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Blogging By the Sea
Tuesday, January 09 2018

A writer friend of mine started a Facebook page dedicated to positive, uplifting and encouraging thoughts. Each Monday there’s a new topic for us to post comments on. This week, it was “Trying something new.” I  got to thinking about how trying something new has enriched my life, challenged me to be a better person, given me some new insight, taught me humility, taught me grace and so much more.


A couple years ago when the subject of my Peace Corps experience came up, a woman told me she thought I was very brave to volunteer. That comment caught me off guard. Brave? Really? Admittedly, I didn’t join the Peace Corps when I was an idealistic young kid straight out of college with the belief that I could change the world, but rather, I was fifty-six. I’d been married, raised four kids, and buried by husband who died of cancer at the age of forty four. My youngest child had graduated from college and I was wondering “what next?” I was looking for an adventure. It never occurred to me that it might be a brave thing to do. It was stepping out of my comfort zone for sure. I’m lousy at languages and I knew I’d have to learn a new one in spite of that handicap. I’d have to dedicate two years of my life living half a world away in a very different place than I was accustomed to, doing who knew what for work, but that was part of the adventure.


Taking that leap of faith turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. I have a family on the other side of the world who opened their home and hearts to me and taught me so much. I made friends I’d never have met had I not gone and enjoyed some of the most amazing experiences. I even met and spoke with a queen. I swam with humpback whales, taught English to grade school students, snorkeled over beautiful, colorful reefs, camped on deserted South Pacific islands, climbed a volcanic mountain and crawled and swam into caves. I was bit by a pig, learned to live in sweat-damp clothing all the time and welcome the rain when it came every afternoon. I heard church bells ring all over the island at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and learned how to weave a mat Tongan style. Working in a culture very different from my own was a challenge, but the rewards of taking that step out of my comfort zone outweighed the hardships about 100 to 1. So, maybe I didn’t change the world, but I changed the world for the people whose lives I touched. And they changed me forever.


So try something new. You just never know how much it might change you  -- for the better.


And if you need a little inspiration, check out this speech given by a Navy Admiral at a college graduation.


You can read more about my adventures in the Peace Corps under the Peace Corps tab on this website. 

Posted by: Skye Taylor AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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    Skye Taylor
    St Augustine, Florida

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