How it all began

MUNI! Inspiring even the wildlife…

MUNI! Inspiring even the wildlife…

I remember being on the bus. I think it was the 47 or the 49 which means I must have been going to NCTC for work. I was sitting in one of the solo seats toward the back of the bus with my mind whirring in a thousand directions at once. I was staring out over San Francisco, spacing out while I looked at City Hall, when a woman got up to get off the bus. She was standing in my line of view when I noticed her bag: a basic black canvas bag with a small Peace Corps logo on it and nothing else.

So, in my contemplative state I sit and I stare awkwardly at her thinking to myself, “What the hell is the deal with the Peace Corps? I mean, what is that? What’s the catch?” Then I realized I live in a magical world of technological wonder with a small computer in my pocket and I looked it up. I started reading about it and took a really critical eye to it, convinced there was a problem somewhere. I was waiting for the moment when they said they owned your soul or would make you pay them tons of money or had some secret super religious inclinations. But I didn’t see any of it. I couldn’t find the problem. Almost before I knew what was happening I was filling out the forms and writing my initial essay. I didn’t even tell my parents until after I had submitted all of the paperwork. It was my first big step, my first independent change; I hadn’t even applied to college on my own. I hated my job, I’m so tired of theatre, I didn’t have a direction or aspiration. I knew that I loved teaching. I had always planned to end up in some small school, hopefully like the high school I went to, but in some tucked away little town in New England. It had always been an ‘eventually dream’. You know, I can’t get there right now, but eventually I’ll grow up and take the tests and become a teacher and be happy.

Dream Job: Not afraid of ghosts. Will travel.

Dream Job: Not afraid of ghosts. Will travel.

But why wait? Here was this shining opportunity for me to travel somewhere completely new and get training to teach. In the state of California, people who teach in the Peace Corps can come home and have those hours applied to their credential. It’s a no-brainer, really. I saw that movie, We Bought A Zoo, and there’s a great part where the dad is explaining to the son that you don’t need to be this huge, courageous person to get what you want (he’s talking about a girl, I’m talking about life). You just need 20 second of insane courage. The 20 seconds it takes to walk into the restaurant and talk to the girl. The 20 seconds it takes to ask them out. The 20 seconds it takes to push the submit button. Just 20 seconds of courage in a whole myriad of emotion to make the change you want.

So, why am I telling you this ridiculous story about serendipity and 20 seconds of courage? Well, I need help to get where I’m going. I have a lot of things to do in a very limited amount of time and the funds are not going to last me. I’ve started an online campaign (as you can see the new widget to the right!) and I would love for you to take a moment and go visit it (either by clicking on the widget OR by clicking here), share it with your friends and family, pass the word along. Every little bit counts, even $5 or a kind word of support.

4 thoughts on “How it all began

  1. Dear Margaux, You do not know me, but I am a good friend with your aunt Margaret. I just sent you a donation, and I wanted to wish you ALL THE BEST on your upcoming adventures. I spent 3 years when I was in my twenties traveling around Southeast Asia, and it was the most wonderful, challenging and transformational experience in my life. I am so excited for you! Indonesia was one of my absolute favorite destinations. Do you know where in Indonesia you will be? Oh, it doesn't matter, I am just curious. Bon Voyage! – Nadine Schaeffer

  2. Oh my gosh! Thank you so much, Nadine! I'm wicked excited to be going. I won't know where exactly I'll be teaching until after my three months of training. I know that I will almost certainly be on the island of Java and that the Peace Corps Indonesia office is in Surabaya so I imagine I might be there for the three months of pre service training. But you'll know where I am when I send you a post card!! Thank you again!gaux

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