Monday, August 16, 2010

I heart panang curry

As the day of departure continues to draw near, my brain activity is at an all time high. So much so that I feel like I should be writing it all down to help with this process, but as I sit here at the computer it is such an enormous orchestra of happiness, sadness, excitement, nervousness, gratitude and dreams that I can’t seem to figure out a way to get it out via typing. I wonder if this was how the concept of bittersweet symphony was formed...?

I surpassed quite an emotional hump last week in finishing my goodbye letters to my grandparents. Now that I can leave the country will full comfort in knowing that they will both know exactly what they mean to me and what a crucial piece to my existence they are, I am letting myself feel much more joy about my adventure ahead. Not that I wasn’t feeling joy before or that I had any question as to my grandparents being aware of my feelings… but the thought of leaving them was the one factor that caused me to think twice about applying for the Peace Corps. I have written them both many letters before and have always verbally communicated my love and gratitude for them, but this time is different. I thought about posting the letter to my Gpa on here since I know that most of the people who read this are fully aware of the amazingness that is my Gpa to me, but I think I’ll decide on that after he reads it. I mean, who doesn’t love a piece of love? Seeing love definitely makes me smile, so maybe it will make you smile as well :)

I pack a little more everyday, deciding on which clothes to take and which ones I get to open up in 28-months and remember I have. Which pictures of my life to take to show my host family (this is a task that immediately clarifies who and what is important in your world). Which art supplies and books, which pillowcase, which shoes…everything else being packed up for storage. Pre-cancelling insurance policies, my cell phone, my gym membership, writing the living will, setting up banking details, etc. Eating as much of my favorite foods as possible while delighting in how easy it has been to switch to the nearly-vegan lifestyle and still be a total foodie. Yes, Danielle has helped me realize recently that we are food snobs (not in my eyes, but potentially in the eyes of others I imagine). But I have no shame in not wanting to put nasty, unhealthy things in the one body I have for this life, nor am I interested in supporting corporate America’s ideals about food. And, my 13-year old sister is getting on the bandwagon as well, which I’m very excited about.

I’m working on finishing up my last art project of the summer as well, which is wine barrel that I’m painting the world on, and Danielle will fill the top with wine corks and put a glass top on for a bistro table. I’m pretty pumped about it. Also just finished reading Tales of A Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. Beautiful, honest writing by a woman who discovered after twenty-some years of marriage that she didn’t want to live the American lifestyle and has been living all over the world ever since, writing children’s books and creating and participating in beautiful cultures and communities everywhere she goes. She has bigger balls than I do, and I definitely want to meet her someday.

For now, run out and get yourself some good Thai food and listen to some Andrew Belle.

Peace and love,

Emily Jo