16 March 2016

New Journeys

After rather long hiatus on this blog, I'm picking it back up again.

Its funny how life goes, and how you can play the long game and the next thing you know, everything comes to fruition at once.  I should have been buying lottery tickets.

In less than a week's time, I found out that I won elected office, because no one wanted to run against me in what was an otherwise crowded field.  Four days later, I passed my Oral Assessment to be a Foreign Service Officer with the US Dept of State.  

I was surprised by how quickly I was offered an invitation to join an A-100 class (aka diplomatic boot camp), and now I've only two days left at my job of nearly nine years...a week to finish organizing our stuff before the movers come, and then a few more days until we move to DC.

What I've learned so far about this life we'll be moving into:

  • I don't do well with goodbyes, mostly because I don't like being the center of attention.  I'd rather do meaningful farewells with people individually.
  • I do not have enough time to do meaningful farewells with people individually, so am sucking it up and throwing a party.
  • I have become someone who can jet off with a single bag, because at least when we're in transition we'll be dragging along a three bags each.
  • For as often as State on boards people, the whole process is confusing, overly complicated, and full of potential for error.  For example, no one in my class has yet found out how to sign up for vision or dental insurance, but we figure they'll tell us eventually...!
  • I've already met the bureaucratic nonchalance which I'm sure will be a constant irritation in my career.  The Historian's name is wrong on some of the on boarding forms, and everyone says it's someone else's responsibility to fix. But then they say maybe if I do the forms by hand it will be magically corrected. Somehow.  I hope!
  • It is amazing how friends and colleagues have been supportive, and excited for us. I didn't expect it, especially when it came to resigning my elected office. I'm relieved, and happy for it. 
  • Everyone is hoping that I get a post somewhere with a beach so they can visit.  I'm telling them that the folks who come see me at a hardship post get first dibs.  (Also our tastes run more to Iceland than the Bahamas!)
  • After all my work and years in politics, I'm really looking forward to being able to leave without comment the vitriol that surrounds Presidential elections behind.  

And finally...it didn't strike me just how much we're putting our lives in the hands of the Foreign Service until about the fourth or fifth person expressed shock that we don't know what our first post will be.  That my training comes first, the assignment second.  That's part of the fun of it for us!  

More soon.

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