The Panic

After an emotionally draining two months, everything has finally settled.

In February, after I came back from my extended trip to the States, life in Peru was a whirlwind of emotions. Shortly after arriving home, my American roommate told me that she would be going back to the States much earlier than expected, but by no fault of her own. Unfortunately, the program she came to work for simply wasn't working out and for a multitude of emotional, personal, financial and sanity reasons, she chose to go home. If I were in her situation I would have done the same thing.

But this news installed sheer panic in me. For nearly 10 days I agonized over what to do.

Option #1: Stay in Peru and find a new apartment, struggle to make ends meet, move once again, be lonely, fight transportation and homesickness. But be close to Alvaro.

Option #2: Go back to the States and go to grad school, be close to my parents, be close to my friends, revel in Southern culture, speak English, save a bunch of money and beginning making steps to recreate my life in the States. Oh, and be away from Alvaro.

I cried and cried and fought and thought and cried some more. I had endless Skype conversations with my dad. One of those ended in me being very upset and screaming, "Just tell me what to do!!" To which he calmly replied, "Meghan, as a good father, I can not do that." Hmph, parental logic.

So I made the decision. I would leave Peru. I quit my job but that was the only step I took towards going home. I didn't buy a plane ticket. I didn't talk to my landlady. The only thing I did was blame a "complicated immigration process" on my obvious procrastination.

When I resigned, my boss requested that I come in for one week at the beginning of the school year until my replacement was hired. Ten days later I went back to work. Early Monday morning he said, "Good news! We found your replacement!" but for some reason all I could respond with was:

"I'm having second thoughts."

He told me that my job was already offered to someone else so morally, he had to give it to her. However, there might be another option. "Check back with me at the end of the day," he said.

Word began to spend among the teachers that I was going back to the States. Immediately I received numerous offers to help with finding an apartment. I was overwhelmed by the help and support my school community offered to me and before the end of the first day, I knew I wanted to stay.

On Tuesday, I met with my boss and he offered me another job. By Tuesday afternoon, another teacher had found a place for me to live. All of the pieces fell into place, it was the perfect sign that I needed to stay. On Monday at 11am, it was publicly announced that I would be going back to the States. On Tuesday at 3pm, I made the decision to stay.

As my decision settled, I realized that staying is what I wanted all along. I chose to leave based on rational decisions (finances, convenience, etc.) but didn't give any real thought to my emotions. When I told my dad that I had decided to stay he said, "I had a feeling that you would make the decision." Of course, my dad always knows best. It just took me a little longer to see it.