So, what does a girl do when she finds herself alone in a fancy hotel room in the country of Georgia on New Year’s Eve? Good question. Trying to figure that one out as I write. A little time for reflection certainly seems in order.
I’ve been struggling a bit the last few months, basically since I returned from my trip to Wales in late October. It seems my love affair with Georgia (which honestly was never hot and heavy) has ended. I came to this realization sometime around August or September this year. That’s when I began my countdown (note the countdown clock to your right if you are on the main page). Leaving the country for 10 days in October didn’t give me the rejuvenation I so vainly hoped for. But honestly, I suspected it wouldn’t. And the last week, excepting Christmas Day, has been a particularly rough one. So, now here we are on the precipice of 2015, also known as THE YEAR I GO HOME. I have about 5 1/2 months left in Georgia.
I know I will probably have some really great days and really bad days ahead. My goal at this point is to focus on all of the great projects I get to be involved with and the good work I get to do. When I’m unhappy, I have a tendency to get rather negative. And I’m trying to fight that because negative thoughts just lead to a downward spiral. I’d really rather not drag myself to the finish line. I’d like to reach it with, most certainly relief, but also a sense of accomplishment and purpose. I want to know that I did what I came here to do and did as much as I reasonably could. To that end, for the next four months or so, I’ll be really busy with a number of projects both for my organization and for GLOW. I am, in reality, excited about these projects. On those days when I don’t feel like leaving my apartment, I need to focus more on these things. They are the positives. The things that absolutely make my Peace Corps service worthwhile.
So, I’m not big on new year’s resolutions. But the one thing I am going to work on is focusing on the positive rather than the negative when I’m down. No more downward spirals. These last five and a half months will be REALLY long if I don’t.
Looking to the following year, I have A LOT to look forward to. Next week we have our Winter GLOW camp. In February, I’ll be working on GLOW’s first Annual Report and applying for GLOW to participate in the March Global Open Challenge by GlobalGiving.org. In mid-March, we have our Close of Service conference which is when planning for post Peace Corps truly begins. And in April, we have our first GLOW Ambassadors conference which we were able to secure funding for just last week. In addition, I’ll be working with my organization’s director on developing a fundraising plan for their future and I’m sure other grant writing things as well. Also, in April, over Orthodox Easter weekend, a bunch of us will be going to Mestia, the only mountainous region of Georgia I have yet to visit. May will be spent doing administrative stuff to prepare for my departure and celebrating a milestone birthday. And in June, I leave. Sometime in mid-June I’ll hit the road with my friend Aaron. The route isn’t planned just yet but it should include some part of the Balkans, Budapest, Prague, and Berlin. Then, back to the States (hopefully by 4th of July because I do love my fireworks)! When I’m back I’ll get to visit Yellowstone for the first time with John and his family and then Minnesota with my mom. Then I’m moving to Philly! Hopefully a job will come sometime shortly after that.
Tomorrow I will start the first day of 2015 recharging with bacon, a bath, and some me time in my fancy hotel before heading back out into Georgia to finish my Peace Corps service. Big changes and lots of fun times in the year ahead. I’m really looking forward to it. So, as I listen to the waves of the Black Sea intermingled with booming fireworks overhead, I can’t help but get pretty excited about this next year. When I get down, I’ll focus on all of that. If that can’t improve my mood, I don’t know what will.
And the cherry on top, tonight, I also get to celebrate achieving our goal in my organization’s GlobalGiving.org campaign to buy a portable sensory room for our day care centers. Thank you SO MUCH to all of you who helped by sharing the link or by giving. It was truly a team effort with more than $5000 raised from almost 80 people! You guys are really incredible and I so appreciate all of your support! I honestly wasn’t sure we could do it when we started. But thanks to all of you, we did. And it will make a huge difference for these special needs kids.
Last but not least, a shout out to John for the awesome Christmas gift of an evening of luxury at a pretty sweet hotel. Only a PCV or RPCV could know the value of that.