10 Peace Corps Anxieties

1- Mastering not only the language but the ability to cohesively argue, fight, make your point come across in another language, and convince others that it’s worthwhile to listen long enough to get to that point. Fine, Language Performance Interview (?) (LPI) give me an Intermediate despite working and speaking only in this language on a daily basis. I guess that’s what I deserve if I can’t yell at someone. It’s just comical the attempts in the past to yell back at-
2- The gathering of cuni boys on the street or anyone who undermines me. Huaj, huaj, huaj.. ya, that is correct. I am foreign. When you say it in question to each other after first introducing to me, I answer that question for you. Po, jam e huaj. Oh haha she speak she speaks. Ya, that’s right I’m not…
3- An American doll, that opens her eyes when you sit her upright. I’m not a quiet, withdrawn person by nature. My experiences in Albania have made me this way. I have transformed from an expressive, artistically inspired, hard worker to a reserved, diplomatic runt in the corner. My communication habits are so minimal now. I take weeks to answer facebook messages that I look at every day, I don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t know or even ignore my close friends’ text messages. Where is the confidence I used to have? It just makes me want to..
4- Scream and shout and let it all out. And find some way to display something unusual and unique. I just want to spray paint a building or just pick up the trash on my own.
5-  I feel so beaten by the system. The little devil and angel start debating on my shoulders and one says ‘don’t waste your time, be selfish’ and the other says ‘well, that’s not sustainable. go find some happy little kids to do with this’, and I realize these thoughts are saying the same thing, don’t do it. So we think, well let’s take the easy route that so many us have fallen into of..
6- Just passing the time counting the days to leaving. All PCVs will feel like this. That hey, our two years are almost over and why not vacay to the end? Because it causes that much more angst. Take the driven, educated, wonderful people that make it into Peace Corps (ya, that is what I think of all of you) and say oh hey, don’t worry about coasting out these next couple months of this huge, life endeavor you decided to undertake. Amazingly frustrating, and actually not what I’m planning..
7- I’m seeking the opposite. Rock it out to the end! This is where I am right now. A third year, so I must have done exemplary things this past year? Well not quite, being that I left what I was doing and started over and went through the annoying PC bureaucracy to finally get the grant I’ve been seeking in January. With this project..
8- I know that some of the drawbacks are my own doing. That actually, all of the angst listed here can be overcome by discipline of mind and being, by following through and being diligent. That everything I want to do, could have been done if I had consistently been following up on everything everything everything because..
9- No one is really holding my hand and making sure I’m doing any of the work I’m doing. Peace Corps staff, occasionally (as in 1x/year) visit me and casually ask how things are doing. People in my office don’t expect me either, I’m a goodwill floater. I float on in and do a concentrated amount of work for a few years. This is actually really lovely, but it also shows the flaws that exist are mainly my own issue. Which is..
10- Exhausting sometimes. It’s not a 9-5 pm M-F job. It’s an all day everyday job. Everything you want to do, may actually be possible. If you 1- learn the language, 2- integrate and let yourself be the foreigner, 3- assert what it is you want to accomplish. 1+2+3? A simple equation?Well I can’t focus it on much more to even give us an answer. Also, probably because there is no answer. Google dealing with anxiety. Make some to do lists. Lay in bed and make mournful noises. Wah, get over it. You’ve only got so much time here, and we all know what it is that we have to do. Ick, borrow some enlightened inspiration quote, rally and ‘just do it’.