Some wise advice my mother once gave me: “dream it, do it, detach from it.” At first glance, this may seem like a troubling way to go about one’s life. I’m supposed to detach from things? What does that entail exactly? Does that even make sense?
On the contrary, I’ve actually realized over time that this is simply the only way to live. No one belongs to anyone or anything forever. We kind of just put ourselves on loan over and over again to different people, places, opportunities. None of this is meant to last forever. It makes sense, you just have to learn to let go, to move on, and to accept that life is a series of people and places coming and going in and out of your life. It is this three-part philosophy, ending with the (often difficult) “detachment” piece, which I have come back to time and time again throughout my time in Guyana. With the fluid life I’ve created for myself, I often take time around this point in the year to discern whether it’s time to “move on” or if I should look into delving deeper into the experience and lingering for a second year. I’ve done this once, with Alaska. But Kenya, Hawaii, ESTL/St. Louis were all only meant to be one lap around the track. Now Guyana is on the table. Do I stay for a second year of all of this craziness, or do I run for the airport with whatever luggage I can manage to throw together? That’s an easy question with an even easier answer: I’M OUTTA HERE!
But wait, what about the boys? What about the school, the orphanage, the relationships, the progress, the hope? These are the things that keep the gears in my mind turning. Forget Mercy Volunteers Corps, forget the community, the dirty city of Georgetown, the chaos of the streets, the heat of the sun, the stench of the gutters. This is about the people; these radiant, overwhelming boys that I get to interact with everyday. The way they make my heart soar, and the way they drive me bonkers—blend it all together and you have me uncertain about where my future should be. I think a lot about what life is like in the United States. I’m scared about what the transition back will look and feel like for me. I’m unsure what my return to the developed world is going to do to me.
Of course, on the flip side, wouldn’t I just be a lunatic to stay down here? In what capacity could I pull off being down here and maintaining a relationship with these boys while at the same time still juggling all of the “stuff” that’s going on down here that will certainly persist?
Year two? Naw. Back to the States like none of this ever happened? No again.
Back to the three D’s…Dream, Do, Detach. I’ve been so fortunate in my life to live out many of my dreams. This was another dream that I’ve lived out. In fact, last December, I had lived out so many of my dreams that I actually had to make up a new one. Sure enough, over the course of the following months, everything fell into place, and now I live in South America. I dreamt it, I’m doing it, and, like everything before, I’m going to have to detach from it. It’s just daunting to think about detaching while I’m still in the thick of it. Nevertheless, the pandering will continue.