I have been absent for far too long. The absence has been a result of a lack of news. After the initial avalanche of decisions to make and updates to report, it was all quiet on the Foreign Service front.
The march to February 14, 2011 continues unabated (78 days remaining).
This week I reserved my housing at the Oakwood Crystal City. The appeal of the Crystal City Oakwood is manifold.
This afternoon I received a delivery from the UPS man. It was my official salary offer from the State Department for the February 2011 Junior Officer Class. I have been trying to work my way through the mountains of information, but it is clearly going to take at least a couple of weeks before I have a grasp on everything before me.
There are decisions to be made about health insurance and retirement plans. Do I want life insurance? What sort of dental and vision plans do I want? All of this along with tons of other information about moving to DC and what to expect in orientation.
When envisioning a life in the Foreign Service, somehow the the bureaucracy and the forms filled out in triplicate were never present. Call it a lack of imagination on my part.
Apart from several forms that need to be filled out and sent back as soon as possible, I have time before any major decisions need to be made about health insurance and retirement plans. But if there is anything that makes me realize that I am actually an adult, although I graduated from college a scant six months ago and am still living at home, it is spending the afternoon reading about the intricacies of employer contributions to my thrift savings plan.
There are only three months—or 92 days, if you want to get specific about it—until I begin the the February 2011 Junior Officer Class for the Foreign Service. A quick calculation shows that I am at the exact midpoint between when I moved back home and when I move back to Washington.
When I think about it that way, it seems a whole lot more manageable. I spent three months climbing uphill, with no idea where the end is. Now, in the matter of a few days, I have learned when my exile at home will be coming to an end and it has allowed me a measure of symmetry that my obsessive compulsive mind certainly appreciates.