Well, it’s my last weekend in Tunis and it’s been forever since I blogged. So much has happened since the attack in September. The Embassy is almost back to “normal” in that we’ve fixed things and upgraded other things – I’m glad I stuck around to see that happen. It provides me with a sense of closure I might not otherwise have had if I’d left earlier.
Tunis was supposed to be my quiet, boring, assignment. It was anything but, and I’m so glad for that. Turns out that quiet and boring aren’t my thing. Not that I’d want to go through this again, but it was such a tremendous learning experience for me, both personally and professionally. On the personal level, I learned to be ok with being by myself for the first time in my life. I’ve missed my Things so, so much, but I’ve also realized during this time how much I’d lost myself when I became “Mom”. I’m looking forward to having them back with me, but am also going to be sure to be more balanced in my approach to parenting. Professionally, I’ve learned a lot about the Department, and how we do such a tremendous job of taking care of each other in times of crisis. So many people were involved and invested in seeing our Embassy recover. I learned how strong and resilient my colleagues are, in particular my local colleagues. I’ll miss them the most.
And I made friends. Good friends. Friends that I think will be friends for life. When our community suddenly became much smaller it became a sink or swim situation for all of us, and we all chose to swim. We boosted each other’s morale when things got tough. We bonded over failed attempts at Paleo cooking (Note: It is possible to make brownies look like potting soil. End Note.), we improvised when our gym was burnt to a crisp and formed a P90X group who met after work in my bedroom. We became the Vadge-Pack. Yeah, it’s exactly what you think it is.
But the most important thing that happened to me during this time was that I fell in love. The day of the attack, as I was sitting in the safe haven and thought I was going to die, I emailed the people that mattered most to me – my children via their dad, my parents and sisters, and my best friend. I didn’t want to die without telling her that I loved her and I did, for the first time. Turns out, she loves me too.
And so I think it’s time to rename this blog because we will no longer be Four Globetrotters, but Seven. I head back to D.C. next week for my onward assignment, during which time we’ll get married and prepare to head out to discover the world with our expanded crew. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of my efforts to blog about the craziness that is my life during this tour and I hope you enjoy this rebranded blog: Seven Globetrotters – The Adventures of a Modern Brady Bunch.