Thursday, November 21, 2013

5 Mantras to Help You Survive Your First Year in Peace Corps

Now that the new group of Peace Corps Volunteers has arrived and is settling at their sites I can't help but think about how tough the first few months as site were and what kept me "swimming" (yep. I used a Finding Nemo reference). I know that some of the new PCVs read my blog and here is what I have to say to you. There is a chance that you will not experience any homesickness, you will breeze right through the integration process and you will never have a really rough day. If that happens... I applaud you. But for the 99% whose reality is not that, maybe you could check this out and remember that you aren't alone.
I think these 5 little sentences helped pull me out of some really dark spots. It's been so cool to look back and see how much things have changed around me and how much my attitude has changed too.

And if you aren't in Peace Corps, well maybe they can help you through a tough spot in your life? 

 Maybe not.

Here are the mantras:
Just do it. If given the choice to retreat or to do something scary, choose scary. Immersing yourself in the unknown builds character and introduces you to newness which can be fun and exciting.
A negative mind will never give you a positive life. You have to train your brain to be a "glass-half-full" type sometimes. It comes with practice. It isn't always easy.
Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. Have a bad day? or three? Remember that tomorrow is a new day. Maybe pull away and watch a couple episodes of Friends and drink some tea. Tomorrow you will get back on your feet and rock it.
I can do this. You can. Even if you think you can't. And if you can't? Well maybe you learned something along the way.
Mistakes are proof that you are trying.  Language mix-ups, culturally inappropriate choices, said the wrong thing? We learn from our mistakes. If we didn't make them then life would be no fun. Sometimes mistakes make us laugh and remind us to sit up and pay attention.

Happy Friday.

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