Friday, April 23, 2010

A Post Wherein I Needlessly Worry About The Future

I don't want to have children. Ever.

I've always felt this way. When I was a little girl, I never liked to pretend my dolls were my babies, or that I was their mother, nor did I fantasize about growing up and having babies or getting/being pregnant. I apologize in advance to all you moms out there who may heartily disagree, but pregnancy and childbirth sincerely gross me out. Like, to the point of making me queasy when I hear terms like "mucous plug" (barf!). I think some babies are cute, but I never have thought to myself, "Aww! I want one of those!" I honestly believe that I lack true maternal instincts. So, if I really don't want kids, why am I writing this post?

The Foreign Service is much more than a job, or even a career. This is a lifestyle you choose. You weigh the pros and cons, and then you choose. I wrote a few months back about the toll this choice has taken on my relationship, and while it's really hard to accept, I have to realize how much of this is my doing. I want this lifestyle; not everyone else will want it, too. Most of the people I read about or have heard about in the Foreign Service are very family-oriented, or have spouses/significant others who want to be a part of this life. They have their husbands/wives/fiancés/fiancées/children to help make the transition easier for them once they move overseas. I won't have a significant other, and I choose not to have children.

As a single woman joining the Foreign Service, finding a partner is likely going to be an uphill battle. Men have it a little easier. As the old joke goes, if you want to find out where a man spent his first tour, ask his wife where she's from. On top of that, finding a partner who is interested in spending most of his adult life overseas with me (either following me or as a tandem partner) is going to be a bit more work.

I sometimes worry that because FSOs seem so deeply family-oriented, that I'm going to end up somewhat left out. Rational? Irrational? I don't know. I don't really need to be worrying about that right now, but it doesn't stop me from thinking about it.

How did you folks out there manage to strike a balance between choosing a career in the Foreign Service and maintaining your sanity in regards to your personal life?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Little Spring Fluff

The weather is getting nicer with every day that passes, and it makes me smile and want to sing.

For some reason, Train's new single, "Hey, Soul Sister," is the song that fills me with happiness and allows me to enjoy the sunshine just a little bit more.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Glimpse of the Future?

I am addicted to the National Geographic channel's series called "Banged Up Abroad." In the US it's called "Locked Up Abroad," but they're essentially the same show. Each episode features someone who, through his or her own fault or not, was either held in captivity (some) or jailed (most) in a foreign country. Most episodes deal with stupid people trying to smuggle drugs from one country to another, and the time they spend behind bars once they get caught.

I. Love. This. Show.

As an aspiring consular officer, one who is especially interested in American Citizen Services, this show is even more interesting to me than it might normally be. If you haven't already seen it, I recommend you give it a chance!

Watch all of the episodes here!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

There Are No Words For This Post

There are very serious things going on in the world, I know (what happened to Poland today, for instance). However, this makes me question humanity in more ways than one. By the way, that link may be slightly not-safe-for-work, so click at your own risk.

I just...*sigh* Ladies, GET IT TOGETHER.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Four for You, Lin-Coco

This video has been making its way around the interwebs, and for good reason!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

I called Pat this morning over at HR to see if my information had made its way from DS. Imagine my surprise when I found out that not only did my information make it over to HR for Final Suitability, but I was placed on the register yesterday afternoon!

I'm currently ranked #53 out of 105 on the Consular register. I'm hoping for August, but, let's be honest, I'll take anything.

Monday, April 5, 2010

177 Days

Great news, folks. I've finally made my way through the quagmire that is Adjudications. After 177 days, I've been granted my Top Secret security clearance. That's .4849 years spent waiting for someone to say "yea" or "nay."

So, what have I been up to the last few months? I moved out of Massachusetts and came back to Austin, Texas, the place where I started this whole journey. I've got another meaningless job, doing customer service work as an inbound call rep. The work is monotonous and frustrating (if the people I speak to on a daily basis are any sort of representative cross-section of our nation's collective intelligence, I'm afraid for our country's future), but I needed a job and they hired me. This is exactly why I need to get in good with the foreign service. Without a bachelor's degree, I am going to end up doing menial jobs like this for the rest of my life.

I'm still going to school, playing floorball and hockey, and enjoying the amazing weather. It's been 80+ degrees for the last week...who can complain about that?

I'm hoping to be on the register within the next couple of weeks. I'd love to have an offer for the August A-100, assuming I end up on the register in the 40s.

Here's to progress and a speedy Final Suitability Review!