These next two weeks before my staging in Chicago are going to be lonely. I had a beautiful week with Geoff in South Carolina, showing him every place I've lived at and where I went to school. I got to show him off to my parents, family and friends. Dropping him off at the airport was probably one of the hardest things I've had to do in a long time. I know we will be together after my adventures abroad, but it will be a challenge not to lose my mind without him. I really do love him and already miss him. Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, Happy Valentines Day and many many more celebrations for the next two years, Geoff. It will be a wonderful 30th birthday and the start to a beautiful, adventurous life together when I get back.
I spent most of the morning getting the run-around between hotels, shuttle services, the airport and so-on trying to create the smoothest journey possible to my staging. For those of you who do not know what a staging is, I basically have a two-day orientation in Chicago, IL where I get to meet other Peace Corps volunteers going to Africa for the Peace Corps. I imagine it being like the first day of college orientation, filled with ice breakers, "what I expect out my adventure" types of questions, and PLENTY of paperwork. I want to portray an energetic and adventurous woman with nothing but the world to offer. What people MIGHT get from my appearance is a tattooed, gauge-eared, feather in her Mohawk youngin', fresh out of college, wide-eyed and reckless! Oh well, my entire life has been first-impressions flipped in the air through beautiful conversation and soul connections. How could this possibly be different?
In eighteen days, I will be stepping off an airplane after sixteen + hours of flight time and sixteen + hours of replaying images of my friends, family and everything familiar to me in my head. Blended in these memories will be visions of what is to come, beautiful minds I will peek into and vibrant souls I will explore. I am both broken and excited - a feeling familiar to me.
This past year, I have moved twice to places (Charleston and Colorado) where I didn't know a single face and left many beautiful people at home in hopes of a new adventure. That butterfly in my stomach is a reoccurring feeling for me. I have found through these travels that even though I am flooded with anxiety because I am alone and in foreign territory, I can turn this energy into an amazing adventure. It is easy for me to meet beautiful souls because I am always trying to send out positive vibrations into the universe. I cannot help but feel that I am protected in that sense from anything thrown in my direction that could potentially be harmful. In every person I meet, I am both a teacher and a student.