5 March 2017

“In literature and in life we ultimately pursue, not conclusions, but beginnings.”
― Sam Tanenhaus, Literature Unbound

Some people are only good at beginnings, others endings, but most are only good at the balance that comes between the two once they find it. Those people live their lives with only a few beginnings, and therefore only a few endings, focused on the one or two long in-betweens. But others choose a life with more transitions. The reasoning for that decision is often too buried within the different aspects of what makes up who they are, they perhaps can’t quite understand it. Or maybe the reason is blatantly obvious to them – depends on the person.

Personally, I discover so much more substance and worth and beauty in the many in-betweens, and while I do sometimes long for the stability and comfort that is found there, I can never linger too long. I always want more; I always want different experiences; I always need some new beginning. It can be difficult to shift, to seemingly cut yourself off from the friends and the life you’ve made, but it’s just a part of the path I’ve taken in my life. For me, right now, it’s time – time for the next adventure, the next cycle.

The question I always have is: will I ever feel it’s time to linger rather than time to move on; will I ever tire of those transitions and new beginnings; will I ever linger in that ending and transform it into my forever? Or will I never settle for the life of one long in-between? It is so interesting to see the different paths people choose to take in life, the different comfort zones that exist, the different hoops we sometimes force ourselves to jump through… All I can say is: so long as a person chooses happiness, no matter the path, their life will be a beautiful thing. And that is beautiful in and of itself.

Now, once again, is my time for a new beginning. It’s a different sort of new beginning from what I am used to, however, because I’ll see many familiar faces, and I’ll be living and working in places I’ve been before. Perhaps that’s why I’m so excited – some things will be the same, and other things fantastically different.

It has been about one week since I left my village, Isitu, in the Southern Highlands region of Njombe. My friends organized a small sherehe (party), and I was able to spend some quality time with those friends and others during my final week there, in between the packing.

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It seemed so surreal putting my bags in the truck and taking one last look at my humble abode. I felt almost detached from the experience, unemotional while at the same time understanding how much I will miss that place, that life, those people… But I knew how ready I was for the next thing. I knew the end was at hand, and I prepared myself mentally, seeing those I knew I needed to see, saying every goodbye. I feel good about my departure, and am excited to start my new life in Dar es Salaam.

I have already moved into my new house, have set up my desk at the office, and will be heading to Dodoma tomorrow to truly get started with my work. First project: I will be working for a week or more to help organize and facilitate the Pre-Service Training (PST) of the new Health/Agriculture class of Peace Corps Tanzania. I know I’ll have a great time. Things are happenin’, I’m keepin’ busy, off to a sprinting start, exciting times, these… I am happy.

At times of transitions, I like to look back on this classic quote from Rumi:

“Although the road is never ending
take a step and keep walking,
do not look fearfully into the distance.
On this path let the heart be your guide…”
-Rumi

The road winds on, listen to your heart, choose joy, choose happiness, because no matter how you seem to struggle, happiness is not a destination, it is a choice, and we can all live it if we choose it… (thanks, Kelly)..

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