“The world is extremely interesting to a joyful soul.” 

Today is cold. It is only 53°. The sun is giving light but little warmth. The sky is blue with a few white clouds here and there. It is a good day to stay home. I have nearly finished the Stephen King. I slowed down as I got closer to the end. I wanted to save the last of it as long as I could. I can’t anymore.

When I was a kid, I made myself some promises. When I was eleven, I decided I’d travel the world. My geography book seemed alive. The pictures gave me an aching to be somewhere else. There I was living in a smallish town where traveling meant New Hampshire or Maine, and I was dreaming of far, far away, of other countries, of places where no one spoke English. I never told anybody. It was a promise I kept in my heart.

When I was in the eighth grade, President Kennedy was elected. I had followed his campaign. We had things in common. He was from Massachusetts, and he was a Catholic fighting the belief that the pope would run the country if Kennedy was elected president. I watched the debates, the counting on election night and his inauguration. I heard his hope to establish what would become the Peace Corps. I watched television spots advocating joining the Peace Corps. I was hooked. It was another promise I kept to myself.

I was the first in my family to go to college. I majored in English and took education courses so I could be certified to teach, but all along I still held the dream of Peace Corps. I listened to a recruiter on campus and took the language test. I laugh at that as I must have done poorly because Ghana’s national language is English. Anyway, I applied. That application was part of the promise I had made to myself when I was 13. I told my friends but not my family. My father, after watching a PSA about Peace Corps, thought it was a waste of time and money. I said nothing.

When I read the letter from Peace Corps, I thought my heart would burst. I had been accepted and was going to West Africa. The promises, the dreams, I had kept for so long were coming true. I called immediately and accepted. That was never in doubt.

Every day I am thankful for what life has given me. The promises I had made were kept. When I came home, I took a job at the same high school from which I graduated. I was there 33 years. I had found my spot. I doubt anyone is luckier than that.

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2 Comments on ““The world is extremely interesting to a joyful soul.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today was beautiful after getting quite a bit of rain last night. Today’s high was a comfortable 79°.

    Like you I made myself a promise that I would become an aviator when I was six or seven. I wore glasses which was an impediment to fly in the military. However, I started taking flying lessons after graduating from high school. It took from 1965 until 1975 to get my first flying job as a flight instructor. I worked all kinds of odd jobs to live and buy flight training.

    I worked for the flight school that gave me my first instructing job for 15 years. I worked for a couple of corporate flight departments but decided that instructing was more interesting and rewarding intellectually than flying trips. I have been at my present company for 32 years.

    Ever since I was in high school there was a prediction that a pilot shortage was coming. It never did until after the Covid pandemic ended. I’m obviously too old to be an airline pilot and don’t want to be flying trips at my age. However, I made my dream come true. I always knew that when my ship came in, I would be at the airport. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Wow, I would have been happy with even just 70°. Rain is coming.

      We are determined people. Nothing got in the way of our promises to ourselves. It is amazing we figured out what we wanted so early in our lives.

      Wow, 32 years is quite a long while. I know because I spent 33 years at my school, but when I retired, I was ready.

      The airline industry is such a mess right now with the weather and the shortage of pilots. People see flying as a right and get so very angry when they are thwarted. I am amazed at people who believe they are privileged.

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