i’ve sort of been putting off writing a wrap up of 2012 simply because i didn’t want to get sad or start pining for things and people that i miss. however given the year that i’ve had, i feel that proper time should be devoted to reflection for everything that has happened in the past year.
2012 was full of life-changing events that brought on new adventures, heartaches, huge adjustments, challenges, excitement, extreme highs, and some of the lowest of lows i’ve ever experienced in my life. and to be honest, i still couldn’t fully tell you what it all means to me…at least not yet. at the beginning of our service, the peace corps showed us a little chart to illustrate for us what we can expect emotionally as we go though our service and it goes a little something like this: the first 3 mos or so you will be at a high because you are experiencing all new things and everything is still exciting, then eventually you go down as you realize “oh sh*t, what did i get myself into” then you go up again as you move into your final site and your getting to know everything, then you go down again as things eventually get old, and so on and so forth. right now as we’re approaching our year mark, we’re supposed to be at a low as we’re questioning our original motives for joining the peace corps in the first place, whether or not it has all been worth it, and of course everything we’ve given up to be here. right now i’d say i’m at 60-40 (no worries, the chart says in a month or two that can easily change to something more positive). morocco has been an awesome experience overall. one that i can already tell, i will value for the rest of my life. so far, i’ve gained some very special friendships through my time here. i’ve learned so much about myself and what i’m capable of. and i’ve seen places and experienced things that i would otherwise not have the opportunity to had i not made the move here. that said, living in morocco is hard for obvious reasons. but the lack of daily life conveniences aside, it’s hard being completely alone in a strange country (well, strange for me). it’s hard adjusting from living in america where i am free to do/say whatever i want, to anyone i want, wherever i want to having to always be conscious of myself and my surroundings. i’ve never spent this much one-on-one time with myself ever in my life. i’ve done a good job of entertaining myself so far with movies/tv shows on my computer, taking up crocheting, getting a cat!!!, and taking more naps to fill my day.
i’ve changed. i can feel it. i’m a little more “go with the flow” now. i’m still very much on time but there will be times when i’m not and *gasp* i don’t apologize for it because people mostly don’t even realize that i’m late. i used to put great value to my personal space but morocco has taught me that here, personal space is not a right, it’s a privilege. from being squeezed in a taxi with 7 other people where a random person’s arm, leg, or worse–butt cheek can be on you for the entire length of your trip. where strange little girls and grandmas grab you and give you up to 6 pairs of cheek-t0-cheek kisses each and you can’t do anything about it but just to take it (this is 10x worse in the summer time because then they turn into sweaty cheek-to-cheek kisses…ick). and i’ve accepted the fact that i am helpless when it comes to certain things and even though i’m used to doing things for myself, it’s okay for me to ask for help and let people help me. sometimes it feels weird to be vulnerable but you get through it.
anyway, as time passes, it doesn’t mean i miss home any less. i think about home and everyone there almost everyday. i’m truly thankful for friends and family who have kept in touch with me despite their busy schedules and the time change. it’s a little overwhelming for me to think that i will be spending the entirety of 2013 in morocco but hopefully some of you can make it out to visit me?? there is so much to look forward to already. i can’t wait to see what this year holds for me.