Right before I got on the plane to go to the Peace Corps, I (and all the trainees) were required to write an Aspirational Statement. It was 2-3 pages outlining what our expectations were, as well as what we hoped to contribute and get out of our 2 years living and working in Haiti.
After 2 years of service, our original group of 25 volunteers (thinned down to 12) met for our close of service conference. Those of us who remained were handed copies of our Aspirational Statements and asked to read them in front of the group. It was UNCANNY how all of our lives unfolded exactly as we had written. The woman who had expected “to come home with more than she left with” was returning to the states with a Haitian husband. The people who were unsure about the future were still uncertain. I wrote that I wanted peace corps to be a break between my bachelor and master degrees, and I had been accepted to grad school. Some of the specifics escape me (this was 2003), but at the time, we could only scratch our heads because it was down right mysterious how we had seemingly written our own life paths before they happened.
If I had known that the things I believed would happen were actually going to happen, I would have aimed much higher.
Now that I know the next 2 years will pretty much unfold the way I imagine they will, I better think, speak, and act carefully.