Monday, December 3, 2012

day 544: being old is kind of fun

Sup amiguitos.

So, here's an idea: Being old is kind of fun. Your thoughts?

I mean for me, there're a number of things that prompt this idea for me. First and foremost, it's almost my birthday. On the 11th, I turn 25 years old. That's a quarter of a century. I can test drive nice cars if I want to. I can rent a car without the "you're under 25" fee. People think of me as more mature because hey, you're twenty freakin five years old. But if I screw up, hey- you're only twenty freakin five years old! 

What a nice age.

On top of that, I'm group 17. Group 16 has just cos'd (Close Of Service) and only a few 16ers remain (tears. so many tears. I miss them all). This means that my fellow 17ers and I are the vets of Peace Corps Peru right now. 

We are the grizzled veterans, the ones who've gone through the gauntlet to emerge, scarred and triumphant, regaling the young-uns with tales of amazing feats and woe. How weird is that? Seriously weird. But pretty cool.

I think I'm going to really enjoy being old. Right now, I'm getting there. Slowly, but surely, the years are passing by and I'm aging. Right now, though, even if I'm calling myself aged and wise, I know that I'm kind of an idiot and too young to really understand it. 

I accept that.

I'm freaking out, mostly, about my future. I have roughly 7 months remaining as a peace corps volunteer and I have no idea what I'm going to do once my service is over. I was really motivated to go to school, but I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to specialize in. 

Do I go to med school? The idea of someone's LIFE being my responsibility, that as a doctor I am definitely likely to be responsible for the death of someone... I don't think I could ever survive the weight that would have on my conscious. Still, medicine fascinates me and how the human body works is just absolutely insanely cool.

Do I go to law school? The idea of a life of paperwork makes me want to scream, and that's just the idea of it. Law is an interesting subject, especially in relation to medicine and health. How do you balance moral right and wrong versus legal right and wrong? It's an interesting thought. Law school is definitely still in the back of my mind. 

Do I get a Master's in Public Health? I was definitely thinking of this. I had a bunch of schools and programs in mind, I had a bunch of applications downloaded and essays written. And then I realized, I would have to apply with a concentration in mind. What did I want to specialize in? Global health? Epidemiology? Statistics? And more! I narrowed my choices down to 5 different concentrations in Public Health and there was no way for me to decide on one except for casting dice or something else as equally irresponsible and left to the fates. 

No, I've decided that I need to get a job that'll help me figure out what it is that I want to do. Plus, whether or not I'll even need a degree to pursue it. I might get a job and find out that having a master's degree works against me. I do NOT want to waste time and money to get ahead only to find myself farther behind!

Plus, I've been in Peru for 2 years. The states are so different and will be so different when I return. I mean, I just found out you can pay for things using your cellphone. Like, what? Seriously? Mind. Blown. 

The rate of technology is seriously cray. I mean, talk about me getting old. I am so out of the loop it's ridiculous. But that's something I'm really excited about for when I return. Here, I don't expect my kids to have internet in their homes. I don't expect volunteers to read my emails or answer my phone calls because chances are, there's no signal and internet is slower than a concussed turtle. I'm one of the lucky few to have internet access on a daily basis (sometimes at home or if I set up shop in the municipality) which is both awesome (fb, pinterest, tumblr, email, time wasting potential at maximum capacity) and terrible (time wasting potential at maximum capacity, no one else has what I have, sometimes having it and sometimes not makes me unable to dismiss and ignore it... it's like gambling, I'm heavily addicted). 

So once I'm back in the states, I know that most if not all of my friends are as connected as I will be. I won't have to worry about calling someone because I don't know if I have enough money on my phone to do it, and others being able to call/text me back will be normal. Side note: the cell phone system in Peru is god awful, but it's better than Mexico from what I hear. I'm really excited to get a phone in the states. I think a smartphone will take some getting used to since my current phone can send/receive calls and texts, has a calculator, and one game called "jewel quest" that I managed to get to the elusive level 51 before it pissed me off and I restarted it. 

So yea, I'm excited to be nearing the end of my service. I know I complain a lot about things in my site, but I'm also really sad about the idea of leaving. Partially because of all the things I mentioned (no longer being a PCV means I have to face all the issues coming up in the future) but also because I'm a good volunteer. The work I'm doing, I'm good at. I love the kids in my site. I love my host family. I have found my groove, even if it gets kind of crazy sometimes, and I'm really going to miss the pace of life. Things work differently in Peru and although 70% of the time, the pace really clashes with 24 years of growing up the way I was raised, the other 30% of the time, I can really really really appreciate it. And that 30% weighs pretty heavily. 

Anyway, it's my birthday in a week and I'm really excited. In 3 weeks, it'll be xmas, which I'll be celebrating with some friends in Ecuador. Before you know it, time is going to fly by in the blink of an eye. I can hardly believe that I've been in Peru for nearly 2 years now (a year and a half, more like). I can't imagine what the future has for me, but I really hope I'm happy in it. 

So yea, that was just a quick update cause I feel like I haven't written in this blog for so long and I wanted to let you know what was up. December 1st was world AIDS day and I had a volleyball tournament in my site with some of my youth and their teachers. A bunch of 19ers came for in service training and they were super stars! 

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