added this at the end, “All of this is to say that stability and uncertainty are enemies battling against each other for my attention. And to say that I know it is easy to get frustrated out there as a PCV in Lesotho, but just being able to serve there is such a great opportunity and you should try and treasure it, even as you go through those notoriously difficult days.”

He is right. Stability and certainty will always fight each other, no matter where I am, but I can’t let them cloud this special time.

So, if I know I am supposed to be here, why I do search for something else? Mostly to know that those jobs are there and have faith that I will be OK come December 2013. Also, to remind myself that there are great opportunities all over the world, but the one that needs me and that I need is right here in Lesotho.

 

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