Thursday, September 13, 2012


In the two months that we've been back in America, I've learned a lot.

I've learned a lot about homesickness for a place that isn't really home. I've learned a lot about how the deaths of people close to your family affects you. I've learned a lot about feeling helpless.

Because while I'm here, safe in America with my dad home and my family together, all around me everything feels like it's starting to fall to pieces.

Not here, of course, but over there in the country that I used to call home. In a region filled with danger and violence and scary things that aren't always fair. In the past week, my family has been affected by more deaths and violence than I ever had in my whole life.

We might not know all these people in Libya and Egypt and Afghanistan and Iraq directly, but in the world of the foreign service, everyone is a little part of your family. We've all been through similar circumstances. We've all been through similar moves. We all know what it's like to get up and leave our whole lives behind so that we can serve our country in a small way.

Maybe that's why I feel so helpless. While I'm here, enjoying my unquestionable safety, I have friends that are over there across an ocean living next to an embassy that could possibly be attacked today- or tomorrow. I feel like no matter what anyone does, these people that I've come to love are in a dangerous position, and I want them out.

Those people that died in the embassy attacks in Libya could've been my dad. He could've gotten the same post they did and been protecting an embassy just like he's supposed to, and he could've died. But this is his job. He loves it and he chose it, and we follow him through it because we love him.

The thing is, all these people that have died recently were doing their job. And it's the same job that all of my friend's parents do, and that are currently doing. It's the same job that my dad does everyday. Except now, we are fortunate enough to be in America. Where the job isn't so scary. Where the consequences of doing your job aren't so great.

I feel like since I've left, the Middle East has started to fall apart, and although it's not my real home, it's close to my heart. I've lived there and called it home for three years. I can't just forget about everything that's happening around it like others here can. I have to hold onto it and pray that Jordan can keep itself held together enough to protect all of the people close to me.

Life in the foreign service has been responsible for teaching me all these things. It's taught me about a culture and a life that I didn't know existed. It's taught about how hard it can be to say good-bye to a family member and never know when you'll see him again. It's taught me that even though some things can be so terrible, they can always be worse.

It's also taught me a lot about friendship, and about how important these memories I've made are. Because while people here have the past summer playing through their head, I have a handful of good-byes and a fist full of 'see you laters'. I have knowledge and experience that some people can only dream of having.

I'm so grateful.

I'm grateful for my dad, who serves his country without question and has taught me so much about hard work and determination. I'm grateful for Jordan, for giving my some of the best three years anyone can ask for. I'm grateful for all of those other foreign service members that are protecting our country away from our country.

Right now, although I'm in America, Jordan feels closer than it ever has before. I can't let go of it or get it out of my head. Everything that's happening over there is still affecting my mood and my day and my life.

I don't know how we became lucky enough to do all of this and experience all of this, but I'm so thankful for it.

I thought that once I got to America I would forget what it was all like. But I haven't. I still remember. I'm still learning. I'm learning more about myself here than I would have anywhere else.

So although this isn't the best post for after being away for a month, I feel that it's needed.

Jordan has given me so much. So Jordan, stay safe.


  1. We are serving now in Dhaka. The situation of the world this week is a sad one, and we all hope for peace to come. But it is such a supportive group, this Foreign Service family we have. We care about one another and the safety of those families serving.

    You have a beautiful look on life and such respect and compassion for what your parents do. We have 2 young children in this crazy lifestyle and hope they come of age with the same amazing outlook you have.

    Beautiful post, thank you.

  2. Wonderfully written. Thank you.

  3. Hannah - this is a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your feelings and perspectives. We're all hoping things in Jordan and elsewhere calm down quickly and without further incident.