Significant Other, Significant Change

Significant Other, Significant Change

I am moving to Mali this June to serve for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My wonderful boyfriend of nearly two years is not coming with me.

At first I was extremely irritated when people asked what was going to happen between Daniel and I. But then I wasn’t. Because it’s a darn good question.

My irritation manifested in my brain like this: “Well, THAT’S an extremely personal question. I feel uncomfortable answering this.”

But now I think I understand why people ask. I think it’s more than just good ole nosiness. I think they’re genuinely intrigued by what happens when two young people find themselves in my situation. The idea of a young woman heading off to the Peace Corps, leaving behind her beau, is foreign. “If she’s happy with him, why would she even leave?” must be the question running through a lot of minds.

It’s important to remember, though, that Daniel and I aren’t actually doing anything new. During the last of my brother’s tours, he left a wife and kid at home while he saved the world. Internet connection was minimal. He was tasked with doing something that was very scary and very confusing to anyone trying to understand what he did. Unlike him, I won’t be trained to fire a gun. But I will be attempting to save the world without internet and while doing something scary and confusing and I’ll be away from loved ones and at least I won’t have a kid state side to think about. My goodness, it’s amazing my brother and sister-in-law were able to do it. I like to think that Daniel and I can, too.

So Daniel and I are going to try. And this isn’t anything new. And it’ll be very, very hard. And we’re both a little bit pessimistic when it comes to this, and we’re both fully aware of the possibly terminating effect this adventure will have on our relationship. But we’re going to try anyway. Because what good is a relationship that stops you from doing what you love? And what good is an adventure if it means I gotta leave the dumb guy I love?


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