This post is dedicated to my mom and everyone who is discovering that post-commute Irene is anti-social or at the fitness center.
Today it rained. Hardly noteworthy in Seattle, or my homeland of Washington State, but this morning it felt inspiring and exciting. Because I’m in a new city, the other side of the country, and finally something seemed normal to me. Rain.
To understand this newfound appreciation for rain in the summer, I have to explain the past month of my life. Less than a month ago, I had a phone interview that I didn’t know was a phone interview. Then, a few days later on a Friday, while driving down to visit my sister in Vancouver for the weekend, I was offered a 3 month fellowship with Faith in Public Life. I said yes and that I could start in 9 days.
9 days is nothing if you are staying in the same city, or general area, but Faith in Public Life (FPL as we call it in the office) is in Washington, D.C. Saying yes meant packing up my house in Seattle, figuring out where I would live in D.C., tying up all the loose ends, and saying goodbye to the people I love and who love me. But, instead of turning my car around, I spent a great weekend with my sister and her boyfriend because they are people I love. We ate great food cooked at their home, discovered new wineries, and just enjoying each others company (perks of having a sister best friend). I drove home on Sunday and announced to my faith community I was moving.
While still in Vancouver, I posted that I was moving via Facebook, that I needed housing, and the United Methodist connectional system did it’s thing. Hours after my post, I had a lead that turned into affordable housing for the duration of the internship and living with some amazing justice-seeking Methodists. God is good.
Back to the update: On Monday I had a pretty full docket. I had to pack, clean, said good-byes, leave my Leo with my parents, get my haircut by Thursday night as my flight was on Friday. I had friends who make sure I ate, who packed my stuff, who held me when I had my moments of holy shit I’m moving and leaving my life, a mom who helped out every single day, and a dad who is a total boss at moving. The thing about community is that they carry you when you need them the most, even when it’s bittersweet. On Friday, I held Leo for the last time for a few months and my parents dropped me off at the airport. My good friends were also traveling, so I got to spend some more time with people I treasure.
I arrived in D.C. Friday night and it was hot as hell. (I imagine that if I did believe in a hell, it would be humid like the first days I had in D.C.) I saw friends from college and sort of watched a Nationals game, spent an afternoon with a friend from home where I bought a romper, and then moved into my room in Alexandria, VA. August 15th was my first day of work. I figured out the Metro thanks to my host family slash roommates, found a salad for lunch, amazingly made it back to Virginia that night.
In many ways, my life is completely different. There is no snuggly pup to hug when I need one, but I don’t live alone and have company when I need it. I spend over 2 hours commuting every day, I eat simply unlike what I was doing in Seattle, I joined the run club at FPL where I can do under 9 minute mile, and I’m getting used to the heat and humidity, but only because every place I go has air conditioning. I also work with some amazing people who have been supportive in this phase of my life through food recommendations, listening and suggesting ways to pitch in, Gatorade after run club, and playing Biggie at the right moments.
But, I haven’t found a good coffee place close enough to work. I have one for long breaks, but in a pinch there is a Starbucks. I miss layering my clothing, being able to wear my hair down, wearing all my makeup without the threat of looking like Marilyn Manson at the end of the day, walking Seward Park with Leo, spontaneous dinners with my parents, and seeing my friends. I also miss the rain.
But today it rained and it felt like a little piece of home came to the D.C. Metro Area. It wasn’t anything to write home about this morning (beyond complaining on social media) and I was disappointed.When I got to FPL, I made sure I should watch the grey skies with the rain falling gently down from the comfort of my desk. I even grabbed a hot soy latte from Starbucks and it felt calming.
On my way home via the metro, it started raining a little. As I got on my bus to get back from the metro station, it started pouring. The people on the bus where not happy. I just smiled, opened my large purse, put on my button-up, took off my glasses, and put up my hair. I was giddy getting off the bus and let the rain fall on my face, it felt good and refreshing. I was soaked by the time I made it to my building, but I felt alive, enjoying every drop that ran down my face. I love it here, but little reminders of home will hold me through until I can actually move my life, aka Leo, here.
This is my life update: I am in D.C., walking in the rain, loving D.C., making new memories, enjoying new and old friends, and figuring out my career. I can’t wait to see what the next month of my life looks like.