It was hard to accept that the Foreign Service wasn't a guarantee after having hurdled every obstacle thrown at me the first time around, but I've swallowed that difficult notion and can even stomach it now. I was beyond disappointed to get rejected at the QEP stage this year, but it comes with the territory. I'm preparing myself to go in another direction while I wait for my time to enter the Foreign Service. It's not so bad.
I'm working on several certifications that will lead me to a job in network administration. I'm picking up on it quickly; the work is interesting; and I'm nearly guaranteed to land a job when I'm finished. If the traditional FSO route doesn't work for me, this new path may open up doors for an FSS position instead. It's taking me longer to get where I intend to go, and I'm working on being okay with that. The job I'm looking to take in the indeterminate meantime is pretty engaging, so it makes things a little easier.
My friends and boyfriend have all been incredibly helpful and supportive these last couple of months. I couldn't ask for more help if I wanted to. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by the caliber of people in my "circle." I don't know what I did to deserve such wonderful individuals, but I'm thanking my lucky stars. Austin is definitely beginning to feel a lot more like home these days.