Friday, January 17, 2014

This is the Foreign Service, Too

Lately I've been having trouble deciding what to write about on this blog. Since I'm not living in Russia anymore, I feel like I don't have anything very "Foreign Service-y" to contribute at the moment.

But, at the same time, I have to remind myself that THIS - you know, this weird limbo where I live with my parents, have a husband who is still in Russia, and am raising a child who has definitely developed some odd habits whilst living abroad - is still the Foreign Service. I was perusing Foreign Service blogs today, and I came across someone whose first tour is in D.C., which is not uncommon at all. But even though they won't go abroad for a couple of years, they are still in the Foreign Service. Spouses who stay behind while their officer goes on an unaccompanied tour are still in the Foreign Service. Families who come back to D.C. for two to three years are still in the Foreign Service.

I think most people have an idea of what the Foreign Service is all about (including me, before we embarked on this journey) and while a lot of the time it IS all the cool stuff - traveling, experiencing new cultures, getting to live in exciting places and meet interesting new people - it is also a lot of strange in-between times, readjustments, uprooting our families, and feeling like we don't really belong anywhere. By the time I get to Lima next May, I'll have been back in the U.S. for a year and a half, and that's really hard to fathom. I'm hoping I'll be at the good point of readjusting: the bored point. The one where I'm ready to go abroad again, and not the one where I'm extremely comfortable and scared of going somewhere unknown.

On the one hand, I come across things like this and get super excited:

19 Reasons You Should Probably Up and Move to Lima, Peru

And then I read the comments and get a little freaked out.

For some people, this lifestyle is all fun and games (or at least they claim it is). But I'm guessing that for most people, particularly family members, it's a constantly tipping scale. Some days are great, some days suck, and frankly, isn't that just life, whether you're in the Foreign Service or not? I know I haven't been exactly positive on this blog lately, and I feel guilty for that to some extent. But I also believe that my feelings of uncertainty, disappointment, and anxiety are perfectly normal. The Foreign Service has so much to offer, which is why we decided to do this in the first place. I'm certainly not ready to give up after one measly post!

But I also think it's okay to remind myself that whatever THIS is, isn't exactly normal. And that, as far as I'm concerned, is the Foreign Service, too.

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