Monthly Archives: July 2013

I should really start taking photos of the places I go.

I was going to wait until Tuesday to write a post commemorating my two-month anniversary with this city, but I’m feeling thoughtful and I’m feeling reflective and I feel like writing.

Right now I’m watching Innerspace, which is a movie I remember having watched with my sister on TV when we were kids. I have only vague memories of the film, mainly that Martin Short was in it. I’m not sure why I knew who Martin Short was, but not who Meg Ryan or Dennis Quaid were. Clearly we watched this movie before my obsession with You’ve Got Mail began and before the remake of The Parent Trap came out, or else I would have remembered them as well.

I spent the afternoon in Georgetown. My plan was to find a park I had read about, called Dumbarton Oaks Park and spend the afternoon there reading and perhaps even writing. I’m trying to find “my place.” I spend almost all my time alone, but I still long for a place to be truly alone with my thoughts, without distractions, where I can just think and daydream and imagine. I need a place to be solitary, to be alone with my thoughts, a quiet place to bring myself peace of mind. I’m still searching for that here, and although this particular park is rather inconvenient to get to, I can see the potential. Unfortunately, I spent too much time perusing shops and didn’t manage to make it to the park before the threatening storm clouds above me decided to burst.

I’m already used to sudden torrential downpours, and I’m starting to actually love them. On my walk back to the metro, the skies opened and not one, but two different people asked if they could shelter under my umbrella for a few seconds as I walked the direction they were going. The first girl was one of a group of students or college-aged interns who jumped under my umbrella as she asked if she could. I said, of course, and we introduced ourselves laughing before she ran off to huddle under an awning with the rest of her group. Next a woman who was cowering under a tree with her friend called out and asked if she could walk under my umbrella for a second to get to the parking lot across the way. “It’s just my hair will get ruined,” she said. Her hair was beautiful and she wasn’t prissy about it, it was just that she had clearly just gotten it done and was on her way out for the evening. Her friend laughed and ran to take cover and I walked with the woman until she made a run for it as well.

I love summer rainstorms. Being outside in a storm makes me happy in a really odd way. Most people hate rain. I don’t really care much for it when it lasts all day, lazily drizzling for hours and hours, which makes going outside a nuisance. But when rain does what it often does here, which is that it downpours for several minutes in huge drops. It’s impossible to stay dry even with an umbrella. When you’re soaking wet and have to carry your shoes for fear of them being washed down a storm drain, the only thing you can do is laugh. So laugh I do, and so short rainstorms actually make me happier than sunny days.

I bought stationary today. I have 100 Jane Austen themed post cards, and 20 gorgeous note cards to send out, so please please let me know your address if you’d like to exchange letters.

It’s still not easy, being here, but I think I’m starting to feel more comfortable. The more time I spend in the city (instead of Arlington), the happier I am. So cheers to Two Months and here’s to many more.

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I’m still alive.

Hello there. Once again, I feel obliged to inform those of you that care that I am, in fact, alive.

I’ve been here a month and a half, if you can believe it. The four weeks of training for work, which once seemed like an incredibly long time, are now over, and in the morning I will have my first day of actual non-training work. Cool.

It’s strange knowing that being here… it’s not permanent, but it’s the closest to permanent I’ve had in a long, long time. I’m here indefinitely. I could leave, if I found somewhere else to go, if I found another job or decided to go to grad school after all… More and more people keep telling me that I’ll end up having to go to grad school eventually. We’ll see, but for the time being, and for the foreseeable future, I’ll be here. It’s not like college, which though at times seemed like it would never end, was always only going to be four years.

I might be here for a year, or two years, or ten years, but the fact that there is no definite end in sight makes me feel just a bit trapped. It doesn’t help that I haven’t really felt at home here in these six weeks. Not like Bloomington, which felt like home immediately or Canterbury, a city I loved after having spent mere hours there when I was 17.

I won’t say I’m not happy here. I don’t know yet. Certainly at the moment, I feel a little lost. A little lonely. A little homesick. Certainly at the moment I’m wondering why the hell I decided to do this. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t find my place. It is absolutely vital that I do, or I’ll continue to be a little lost, a little lonely. I’d much rather be other things.

All my life, I’ve been pretty independent. I don’t like relying on other people. I don’t like asking for favors or help. Sometimes that gets me in to trouble, but for the most part, I’m self-sufficient. Or I thought I was. Being here, being so incredibly isolated, so unsure of myself… it’s about more than just being independent. Because I am independent. I don’t need help figuring out the Metro, yes thank you that’s what a smart phone is for. If I want to go do something, I’ll figure out what to do and how to get there. I don’t need help. I don’t need people to accompany me to the grocery, or the mall, or some stupid Fourth of July Festival at which The Verve Pipe is playing.

But it would be nice.

So… I need to put myself out there more. Talk to people. Try to make friends, which involves getting over my crippling fear of rejection, so that will be an adventure… Sometimes I just want to scream and shout because WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!

But I chose this. I could have played it safe and stayed in Indiana or Ohio. I wanted adventure. I wanted change. My favorite mantra, the one that has served me best, in multiple situations, is “no reward without risk.” I just have to push myself harder and keep doing the things that scare me. It’s easy to get stuck playing it safe, but that’s not who I want to be.

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