Don’t Carry It All

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.

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A Place Called Home

The march to February 14, 2011 continues unabated (78 days remaining).

The palatial Oakwood Crystal City.


This week I reserved my housing at the Oakwood Crystal City. The appeal of the Crystal City Oakwood is manifold.

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It Goes On and On

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.

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The Waiting (Is the Hardest Part)

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.

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