My little sister turns 21 today.
I knew coming into this experience that I would be sacrificing certain things for a while (sushi, comfortable transportation, full nights of sleep without crowing roosters), but none of them come compare to missing out on big events in my friends and families lives. This is the hardest part of Peace Corps for me.
I begged my friends not to get married while I’m gone and secretly hoped that the fates would keep their true loves out of reach until I got home. I try to stay up to date on what everyone is up to and make sure to wish them luck on their endeavors, but it kills me to think that when they do succeed I won’t be there to cheer them on, front row. But I can’t stop life from happening (or the barrage of “X is engaged” relationship updates on Facebook) and there’s no way to hold off on everyone’s birthdays until I come home.
Sometimes it sucks, like today when I look at the clock and know that my sister is enjoying legal birthday margaritas and I can’t be there with her. But it also makes me more appreciative. And I know that when I see her next month it will be just a little bit more special and meaningful for me than any of the trips I made home from Seattle last year to see her.
Would I trade everything I have and plan to accomplish here for the opportunity to be available for birthday parties and weddings? Sometimes it’s tempting. But, in the end, the answer is no.
Still, I wish you nothing but the best for your 21st year, Lisa. You are a beautiful, charismatic, hilarious, driven, intelligent and sassy lady. There is so much about you that I admire and so much that I wish for you. And I miss you, especially today.