My father likes to cheer me up with baseball metaphors.
“If you want to get to the World Series in October, you gotta play double headers in Cleveland in April.”
“Just because you went 0-for-4 today, doesn’t mean you can’t go 4-for-4 tomorrow.” And then he adds, “Unless you are the Minnesota Twins.”
One day, for reasons I can’t explain other than I have lost pieces of my sanity, I was contemplating the true philosophical similarities between baseball and being a Peace Corps Volunteer.
OK, I get how silly that makes me sound, and I have been reading a lot of Twins’ gamers that may have influenced such thinking, but there is something here I can’t deny.
It’s normal for most teams in any given season to have slumps. Sometimes it’s five games in a row (ahem, Twins), sometimes it is 20 (please, Gardy, no). You lose by 10 or you lead all game to have it taken away with a few walks and a lucky RBI in the ninth.
But then you get a sweet shot to the centerfield stands (I love you, Joe Mauer). You down a rival. You sweep a series, maybe even two.
You have a bad day and yet another project fails. Then, the next day, a kid gives you a hug and you start to see the shimmer of difference you are having in your community.
Baseball is a game in which how you did the day before doesn’t often matter. You may take the Yankees one day but then the Astros get the best of you the next. You may lose an early set to the Mets (come on, Twins!) but you still have a chance at the pennant.
Being a volunteer is no different. That Peace Corps rollercoaster never dies down and you can never really predict whether a day will be good or bad. Yet, a string of awful days doesn’t mean it is a loss cause.
As a PCV, each day can be a new start, a new opportunity. You can still win it all, you just gotta keep showing up to the plate. And when you do strike out, which can happen more often than you would like, you still have tomorrow to hit a home run. Maybe even a grand slam.
Unless, of course, you are the Minnesota Twins.