And Know the Place for the First Time

Above is part of my once and future path to work.  I get off at Smithsonian and walk around 15 minutes.  Not bad.  The gravel part is like Al Asad.  Otherwise, there are few similarities.

What you do is a truer reflection of your values than what you say or even what you truly think you believe.  My pattern of choices always brings me back to the same core skills and keeps me in the FS, where my idiosyncrasies are not merely tolerated but occasionally rewarded.

When I volunteered to go to Iraq, I figured this would be my last FS assignment.  After that I could retire honorably and do it happily.  The FS has an up or out system and I thought I would be out next year.  They screwed up my plans by promoting me and leading me into more career temptation than I could resist.  My pattern of choices once again reveals my true preferences and I will be back where I began, chaining my bike to the same parking meter, running on the same Mall path and lifting weights at the same Gold’s Gym, but doing different work.  I accepted the position of director of the policy group at International Information Programs.  I will move to a new office in the same building – from director of IIP/S (speakers) to director of IIP/P (policy).  I will just make the move via a sojourn in Iraq and I am content with both the journey and the destination.  I have lots of friends there.”We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

TS Elliott stopped too soon.  We only know the place until we set off again.  Someday I will be finished, but not today.