Cliff Gardner

Monday, September 18, 2006

Trade-offs

When I applied to the Peace Corps, I was single and didn't really have a plan for the next ten minutes much less for what I wanted to do with my life. I just got out of a long relationship and was working in a job that, while amazing, wasn't something I could do for a long period of time. There was nothing in my life that could keep me from doing the Core.

Since then, I've met a great woman who I care a lot about. I have also taught a public speaking class and enjoyed it so much that I'm pretty sure I'll end up a college professor and speech/debate coach one day. If I weren't joining the Core, I know exactly what I would do and there are numerous things in my life now that are reasons to stay here.

A lot of people have told me lately how great they think it is that I'm putting my plans on hold to help folks for two years. For a while that was funny to me because when I applied, there really weren't plans--or anything in my life, really--to sacrifice. Now there is, and leaving it all is harder than I realized it would be. I have this feeling that the Peace Corps is going to be one of the best things I do in my life, but also that it's going to come at the expense of some pretty good stuff too. The closer I get to leaving, the clearer those trade-offs become.

9 Comments:

  • Eloquently put, T-Mac. For what it's worth, we'll all miss you, too. But you're racking up some serious (I mean SERIOUS) good-guy points.

    By Blogger Haylie, at 5:27 AM  

  • I'll give you some advice that I live by. Which probably explains why most things in my life are fucked up.

    You can always quit.

    ;)

    By Blogger Cptn. Backfire, at 7:42 AM  

  • I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason...and the way that it is sorta meant to happen (if for no other reason then to believe this to put my self at ease...) There is a reason that you were accepted in to the P.C and placed where you are placed....had it not been meant to be like this some where a long the line you either woul dhave stopped the process or been turned away.

    I am very happy for you and all of the good that has happened lately...I am sure that the good will continue to happen in the next 2 years as well as when you get back.

    You amaze me :)

    By Blogger Kourtney, at 11:21 AM  

  • Hey good luck in Ukraine--I'm a Ukraine RPCV myself. . .and haven't really left. . got married. . .moved in with the family. . .anyways. Good luck, if you need advice just write.

    By Blogger Jennifer, at 12:20 PM  

  • The more reasons you have to stay, are only more reasons why you should go. : )

    By Blogger Megan, at 5:49 PM  

  • It's cool that you appreciate the great things in your life. Too many people take good people/things for granted.

    And never forget: You are Thomas, and you are part English, Irish, German, and Scottish, sort of a virtual United Nations.

    By Blogger magic, and with love from Sam,, at 7:39 PM  

  • Thomas, I love you. I will miss you more than I'll know until you're gone I'm sure, but I already miss you too much. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. You better know though, that we are planning on getting you good and drunk and sappy and keeping you hostage at the Parish until the morning when you are sober enough to drive home :)

    By Anonymous amy, at 8:17 PM  

  • I'm really really going to miss you (as I've already told you so much it's probably getting annoying). But you're going to have an incredibly awesome experience, and you'll be really glad you did it. You're such an amazing person.

    Oh yeah - the midgets will miss you too!

    By Anonymous Liz, at 9:04 PM  

  • Hug!

    By Anonymous Elizabeth, at 5:19 PM  

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