On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Testing... testing... Can anyone hear me?

Two truths and a lie:

1. I am moving. In 1.5 weeks. Leaving NYC behind, leaving friends I love, a boy I like, an apartment I can afford.

2. I am becoming a diplomat. As in, I will be a representative of the US government abroad. I will help people who want to come to the US apply for visas. I will help Americans arrested for drug possession abroad keep from starring in Locked Up Abroad.

3. I am running the Marine Corps Marathon in 9 weeks. After a solid summer of training, I'm ready to run this race again come October.

You guessed it: #3 is a lie. Numbers one and two, however... very true.

NFAQ (Not Frequently Asked Questions):

What does this mean for me, Tracy? Well, come on, nothing really, now does it? You get the same half-assed, ever-more-occasional blog posts that you ever did. When I have something to say about running, I'll say it here.

Is yours going to become a blog just about your travels? What this doesn't mean for you: I'm not going to start writing a foreign service blog. In other words, NO. This is a running blog and it will focus solely on my running so help me. I imagine some of those runs will be done in far-flung places (yikes! I guess I might want to buy a treadmill, maybe?), but just like I don't show you intimate details of my current life, you don't need to worry that I'll be showing you intimate details of my future life.

Where will you be going? Fuck if I know. I've signed on for "worldwide availability." The basic timeline is that I'm moving to DC at the beginning of September for several months of training. I'll be in DC for somewhere between three months and a year, depending on whether I'm given language training or not. I find out in mid-October where I'll be going for my first tour of two years.

Can I come and visit you abroad? HELL, YES. I don't even know who you are and the answer is yes. You have a place to stay in my apartment. (I mean, your tax dollars will be in part paying for it, so...)

Tracy, get back to the running. Basically, you're like a total failure at running and that's why you transferred your MCM bib, right? This feels like more of a statement than a question. What are you getting at? Do you suck, or what? Ah, yes, there's a question. Yes, yes, I do. When it comes to running, I suck.

Will you be getting a dog? YES, hopefully. Maybe this one will even run with me sometimes, unlike my lazy-ass last dog.

How did this come to be? As anyone who cares already knows, for the past several years I've been an academic. And I hated it. My students are amazing, being able to dig in Egypt is amazing, my colleagues are great people, I had a great and stable tenure track job, and I despised the research. I found it completely uninteresting and isolating. The problem is, as an academic, research is supposed to take up 50-75% of your time. So, I had to find something else to do. And the foreign service was hiring. So I applied, I tested, I got a security clearance, and now I'm moving.

Any questions? If not, you'll hear from me again once, you know, I've actually had done anything related to running worth mentioning.

20 comments:

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    1. Also, good luck. I hope it's incredible.

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    2. THANK YOU!! I'm excited, and sad, and nervous, and scared, pretty much in equal measure.

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  2. This is so beyond exciting! I'm jealous. I absolutely LOVE DC. Would be moving there but I'm too cheap.

    I wish you would right about your travels and stuff. You're likely to do some cool stuff.

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    1. Thank you! The best part of the foreign service? My housing is provided, gratis. (The worst part? My salary, but yeah.)

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  3. I find this so inspiring! So many people I know are miserable in academia (although most of them don't have TT jobs) but feel trapped in it. (I heard the phrase "the golden handcuffs" the other day -- first world problem amirite?)

    Anyway, congrats, and please keep writing!

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    1. YES! It was this total conflict between how I was supposed to feel (lucky! ecstatic! so happy!) and how I actually felt. Like, I couldn't dare complain to any of my underemployed friends because of how ungrateful I would sound about my unhappiness.

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  4. You signed up for worldwide availability? I'm sure it's a paradise they'll be sending you to.

    Very happy for you, though. Enjoy your sojourn in DC.

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    1. I had no choice. I had to sign many papers saying that I'm worldwide available, flexible in where they send me, and willing to publicly support the US govt and their policies. So yeah, you'll pretty much be reading about my running in delightful Afghanistan (or Syria?) soon.

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  5. Can't wait to see where you are posted! This is so exciting.

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    1. I totally feel like Miranda in that episode of Sex and the City where she found out the sex of her baby and had to fake excitement about it. And now I feel embarrassed that I just made a Sex and the City reference.

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  6. ahhhhhh! you know Locked Up Abroad is the stuff of my nightmares. It makes me paralyzed to leave my house. Cheers to you, this sounds like an incredible adventure! Maybe I will still get to meet up with you in DC. Hand me a beer at mile 20.

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    1. I will be disappointed if we do not meet in October. Even though KateKirk and I are now evidently running the 10k. AFTER PARTY!!!

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  7. You are awesome. Congrats on everything finally falling into place, what an adventure.

    QUESTION: Are you taking your cat?

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    1. Unfortunately, yes :/ What a jackass.

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    2. Someone does not seem to like her cat.....

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    3. Someone does not seem to like her cat.....

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  8. This is so completely awesome. Love it!

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  9. WOW!! Your pretty awesome Tracy! I wish you much good luck. I think you are going to be a kick ass representative of the US government abroad. A diplomat!!!

    xoxoxox

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  10. I am so excited for you! I can't wait to hear more about your training and where you end up... but not on here. Since this is a running blog, as you said! ;)

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