How to deal with the end of service? Who would of thought it was something to deal with in the first place?
For each person it is a really truly different affair. But then, there are some very shared experiences.
First of all, we all feel differently about our services. For example, some people from my group are extending another year. I wouldn't do that in a million years. That is a wide gap of sentiment.
I'm proud that I finished the Peace Corps and I feel ready to move on with the next phase of my life. At the same time, however, the next phase of my life is hazy, nebulous, and in every way unclear. I don't know what will happen when I come home. By the time I get "home" (where is home now, anyways?) I will have spent 2.5 years outside the states. I hear things all the time regarding the economy, but I need to join it. What will that be like during the post-recession? I just don't know. People always ask, "What do you want to do?", but I'm afraid its more of a question of "what can I do?". As in, what jobs are actually out there?
I'll have to start over, find a place to live, and make new connections. I'll be doing this in a new way too...not as one person, but as two. I'm engaged. What does it mean to be engaged in the states? I'm sure it is a culturally different experience than in the Peace Corps.
So much awaits.
On the one hand I can't wait to leave. On the other hand I have no idea how to say goodbye. After all, when the hell would I ever be back in Azerbaijan? And all these people I've served with...will I ever see them again? Maybe, but certainly not all together like this. Also, the logistics of literally how to say goodbye to people is difficult. We all leave at different times from all over the country over the span of a month. When I see a person this week is this goodbye for good or not? I don't know? It might be. So do I say bye now or not?
Also, the AZ 7s (the group that has been here one year, but has one more year to go) are rather ready for us to go and for the new volunteers (AZ 8, in training, not at site yet) to be placed around the country. They want the new meat. It isn't fun having to hear about all the excitement for people I'll never meet. In the same way, the AZ 7s are tired of hearing about our extensive post-service travel plans etc.
All and all, I guess you could say I'm just ready to move on. I want to be sure to say bye to the people I care about and to take a last gander. However, it doesn't really feel like a celebration. I'm really grateful that I will be traveling with some PC friends post service so we can smile together and look back.
--PS: after reading this I've come to realize I no longer know how to properly speak English.