To quote Lester Freeman in season 3 of The Wire
"Your work can't save you"
And that's the truth, helping people has been a childhood dream of mine, and the Peace Corps has been an excellent opportunity to prove to myself that I am not useless in that pursuit.
I have and am living in a dream, a dream that I might just have to wake up from in July 2014.
But even so, as I lucidly ruminate in this bubble called Sagalla, a place of opportunity and growth. Where I've helped build a foundation where young people can convince their own peers to test for HIV (11 today!), whereas before that was (and is outside of Sagalla if you look at the numbers of people tested in my county) more of a dream. Where I helped motivate a man, as I found out today, to work and save so that he could afford his own water pump rather than relying on foreign support, and now he is proud of his own work and making an income he could never have believed a year ago. Yes, I am living a dream, but am I content?
In the most positive way possible, no.
As I left the mosque today, I had another thought bubble in my head..."reaching towards the stars makes you fly, but in the end, it won't give you love, it won't give you breath, it won't give warmth".
I'm in Kenya working a job that is designed to raise people from poverty, and prevent further HIV infections, but I'm also another human being who desires to know what it means to be whole.
Sure food, water, shelter, but more so, knowing what makes me tick, smile, and feel loved. These are not things I associate with dreams, I associate dreams with how far I can reach, but when I fall back down, it's life that holds me.
So yes, I think it's important to follow your dreams, but I also think it's important for you to find out what in life makes you content. Yes, do go for your dream job, but also stop and try to figure out what that smell is on the way to your part time job is that makes you smile (for me, the answer is jasmine, always jasmine).
Yes, travel Europe, but also accept that maybe a day with your parents does indeed make you content (how I wish to hug my mother and father right now just because).
Yes, never, ever give up, never settle for less, never accept people putting you down
But remember that life is full of moments that are more real than any ideal picture in your head, and that accepting and pursuing them are just as important as pursuing your goals.
I love being in Kenya, I love the work I'm doing, but I look forward to one day settling down and being the type of dad my kids will one day be secretly proud of (I'm pretty sure they'll probably be openly embarrassed by me), the type of husband that a Mrs. Somebody can talk, laugh, and grow with, and God knows I can be a better son.
And I won't forget that I desire to make a difference in this world, I'll just know that I'll be learning to be happy in the pursuit.