As I said before, I think life should be a constant search for improvement, and thus, a human being should never completely know who they are. The ability to change an opinion, the ability to change a mind (specifically your own) should never fade away. With that said, I think I’m beginning to know who I am.
This trip gave me a lot of time to just stare off into distances and think and process. Listening to the thoughts, goals, and ambitions of the other men gave me perspective and helped me see my own thoughts, goals, and ambitions differently. I also learned something I never seriously considered before. I am a man now.
I used to have these big plans. Dreams, some may call them. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of my ways of going about fulfilling those dreams were selfish and focused more on self-achievement, rather than the bigger goal. I also know now, that relentlessly chasing after dreams in an unrealistic, uncharted, scattered pattern will get me nowhere and will end up only burning me and the others in my life out. Specifically, as they and I lose confidence in my abilities and intentions.
Which brought me to another conclusion: It’s ok to have a nice life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting the normal things that most humans want in a life. I have had to admit to myself that even though I do want to work towards social justice and harmony and global unity, I also want a family and kids and a white picket fence and ties in a nice modest house somewhere on the west coast. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable sometimes. Making oneself miserable in the name of making the world a better place is counter-productive. Something I’ve had to concede is that as much as I’d like to deny it. I am a human.
This brought me to a new conclusion. Being human means having emotions and having emotions means responding to them and responding to them is . . . ok. I don’t know what I was thinking, but some immature part of my mind told me that I could just deep freeze my figurative heart for 2 years. I took my emotions for granted and didn’t realize just how powerful they could be.
And now? Well, despite the fact that I have been having the time of my life lately and wouldn’t trade these experiences for the world and a side of fries… I’m lonely. I’m tired. I’m burned out.
This trip has helped me to realize that I am powerful. That I can be a leader. That it’s ok to follow sometimes. That it’s ok to go your own way without leading or following. And most of all…
That even though, I can be immature, I am still a bit naive, and underdeveloped, I am indeed no longer a little boy.
I am a man and despite the difficulties I experience, this peace corps thing is the hardest job I’ve ever loved.
I’m a work in progress, but this job is making me into someone I’d admire. Which may seem conceited, but I have never been self-confident enough to ever feel that way about myself. I actually like who I am and who I am becoming.
– Brandon Holly –