Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Nostalgia-filled Week in DC

The BLAH BLAH BLAHger has spent this week in Washington, DC, for work...which has filled me with nostalgia because I began my career here about 11 years ago. I was young, eager to change the world, and loved soaking in all the beauty, culture, and fun a small big city could provide. As a congressional staffer, my salary was pathetic, but my opportunities were huge. At the time, due to limited gift bans, I never paid for a sporting event and felt like I was surrounded by power. DC is called the Hollywood for ugly people because there are so many who react to power like those respond to celebrity...seriously, it's hilarious. But as a staffer, you get used to being around bigwigs and it becomes a part of your every day.

I loved living here. I loved the cherry blossoms in spring, going to Eastern Market for the best french toast you've EVER had on a Saturday morning, seeing plays at the Warner with my roomate, and meeting friends through grad school. Did you know that Living With Lindsay was a grad school friend of mine? We met the first day of orientation...she wore a yellow dress, liked Aerosmith, was from Texas AND was an Alpha Chi Omega just like me. We hit it off instantly and have kept in touch ever since! Lindsay was a far better student than I and I'm pretty sure she enjoyed the program a heck of a lot more than me...but I digress - and don't even get me started on her bachelorette party. Ha!

Being back in DC, feeling the energy and the rush makes me miss that time in my life. But like anything, were I ever to come back, I know it would never be the same. You see, I'm old (ahem, older) now and my expectations for life are remarkably different. I enjoy spending time with friends and family...even on weeknights. I enjoy having hobbies like photography and golf, which take up a lot of time and it's still okay to embrace them. I enjoy being more involved in my church, rather than just running in and out on Sunday mornings. I enjoy owning a home (albeit a shoebox). I enjoy being able to buy things at Target and not worry that I'll break the bank. But there was a moment in time when working long hours, then heading to receptions for free food, then going to happy hour, where everyone's first question was "who do you work for" was okay and fun. I'm happy to be here and to remember that moment in time because it's certainly part of my professional history, but it's also become a part of me, too...and I love that.

The things I miss the most:

Eastern Market

The Capitol!

My super teeny apartment with Laverne and Shirley windows.Local street artists like Dan Kessler.Virginia Gold Cup races.
Meeting up with old friends.

Now that my work conference is over, I'll be staying through the weekend to play and catch up with more friends. I look forward to the rest of my time here, but know that what I've got waiting for me at home is the life that's meant for me. I encourage you all to love the life you're living and not look to greener pastures. If you're in a situation that isn't meant to be, take action and make positive changes in your life, or embrace what you've got! The choice is yours...and mine...and I love what I've got!



9 comments:

sas said...

I'm just a little sad that the "catching up with old friends photo" isn't a hot picture of me...

Beks said...

LOVE THIS! You go girl with your nostalgic writings and memoirs!

Stacey said...

Sounds like your time in D.C. has been fun, even if you are working.... I'll be heading out there in June for a work conference and will be staying through July 4th. You'll have to give me some tips on what to see and do (and eat) while there!! -- Stacey Pechan

laurelstreet said...

I've got a knock-out restaurant recommendation for you JJ while you are in D.C. - call up Obelisk Restaurant - it is a tiny Italian place, and it 'owns' one of my best food experiences outside of France and NOLA.

Glad you are enjoying the town and catching up with old friends!

Living with Lindsay said...

JJ, this almost made me cry. That's EXACTLY how I feel about DC, too. I enjoyed living there and feeling important while I was there. I loved my awesome friends I made while living there. And don't even get me started on Eastern Market. We have two framed Dan Kessler's in my house now. I did love the grad program, but I'm a dork. :)

I wouldn't trade the life I have now to go back to that, though. It's so nice to be my own person now instead of an extension of my boss. I do enjoy having free time and not having to go into the office all day on Saturday just to get caught up with everything I didn't have time to finish during the 50 hours I had already worked that week...all for so little money that I get mad just thinking about it. However, I think my living in DC eventually led me to my husband (in a crazy, random way), so I'm glad I did it. :)

I haven't been back to DC since I left, and I really should make the trip. Like you said, it just won't be the same.

Love ya!

Deidra said...

DC Rocks! I've relocated from the east coast to midwest and oh how I miss it. The midwest is great too. Lots of blue sky, but not a cherry blossom in sight. Thanks for the memories! (Love that L&S apartment!)

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Hi I am visiting via T.I.R. What a great post.

I hope you will stop by for a visit as I am currently hosting a giveaway.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I love D.C. We went last summer in July, though, when it was about 200 degrees. Whew. Next time we'll schedule a trip earlier in the year! Ha.

Nancy said...

Love your blahg name...go check mine out! I swear I just found you today...didn't copy you...

Nancy