Tuesday, April 18, 2006


It's always weird to leave a place when you don't really want to leave.

When I graduated High School, I think I was the only person in my class who wasn't ready to move on. Of course, after the first few months I started to enjoy my new surroundings in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. Again, when I graduated college, I wasn't entirely ready to move on. Right after college I moved down to South Carolina and lived with my friend Chris (you can find his comments where he's named 'Mongo' but I know him as Jake, short story that I won't fill you in on). It was a short 3 months down in South Carolina but at the end I really didn't want to leave. I had a great group of friends and I had started to adapt to my surroundings, I knew how to get around etc. etc.

I had stopped in Washington D.C. on the way down to South Carolina, on the train, and as I waited for my next train, I decided to walk around Capitol Hill. It was early in the morning in early summer. The trees all had their leaves, the flowers were out. It had rained the night before. It was extremely hot and humid with a haze hanging in the air. I had police cars and joggers to keep me company, but they weren't really doing their job. The bottom line, as I passed the Rayburn House Office building on my left, the Capitol on my right, was that I said out loud to myself; "I'll be back here soon."

And I was. Soon after returning from South Carolina, I moved down to D.C. Everything that had enticed me that morning, the haze and trees, towering Capitol Building, they didn't do it for me anymore. I moved down here and I hated it. I missed South Carolina and the comfort factor. I was staying with friends in Maryland, during the day I would work on a campaign in Virginia or hand out resumes. In my free time, I would sit on a park bench in Dupont Circle and read the Post while drinking some coffee. I was easily confused about where I was at any given point. If you live in D.C. and own a car, you make about 5 u-turns every day, while I didn't own a car I found myself walking three blocks and then backtracking 2 every day.

There was very little I found appealing about this City. In a matter of months I had rented a room in Alexandria and was spending most of my time watching a too-big TV from my bed in a tiny room. I had gotten an internship on the Hill and would spend a lot of time running around the office buildings but it didn't feel like I belonged yet. I still didn't know anyone socially in the area. The amount of money you blow through in a day in D.C. is ridiculous and I was constantly counting pennies. 5-6 days of Campbell’s soup was not an odd thing. Tomato soup for breakfast/lunch was not as gross then as it seems now.

Then it happened, I had a job on the hill. I can remember most of what happened that day. It was a wonderful warm February day when I got the call. When I got that job, things started to change. I started to enjoy my surroundings. When before I had all the time in the world to get out and see things, I now had much less time but found myself catching all the sights. D.C. had been transformed into this wonderful place.

Then my job went away, and while I fell back into old patterns of missing the sights, I still was in love with D.C. and Alexandria. I had found that comfort factor again. Part of the reason I didn't like D.C. at first was that it was supposed to be the end of the line. In the course of 4 months, I had moved 6 times. It was really the lack of stability and roots that I had come to accept and actually cherish.

It's been a little under 3 years and my view of things has changed completely and predictably. I no longer cherish change but rather stability. I no longer hate D.C. but love it. I no longer want to move on, but stay. And while I say all these things, there is a wonderful and temporary opportunity for me in another state that I have taken. I leave tomorrow morning. And, again, while I write that I'm thinking of a completely different post that will never be written about music and time. How there are songs for seasons, songs for different moods, different events etc. Right now, all I can hear playing in my head and frankly on the stereo right now is Wyclef Jean -- Gone Till November.


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