My husband was notified at the beginning of last year (2009) that the newspaper where he was an editor was offering a difficult choice. Choose either 1. pay-cut (for the second time) 2. buy-out (full years' salary plus health insurance). After much hemming and hawing, he chose to leave the newspaper business, which has slowly but surely been declining, everywhere. I love newspapers, I believe in newspapers, they help keep voters informed, they keep people honest. But the business model just isn't worked out yet. I think newspapers believed that computers would go away, it was just a fad. How's that plan workin' out for ya, newspapers?
Not so good.
Our idea was for my husband to go from newspaper writing and editing into PR or something similar. Leave the biz while he's still young enough to build a career elsewhere. It was a ballsy move. Especially since we have three kids and his was our sole income. I am an art teacher, but have been home raising kids for the past 9 years. I started subbing and looking for a full-time art teaching position. He also signed up for the Foreign Service Written Exam.
Last June (2009) my husband took the FS Written test. At that time, we told our parents that we were pursuing this crazy idea...the Foreign Service. But it probably wouldn't work out anyway, so no worries. Then he passed. So we told our parents that he was doing some essays and it probably wouldn't work out anyway...then we said he was doing a day-long oral assessment, and it was very competitive...yadda, yadda. But he kept passing to the next level. Now, they realize that this is very probably going to happen. The medical clearances have been granted. It has been 8 months since the written test and we are waiting for him to be placed on the register.
Now our parents are asking questions like, "So, do you really want to do this? How do you think the kids will handle it? Are you going to somewhere good? Won't you be isolated?" I know they are concerned. So are we. We are not entering into this lightly. Trust me. We believe that this job, this life, will enrich all of our lives. I want my children to always remember that they are Americans, and I believe America is a wonderful country, but they also belong to the world. I want them to have the knowledge that we don't all live in a bubble. I want them to see all the possibilities out there. I want them to be compassionate children.
Is that naive? Yeah. It is. I know.