Change Yourself…Change The World.

Letting Go and Moving Forward: 2012.
January 5, 2012, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

The past two weeks in the United States has been everything I could have wished for in my wildest dreams. Before the Peace Corps, while I was with Carpe Diem and Global College, I felt like traveling had been my sustenance, my livelihood- it made me feel wholly myself. For the first time in nearly four years, coming back to the United States now fulfilled that quota in me. I arrived from Paraguay feeling exhausted and depleted. Two weeks with my family was the exact sort of healing and renewal I needed.  I left the United States feeling full- both figuratively and literally- figuratively in that I felt extremely replenished, refreshed, and ready to start again. Literally meaning that I ate literally every single thing I wanted and missed in the US- Chinese, Indian, Italian, Sushi, scores of veggies, bagels galore, Starbucks, Chipotle, and so much seafood my stomach could barely take it in anymore. Not to mention my grandmother’s unbelievable Christmas dinner, which was essentially a Thanksgiving feast to end all feasts.

I swam in the ocean. My parents gave me a ‘spa day’ as a Christmas present, where I was massaged, pedicured, and eyebrow-waxed. I went bowling with my cousins and drank cheap beer. I watched two new movies in theaters, and classics with family. I gorged myself on the most amazing brunch of my life at my cousin’s engagement party (I’ll be going back to the states for his wedding next year!) I cuddled with my dog, Lucky, who I missed so much. I saw my two best friends, ate at diners, and went dancing at a jam band concert for New Years. My Dad read us his traditional ‘The Night Before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve. I went liquor shopping with my Dad and brother, which was one of the most fun adventures we’ve had. I marveled at the air conditioning, hot showers, driving a car, drying my clothes in a dryer, and my old iPhone that delivered me email the second it arrived. I went on a shopping spree at a Whole Foods, stocking up on all kinds of sauces and spices to bring back with me down to Paraguay. And let’s not forget Christmas morning…

It was the best vacation of my life. Being surrounded by wonderful friends and family, good food, and all of the conveniences the US brings, was utterly amazing. I barely went through any reverse culture shock- I just loved and appreciated every moment. Thanks so much to my amazing parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends for making these two weeks so incredible.

2011 was a challenging year, and at many times difficult. It started with my wonderful dog, Summer, suddenly passing at at 3 AM, the day I left for the Peace Corps. What I had imagined to be one of the most amazing/exciting days of my life turned out to be one of the saddest. It feels like death has been a companion with me so far through my service, with two more of my friends passing at such a young age. I can’t deny that it hasn’t affected me a lot.

On January 2nd, I left for the Peace Corps again, but it was a very different day than the last. My family and I got up at 6 AM to go to the beach, watch the sun rise, and hold a memorial service for our dog. We always loved to take Summer to the beach in the mornings, she so loved running on the sand, catching the ball, and then jumping into the ocean. I think it really was one of the highlights of her life. When we arrived for her service, we saw a tennis ball in the sand! It was the ultimate sign that Summer was there with us. We scattered her ashes over the calmest of waters, with the most beautiful sun rise.

I think it’s a sign. I think 2012 is going to be a year of healing. A year of renewal, of strength- of letting go of the past, and moving forward. At Emily’s memorial service, a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer got up to talk about  a trip he took with her last December. It was a special holiday in Paraguay, a 10 mile pilgrimage through the night. Emily grew extremely frustrated and annoyed with all of the walking, but they finally arrived, and the sun came out. And so did Emily- she beamed like the sun. And the Volunteer said that the darkest hour is always before dawn- that it’s okay to get down, to be sad. But afterwards, Emily would’ve wanted us to get back up. To smile. To move forward.

I am ready to get back up. I am ready to move forward. And I am more ready than ever to be back in Paraguay.

Here’s to Paraguay- to the Peace Corps- to 2012.

Much love,


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This is such a beautiful blog Brittany ❤

Comment by evelyn

Thanks Evelyn ❤

Comment by brittanygoesglobal

Great post Brittany… Its good to know you had such a fab time..
Wishing you all the best for 2012…

Comment by Anagha (@AnaghaMahajan)

[…] well and didn’t have very many good friends in my site. Coming back to the United States was amazing, and I left feeling completely refreshed and excited to come back to […]

Pingback by Adjusting Back to Paraguay « Change Yourself…Change The World.

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