Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wrapping Up

So, my internship is wrapping up, which means this blog will be winding down. I'd like to end on a final and, in my opinion, rather inspiring note:

Lunch was probably the highlight of my day. I ate with with a very influential Washingtonian who didn't know what he wanted to do with his life until he was 34. He called himself at 34 a "kid"--just think of being a kid at 34, it seems so ancient! He fell into his current job through a serious of flukes of fate and accidents, and it's comforting to know that road can be curvy and rough, but if we do our best it will be rewarding in the end. Setbacks are more like adventures, and I really do think "bad luck" is just a way of redirecting us. If we make the best of every situation--how can we go wrong?

I came to Washington to try and figure out what I wanted to do. I started this blog to record some of those thoughts, and I rediscovered how much I love writing. Working in a high-stress environment, I've been very lucky to be around people who truly enjoy their job, realize it's not everything, and have had amazing, crazy, and inspirational career paths. You can have fun and do good things all in once--and end up 600 miles from where you started too.

I'll leave you with Conan, I'm not sure I could sum up what I've learned any better:

All I ask of you is one thing, and I'm asking this particularly of young people who watch: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism- for the record, it's my least favorite quality, it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm tell you, amazing things will happen.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chill out? Hell yes.

I decided that one thing I want come back home from Washington is a more relaxed attitude. This may sound funny, but I feel like working in what could have been one of the most stressful and high-paced environments has really helped me put things in perspective.

I have a lot of stress in my life--quite a bit of it I bring upon myself. But the thing is--stressing won't solve life's many problems. Whether it's grade or being a poor college student (or poor young professional or whatever), worrying about money or school won't magically make your problems disappear. Balancing work and play is important, and it seems to be key that you are able to enjoy yourself at both.

I took my side job here way less seriously than I have taken any job ever, and I still got rave reviews from my boss. I guess maybe I'm slowly learning how to let things roll.

I've worked with some awesome and laid back people. They do their jobs very well, but they understand that they can't control everything. They have fun, and they seem to have everything in perspective, that is, it's all really just a job.

I'm not saying I've completely abandoned the high-stress way of life. I think my priorities have gotten a bit more straight though. Change is hard to make. I just like to think that the devil-may-care-come-what-may part of my life has come out a lot more while I'm here, but only in the best way.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Somewhere along the line spring got skipped. And newsflash: it got really freakin' hot in DC. Like height-of-summer-in-my-northern-state hot.

WTF DC? Spring is rumored to return on...Friday according to my weather(dot)com widget. Until then, I guess we'll just have to sweat it out, literally. While I admit I enjoy the warm weather, I miss the pool and the laying out that goes with it. I spent the summers of my youth as a pool brat (note: different from country club brat, but you could probably already guess that at my glee over HCR) and my teenage years as a lifeguard. Translation: I don't mind hot weather, I just prefer to be in a swimsuit and able to jump into a sanitary (and cholorine-filled) pool as a moment's notice.

Good luck all. I know I'll need it in the HOT weather...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter Recess

I went to Catholic school through second grade. In the 15-odd years since I went to a religious school, "Easter" break has firmly been changed to in my mind to "Spring" break. Imagine how odd it was when the first two weeks off in April became not "April" recess but "Easter" recess.

Who knew DC was so religious?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Everyone Needs a Spring Break

This weekend I took the opportunity to visit a friend in the Big Apple. Unlike other interns and all of my friends back at school, I didn't take a Spring Break. There's definitely some merit to the idea of giving yourself a break, even if it's a small one. After the gorgeous weather of the past few weeks I have to admit I was getting a bit of Spring Fever. While I've had my trip planned for awhile, I didn't really get excited about it until I was chan

Not only did I have an absolute blast stomping (at least part of) a new city, it was so great to see one of my really good friends. I spent way too much money, but if I had to do it all over again I would do it all the same. Except I would probably try not to loose my shoe...yes that's singular I only lost one and yes, I still have the other one. Don't worry about it.

We spent all day Saturday (and, let's be serious a good part of the night too) in the Greenwich Village area. I thought about how sometimes I just want to be a starving writing, (if you pass that public option I can do that and still have health care!), living in old clothes, eating Ramen noodles and smoking cheap cigarettes. Every time I get like this I have to remind myself that it's not 1994, the people in Rent probably had roaches as their roommates, and oh yeah, I'm a runner not a smoker.

And living in genteel poverty (my term for what I did this fall) is really not that glamorous. It just makes you hungry.

In the past year I've taken more weekend trips than usual: last summer I went up north (that's what we do where I'm from in the summer) and to the Great Midwestern City, this fall I went with a friend to visit another university for a football game, and now this past weekend. Sometimes a weekend away is all you need to be refreshed and ready to go. And good time spent with people that mean a lot to you--well, that one never hurts either.

Happy Spring Break all!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rain, rain, go away

It always happens that I forget my umbrella (mittens, boots, winter coat, insert weather-proofing item here) just when I need it. So of course, the day it rains cats and dogs, not only do I leave my umbrella at home, I choose my hood-less fleece jacket over my raincoat. Oh and the wellies? Warm and dry at home.

My idiocy knows no bounds. Hopefully you remembered your umbrella, it'll be rainy this evening.

Fridays are usually quieter at work, there always seems to be less people around. But today, it seems that the recent HCR victory and the rain has kept almost everyone from the office. The metro was so empty this morning, and the halls have assumed an almost tomb-like quietness. It's crazy to see how this place goes from alive to dead one day to the next.

Easter Recess should keep things slow for the next too weeks...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bonding with your Boss, Part II

Visit them when they are stuck late at work and probably bored.