My turn: July A-100 Offer Accepted
It’s with mixed emotions that I report on some big news for us: I’ve accepted an offer to join the July 2011 A-100 Class for the US Foreign Service!
The prevailing emotion is excitement (or I wouldn’t have accepted the offer, obviously!). I mean, jumping up and down excitement. This is something I’ve wanted for a long time. And now we’re going to be a tandem couple, which is something my husband and I have hoped for since we started this whole process.
The next emotion is relief – with how the budget situation looked this spring, I was afraid I might not get an offer at all!
But for all the excitement of joining State, there are the tough realities of what this means in the short-term. It means being separated from my husband for at least a year until we can figure out how to link up our assignments. It means leaving Nicaragua and the friends I’ve made the last 10 months. It means leaving a job at USAID that I really enjoy. And did I mention that I’ll be living apart from my husband?! Ugh.
This has been our plan for a while, so in a sense I’ve already mentally prepared myself for some of this. But now we’re getting into the practical things of who gets what, and what do I take back and what stays in Nicaragua. After 7 years of intermingling our stuff, it feels strange to separate it all. Most of it stays in Nicaragua because our house here is about 5 times as big as any apartment I’ll have in DC!
Separation aside, I’m so excited to join the State Department. After being in Nicaragua and seeing an Embassy up close, I know this is what I want to do at this point in my life. I know that the tandem couple thing is not for everyone and it comes with its own set of challenges. The way I see it is that ANY spouse arrangement in the Foreign Service (tandem couple, finding a job in the Embassy, finding independent work, staying home with a family) has its benefits and drawbacks. And it’s up to each person/couple to figure out which set of benefits and drawbacks they want to deal with and bet on. For now, our money is on the tandem couple option.
For more info on this photo from 1937 click here.