Getting used to city living took some time. In San Diego we had to drive to go almost anywhere. Now we don’t own a car; instead, we walk or take public transportation everywhere. We get our daily steps in with little effort but it does make errands like grocery shopping a little more of an ordeal.
I thought I would share a couple things that make city living — sans car — a little bit easier.
Instacart delivers groceries from local stores in two hours. Through the website or their app, I can select the store and groceries we need each week — usually from Giant or Whole Foods. One of the Instacart shoppers grabs everything on the list and the items are delivered to our apartment in about two hours. If something on the list isn’t in stock, they send a message through the app explaining what they can replace it with. I’ve only had one incident involving an expired item being delivered. I informed Instacart and they credited my account within twenty four hours!
This is not a joke. Several weeks ago I purchased an electric scooter and have zero buyer’s remorse. I used to take the D.C. metro to work and back every single day. Between the metro bursting into flames during my commute (on more than one occasion) and it taking anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to go less than three miles, I ditched the metro for an electric scooter that gets me to work in fifteen minutes. On a two hour charge I can go about eight miles at speeds of up to 15 mph. Yes, I look ridiculous. But I don’t care! If you’re looking for an eco-friendly and fun way to get to work in the city this is thing is for you!
Okay, now that the blogger hiatus apology is out of the way…
For the last month, I’ve been taking a class at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. It was a graduate course on American history and public policy. I know, are you freaking out yet? If you’d told me two years ago I’d be working at a law firm, let alone taking graduate school classes about the Constitution and public policy, I would have slapped you in the face.
To make a long story short: life is crazy and God has better plans than I do. But to make a long story a tad longer…
A dear friend and mentor told me about the class and encouraged me to apply. I was apprehensive for many reasons, not least of which that I’ve been out of school for five years. The idea of going to a four hour class after an eight hour work day was terrifying. But, as I’ve said before, when Matt and I moved to D.C. we promised each other that we would, “Always go to the thing.” And after I was able to get a full scholarship for the program, I really had no excuse not to participate.
I am so glad I did.
To be honest, an hour into the first lecture, I almost ran out of the room to puke. The amount of knowledge the professor was rattling off at warp speed was stupefying. But after a short break and a pep talk from Matt, I got into the school groove after five years and had one of the most enjoyable educational experiences of my life.
The two professors had a contagious passion for the Constitution and its influence on our society. I found myself thinking about our country in ways I never had before. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to school just yet, but this was certainly a toe in the water. And the water is just fine.
As I get to the end of this post, I realize it’s very different from the ones that precede it, most of them from three or four years ago (I’m positive that this is my first reference to the Constitution… ever on here). But before moving to Washington, I wrote a post about how I wanted this blog to become more personal. This season of my life doesn’t have the cutest clothes or a consistent skin care routine. But it has challenges and opportunities for growth. And an occasional fancy restaurant experience. I hope you’re cool with that.
So we made a promise to each other that we would “always say yes to the thing.”Meaning that if we were invited somewhere or got an invitation to something or found out about an interesting event — no excuses — we’re going.
Man, has that paid off.
I’m an extrovert, but I’m also a homebody. I’m a big fan of relaxing days at home, naps, and cleaning out closets. On work nights, there’s nothing I love more than coming straight home after a long day at the office, fixing myself a gin and tonic, and cooking a nice dinner.
But that’s not how you meet people. And in this city there are a lot of people to meet.
Forcing ourselves to always go to the thing has led to the incredible job I have now. It’s led to meeting like minded couples, who’ve gone from double date buddies to some of our closest friends. It’s led us to meet government officials, former political prisoners, and women who may be able to help Matt and I adopt a baby (more on that soon!).
Just this past Friday, we were at an engagement party for a couple that we met at another friend’s engagement party. Sitting around the fire in the backyard, I overheard the girl next to me mention she’d walked the Camino de Santiago by herself last summer. I was incredibly impressed and inspired; we struck up one of those deep conversations that stays with you. We talked about her Anglican faith, her job as a highschool teacher in D.C., and her love of Ethiopian food. We’ve already planned a double date at an Ethiopian restaurant.
That’s why I love D.C. Not just because the people here are interesting, earnest, and driven. But because this is the place where I get to meet them.
Since starting my new job almost two years ago, I’ve gone to a smattering of various forms of the work event with alcohol and important people. There’s something that happens at every single one of these events that really gets under my skin.
I will be in the middle of (what I think is) a good conversation with a new acquaintance and instead of looking at me or actually engaging in conversation in any sort of meaningful, human way, they will look around the room for someone else they could be talking to.
I get it. When you’re at a work event, you’re sort of on a mission to talk to, and connect with the most important people there. Both to expand your own professional network and further the goals of your organization. I also get that at this point in my life I’m pretty low on the professional totem pole. I’m only twenty-five and I look even younger. Do not take this as false modesty when I say I’m a nobody at these things.
But, you know what else? I think I’m a pretty cool person.
I’m friendly (especially one G and T in). I dress well. I don’t smell. I’m a good conversationalist. I think I’m pretty freaking nice and generally “good” at parties. Sure, I’m not the person to talk to to get your think tank funded, connect you to top political consultants, or get your oped placed in the The New York Times.
But I will be someday.
And when I am, I want to be the kind of person that talks to the communications assistant the same way I talk to the hedge fund manager. Life’s too short to constantly look over your shoulder for something better.