In the four months since my last post, I have finished my last semester at Northwestern, gotten my first paid job at SKDKnickerbocker, become an uncle, turned 22, volunteered at two Human Rights Campaign galas, moved twice, obsessed over Beyoncé’s new self-titled album (oh my god Microsoft Word corrects Beyoncé to add the accent!), contributed to marriage equality in Illinois and closed out one of the most important years of my life.
Maybe I’ll have time to reflect back on some of these events in blog form, maybe not. Today, however, is a day that screams “BLOG ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS.”
Today marks my first day living in DC as a college graduated, employed adult. It feels weird – a combination of curious, excited, nervous, “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time” (I hate to say it, but the anthem “22” describes my life just six days after my 22nd birthday down to the T-Swift).
I got out of bed at 2:30 today. I start work on Monday, and I wanted to enjoy having nothing to do before I start working 47.5 hours a week. I explored my new neighborhood, called Eastern Market, which I think will be a perfect place to start out my new life. It’s rainy outside, but I didn’t mind. I ate at this nice diner I had heard of called Ted’s Bulletin – grilled cheese and tomato soup – and checked out a few of the other restaurants I’m sure I will be tired of in six months. The food and flea market that Eastern Market was named for was a little bare bones today, probably because of the weather or the later afternoon hours in which I explored it. It’s going to be nice to be able to get up early and buy fresh produce on the weekends.
I’m not quite sure what my living situation is right now. I’ve got a room in what I believe is a law firm operating out of a house, and I think that my landlord, who is a lawyer at the firm, lives somewhere in the house or in an addition to the house. I should have three other roommates, but only one is here and I haven’t met him yet. The room is pretty big, with two closets, a desk and plenty of drawer space. I’ve got a comfy queen bed that I am lounging on as I type this. I’ve got two big windows facing a street filled with row houses, trees and a couple of small but pretty churches, and I’ve been enjoying watching the passersby with their umbrellas in the light drizzle. Vampire Weekend is playing on shuffle, as it has been for the past week since my friend made me get their CDs.
I am anxious about living in DC without knowing many people. I am starting a whole new life here, and that is intimidating. I am most afraid of loneliness; it would be too easy to just work and go home, occasionally seeing the few familiar faces I know here and never meeting new ones. It’s going to take a lot of energy and effort to meet people, and I’m not sure how to get started. At least once work starts on Monday, I will be busy and hopefully meeting some people through that.
Hopefully, three months from now, I can look back on this and think, “wow – I had no idea how many great people and what an awesome time I was going to be having!” It’s always scariest at the beginning of a new chapter, when you don’t know what to expect, which people are going to become your friends or what your routine is going to be. I look back on college and think about how I met the people that ended up being my best friends, how I never would have imagined the impact they would make on me the first time we hung out. How I met my friend Jonny on Facebook before college even started or Juanita walking on the stairs of our student center or Kate on my pre-orientation backpacking trip or Britt in the hallway outside of a friend’s dorm room or Jacob at a party for a student production I had worked on.
I will admit that it does feel much scarier than when I first started college. College is built for you to make friends, with clubs and class and dorms and events. Aside from work, I am going to have to seek out those things on my own. I’m always open to advice if you’re one of my friends who have already started adulthood.
Here’s to beginning my new life.