For quite a while, when I talked to people about leaving for the Peace Corps, I would say, “I’m hopefully moving to Colombia in January.” “Hopefully?” they would respond. For a while I would explain that I was basically good to go, pending medical clearance which…whatever. Turns out medical clearance is not something to be messed with.
I absolutely should have known this! One of my co-workers had told me about her service and how she was initially delayed due to medical clearance problems, yet I kept thinking, “but I’m healthy!” That can absolutely be true, but if there is anything to cause the Peace Corps nurses alarm, they will require 5 more forms to clarify it.
So I found myself at the beginning of November, feeling some days really close to finalizing medical clearance, and other days like the nurse was going to tell me I was not cleared and couldn’t go. As every day passed in this back-and-forth limbo stage, I found myself getting more comfortable with the idea of continuing life here in corporate America, which I didn’t particularly like because it in turn made me feel more anxious about leaving. And shifting my frame of mind every day from going to not going was a big swing and really stressful and I found myself ultimately not caring about the verdict but just wanting to know where the hell my trajectory was pointing. To be honest, that was a dangerous position for me – I could have easily given up submitting forms and saying “eff the medical clearance due date” and then I would have known.
I didn’t give up. Giving up would have made me a liar to everyone that I had told “I’m going into the Peace Corps!” in the last year and a half. It would have made me a liar to my grandma, who I love to shock and make proud with my life choices. It would have made me a liar to myself, in the end. So I kept going. And finally, earlier this week, I received the message that I had been medically cleared. Cue the “hallelujah” chorus.