Yeah, you read that right. I am two months out from leaving for the Peace Corps, and I’m plugging along through all the medical exams and such, and …what if I don’t go?
My head is spinning even thinking those words. I have wanted this for so long and pursued it so hard and done so much of the prep work for it – am I really going to do a 180 and just not go? Honestly the first of my concerns and the most practical reason that this is even a consideration is that even with the cost shares, I cannot afford the medical tests require to be ‘cleared for duty’. I have no health insurance because I can’t afford it, so all these tests and exams and labs and immunizations are literally draining the bank. I’m about half way through all the requisites and have the rest of it scheduled (and the deadline is swiftly approaching) and yet I look at the bills that will be accumulating so soon and I just can’t seem to be able to justify it.
Every bone in my body is confused as I consider the option of backing out. I feel like I am for the billionth time in my life about to give up what I want most because I just can’t reach far enough. Maybe that’s the case. Maybe my priorities are still elsewhere. I don’t know. Do I go further into debt to do work that doesn’t pay in a country that is currently at war with itself… or do I stop and take a step back and find another job and become more financially stable and skilled and reconsider the Peace Corps in a few years?
My family would be relieved. My friends would rejoice, though they’d try to be somber because they’d know what a hard decision it would be. But what would I feel? I’m trying to think of myself, and I know it comes across as a little selfish, but truly I don’t often do things that I really want to do, and this was about to be the first life decision that was made just for me. I think for a while I’d feel regret. I’d even feel a little foolish for making a big deal about going and then a big deal about not going. I’d have a hard time explaining to people why I’d decided against the thing that I’d been nearly singing Alleluias about for the past six months. But maybe I’d feel a little relieved too. Maybe once I got used to the idea I’d be once again optimistic about the other adventures in my future.
But I’ve turned down returning to my job already because of this. I don’t have an alternate plan right now. I’m sure I can whip something up, find some kind of clerical work for a few months. Maybe I’ll go ahead and get my TEFL certification and still go teach English in some other country – but actually be able to make money and not be in a militarized zone and not have the strict rules and policies of a Federal Government Agency breathing down my neck. When I think of it that way it doesn’t seem so bad.
But I feel like I’m giving up. If I make this decision I know that it’ll be my choice and that it will be rational and that I’ll still have great earth shattering opportunities in the future… but I’ll still feel like I’m giving up. So many people have reached out to me in the time I’ve been preparing for Peace Corps and they’ve been so helpful and so supportive – I’ll feel like I’m letting them down.
So now I’ve written a novel and I still haven’t made up my mind. I think that I will give myself to the weekend to try and figure some of this out, but I’m more torn than I’ve ever been before. To be or not to be isn’t the question. To go to Peace Corps or not to go to Peace Corps… that’s the question.
5 thoughts on “Peace Corps No More?”
What is the key thing stopping you from going? The costs of all the medical checks? The fear of the unknown? The realization of actually achieving one of your life goals with nothing to replace it?
I think the current thoughts you are having are natural. It is a huge life change to pack up and move to another country especially one where there is a threat of war. I don’t think you will be letting anyone down if you decided not to go. It’s your life and your decision…..
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Yes, it’s partially the financial aspect, partially that it’s not exactly what I’d always thought it would be. I’m not scared of the unknown or of leaving my home country – that will probably happen anyway. I guess I’m just second guessing my reasons for going and re weighing the pros and cons and priorities.
I’m writing this from Britain, where (until the current government undermines it completely) every single soul is covered by the National Health Service. I’m American, but I’ve been here long enough to go into shock when I hear about someone not being able to afford medical insurance. This is crazy. This is completely crazy,
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It’s a sad state of affairs indeed!
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