My time in ACS came to a close today, and now I'm suddenly POL -- or in other words, I've abruptly gone from being the last person evacuated from post in the event of a disaster, the one most necessary in a crisis, to being the first one on the plane. Three years of consular work, over. If you think that's a weird feeling, you're right. Luckily, I've got a long weekend ahead of me to settle into the idea.
I've been trying to reflect on the things I've learned in consular. Maybe more patience. Definitely more humility when dealing with rules and bureaucracy. I've stretched the 'E' side of my personality, for all you MBTI fans. Those are all good things. It's been a heavy three years though. This last year in particular, it seemed like I was proverbially sprinting nearly the entire time, to the point where returning home at night was merely a stage setter for an epic struggle between my desire to sleep and my desire to eat. That part I won't miss. But watching the FSNs 'sprint', too -- that part I won't forget. If I'm ever in a position of management, I hope I can make things better for them.
So, sure, POL work. Bring it on. We'll see what I learn this time.