In case you didn't catch this from the rumor mill, I've spent the last few months really, truly, very confusingly considering staying in my role as NPH Guatemala's Home Correspondent for another year.Yes, a whole 'nother year.
Believe me, if you'd asked me before I came to Guatemala -- or even during my first several months here -- if I ever thought I'd extend my time past 13 months, I would have told you you were crazy. I woke up every day for a long time loving where I was but also being very certain that I'd be ready to go in January.
But things change.
I love this job, and I'd love to keep doing it. I don't think I ever realized quite how much I love writing until I was given the chance to do it every single day, and I'd never paid much attention to the fact that just a few paragraphs written with some heart can actually move people to make a difference. I haven't put a career on hold by coming here. I'm having one right now. And that's actually kind of funny. I became serious about spending a post-graduation year abroad after reading a book called Delaying the Real World (Colleen Kinder), but I guess I didn't really delay it as much as I thought I would.
And I love these kids. I'll be the first one to admit that I didn't think they'd be my strong suit, but this place sort of forces you to become a bigger person than you were when you came. Five more of my girls will celebrate their Quinceañeras next June, and I want to be there and I want to teach them their waltz and I want to see them dressed up looking ten years older. Six of them are graduating from primary school in just a few weeks, and I want to be there next year to see them in middle school, and I want to see them ditch their plaid primary school skirts for the older girls' solid blue uniforms.
And besides, I'm not dying to get back to the States. Yes, I miss people and food and technology, but what dozen-day vacation can't take care of that?
So yeah, for a while, I was really serious about staying. I'd already come up with ways I could do my HC job better the second time around, I'd decided I'd move into Celeste/Katie & Leeah's room, and I'd mapped out when would be the best time for a couple-week visit back to the U.S.
But all good things must come to an end.
There are reasons I shouldn't stay too (money, bureaucracy drama, blah, blah, blah), and as much as I don't want to leave, my gut says it's time I do. (Annoyingly, my gut has changed its mind a lot over the past few months, but this time, it's sure.) Somewhere inside, I know it's time to go come January.
I won't be ready to leave, but I know I won't have a single regret. I will have given this year everything I had -- personally, professionally, as a Home Correspondent and a big sister/mom figure and a waltz teacher and a magazine organizer and an English tutor and a traveler and a friend and a member of this family --, and I don't think I'll wish I did anything differently.
If that's not a sign that it's okay to let go, then I don't know what is.