Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding my path

I want to still blog. But...

I've been trying to figure out if what I have to say is anything that you'll want to still read. Because you are FS people and I am not an "FS-person." 

It's strange, but in a way, you blog-friends know me in a way that is much more personal and deep than the people here do. A lot of the people here don't even know that the whole FS thing was ever even a possibility. They don't know about my struggles with this. That is a huge secret that they didn't know about me and my life. For a year and half I kept it to myself. They just thought I was a flighty, moody, absentminded b*tch, but little did they know, there was a reason behind it! (That's what I tell my husband, anyway.) Ha!! See, you all know what I'm talkin' about. 

I enjoy reading about you. I enjoy reading about your families. I enjoy your stories and adventures.

So I think I will continue to blog. I have enjoyed writing. I guess if it's interesting, it'll be read, if not, it won't. Right? Right.

My husband is settling in to his new job. The kids are doing their thing, school and sports and activities. B reads a ton, he is about to "cross over" from cub scouts to boy scouts, he fences and loves building things, S also loves to read, he's is a cub scout, a soccer player, a great gymnast (training 6 hours a week), and a violin player, C plays soccer and does gymnastics and has just started daisy scouts this year. She's all about the social aspect of any activity. She makes more friends than anyone in our family.

My own next personal struggle has been trying to figure out the direction to take my career/life now that I have some time to focus on that.

I have a BFA in ceramics and an MAT in Art Teaching, but I have decided that I don't really want to go back to teaching in a public school setting. Maybe I don't want to teach at all. So I went to visit a career counselor who told me I "try to please other people" and that I am "good at achieving goals that other people have set for me" but that I have to "find my own path." Um, no Sh*t, Sherlock!!

So, I am looking for my own path.

Path... path...

You out there?

Maybe I better walk the dog. And go look for the path. In the snow.

We've got snow, folks!!! And some very happy kids.

So, I'll keep writing. And I'll keep reading other blogs. I welcome comments. And please, if you've got ideas on where, exactly, I might find the path, let me know. I, apparently, do not have a GPS. 

Here are the kids in our (gulp) 5 feet of snow that has fallen so far this year.

Happy Holidays!! From the I'll Take Mine Family

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gaining perspective. Feeling good.

It's been 2 weeks since the OA.

It seems like ages ago.

I am good. No, really. I have had a weight lifted.

I no longer wake up panicking. I am not crying at random times. I don't resent him. I am not wondering what it would be like if he went off to who-knows-where-istan, and I stayed here. I am not thinking that I need a therapist in order to cope.

I appreciate all the kind wishes, and the helpful comments. I appreciate people being hopeful that there is a way for us to get in to the Foreign Service. Even though my husband has been on the register for almost a year and is now listed again on the register, it isn't going to happen. The thing is, 5.4 isn't going to do it for PD, not in this current swing of things. There are 205 people on the list now. So 5.4 would mean needing a language. And not just any language. Not German, which he knows. It would mean a new language with more points. And that can't really happen while working full time, being a cub scout leader, a soccer coach and an involved father. The only way to learn a critical needs language would be quitting his job. With three kiddos, that isn't an option. We have to eat.

So, unless my husband decides to register for the FSOT for the (shoot me in the face with a nerf longstrike gun) THIRD time, the FS is out.

And we are both okay with that. It has been a long two weeks. We have had lots of talks. And we have realized that this process (which has been going on 1.5 years) has taken a toll on our lives. On our happiness. We realized that we weren't 100% sure the FS would be a good thing for me, us, our kids, our family. We had reservations. But we were pushing them aside. We realized that we don't need the Foreign Service. It isn't our only option. We've got choices. Oh, boy, do we have choices... maybe too many.

And now, we are connecting again. We are living in the here and now. We are feeling control over our plans and our lives. Not everything is roses, but that's okay.

I'm not saying the FS is out of the question for our future, but for now it's in my rear view mirror. And I have to say, the smaller it gets in the mirror, the better I feel.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I do not want this.

It has been an emotional few days.

I have been emotional. A 5.4 on the PD register currently has my husband at around number 90-something. His new 5.4 would put him at 130-something out of 199. He will be on the register another 18 months. If he worked on German some more and passed, he could get a 5.57, not necessarily good enough to get called. A critical needs language would bump his score .4, but he would be starting from 0. How much effort and time would that take? Spending time on a language would mean more hours spent studying, away from me, away from the kids. He would spend more time focusing on where he wants to be, other than here, with me, with us. As if here is not worth being happy about. As if life is not happening right now.

Which brings me to the meltdown I had in the hotel room in DC.

I was looking out the window, watching the cars go by, thinking about this 5.4. Thinking about what it means. Thinking of the bedtimes when the kids asked if Dada was at German class, or if Dada had a study group or if Dada had a Skype session. Thinking about the blogs and livelines messages I've read. The husbands doing unaccompanied tours, the mysterious medical illnesses, the houses being bugged and under surveillance, the insects and animals, the packing and unpacking, the stuff being lost and damaged, the bleaching of vegetables, the parasites in intestines, the missed weddings, funerals, graduations and grandparents, the feeling of longing for a home. And I started crying and I said, "I do not want this."

Maybe I'm just overwhelmed by the magnitude of the whole OA experience and am too quick to speak. Maybe?
Who knows. I cried a lot. Tears score: 6.3

We are back from DC. We are Home. Capital H, Home. The kids ran to the car and hugged us. The dog wagged and smiled his doggie smile. I don't know what's next. But I know we are in it together.