Tuesday, August 21, 2012

At The Crossroads

Is it midlife crisis, do you suppose? I don't know, but suddenly I feel as though I am in a place where things are changing, and I am not always in control of those changes, and I'm not sure all of the changes are good.

I'm standing at a crossroads, and I'm trying to figure out what path I'm supposed to take.

It happens to me, periodically, when I face big choices. I can see where I've been, clear as day, but when I look ahead, there are several fuzzy outlines of paths. And no map. Never a map. This is never the best place for me. Put me on a path, any path, and I'll forge ahead. But, given a choice of paths, I'll stumble and stop and wait until it's too dark to make a move. Lately it seems my life is just a series of forks along various non-descript roads, and I'm growing somewhat weary of the big choices that keep blocking my path.

I have a new job, beginning on Sunday, and it's full time, and I really hope I'm ready for it. Always til now I've worked part time, or freelanced, and managed to just maintain that facade of balance. So I'm hoping a full time gig doesn't push me over the brink. It's time, though, I think. This will be Ainsley's last year of pre-school, and I need to start focusing on me, and on future me, and making sure I'm doing what I can to ensure my family's well being - and my own. But who will make dinner? And how will the kids get to the doctor? It boils down to outsourcing my current job, to trusting others to pick up the slack.

Then there's this thing called the Foreign Service. While we were in California, I got The Email. It seems I'm officially on the register, which means they could offer me a "real" FSO job at any minute. Realistically, it would probably be awhile, because I'm midway down the list (your position on the hiring list is based on the numeric score you received the day you took the oral exam; my score was enough to pass, but not impressively high). But - if I choose to take the bonus points for Russian, I'm likely going rocket to the top of that list. Or - I can defer for up to 2 years, which could theoretically make it so I don't have to split my family up to go home for training. I can ask to be taken off of the list until we're back in DC, which is probably coming up next.

But if Bart does an AIP job? Or if I can't handle the full time gig after all? Or if I don't want to leave Amman early? Or if...? So many ifs pile up, and I'm left peering into the murky haze, trying to decide which path to take. It seems one wrong step will mean disaster - yes, I'm melodramatic, always have been. But truly, the decision I take here, in this and other issues cropping up right now, will have a huge impact on, well, everything about me. So I have to decide: who am I? Who do I want to be? Where do I want to go?

And then I have to leap onto that path and just start moving, I guess. No looking back.


Jill said... [Reply]

I so totally relate. Your crossroads now are where I was several months ago ... For a variety of different reasons. And it wasn't easy!

Best of luck as you navigate along your chosen path. It doesn't matter which one you choose ... Just as long as you remember to put on some
Lipstick and smile at yourself in the mirror before you head out the door.

You at least owe it to yourself to look good as you move ahead in life!

Donna said... [Reply]

Jill, you're awesome as always. Better go buy me some lipstick...

Danielle said... [Reply]

I tend to be a "make your own bliss" type of person but when it comes to moments like the one your facing, I do think there's a place for leaving some of it up to fate. We can drive ourselves crazy trying to make the "right" decision, but usually, once a decision is made and final, it becomes the "right" one and it's hard to really say whether things would have been better or worse had we chosen a different path. Just a thought though! Congrats on the FS!! That's exciting news no matter what route you choose!

Donna said... [Reply]

Thanks Danielle. You're right, things always work out for the best somehow. But still I stress!

Kristen said... [Reply]

First I have to say that I love Jill's lipstick advice! And wow, congratulations on all the "paths" available to you right now! You may be totally stressing about them, but I for one look forward to reading about the journey you take on whichever path you choose! Sending thoughts and prayers for wisdom and discernment your way!

Sadie said... [Reply]

Unfortunately, you're trying to make the right decision when there are no real knowns. It makes it super stressful. Are you guys bidding now? Once Bart has his onward, that at least is one more known. And if it's DC - a convenient known! I don't envy you this crossroads, but I'm sending virtual hugs and happy thoughts to try and ease the chaos. And good luck with the new job - you'll be awesome!!

Jen said... [Reply]

Okay, I sort of envy your crossroads as I rarely have the nerve to try to get to the point of ending up at such a scarily wonderful place! Good luck, but I know you'll end up doing the right thing for you!

Donna said... [Reply]

Thanks, all of you, for cheering me along.

Consul-At-Arms said... [Reply]

Congratulations on making the Register!

Just US said... [Reply]

Congratulations on making it on the register! Good luck with all of those unknown questions in front of you. That is never a position that is fun to be in and yet, so often we each find our way there, especially in this lifestyle.

Sara said... [Reply]

I'm the same way! It's very easy for me to forge ahead if someone tells me where to go, but I hate making the choice myself! What if I make the wrong choice?!

I hope you and Bart figure out what's best for you guys and the kids. That's what's important, right?

Also - congrats on getting on the register!

Please. Write your own stuff.