Monday, September 5, 2011

dc: one year

When I first moved here I liked it, but I definitely didn’t love it.  Sure I loved aspects of it: the museums, the free cultural events, and the idea of DC.  But in reality I spent a lot of time just hanging out by myself and searching for things to do. 
Half of it was the job I had.  The amount of young people I worked with was on the lower side (umm, 2) and I didn’t have much interaction with the other interns in the museum.   I came to love the majority of my coworkers there, but they either lived far away or were out of my age category (seriously, I worked w/a lot of grandmas). And it took until a girl’s birthday in January before any of us actual hung out.

By February I was fed up with my DC slacking attitude and accomplished my 28 things in 28 days.
It was awesome! 
I always had something planned and occasionally I could convince one of my 2 DC friends to go with me.   I got a chance to explore those new places of DC that I’ve been putting off for the previous 6 months. 
In March they extended my internship again, this time my end date was going to be the end of September.  I had a breaking point around this time.  I really just wanted to move home.  DC wasn’t turning out to be the place I wanted to live and I had a total of one job interview for the 4 months worth of jobs I applied for.  I was ready to leave. 
DC in my mind was this clichy-cliché that was full of yuppies and unwelcoming strangers.
And I was only meeting people who fell into these categories.  Strangers who wanted to one-Up you in everything. 

Me: half my face was once in rolling stone magazine
Stranger: well my dad writes for Rolling Stone magazine

Me: I worked at Disney World for 8 months
Stranger: Well I once auditioned for a Disney channel movie.

It got to the point where I stopped talking about myself when I met new people.  And trust me it is harder then it sounds.  

In May I finally had a job interview for a job I wanted and got a new job as a result (yippy!) and I finally was put into this environment where I actually worked with people around my own age.
And more importantly people who hated this DC one-UPing game more then I did.  A group of people who wanted to do Happy Hour and just hang out.  It was as if I had to go through this bad DC-No-Friend-experience to get an awesome group of new peeps. 

The best examples of the change:
My birthday:
Last year: I spent it going to my first day of work at USHMM where the only person to wish my happy birthday was the security guard issuing me my ID badge. And my birthday dinner was spent eating alone at McDonalds
This year: I went to chef Geoffs with actual people and enjoyed their 5.95 burgers, 7.95 super mugs, and where “my bartender” made us amazing shots. 

Kinsey’s visits
March: I had to google where to go for Happy Hour
July: I had friends suggest places for us to go and more importantly there was an actual group of people who joined us. 

Over the summer I got mugged (shocking, I know) and when I was spending the 5 hours in the ER I had a small (ok, large) breaking point. I didn’t know who to call or what to do.  Allison wasn’t answering her phone and my family lives in Iowa/Florida.  Eventually I got ahold of Ruth and she came to get me without a second thought. 
When I came back to work almost everyone I worked with told me “Kelsey, why didn’t you call me?” and it was that point that I realized DC is a great place.  Of course it take me until I had a black eye and a sprained knee before I realized it, but at least I realized it. 

Beyond this great group of co-workers I have recently became friends with a group of people outside of my work environment.
This weekend I made the decision to finally hang out with a group of internet-folks that I had been talking to for a while.  It was a last minute decision and I took my time meeting with them.  But as soon as I introduced myself they were more then willing to let a stranger into their group.  The complete opposite of the group of people I first met when I moved here. 
I went out for drinks with them on Friday and quickly became friends with a fellow* blogger, on Saturday I causally hung out with them and played the best game ever (Cards against humanity), and last night I ventured over to the NE to hang out with them once again. 
The one weekend I spent with these new friends is the perfect example of what I wanted out of my DC experience.  I just wish it had happened a year ago.

*this gets an * b/c Kassie like to think that I can’t call myself a blogger anymore.