All the “What Ifs”

Thanks to an email some of my fellow PC invitees received (and I finally got early last week), I was reminded I needed to get my Yellow Fever vaccine more than four weeks in advance of departure. Since I was planning to get mine in mid-September, that was not going to fly. Oops.

Luckily, there’s a place that does travel health I’d visited prior to my trip to Costa Rica. After spending 20 minutes reviewing my current vaccinations, the RN deemed Yellow Fever as the only vaccine I needed and I was out in 5 more minutes with my pretty yellow WHO card stamped. Yay.


Wrapping up life as I’ve known it is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I’m typically good at closing chapters of my life and beginning new ones, but thus far this one has proven to be really difficult. Mostly because I’m happy… I love the city I live in. I’ve made a lot of great friends lately–both here and across the US. I have a job that I would have been at long-term.

Two years isn’t a lifetime, yet it’s hard not to think about the things that’ll happen while I’m gone. I’ll miss four weddings in the next year alone–my best friend and three cousins–and likely more as people fall in love. I’ll miss at least two births and those babies will be toddlers by the time my service is complete, but likely many more. My brother will graduate from college. It’s hard not to think about the “what ifs” on what I’ll miss over the next two years.

But what would I miss if I stay here? I would miss weddings. I would miss deaths and births. I would miss a new place that I just might fall in love with. I would miss the opportunity to make new friends and to learn a new language. I would miss the opportunity to make a radical change in my world view. I would miss the opportunity to do a little good for people who deserve it.

Things that are worth doing are very rarely easy. They’re scary. They’re hard. I might cry… a lot. I might ask myself what the %^@* I was thinking on a regular basis, but at the end of it, I know that I will have no regrets.

How many “what ifs” is that worth?

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  1. I know that it was one of the hardest things I had to figure out when I decided to even move just to Chicago- would I be willing to miss out on many of the events I couldn’t afford to attend? I missed 3 weddings, tons of parties and events that I really wanted to be there for- but in the end I think it was worth it.

    Relocating (much less to a foreign country to do PC work) changes you, when you return you may find some friendships endure, others fell away. It can be an uncomfortable process but it’s a rare gem- you know exactly who your friends are without the fluff of “obligation” or “old time’s sake.” The life you’ll have when you get back (or even the one you have while you’re gone) will be so worth it.

    Press on dear- I can only imagine how uncomfortable, scary and hard this can be but I believe in you. Do you get mail out there? I will so write you letters 🙂

    • lora kathleen says:

      Thanks friend! I can only imagine who I will be and who my friends will be when I come out on the other side of this.

      But… I WILL be getting mail! My address for the first 3 months is here and from there I will make sure everyone gets it. I would love a pen pal!!

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