Celebrating six years in DC

A sampling of DC goodness.
A sampling of DC goodness.

Just like that, another year has gone by. One year ago, I made revisions to my bucket list that I started for my fourth anniversary of moving here, and in the last year I didn’t accomplish very much. I guess I need to give it another go, and set some hard deadlines for myself.

In the past year, I wouldn’t say that much big has happened in my life, but I feel I’ve grown even more as a person. Okay, I ran my first half, and my second 10-miler (pats on back). I went through a personal traumatic experience and had the support of friends and family to get me through it, and saw my family come together in tragedy and in celebration over renewed health. I took an absolutely amazing trip to Italy with my parents, and smiled through tears as my youngest cousin got married. I witnessed the joy of two different friends who got the proposals they’d been waiting for, and had to finally let go completely of someone who had been an important part of my life for years, as I reconnected with others I had been apart from for years.

So yeah, I guess that’s a lot. And if last year was about No Excuses, I think I followed through on a lot of that. I set goals for myself and accomplished them, whether it was at work, through races, or my 30 day paleo challenge. I shifted priorities as life happened, and learned to start setting boundaries for myself so that I could fuel my happiness. Most of all, I pushed myself to be fearless and to challenge myself to new adventures, new habits, and new perspectives.

As I begin my seventh year in DC, now only will I pursue my declaration “Here’s to love,” but I will remember that to get to my place, all of these experiences and moments of reflection are necessary. I will need to cry and get angry and frustrated, and I will need to question myself and others, and I will need to explore and discover and experiment, and I will need to reach and connect and take a leap of faith. I will need to trust that time does heal wounds, and that time also brings new opportunities, and a new chance at love. I will need to remember that being me, and celebrating me, is the first step at getting to where I want to be in life.

And while I’m at it, yet another revised bucket list for DC to work on this year:

  • Visit Mt. Vernon & Monticello
  • Go to Shenandoah
  • Read at the Library of Congress and the National Archives
  • Eat in a neighborhood I haven’t tried
  • See a play at Folger’s Theatre (I am this coming weekend with Sarah!)
  • Catch a show at the 9:30 Club

I think that’s a good start for now…

Thanks for being a part of my life in DC.


Four years in DC and still so much to do!

Tidal Basin
Out enjoying DC, year 1

This week marks my fourth year in DC. I’m a big milestone person, noting anniversaries, birthdays, recognitions, etc, as if I work for a card company or something. (Thankfully, I have friends who do the same, so I know I’m not alone in this.) As I think back on the four years I’ve spent here since I left school and Ohio a semester early, I realize I’ve been through a lot, but that I have so much more coming my way. Journey with me?

Since February 2007:

  • I’ve lived in three apartments and had four roommates
  • I’ve had two jobs, three titles, and six (and a handful of dotted line) bosses
  • I continued a long-distance relationship, and broke it off
  • I’ve rekindled old friendships, made many new ones, and lost friends I thought were for life
  • I’ve consulted for 2 amazing entrepreneurs whose companies I believe in
  • I’ve held five parties, all but one Cajun-themed
  • I’ve watched the Saints win the Superbowl and LSU win the BCS Championship
  • I’ve gone through two couches, two mattresses, two comforters, two shower curtains, and two lamps.
  • I’ve gone kayaking, hiking, museuming, and attended tweetups
  • I’ve run my first three races here and scheduled my next two
  • I’ve watched the July 4 fireworks every single year, either on a rooftop or on the Mall
  • I heard Ted Kennedy speak, voted in person for the first time, attended President Obama’s presidential inauguration, done a West Wing tour, and a Capitol tour.

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Pickling the Beast

blossoms09Yesterday was a beautiful, yet windy day. I met up with some friends on the mall for the end of the Cherry Blossom parade and then we headed down to the blooms themselves. It was packed with people of course, but the weather was just perfect for it all. The flowers were gorgeous as always, although I noticed they were a little less bright pink than usual.

Just a couple hours out in the wind and sun was tiring for all of us, so after a big lunch, we headed back to my area, and stopped at the zoo for a little bit before chilling at my place for the rest of the night have some beers, watch a little Dane Cook, and then the Final Four. I have no allegiance to any of the teams, so no comment on the outcomes. We did watch the second half of The Sandlot though, hence the title of this post.

img_7165Today is another beautiful day, so I plan to make use of that and do another good run outside and enjoy the weather before suffering through some apartment cleaning and laundry. Check out the pics from yesterday.


Being in DC right now

img_7064I realized I never really wrote about all of the inauguration excitement. For those of you who live in DC, you know how crazy things were and how the general atmosphere of city was just heightened and everyone was (and still is) in a better mood than usual.

For weeks I had debated whether or not I would actually make my way through the crowds and the cold down to the festivities, and in the end, my friend got us tickets on the Capitol lawn, so that sealed the deal. I woke up at 6am, and after my friend picked me up and we parked his car back in Dupont Circle, we literally jogged to where our gate was. I was bundled up in about 6,000 layers and wearing snow boots, so by the time we got there, I felt like I had had a complete workout. And then the cold set in, of course.

A few hours after waiting in the blue gate line just to move a couple of blocks, we made it onto the lawn with time to spare. We didn’t have a direct view of Obama, and were cut off by the corner of the building, but we were close up to a jumbotron, and being on the lawn still made it feel pretty cool. The moment was awesome, and I was glad I had ventured out. That evening, I conked out on my couch, much like I had done 2 days earlier after attending the Lincoln Memorial concert. Being out in the cold is exhausting! I doubt I would have lasted very long at a ball or other shindig.

Now that Obama is President Obama, it’s great to look forward to the work he’ll do to bring about a fresh face to our country – and he’s already gotten a great start with things like repealing the global gag rule, passing the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and pushing for a stimulus package. Not to mention, he has a sweet White House website, thanks to my former colleague, the amazing designer, Matt Ipcar.

It’s pretty cool to live in DC right now…and I’m sure it will only get better!

Apartment search is over

…finally! I was starting to freak out, too. There were some options that I thought were good and fell through, one in particular, and I was starting to get worried because every building I was calling had no more August availability. In the end, I got a studio in a great place in Cleveland Park, and I’m paying a lot more than I wanted, but it’s the only thing that’s out there. I don’t think I could have waited much longer to get something at the price I wanted, in an area I wanted. I’m pleased with the place and the area this time, so that’s really important to me. The money will work itself out – I’m a star budgeter when I need to be, and I know what sacrifices can be made. It also means I should try to get some freelance work going again- anyone know of anything I can do?

So that means only a few weeks left in my current place. Yay for being able to have my own space and not worry about my stuff being messed up or doors being left unlocked at all hours!

I finally went to the batting cages this weekend when Dan and I went to Syracuse. I had been wanting to for awhile. And boy is it harder than it looks! I did the slowest possible level of baseball, and it took me a few rounds until I actually hit a few. I was much better at the slow softball. And now I’m crazy sore in my arms and back. Another first- we went to a drive-in movie. It was pretty cool, and cheap compared to today’s theater costs. We saw Hancock – it was not bad at all. And the last fun thing we did was stop in Hershey, PA on the way home today. We did the Factory “tour” and then got a few things in the gift shop and had massive sundaes and should have just shared one.

Next weekend: Baltimore aquarium and Orioles game