Archive | November, 2010

Bragging Rights

18 Nov

I forgot to mention in my last post that I was one of the 15% of applicants who completed all the medical paperwork correctly on the first try.

Booyah grandma!

It pays to be thorough! Thanks also to my WONDERFUL medical and dental providers who got me in right away and did all the paperwork/work/tests right.

Que Sera Sera

14 Nov

Well, the day finally arrived. After four torturous months and a minor hiccup I received my medical clearance on November 4th 2010. For some arbitrary reason I hung my being able to do the Peace Corps on gaining medical clearance. Which is not true at all, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get an invite even though I gained medical clearance. Perhaps it was because from my interactions with recruiters I feel like I’m a competitive candidate. Needless to say, I felt an incredible lightness and joy. That evening at home every album I listened to sounded so amazing and I couldn’t help singing and humming to myself. It feels good to have medical clearance.

I’ve been reflecting on the application process and you know what they say, hindsight is always 20/20. Somewhere in the weeks before medical clearance I found peace with all the upcoming change and uncertainty in my life. I wish I had found it sooner because I don’t really like the person this roller coaster of an application process made me at times. Back in August, after a month of waiting to hear back from the medical office I would catch myself looking at the calendar amazed that yet another week had gone by, hoping that was one week closer to getting an answer. When I realized how frequently this thought entered my mind, I gave myself a stern talking to. Reminding myself that I L-O-V-E the life I live and every day is a gift, not to be wasted waiting for an answer that may or may not arrive the next day. From the beginning I worked hard to be present through the application process. In the past I’ve been guilty of having one foot out the door when it comes to moving from one thing in life to another.

There was a lot of frustration as I read the blogs of other applicants who had submitted their medical packet after me yet already had medical clearance. I remember reading about one applicantĀ  who was cleared over 10 days in September. There it was mid October and I was calling on a weekly basis and couldn’t manage to get an answer or explanation for the delay. So I started to work on letting go of the control I was trying to exert and just trust the process. Easier said than done, but eventually I think I succeeded.

What have I learned…… well, Peace Corps is probably the bureaucratic process to end all bureaucratic processes. Yet it is probably very much like interactions with leaders at host sites with promises of unrealistic deadlines, ambiguity, and no apparent logic. Just when you think you may have discovered some consistency you realize you’re the exception to the rule, or that there are a ton of exceptions. I was chatting with my friend Travis, a returned peace corps volunteer (RPCV) and chastised myself for continually worrying about some aspect of my application. He said that pc was a life changing decision and that it was natural to obsess over it. That may be true, but there becomes a point where obsessing is no longer productive, possibly even detrimental. So to those applicants who realized that already, kudos to you.

So here I am, medically cleared waiting to hear from the Placement Office. Who knows if I’ll receive an invitation for my original nomination of sub-Saharan Africa in January. It seems like the time line for that is kind of tight making it an unlikely reality. Who can really say when I’ll leave or where I’ll be going, but I have faith that I will eventually get an invite. And you know what, I am at peace with that because que sera sera, whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see.