However, after announcing the last Optional Talking Point WAY back when ..., I was surprised with the low amount of submissions I received as so many people were finally getting excited again about the Round-Up. So I put a tickler out online and even extended the deadline. A few times.
A lot of the responses regarding this particular blog topic were actually surprising to me. With some people saying that they just didn't know what to turn in this time, so they didn't send me a link. And others telling me that they never write anything that would have them hesitating to press the word publish. Oh ...
See, I had read some amazing posts from so many of my FS friends over the past year. Posts that were thought provoking. Posts that went viral. Posts that even contained the word nipple. I really assumed that this was going to be an easy topic to just send in. And that's when I realized that I made the all too familiar mistake of assuming. For what I meant, wasn't exactly what I wrote. I mean, it was ... but in MY mind, the ideas about potential blog posts seemed far more simple than I apparently made them out to be. Mea culpa. I have to take the responsibility on this one!
With my husband departing on his unaccompanied tour to Afghanistan, familial responsibilities, summer with three kids at home, newly elected PTA officer at my girls elementary school, major stomach virus, and life getting in the way, I unintentionally took a "short" hiatus from getting this latest FS BRU published. Though once I was ready to publish it, I decided to entirely scrap it and start anew.
So here we meet again. However, before I announce the Optional Talking Point for the next FS BRU, let me quickly highlight those blog authors who so kindly submitted their posts eons ago ... and give them the limelight that they rightly deserve.
The (No Longer) Freelancing Researcher writes about A Lifetime ago, and yet just yesterday.
Natasha is struggling with the uncertainties of FS life. She's anxious to get things going and loves to plan ahead, but on the other hand she spends a lot of time questioning the choices she's made. As a result, she rarely feels like she's appreciating the present moment.
Erica in Uganda shares her honest thoughts about second tour bidding. Although the foreign service is a great life and they feel lucky to be in it, they have learned they can have and voice their preferences about where in the world they want to serve.
In-Flight Movie in Belize gives us a beautifully written post about self reflection.
Sara can't ignore the real Ethiopia now, after living in Addis Ababa and experiencing the poverty first hand.
Blogging about how hard it is to be honest ... is well, hard. As Meredith in Conakry shows us while she almost outs her blog as a fraud!
Spectrummy Mummy decided to tell us how just how hard things have really been ... as she gives us The Whole Story.
A Fisher out of Water admits to being Imperfect.
Nomads by Nature went on one HECK of a safari ... and lifed to tell about it. Next time, stay in the car!
Sometimes it's just not easy to put a positive spin on something ... though as Erica in Iceland shows us, she sure did try!
It's always good to have those who you can vent to, so you don't use your blog as your outlet (unlike me). Life Is A Zoo in the Jungle has those peeps ... so she only shares that of which she's comfortable. For now ...
Caitlin in Bogota wrote a "this is how it really is" post regarding the EFM work situation at her post. She tried to be fair and not just make it a gripe sessions, but also let people know some of the rude awakenings they received.
It's hard to believe that there are things people don't like about the Foreign Service ... (insert sarcastic eye roll here) ... though surprisingly Lisa in Tijuana, Mexico could only come up with five!
Yes, we are STILL talking about Nipplegate! Amazing support for the wackiest FS debacle in
Everybody needs their happy place. Right Connie?
I. Love. This. Amazing post from Well, That Was Different ... In Which I Learn To Follow My Own Advice
No Sadie ... you're never wrong to complain! And welcome back to the States. For now ...
She loves it ... she loves it not ... she loves it ... she loves it not. Heather in Cairo does a little soul searching after her first six months at post.
It is never easy to see your child have any type of medical issues ... but Sara's son does. And writing is a very therapeutic way for her to deal with it.
Some FS bloggers write solely about their profession. Some solely about their personal life. But when the two cross and you've never written about the other, it can often feel dishonest. Like for Alex, at Travel Orders, when her father passed away, and later when her husband was diagnosed with cancer.
Michele, who is finally in Amman, Jordan kindly gives the Airlines honest ideas on what could make traveling even a smidgen easier, rather than more and more annoying as the days go by.
Unless you live in a border post like Becky did in Mexico, it's hard to imagine just how she was feeling when she wrote this eloquent post...
Sunny in Belgium asks the question, Am I Mom Enough?
Narra at Five G's in Mexico, tell us five very honest things about herself.
As we now get back to our regularly scheduled program, the next edition of the FS BRU will be out on Friday, August 17th. And the Optional Talking Point is ... your current post!
With the bid list recently released, there are TONS of questions flying around the blogosphere about schools, housing, security, driving, household help, travel opportunities, EFM opportunities, religious affiliations, etc, etc, etc. SO ... let's help each other out. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write 5 Pros and 5 Cons about your current post. This is not limited to overseas as many bloggers live domestically as well! Depending on how many submissions I get at once, I may break it up by region ... I'll keep you posted!
Of course, should you already have something written about your current post OR you just want to submit a link that has nothing to do with the optional talking point ... no problem!
As always, send your links to email@example.com by Monday, August 13th.