Historias de Veintisiete

Stories from 27

by Stephanie

Well, time to close up shop here. Our Peace Corps service is done.

Soon you will be able to find writings from my grad school experience here: http://starrswriting.wordpress.com/


by Stephanie

It’s interesting to me that I could feel such an aversion to permanence, such a strong draw to transience, but still feel so emotional about this move to London. After an hour-long phone call with a good friend, I came to realize that while I have no desire  or emotional need to “settle down,” I do have the need to surround myself with people I know and love. As long as these people are easy to reach, I am comfortable and happy. But the idea of London, of not knowing anyone and of being 5000 miles and an ocean away from the people I love, is imposing.

I realize, of course, that I will make friends. I understand that new adventures produce new acquaintances. I know the permanence of my current relationships does not depend on proximity. Unfortunately emotion is decidedly impervious to knowledge and logic, which means that even though I am excited I am also a bit down. But that’s all part of it, I guess. What is an adventure if it doesn’t at some point produce a bit of all emotions?

And besides, I’d much rather have it this way than the alternative.

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine…” (Paolo Cohelo; thanks Em.)


by Stephanie

It is raining and I am pleased.

There is something so inviting about a rainy day. Much like a sunny day invites picnics and long walks and exploration of the external, a rainy day invites books and stationery and exploration of the internal.

There is no better setting for reading than a comfortable seat and a window open on a world blurred by falling rain. This fact gives me great hope for my future studies, as the most common reaction to my statement “I’m moving to London,” is “I hope you like rain.” I do, thank you. I like the sounds it makes, and the smell of it, and the way it feels on my skin and in my hair. I like that it allows for guilt-free hours of physical inactivity and encourages the voracious quest for erudition.

There may be better settings for writing, in fact it may be true that there is no bad setting for writing, but the rain dropping past my window is an undeniable muse. My gaze is held there, watching uncountable drops speed by, amused that their speed should cause my torpor. Everything slows when it rains. My thoughts are not rushed. My mind is calm. And when I write, it is not forced.

If asked, I could not say which are better, rainy days or sunny. But the beautiful thing is we are not made to choose. We wake and find either one or the other and are allowed to enjoy each as we will. Today I will read. I will write. I will enjoy a warm cup of coffee as I sit in the cool breeze of an almost-autumn day.

It is raining and I am pleased.

Just Checking In

by Chris

Its been a whirlwind couple of months. I finished Peace Corps, officially, on May 13th. Flew from Costa Rica to the Dominican Republic where myself and three close friends spent ten days saying goodbye to Latin America and each other. Flew to LA to meet all the new little family members who had doubled in age (or just got here, via their birth) during our two year absence. Finally, at the beginning of June found myself in Council Bluffs/Omaha. Since then it has been trips to West Omaha, Des Moines and Sloan, along with an extended visit to New York and DC in hopes of securing work. All the while wondering where I might live, what I should do, and watching the once mighty sum of our readjustment allowance dry up under the hot sun known as Too Much Free Time and an unsustainable, exit only cash flow scheme.

A few things fell into place recently. I will be helping families define and achieve their financial goals in New York City, I get to speak spanish and continue building my cross-cultural résumé while living somewhere fabulous and doing something I consider important. I leave in a few days. I feel a nag inside of me to be anxious about all the change. Will I like the big city? What if work doesn’t “work out” (hey-o, pun)? How will I handle being so far away from my ridiculously important wife?

But, I don’t feel nervous. A funny thing happened down there in Costa Rica. I don’t have time to explain it all here, but it’s effects have been huge for me. I believe things will go well. I know I can solve the problems I will need to solve, build and motivate the relationships and people around me. It’s hard to get at the root cause and effect of what we call confidence, but I found some, and our beliefs about ourselves are overwhelmingly self fulfilling.

So, cheers to following passion over comfort. If I fail, I will do so smiling and at least this time I will be getting paid.

by Stephanie

Incase there was any doubt whether or not SOAS is the right place for me, here is their logo:

Screen shot 2013-07-23 at 9.58.24 AM

Yeah… it’s a tree. A TREE, people! You know me. You know this is right.

Also, the student union has a bar. I already love London.

Oh hey, Chris got a job in New York City! So that’s an exciting update. He starts the first full week of August. And the first weekend of September I will be heading to London (assuming my visa gets approved, which I should find out within the week).

Big things are afoot with the Starrs.