"Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We wouldn't be as strong as what we could bave been. Give every opportunity a chance, leave no room for regrets." -Unknown
For the past 18 years my life has had a clear purpose. Every fall since I was four years old, I have packed up a backpack with books, pencils, and paper and spent the following nine months in a classroom taking notes and studying subjects from art and music to science and math in persuit of a college degree. Now that I have that 9x12 piece of cardstock with "Aubrey Nicole Tamietti Bachelor of Science in Biology" printed in bold lettering across the center of the page tucked away in my closet, the question I keep asking myself is what is my new purpose?
I graduated this spring with big plans for adventure and dreams of bringing good to people in need. A week after graduation, I hopped on a plane and spent a month backpacking and sea kayaking in the Alaskan wilderness doing a little soul cleansing before a 27 month assignment teaching science with the Peace Corps in Africa. I was set up to come home from Alaska mid-June, have a few weeks of recovery time, packing and goodbyes and then was schedualed to leave mid-July for Africa. If there is one thing that I have learned in life, it is that you can't always rely on plans. Natural disasters are unpredicatable and uncontrollable and can break down the sturdiest of plans.
My natural disaster came in the form of federal budget cuts. A few days after I got back from Alaska I got an email from the Peace Corps placement desk saying that due to a lack of funding my program had been cut and I wouldn't be able to leave until January of 2012 at the earliest. I had no reinforecement or flexibility in my plan, so when the natural disaster hit I was thrown into a deep, dark hole with no sense of purpose.
Now, I am stuck in this hole trying to find my purpose to shed some light on the way out. It's a lonely place down hear since my Flagstaff friend base has diminished significantly since graduation. People have moved away, are still in school or they have moved on with their lives, so I have found myself alone a lot trying to figure out how to get out of this hole and fighting an inner battle with my emotions. Tears have become my steady companion and will join me unexpectedly during a run, while I'm biking home from work, or even at the grocery store.
Even though the battle is hard and tears aren't my most valued companion, I know that this emotional battle won't last forever and eventually tears will not show up so regularly. I have a firm belief that things happen the way they're suppose to and when the timing is right adventure will come for me. There are obviously still experiences that I need to have here in this hole before I can find my way out. When the day comes when I can climb out of this hole, I will be a stronger person and have learned the lessons I need to help me tackle whatever other natural disasters come at me.