I’m home. Home, US, home. And I’m happy. There I said it, I’m happy. No miserable transition, no crying in the supermarket, no pulling the hairs out of my head after watching left overs be thrown out. None, zip, zero, ziltch.
Instead I feel present, I feel gratitude. Gratitude to be surrounded by my family, to laugh with my mom in the car and to sleep in my old bed, gratitude for walks where the sun pours down my back and sweat drips down my face, for parks and the towering trees that come in all shades of green, gratitude to begin the process of sharing this experience with people here, to begin the process out loud.
I thank Cusco, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile for the ease I feel right now. I eased into the transition that is the end of Peace Corps, slowly, traveling, volunteering, training, and exploring what this transition meant for me with patience and breath.
I could not have dreamed up a better way to spend my last month in Peru. I spent it among the mountains of Cusco, the mountain bursting with spiritual energy and love. I lived in the Healing House, a community of people living in Cusco for extended-stays that inspired me to be myself and do what I love. We woke each day with the sunrise to group meditation fire ceremonies, spent hours in yoga and yoga-philosophy classes, and in the evening curled up with large cups of tea and lots of blankets.
The teacher training pushed me, challenged me to dive deeper into my practice, to bring breathing techniques, energy channels and centers, and muscles into my practice and style of teaching. I taught to a full studio my last evening in Cusco and felt proud to share this gift that felt so empowering.
I left Cusco feeling fulfilled, blessed and excited to see two of my best Peace Corps friends who met me in Lima and helped with my Peruvian send-off.
And now I find myself tucked in bed in Rockville, MD, wishing I had some Peruvian bananas (which are so much better than what we have here) and wishing I could take another steaming hot bubble bath (I’ve taken a few too many baths these last few days!)
I’m thinking about the closure that is beginning to come to this experience and the compassion I feel for all of you who read, listened, and supported me along the way. Thank you for the occasional notes, phone calls, and much-needed care-packages, for the emails that lifted my spirits on the really bad days and the good days too. And my deepest thanks to my family and Brendt, for being patient and understanding, it was the best gift you could have possibly given me.