The world was different six months ago. My world.
We were talking, back then, about our bid list. We'd turned in the bid on Baghdad, but we still needed to turn in a complete list of bids.
We were talking, believe it or not, about curtailing - about leaving post early because of a few possibly insurmountable problems we were facing here in Amman.
We were talking about marriage, and the future, and the foreign service, and all of the big topics that we don't have time to discuss on an ordinary work day. And we were doing it all in the same little town where we'd been living when this whole crazy foreign service thing first came into our lives.
I don't know. It feels like a lot has changed in these past six months. I have a clearer picture now of where the next year-and-a-half is going to take me, of what sorts of storms I'll be weathering in the next few months. But beyond that? It's all a bit murky, in ways I hadn't anticipated. I guess, six months ago, I thought I'd be on a clear path by now. But all around me, things shift, things change, the path itself obscured by the dust of all these looming decisions.
At the beginning of every year, I make a plan, for myself and for my family. I look back at the last year, trying to figure out if I got where I intended to go, financially, emotionally, professionally. And then I plan out the next year in my head, and the next five years, and sometimes even the next ten. Where do I want to be in those time frames?
Usually this is a pretty basic exercise, and often my answers are similar from one year to the next. I find this comforting on some level: sure, I might not ever get where I'm going, but at least I know where it is I'm headed.
But now, this year, I'm struggling for reasons I can't exactly explain. Mid-life crisis? Perhaps, but I think that's overly simplistic. No, I think it's because the choices I'm facing right now are different from the usual. And of course, knowing that Baghdad looms large, and not being able, just yet, to peer beyond that, leaves me a bit unsettled. What's next, after Baghdad?
Yes. I'm aware that it may seem strange to be looking past Baghdad already, when it hasn't even started. But I'm used to planning my life in these chunks: one year, three years, five...
So I'm struggling, I guess, with the long-range plans, in a way I didn't think I'd be, just six months ago.
Am I even making sense here? Dunno. But I'm thinking on it, in my spare time - my piles and piles of spare time! And I'm trying hard to pick a future, for myself and for my family. I'll get there. I always do. But for now - I suppose I need to wait for the path ahead to clear, for the now to become the then, and for everything I'm living now to make sense.
I'll get there.