Going home for my younger sister's wedding in May was an incredible experience not only because I was able to be around my amazing family and friends, but also because I could experience America during the middle of my service in the Peace Corps.
On couches, in cars, walking around my old college campus, sitting on the sand at the beach and many places in between I was able to be with those closest to me and try to explain the incredible experiences I have been through in only a year in Mongolia. My blog and monthly newsletters have been helpful in sharing general thoughts and big events with many people, but nothing comes close to a personal conversation with someone. Responses are immediate, questions and answers volley back and forth and precious moments of silence shared between best friends while both think about things they have never considered before are worth more to me than anything. It's not easy to make sense of everything I am going through as a Volunteer, but talking through it with people I love makes it easier. Not only that, but I think it helps them in their lives too. I can't count how many times people said, "Wow, I've never said that sort of thing out loud before. I don't think I've ever considered it quite like that." Unfamiliar with the usual cultural references on recent movies and happenings, conversations immediately turned to central life themes, purpose, love, service, possibility, and life goals and I would prefer those topics every day of the week. Maybe more than anything Mongolia has taught me that we should all be in touch with who we truly are and what we believe, every minute, and I felt very lucky to do that with so many outstanding people home in America.