Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bad At Firsts

24 December 2008
Talked to my parents last night. It definitely was the Christmas cheer I needed for the bizarre holiday season that is both existing and not existing at the same time. Mom asked me how my first week in Lerik went. I told her it was really hard. I wanted to cry. I was overwhelmed. My language skills definitely need a pretty big overhaul. I am still settling in. But, I cried on Sunday, and now I’m feeling a lot better. Things seem a bit more manageable now.
My mom, being the wonderful lady she is, kind of laughed and commented, “Amy, you’ve always been bad at firsts. But once you get past the first, you’ve always done fine.”
I would write about how that’s not true, but it really is. I am terrible at firsts. The first day of school was always terribly stressful. Eleni would always send me for laps around the dorm the first week of school because I would fill up our room with nervous energy. The first language class at Aqua Park left me almost tearing up. Firsts inevitably overwhelm me, frustrate me, and leave me doubting my ability to do anything. And yet, I keep going. Mainly because experience has told me that once I get past the first week things start looking better. (Or maybe firsts are so fleeting that I am already on the second or third before I can turn around.)
So the first week is done, and I am half was through the second week. Things are indeed looking better. So while Peace Corps will be full of many firsts (which will be scary), there will be many seconds and thirds to look forward to.
Next week brings another big first: 1 January 2009. Happy New Years! Luckily that is a first that is always easy to deal with.
Today is my Dad’s birthday. This will be the first time that I ever miss his birthday. But I know he will be surrounded by love today. (And love from Azerbaijan – how many dad’s can say that?)