Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Modern Minister's Guide to Marriage - Part 1

I'm a big believer in love. As for the awesome parties that people call weddings, don't even get me started on how much I love those. These past three months, however, I've had a chance to experience love and the process of marriage through the weddings of six friends, all of whom decided to have a friend officiate their wedding. And in two of those weddings, that friend was me!

Part 1: Michelle & Ryan - 17 May 2014

Ryan was the new kid who moved into our neighborhood at the beginning of high school. He quickly befriended everyone in the neighborhood with his witty personality and his easy smile. Our time in high school included shenanigans at the bus stop and summer days in his backyard pool. I even had my first kiss (not with him) in his garage. We lost touch a bit in college, but when I moved to DC in 2009 we got in touch and I was able to replace one of his outgoing housemates. We then became housemates (and trivia teammates) as I discovered DC and embarked on my new career path. When I left DC to move to Italy, he moved to San Francisco, where he fell in love.

Ryan and Michelle graciously invited me to their wedding in San Diego and I was super pumped to attend. I got to see a bunch of old high school classmates and catch up with some DC friends as well.

One of our mutual DC friends Rachel, acted as the officiant for the wedding. I paid extra-close attention as I knew I'd have to do the same within a few weeks. Rachel kept a great balance between seriousness and levity, including some long legal definitions concerning marriage (she and Ryan went to law school together). She did an amazing job and I may or may not have taken actual written notes during a wedding ceremony.

Congratulations Michelle and Ryan!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I'm Going to Be a Diplomat!

Today might be one of the most significant days of my life.

Eight days since I found out I failed my last-chance Spanish test and finally gave up on the idea of being a diplomat,
313 days since I finished my contract at Banco Santander,
508 days since I received my security clearance,
596 days since I passed the Foreign Service Oral Exam, and
854 days since I signed up begin the Foreign Service application process,

on a day when my optimism on finding a job (much less a career) was starting to wane just a bit,

I was blindsided with an email from the State Department, calling me up for a Foreign Service training class, the last one I would be eligible for before I expired off of the hiring register.

I got very lucky, but then again, as my friend Zach told me, I was pretty unlucky to go through this process right in the middle of the Sequester, so the universe owes me one.

I'm very thankful for the people who have helped me through a fun but pretty challenging year of my life: Jenn, Zach, Colin, Valerie and my two very supportive parents. I'm thankful for the people who helped me prepare for different aspects of the Foreign Service application process, especially Sara, Alex, Sarah, Valerie, Richard, Faith and my stern but effective proof reader Naomi.

Gracias a Fátima, Ana, Fernando, Julie y Santiago por ayudar mi español, algo que aún ha de mejorarse.

WHATS NEXT: Training (A-100 in State Department speak) isn't until June 30, so I'm going to spend two months or so in San Diego attending some weddings, running up the mileage on my bike, surfing and packing. After that, I'll be moving to DC to start my training to be an Economic Officer in the US Foreign Service. Depending on where they're sending me after, I might be in DC anywhere from three months to a year. Then, off to represent my country at a US embassy somewhere in the world, so stay tuned for a whole new type of adventure on my blog!