According to my boss, next week is Peace Corps Week. He encouraged us to share experiences and such, perhaps using our blog as a means to give some insight into our lives as Peace Corps Volunteers. But that’s what I do every week. Instead, I’ll be promoting “Do Something You’re Scared To Do Week.” After all, I don’t think there is a Peace Corps Volunteer out there that would tell you they were anything less than terrified as they stepped onto that plane and ventured into a world unknown.
Leaving everything and moving around the world is an extreme example and it might not be for everyone. But everyone does have his or her own version of the Peace Corps Fear. That thing that you think you can do, that you want to do, that you need to do, but that you haven’t done yet. There might be any number of fears holding each of us back, but the most obvious is uncertainty. How can we be sure the decision we make is the correct one? We can’t. Of course, there are precautions you can take. I’m not encouraging stupidity. But chances are, once you’ve got the facts and figures laid out in front of you there will still be a decision to make.
Doing something scary is invigorating, refreshing, a reminder that you’re alive. It is clarifying to the extreme. The famous naturalist John Burroughs said, “leap, and the net will appear.” So according to him, all you’ve got left to do is jump.
Someone once told me that the difference between PCVs and other people is that we got on the plane. But you can get on your plane too. Do it this week! Don’t wait any longer. Forget about Peace Corps Week; Opt instead for the more amped up version. I can tell you from personal experience that once you’re in the air, you can’t even remember why you were scared in the first place.