The mysterious illness started in Lesotho, about the time the end became a clear vision.
It would start in my stomach and move up to my throat and many days I left school as soon as my classes were over so I could ingest simple carbs and rest. My entire system felt frizzled and I wonder if these symptoms were indication of something serious. Thankfully, I was able to see a group of specialists and the condition was very much treatable. A water-borne illness was the real culprit but so was stress. My doctors said that the stress was wreaking havoc on my body and it was shutting down.
It made sense. My school was on the brink of closure, my life beyond Peace Corps lay in doubt, and every day I was closer to Lesotho becoming just a memory. I was scared and my body suffered because of it.
The mysterious illness returned about a month ago, when it became clear that I absolutely must take this new opportunity and move to Chicago.
I do not believe moving to DC was a mistake, actually I believe it was exactly what I was supposed to do and, for whatever reason, it’s time for me to leave. Signs pop up all the time that reassure me that this new job and city are where my path is supposed to go, but it doesn’t mean that I move on without fear.
There are a lot of unknowns.
Chicago, the job and the city, feel more permanent than DC ever did, and I am not even there yet. The last four years (yes, it’s been four years since I left for Niger) have been full of twists and turns and my life has led me to amazing places and people. Even though I spent more time living in my rondaval in Lesotho than I have in any place beyond my parents’ house, I was not settle. It was always temporary because there was a fixed end date. It was a grand adventure.
Chicago is an adventure, too, but it’s also the next phase of my life. Maybe I will finally unpack my suitcase and backpack. I could buy furniture and white tea cups. I could have a life of yoga classes, farmers’ markets and magazine subscriptions that just wasn’t possible when I was living in rural southern Africa.
I dreamed about such a life on those long days in Lesotho, but now that it is possible I am terrified. I am scared settling down means stale, means missing out on exploration and opportunities to take in this grand world. I don’t want to trade in my Sahara-dirty backpack for a suede couch, but being one place for a bit is quite tempting.
Yet, I actually have no idea what is in store for me and I have no idea what my life will look like in one year, one month, or, even week.
I have to embrace that. I have to know that what is ahead and is what I need and trust that the Universe and God are leading me to my highest potential. That trust doesn’t come easy but I am tired of feeling sick and weak. I have nothing to regret or worry about because all I really have are blessings.
This is my new path and, my goodness, it will be incredible. I know that because it is mine.