Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why on Earth am I in the Peace Corps

Every time I tell someone that I am leaving for the Peace Corps, in oh 16 days, their reaction is always why in the world did you sign up for the Peace Corps?
Even though I know this is the question that is coming at me, I never quite know how to answer it. My gut reaction reply is always that I have wanted to do this since I was a little girl.

While this is true, it’s not very comprehensive, nor does it explain why I actually decided to take the plunge and go through with this now.
Another thing that people often say is wow that is incredible, that is so admirable. This always makes me feel ridicules. I didn’t join the Peace Corps to have people think that I am doing something noble. While I did join to help people, and to make a difference in the lives of a community, I also have my own really selfish reasons for joining.

The real reason that I joined the Peace Corps is a little more something like this:
Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to join the Peace Corps. I remember reading about it in Jr. High and thinking how amazing it would be. In my Jr. High mind I thought the perfect life would be to graduate college, join the Peace Corps, travel the world, go to law school and become a human rights activist. While that plan has long ago been abandoned, and seemingly all other plans have also been abandoned, the Peace Corps has often come back to my mind when my thoughts have drifted to what I want to do with my life. The selfish part of the equation is, I graduated college and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I got stuck at a job where nothing I did or said mattered, and went through a really devastating break up with Tommy. I spend a lot of my time volunteering, because I was lost in life and needed to do something that mattered. A friend who I loved and admired moved to New York to go to school and follow her dreams, and all of a sudden something changed in me. I thought what the heck am I doing here? I realized that I needed to figure out my dreams and go for it. Victoria leaving really was a huge eye opener for me. I saw that people don’t stay together just because they are friends and family and love each other. Brave people follow their dream, even though it means leaving everything they love behind. So I thought about my life and decided that besides my amazingly wonderful, perfect family, there was not a whole lot to hold me back from packing my bags and leaving the country.

So here is the truth as I know it. I joined the Peace Corps because I have an innate desire to help people, to develop a community, to learn to love a different culture and a different people. But I also joined to Peace Corps to escape a job, to travel the world, to make new friends, to get over a heart break and to figure things out.


  1. I want you to know how very, very proud I am of you. I know that you worry about those people and well, Lucca, that your leaving behind. We'll be fine. We'll take care of each other until you return, and you know I'll take good care of your dad and Lucca, & your sister and brother, course Lucca may look like dad when you return but that's o.k. (kidding). You have always been able to bring a room to life with your smile and I know that you will bring that light to Armenia with you. You may not think what your doing is any big thing, but the rest of us do. You have younger cousins who are watching and the world they see is now opening up to them. When they graduate they will see possibilities out there that are not limited by the city or the state they live in. They can give back, either here in the U.S. or to other countries who need them or travel the world, and that is thanks to you and your brother. Mostly I want to tell you to have fun!!! No regrets. Dance without worrying about whose watching and what they'll think, speak with authority because what you have to say is important, ALWAYS, and be brave because you are so worthy of all the good things that will come your way. Your a good friend to your friends, your an amazing sister to your brother and sister, and an insperation to your family. Most of all your a loving daughter and a beautiful child of God and I know, even if you don't, that you do have that squichy thing inside of you and it's probably bigger then the rest of ours. Love you mom P.S. See you never should have told me I could leave a comment, it turned into a book!

  2. Awesome blog-I love the formatting. I'd also like to know where felicity-passion-rapture comes from.

  3. I'm glad you're coming, and I'm glad you're bringing with you all of this honesty and hope about your future. You're on a wild ride, and I look forward to meeting you and doing the PC thing alongside. Way to stick to your guns, follow your dreams and be brave.

    (also, your mom reminds me of my mom, with her comments on my blog that are full of pride. Don't worry, Mom, we'll try to take care of her while she's over here! :)

    Also, I read your post about your dog. You're welcome to come love on mine while you're over here.

  4. all those reasons are normal. they remind me of mine. follow your instincts, we'll see you soon!

  5. Awe mom! I love you!

    Brent I have seen pictures of your dog, and I already love him/her!

    Sam, felicty passion and rapture comes from my favorite quote from Madam Bovary. It's on my facebook page in the about me. =)

    And Emma tried to find out what one meant exactly in life by the words Felicity, Passion, rapture, that had seemed to her so beautiful in books

  6. What a wonderful adventure. I am so proud of you, Alyssa, for taking this challenge in your life which most people would not dare to do. I always knew that you were somebody special who would do something great for our country and our family. I love you. Gramps and Maddi.