The Foreign Service Journal - March 2014 - page 40

40
MARCH 2014
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
A “TRAILING”
SPOUSE?
I
am a trailing spouse.
This isn’t a diagnosis for my own mid-life crisis or
some existential metaphor for my relationship status.
No, this is what I’m called, thanks to my dear husband’s
Foreign Service position.
To be more specific and, I suppose, far less incrimi-
nating, it’s a term assigned to me by way of my hus-
band’s job, if I really had to blame somebody. (But who’s
blaming anybody in this career?) Thus, as I haul my
worldly belongings from one continent to another, updating
my Facebook location status as often as some do their relation-
ships, I find myself thrown into the unexpected role of “trailing
spouse.”
This lifestyle certainly does have its perks. The government
goes to great lengths to ensure the stability of our family (and
our future family’s) life. Housing is provided, cost-of-living
adjustments are accounted for, and luxuries like dishwashers
and lawn mowers are supplied to provide some semblance
Jessie Bryson has accompanied her husband, Barrett Bryson, who
joined the Foreign Service in 2010, to Dar es Salaam by way of Guang-
zhou and Washington, D.C. As a writer and photographer, she is active
both online and in her local community. She keeps a diary of her obser-
vations about overseas life at
FEATURE
A millennial commentator shares her reaction to joining the ranks of the
Foreign Service community.
BY J ESS I E BRYSON
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