The End

My service ended on August 3rd. I left Armenia on August 10th. I’ve been home for a month now which included a couple weeks of travel. The end of Armenia and the beginning of America was thus a whirlwind, without much time to process what was going on. Add to that substantial writer’s block and a lack of motivation to write, and here we are.

It was a really busy time between trying to clean up my apartment, give things away or back to their owners, do trips to Yerevan to take care of paperwork, take pictures, and say goodbye. Not only busy, but stressful. The big transition, uncertainty of the future, and the end of an era combined with the aforementioned to give me a sudden case of TMJ, which I’ve never experienced in my life. Now my jaw is back to normal. Not everything is so normal, though.

I think I’ll write a separate piece on the readjustment to America. But what was abnormal 2 years ago became normal and what was my old normal became abnormal. Now I’m back to the old normal, so it’s abnormal. If you say “normal” enough you realize it is a really strange word. That’s kind of funny.

But back to the subject at hand. The end was basically a flurry of hyperactivity. It made me happy that I stayed the extra month.

When I think about the end of my service, which I haven’t really done until now, I am happy and satisfied. There is always that nagging voice in your head (I guess that’s ambition, although it’s pretty freaking annoying) that says you could have or should have done more. But considering all the things you have to go through and deal with in Peace Corps, you just have to tell that voice to shut the hell up sometimes. I adjusted to a foreign culture. I learned their language. I integrated into a community. I shared American culture and Armenian culture. I even managed to get some work done. I made it the whole way. All of that makes my service a success and something I’m proud of.

There are distant memories of PST, or the time before leaving for Armenia, or the first few months at site, which all make me realize what a mighty journey it really was. The idea that it’s all over now, and that it’s been over for over a month already, is still weird.

Armenia was great to me. It taught me more than I can explain. The people were great, the other volunteers were great, it was just great. There were times during the application process where I worried about “wasting” two years of my career on this. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Thank you Armenia and Peace Corps.

The end of my Armenian life

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4 Responses to “The End”

  1. Nancy Says:

    Welcome Home, Pilgrim! Be sure to let us know what your new path is! Glad you’re home safe!

  2. Wayne Burt Says:

    Just waitin’ for the next chapter. The last one was a thriller.

  3. Peter Says:

    You did great bro. It’s time for the next chapter…

    Which is of course restoring the original Icenugget.com

    You know you want to. Sean Streaty has had it too easy for too long.

  4. icenugget Says:

    Thank you everyone! Thanks for reading that chapter and following along. There is something very flattering and scarily ego-boosting knowing that there are friends and family out there who will read what you write and support what you’re doing.

    Peter, that Nigerian hosting company has withdrawn from my former domain, so I’m not ruling anything out.

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