Monday, July 4, 2011

thoughts about leaving, or, PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER

Today I have felt like a glass, filled to the brim. At the slightest nudge--the slightest provocation--I spill over. In tears :(

Melodramatic, I know. And I confessed this fact to Jim over the phone this evening ("Jim, you're going to think I'm really dumb, but I cried THREE times today")...he thought this was hilarious, and his outrageous laughter at me made me laugh at myself. Now I know who to call when I need a reality check. Madison, you are ridiculous--pull yourself together!

Okay, I need to pull myself together. If you know me, you know that I hate being sad. I almost always see the 'bright side,' not through conscious effort but by default. I believe in the power of a positive attitude--life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. I'm a naturally happy person, perhaps sometimes annoyingly so. 

So here's my problem, as I expressed it to Jaimol Kochamma today: "Kochamma, I am so sad about leaving. And I don't like feeling sad. And I don't want to spend my last two weeks feeling sad and making myself miserable. But how can I possibly NOT be sad?"

Sanila Teacher tried reassuring me by telling me that I can always come visit. Which is true. But visit or not, this is a time in my life that can never be recreated. I can always come back to Kerala--I can always keep in touch, to some extent, via letters or email--but this life as I know it--these relationships as they are now--are almost over, and will never be the same. In precisely eleven days. And that is what I mourn.

What I'm also wondering is, who was it that ever thought that it was a good idea for someone to completely uproot themselves from their home, go somewhere completely new, fall in love with everyone and everything there, and then have to leave? I'd like to have a word with them, please.

Okay just kidding. Obviously it's a good idea, and there are SO many benefits from the YAV program, both for the community of service and the volunteer herself/himself. But the end part...the goodbye just hard :(

And then there are all kinds of other worries surrounding going home...What if it's difficult for me to adjust? What if I can't re-find my 'place'? What if reverse culture shock is too much...what if no one understands? WHAT IF I JUST REALLY WANT SOME KAPPA AND MEEN CURRY?!?!?!?

I know I have the love and prayers of a lot of people supporting me right now. Thank you. It is that, and the inevitable passage of time, that will lead me to Saturday, July 16--the day I leave Buchanan. Maggie will be picked up first from her site, Nicholson School. Then, the car will drive her to Buchanan, to collect me and my things. I have a feeling I will either not cry at all...or I will be inconsolable. Poor Maggie--in the case of the latter, you have my sympathy in advance ;-)

"Why can't we get all the people together in the world we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos." -Charles Schulz


  1. OH MADISON! Having moved several times, I can almost relate! You arrive, start making a difference, start finding your place, and then...poof... it's off to a new spot. Tasha has written papers and papers about it for English or Humanities assignments! Each new locale brings a richer understanding of people. Each job I've had has enriched my perspective of humanity. If I'd have traveled more when I was young, I'd have been enlightened sooner! LOL! When I look back, it seems I had a sheltered life in Ocala. I've learned SO much in the last FEW years! I'm glad you've been courageous enough to step out and change the world! Keep up the good work! Hey, and even though you'll miss India, WE NEED YOU HERE TOO!!!! Kiba needs you and we ALL look forward to seeing how God uses you in each step of your journey!
    Lots of love to you,
    Aunt Lizzzzz zz z
    p.s. Crying is ok... Just keep drinking water so you don't get dehydrated!

  2. I'm sorry too, Madison--being sad isn't fun! I'm a cryer, too, so I won't laugh at you for having cried 3 times in one day. One thing to remember is that you're coming to Louisville, home to many YAVA and the YAV program. There's one person, Ariel, who is an LPTS student and former India YAV, who you definitely need to meet. So remember you'll be with people who know what you're going through. Also, if you need to rail at the program that put you in this situation in the first place, you know where to find us :) Good luck as you prepare for your transition while enjoying the present.