Sunday, July 31, 2005

Do Protocol Officers in the Congo Get Married?

I wish I could find a way to express myself better sometimes. I have so many things on my mind right now. Why do things like this always happen when I am on a business trip? Is it just coincidences that big life changes start when I'm alone in a hotel room? Or is it just that when I'm off alone somewhere I actually have time to think about everything and start the changes? Either way, here I am, late at night, in a hotel, no place to go, no one to talk to. (So hey, why not put my deepest thoughts in a blog for the whole free world, and people in cities I have never heard of, to read?)

Its a dream come true to make it this far into the Foreign Service application process. So the big question now is- do I want to do this? Initially, yes! Of course! How can I not? Its a career position with the State Dept that allows me to travel the world, right? But what if it isn't? What if its a really boring job in a foreign country, where I have no friends, and I suck at the language? And I hate it? A boring job in a great amazing country where I can't wait to travel and experience the world is fine. I'll take the boring job if it means seeing the world. But let's talk about the next problem. It's boys in general (heh heh, it always is). I think working for the Foreign Service means saying that I'm never getting married. I have always said my marital status would never affect my career or financial decisions. And for the most part I have lived that way. I don't hold back on achieving my goals and dreams because I don't have a husband. But let's say I get a job as a protocol officer in Africa somewhere. I'm a single girl in the Congo, Kenya, Tanzania. Who am I going to date? Who am I going to marry? Yeah, I would have a cool life, traveling the world, etc. But I'm signing up for the life that says I'll be single for a good long time. Part of me thinks, hey, I'll be in Tanzania, climbing Kilimanjaro on weekends for fun. I'll adopt a little Tanzanian baby from a shelter. I'll see new parts of the world. It would be so cool! But I'll never get married. (there is also that scary memory of how much i hated being alone in prague putting a huge cloud on my sunny day.)

And I have a good life now. Yeah, money gets tight from time to time. The car breaks down. I dislike my landlord. Big deal. That's life, right? I have good friends to hang out with on weekends. I have great friends to call long distance. I like my life. I like knowing what I have. The Foreign Service means taking some huge risks, losing my retirement, and starting all over again. Should I really take that risk? Part of me is feeling the pressure on all of this now because if the answer is no, and I shouldn't take the job, I should tell them now, so that the very coveted spot in the oral exams can go to someone else. Otherwise, I'm just keeping someone else from making their dream come true sooner. And that isn't fair.

I'm happy with my life. Do I really want to rock the boat? Or do I want to follow a dream I have had for nearly 10 years?

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