take only what you need

February 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

a year and forever ago, i submitted an application to the peace corps. after a trying process (cil can attest to that), two days and a plane ride separate me from costa rica.

pack lightly, they say. take only what you need, then cut it in half.  i’m more familiar than most with the sometimes painful process of packing. i feel as though i’ve been living out of a bag since 2006. eternally tripping. but this is different. i know i’ll need my five pairs of pants, five pairs of button-downs, and six pairs of shoes (well, maybe not six). but can i pack my friends and family too? i wish i could trade a pair of shoes to them bring with me.

i sort through my collected correspondences whenever i’m caught in personally tumultuous times. the twenty-seven month commitment repeatedly gave me pause throughout the application process and time hasn’t done well to quell any of my fears. in those faded words scrawled in ink, i recall old loves and summer days, promises spoken and a ten-year-old’s expectations from an infinitely bright future. they’re all just echoes now, shades and textures of that painting or that statue. though older, the composition is still muddy. but, these exercises in reflection do make clear that i already have enough baggage–good baggage–to take everywhere with me, no matter how uncertain the future will be.

five pairs of shoes will do.

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