Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reflections, Realizations & Risks

With every New Year, there is a time when the inevitable question of "What are your New Year Resolutions? is asked" This question is dreaded by all procrastinators world-wide, who will more than likely get a glazed look in their eye as they stammer to improvise well-intentioned, heart-felt-sounding general statements. One usually walks away from such conversations thinking about the year past, wrought with a feeling of guilt and dissatisfaction. New Year’s is a time of reflections on the past year and the years prior, which often make us feel unfulfilled and the other dreaded ‘R’…regretful.

But why? Why is it that when we get to this point in our year, do we forget all the amazing things we did? If Peace Corps has taught me anything, it is to value the small successes.

A few years ago, I was one of those people who always said, Oh I wish I had had more time to do things for me, or I wish I had traveled or adventured more, and other such excuses we make for ourselves.

Living life full of What Ifs is no way to live. Sure there are realities we need to face such as health, financial and proximity barriers, but why not start small? Try a new food. Read that book that's been sitting on your nightstand for a year. Get in a car, without a map and just go somewhere unknown for the day.

The end of 2011/2012 saw the biggest risk I have ever taken in my life. I did something I never dreamed I'd have the courage to do; I joined the Peace Corps. I accepted an assignment in a country I had barely heard of, learned an impossible language and assimilated into the culture.

I had contemplated the idea of doing the Peace Corps since I graduated UNH in 2007, but had for one reason or the other, talked myself into other options. To be honest, I'm glad I waited because it is easily the most humbling and self-realizing challenge I have ever taken on. I have learned so much about myself and about the type of person I want to be.

My New Years resolution this year is to never have to say “What If?.  It is to push myself out of my comfort zone and take risks  everyday. 

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