Saturday, September 27, 2008

Peace Corps

Wow, there's so much going on right now I don't even know where to start. There's the election, the financial crisis, the proposed government bailout of the finanicial crisis, bank mergers, my GMAT studies, Russia going totally cold-war style on us, dogs sleeping with cats, full moons sleeping with half moons (those trampy half moons...), and basically just widespread panic (not the band) and chaos.

So I have to ask: What better time to join the Peace Corps? No seriously, I'm applying to the Peace Corps. Not because of all the turmoil, but because I've always wanted to do something like this and I realized that if I don't do it now, I'll never do it. Yes, I realize that I didn't go to Berkeley. Yes, I'm aware that I don't have 9 bumper stickers on my car consisting of Obama, DMB, some clever left-leaning slogan, and no less than four totally obscure bands that make me totally cooler than all those people that blindly listen to mainstream music. Yes, I work for a very large bank. Yes, I believe in capitalism and free markets (except.. ahem.. in times of financial crisis.. BAIL US OUT, MAN! I'm not even kidding!). No, I don't think civilizations should all revert to times of less innovation when we all ate with sticks, slept on rocks, cured seizures by bleeding people out, and died at age 23 of some very curable illness.

Sticker I will never own:

Unlike most of the left-wing liberals that join Peace Corps for lack of anything better to do, I think the experience I have could actually benefit young, fledgling economies that just need a little direction. And in the process, I get the opportunity to experience a totally different culture and make a difference in the world. It's a pretty good deal, and it sure beats grinding out the next 2 years in a cubicle.

So I'm applying to begin service next summer, which means I have a little less than one year to sell all my furniture, wrap up my position at work (and train someone new, no doubt), and generally just prepare for 2 years in what will probably be a third world country. I can't wait.

It's funny, when I look at my own personal timeline all layed out it all makes sense. I don't believe in fate, mind you, but the circumstances have come together nicely for this adventure. The main piece was my move to Dallas, which I think I have hated so much that it drove me to explore some pretty extreme options; options I probably wouldn't have considered in the comfort of Charlotte, North Carolina.

So preparations, applications, and essays are underway and I will update along the way.