Apologies in advance: this is an entirely melodramatic post.
Imagine my consternation when I find out at 11:20 pm on a Thursday that my bidlist is out. MY bidlist. The bidlist I've been waiting for since September 2009. (Because, really, as soon as you find out your first post you start dreaming of the next one.)
I put out feelers to colleagues working in EST-friendly time zones to see if anyone would send me the list, but nothing yet. I have decided I am above getting dressed and going in to the Consulate at midnight to get the list. But just barely. And only because I am going to be down near the Consulate tomorrow morning anyway for something, so I will just go then if I don't have it by then.
Stupid time zones! Stupid weekends that don't coincide with the rest of the world! (And I mean that in the nicest possible way.)
So while I'm waiting with barely-contained excitement/anxiety to see the list, I am savoring these last few moments of "what-if?"
Because once I see the list, there's no turning back. There's no more dreaming of that perfect post or hearing of some far-off place and doing research and finding out it's my new favorite perfect post. It's the end of naivete and dreaming. It's the beginning of reality. My next few years will be limited to what's on the list. All of a sudden there's a due date and a realistic time frame of when I'll find out my next post.
I am perfectly aware that I may be disappointed, having built up in my mind what this list will contain. I know my top choice is probably not going to work for me for language reasons. I know that some of my top five also will probably not work because the Consular sections are quite small.
I also know that the list may contain some gems that I had previously not considered.
I will not be sharing much of the bidding process on this blog, but here's an idea of what my next job will be, based on job/training/language requirements and restrictions. I will be working as a Consular officer for at least half if not the entire next tour. It will be in an Arabic, French, or English speaking country or at a post that has Consular positions that don't require language training in the local language. I will be in DC for 6-26 weeks of training beforehand, depending on where I go and whether I need a top-up in French. It will likely be another two year post.
And as I write this, a friend just let me know he has an Excel version of the list, which he's sending me as I write this. So here goes nothing. The end of innocence.