Foreign Affairs is Like Smoking, Once You Start it’s hard to Quit

My Father had arrived at posting, tired, but ready to work. Mum and I had arrived 6 weeks earlier so that I could start school, it was a little insane arriving on posting without the actual diplomat. Technically, you are on post yet, and well, the current Ambassador hadn’t even vacated the house yet. Let’s just say, AWKWARD.
But that is for another story.

About a week after my Father joined us, we finally moved into our home, or the O.R, if you want to get technical.

I was sitting down on the lanai, and my Father and I were chatting about the politics of the country. I finally told him, I wanted to join the U.N. He looked stunned, and said “Please don’t, it will suck you in, and you will never leave.” I didn’t really understand what he meant, but I told him, that was my plan.

He never wanted any of us to work for the government, or any bureaucratic organization such as the U.N, but he humoured me.

When I finally began working the Department. It was grueling. I worked long hours, and never felt I got any rest, or got any further, but I kept going.

It wasn’t until I bumped into an old friend from posting, who happened to be a dip kid as well, but grew up to be a doctor. Looked at me and said “Foreign Affairs is like smoking, you should never start, once you do, you will never quit.”

I was stunned. I had never thought about quitting, but when I turned 30, I began counting down to retirement, which was still 25 years away.

There is something pretty tragic about counting down until your retirement. Aren’t you supposed to love what you do?

And  yes, when I finally got enough courage to quit, I had withdrawal symptoms, and they weren’t pleasant.

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