Capital Hopping

I am about to lament a syndrome I’d hoped I could avoid lamenting when I created this thing. And that is the good-intentioned “I’m going to start a blog and update it frequently with vivid descriptions and pictures of my exciting life!” impulse that dwindles to fatigue and then inactivity. But at least it was good-intentioned, right? Good intentions always excuse failure or lack of productivity. As a spoiled millennial who has been handed a trophy for every effort, regardless of outcome, this is the doctrine that shapes my worldview. Gold stars for trying, let’s get avocado toast and order a round of kombucha-bubble-tea-green-juice-mimosas to celebrate.

Anyway, in the midst of all the not blogging I was doing, I managed to acquire a four month editorial internship at a political magazine in Washington D.C. After my wondrous summer in London came to a close (sob), I touched down in my hometown for a hot second, unpacked and re-packed my monstrosity of a suitcase (which is still missing a wheel and looks as haggard as ever after several trips across the Atlantic), and made the seven hour southbound journey through New York City, the refinery wasteland of the Jersey Turnpike, and the unremarkable highway of Delaware and Maryland to our nation’s capital.

On my first day of exploring, I went for an unimpressive run which featured me slogging through four miles of thick humidity, not yet acclimated to the shift in climate and aching for the invigorating cool of breezy summer mornings in London, and collapsing on my bedroom rug before cleaning up and venturing downtown to the National Mall, gazing up at the Washington Monument and thinking, with soulful ennui, “well, it’s not the Shard.” It was not a very American thing to think, and I really do have the utmost respect for President Washington (and Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, who helped raise funds for the monument’s construction), but my loyalties are still skewed to our former colonizers and I’m in denial that I was only ever pretending to be an ex-pat. My tangential British identity has expired and my woe is vast and exaggerated. Eventual British citizenship is in my twenty year plan. It is the only thing in my twenty year plan. As a millennial, I expect to be handed everything and feel slighted by the universe that no one has offered me a British passport even though I’ve asked nicely and complained about not having one profusely.

I started my new position last week, which mean’s I’ve been a member of the fourth estate for two weeks now. 75% of my day is spent writing inflammatory social media posts about Republicans — we all have to start somewhere. I love being in the office when staff writers are arguing over pitches and angles, or when they’re conducting phone interviews or getting anxious about meeting impending deadlines. I am beholden to Politico’s Playbook, Whip Watch, and regular updates from the Washington Post, Vox, and the New York Times. I generally avoid news on the weekends and, aside from the occasional heated discussion about the theoretical geopolitics of a major combative engagement with a hostile North Korea, prefer to chat about new restaurants, albums I’m listening to repeatedly, books I’m reading, TV shows I’m binge watching, and, of course, the especially salient topic of post-graduate existential dread and uncertainty.

This is just to say that I’d like to use this space to do all those things as I become familiar with a new city and embrace the uncertain, transitional nature of young adulthood. I also really want to discuss the new Lady Gaga documentary on Netflix and write about the best dal I ever made (last night, about 8:30 p.m., comfortingly warm and spicy and much-needed despite the oppressive D.C. heat).

So, cheers to a new metro system, new zipcode, new work experience, and being a transient who can only afford to plan out her foreseeable future four months at a time. It feels good/terrifying. The first round of kombucha-bubble-tea-green-juice-mimosas are on me.

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