It never occurred to me to recap a calendar year. I think a lot about my past—especially about how it influences the present, but reviewing it per year seems arbitrary. But everyone seems to be doing it, so why not give it a try.
2019 for me was defined by my entry into the Foreign Service. And that’s not by accident. I knew the invitation to the 199th class of new officers was coming and decided to make it my priority for this period of my life—not traveling, visiting family, or organizing events. I simply wanted to focus on, and revel in, the start of my new professional life.
However, my summary of 2019 highlights is not as straightforward as I thought it would be. There were some high highs and some low lows. I managed to cram in several nice trips and family vacations, and I lost someone I worked with closely.
January/February: three ski/snowboarding trips to Tsagkadzor, Armenia
March: received invitation to join the Foreign Service (after two years of waiting for clearances)
April: started working at the U.S. embassy in Yerevan in Human Resources. My sister and her family visited us for two weeks (for the second time)
May: my supervisor passed away unexpectedly. I took a 10-day cruise with family in the Mediterranean (Italy & Greece)
June: moved to the DC area, initially by myself, to join the Foreign Service
July: got assigned to Berlin, Germany
September: started a 10-month German language program at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Viriginia
December: my dad came to the US for the first time over Christmas