This post is a little heavy and personal, if you're here for the usual Friday's Fancies come back next week. Otherwise I commend you for indulging my need to document this major moment.
I can't believe it, but the day is finally here. Today is my last day at work, tomorrow morning I pack the car and begin the trek to Louisiana. As I've been wrapping up my life in DC I can't help but feel a pang of sadness at the closing of another chapter of my life.
It has been a dream of mine to live in DC since I visited the first time with my Dad at 9 years old. Coming back for Obama's first inauguration in 2009 only solidified my hopes to one day make this city my home. A mere 6 months later I was back for an internship, and less than 6 months after that I made this city my home. Though I didn't arrive for good until age 21, I feel that this town is really where I "grew up" or rather, where I grew into an adult. I'm sure all of you know the feeling, those first few years out of college are pretty tough, but I've made it through and I'm so glad I did it in this city.
At one point DC almost broke me. I almost gave up. After a year of being verbally abused nine hours a day by our wonderful constituents, we lost our election and I was laid off. Being laid off less than a year after starting my job was tough, but when the months of networking and endless hours writing cover letters weren't paying off it got tougher. I was rejected from four different positions in 24 hours, I was going into debt, and babysitting odd jobs in attempts to support myself but it wasn't working, I was overwhelmed and then you kicked me in the ass with a parking ticket. Looking back now it seems silly that a $100 parking ticket send me spiraling like it did, but I let my self utterly fall apart that night. But somehow I got through the weekend. Monday morning I woke up bound and determined that I wasn't going down like that, my dreams were not going to be dashed so easily, and you know what? They weren't. Two weeks later I had a great job, I built myself back up and I took on new challenges like an old pro.
While growing into an adult here has been hard, it's also been wonderful. In the world of politics DC often has negative connotations, but those of us who make this city our home know there is so much more to this city than our divisive politics. The diversity of this city pervades all aspects of the culture. The food, the people, the history, this city always has something new and exciting to offer. The beauty of the Capitol building often takes my breath away, and I'll always appreciate my time working in the halls of Congress. Lazy weekend days spent at Eastern Market have been a favorite past time, as have the nights on H Street, and the weekends playing tourist. I met some amazing people who are going to accomplish some amazing things. I worked harder and learned more than I thought I could. Most importantly, I discovered a deep love for a good Gin and Tonic at happy hour.
Not only am I leaving this wonderful city behind, but I'm leaving some amazing friends. My two lovely roommates have been an amazing support system for me over the last few years, and I really couldn't ask for better friends. I'll miss you girls more than you know. KJ--- our morning rides to the hill have often been a high point in my day. I'll miss starting my day with our shared laughter at the inappropriateness of the Kane Show, the unpredictable DC traffic and your contagious good moods. BW--- I cannot really fathom life without you down the hall. You've always been there, every day, for the last 14 years. We've basically walked the same path since 6th grade, and for the first time ever our lives are going in different directions. While I can't help but be excited for this next stage, for both of us, it's bittersweet. I miss you both (and Oliver) already.
As I pack up and move on, I'm closing the chapter on this defining few years of my life. I came to DC with a naive dream to change the world and help people. Now I leave with the best memories, matured to what "real life" is like and a plan to change the world and help people.
DC. Thank you. I'll see you in 2016.