This past Friday was Flag Day for the 156th (the day where first post assignments are announced), and I checked in on some blogs to see where people were being sent. When I got to A Diplomat's Wife entry, I was crushed. I think it is fair to say that she was less than excited and quite shocked about their assignment.
Dear A Diplomat's Wife -
I don't know you, but on the day our husbands took their first (unofficial) oath, we joined a sisterhood of sorts. One of trailing spouses. One where we are always introduced as so-and-so's wife. Throw a kid or two (or more??) into the mix and then you become so-and-so's mom. Our identities muddled, murkier than before. Not worse, just different.
I want to sit down with you tonight and hold your hand. Or pour you a stiff drink or coffee, maybe? Perhaps you would care for some cookie dough...raw? It will get better, I promise.
I remember absolutely everything about my own Flag Day. I remember thinking we were heading one way, and having the wind knocked out of me to learn they had turned the plane around and I was now heading into (for me) uncharted territories. I was terrified. I knew little to nothing about our post and feigned a smile and excitement for the rest of the day when everyone kept telling me how much I would love Vietnam.
I kept thinking...where is Vietnam again? Will they have organic milk or any milk at all there? What about sandwich bread and dentists? What if there are no Christmas trees or internet?
I felt the same terror when I exited the Saigon airport this past May with my toddler and 9 week old. The heat and humidity left me breathless, and even though I had researched and packed and prepared, I was still stunned. I couldn't believe where I was standing.
And now, five months in, this territory is no longer completely uncharted, and I did, as everyone warned me, fall in love with Vietnam, and our post in particular. (And if you are curious, there is awesome, free-range organic milk, french bread galore, good dentists, Christmas trees and quite nice internet).
I am by no means an expert on this whole FS life, and I know we each have to find our own way, but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. And I really do think that you will look back on this Flag Day post in one year and be amazed at how much you have accomplished in a year. And I will remain hopeful and confident you will thrive there, as I am thriving here.
Welcome to the sisterhood - I really do think you will like it here with us, and in your future home.