Photo credit: USMC via Flickr
In a way I feel like the Anthony Bourdain of public service, going from agency to agency every few years and seeing how taken-for-granted the different cultures are. Trying to make things just a little better because otherwise I couldn't get through the day, it would all be meaningless.
What I want to say is this. When you're on the inside, and you're trying so hard, it can feel so lonely and difficult. It can seem like everybody else is just fine, and you're the only one sort of sitting there bewildered and disoriented, like Bourdain in the transgender bar in Thailand when the guy dancer came up and kissed him with Day-Glo lipstick.
What I want to say is that you, and your hard work and the fact that you truly give a damn, are not alone. Do not feel that way at all. Secretly, without saying a word, you have a ton, a ton of support.
Keep fighting the good fight. One day you and your colleagues will be sitting together at some beachfront bar in Fort Lauderdale, drinking and looking out at the waves. And you'll be smiling.
* All opinions my own.
More about the photo: Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., Lemuel C. Shepherd, and William T. Clement, Okinawa, 22 May 1945. The caption on this photograph reads "Watching Their Troops-As the Marines drive toward the capital city of Naha, leaders watch the action from an observation post on a rocky ledge. They are, (left to right): Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., commanding the Tenth Army; Major General Lemuel C. Shepherd, commanding general of the Sixth Marine Division, and his assistant commander, Marine Brigadier General William T. Clement." From the Photograph Collection (COLL/3948), Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections. Official USMC photograph.