I try not to talk about it because I tend to get way too excited about it, but if you haven’t figured it out already, the Peace Corps has been a life long dream of mine. I am pretty sure I was younger than 10 when I read something in a National Geographic magazine about a Peace Corps volunteer. From that time on, my highest ambition was to do at least one deployment with the Peace Corps, preferably two, and then to become a photo journalist for National Geographic. In a nutshell, that would be living the dream.
Unfortunately, events from about that time onward in my life, through and including beginning college, made the necessary stepping-stone-endeavors nearly impossible for me. Sure, I did my share of tutoring and volunteer work in high school, but honestly it wasn’t even with PC in mind – it was mostly just to get out of the house and do something productive (ie: the opposite of how the rest of my life was going.) In high school and college I inadvertently adopted one of the worst mindsets humanly possible; let’s just get through this. This led me to pass by a lot of opportunities which could have fast tracked me towards the Peace Corps. I couldn’t regret this more than I do.
The summer before my final year of university, I finally felt the freedom and peace of mind which permitted me to look once again toward fulfilling ambitions which would make my life better and allow happiness in my life. My long lost Peace Corps dream was once again present in my mind and in my desires, possibly from the wonderful experience of spending most of that summer abroad.
Either way, the fire in my mind was refueled, and I started to sincerely research the Peace Corps and what I could do with them, and how I could qualify. I was disappointed and a little ashamed when I discovered that many of the opportunities I had passed by would have been invaluable. But I resolved that, starting with the completion of my degree, I would work my way through until I had all the necessary qualifications. Looking at the list, I estimated that it would take me anywhere from 3 to 5 years. So I accepted that, and progressed with my life.
If you’ve read recent posts of mine you’ve probably seen that I’ve considered AmeriCorps (basically domestic PC), as well as other endeavors such as being an ESL teacher in a foreign country. That’s the sort of experience that I’d just love to be a part of to begin with, but which would also be a huuuge step in eventually qualifying for the Peace Corps. And trust me, that option is still most solidly on my plate…
Yesterday I was thinking about the Peace Corps again, and wondering how much closer I may be to qualifying. So I went on their website and started poking around again, looking for the description they give of minimum qualifications. You cannot fathom my surprise when I discovered that even now, I have somehow come to meet all of their minimum requirements. (Emphasis on minimum…) I couldn’t contain myself! You should have seen me. I looked like one of my second graders after eating a double helping of crazy cake – I was quite literally bouncing on the couch!
So I started looking around at the available sites and deployments upcoming, as well as application deadlines and general information. Wouldn’t it be crazy if I could just skip the intermittent hoops and just join the PC now?? I barely let myself consider this as I perused the site. But then I stumbled across a primary teaching position which would focus primarily on teaching English – in Morocco. Yeah. And the application deadline? January 15th. Today.
Of course I had to work, so that left me limited time in the evening to update my CV (/resume/whatever), find two contacts for recommendations, and fill out the whole long application. But I did it. I filled it all out and called my contacts and I did it!
Today I applied to the Peace Corps!
I have dreamed of this day for 13 years or more! And I did it! I’m so glad I did it too. Even if I do not get accepted this time, I will be able then to focus on target areas which will enable me to be just what the doctor ordered in the future. According to their site, being turned down once does not in any way effect future applications or your ability to be accepted later. So in my book, it can’t hurt. If I am rejected then hopefully I can still pursue the year of ESL in China (or elsewhere), and then reapply in the future. It’s a win-win really.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited, this filled with anticipation and eagerness and hope. There’s a possibility I’ll be accepted. And even if that’s a one in a million chance, I’m ready.