Warning: This one’s not gonna be so pretty. None of my writing is meant to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. If there’s an issue with what you’ve perceived, please reach out to me via email/facebook so we can discuss 1:1. Love always, Arie.
“What are your coping mechanisms?”
I’ve been asked this question in about 25 different ways, no less than 25 times since deciding to apply to join the Peace Corps. In my interview, I had to discuss how I manage stress and what do I do when the proverbial refuse hits the fan.
Well, I’ve never experienced stress like this before. Week two of training has completed and week three is set to begin and I literally feel like my head is spinning and I’m desperately searching for an emergency stop button.
Let’s recap about what’s happened over the last 3 months, shall we:
I left my very stressful job & my life in Houston, moved back to NYC while waiting on reassignment since my original post in PC was cancelled due to a natural disaster…
Accepted offer to move to Ecuador, extending my stay in NYC an additional month with no income, living with my parents & no real life in NYC, lol.
Trying to see and spend time with as many people as possible, while dodging shady comments like “I wish you would’ve come seen me sooner/spent more time with me” *insert eyeroll*
Final moments in the US creeped up on me so fast I barely felt like I had time to say goodbye to my parents and brothers so I bawled like a baby in JFK with the hardest goodbye I’ve ever done #uglycry
Had all day meetings of my first week both in Miami and in Quito, barely given a chance to process my life change before being sent to move in with a new family and new culture
Spent the second week trying to absorb as much information as possible, stay on top of assignments, learn my new neighborhood, integrate with my family and figure out which people in my new life I could actually trust… ALL WHILE TRYING TO SPEAK SPANISH EVERY DAY, lol.
As you see, it’s been pretty non-stop on the stress-creating side of life. I have never been so happy and so terrified and so tired and so excited and so emotional all at the same time. I’m literally taking each day by itself and praying to God that he will see me through what feels like a gauntlet.
And that is why this blog exists. This is not a place to complain, but to create hope & shine light on every moment I experience. As I told my interviewer back in October, writing, praying, finding my peace in every circumstance… these are my coping mechanisms. I intend to keep it up.
Thanks be to God, and my incredible village of people supporting me on this transformative journey.