8.31.2009

Little Terrors

I guess it makes me an old fogy, but I don’t understand kids today.

Tonight, I sat on my front porch, enjoying the cool night air and waiting for “Gray Cat” to arrive. There were a trio of teenagers across the street playing/terrorizing a dog and eventually they started standing on one of the cars. At first, I figured the dog got lose and they wanted to get out the way. But when they kept jumping on and off the car's hood and roof and then, doing the same to my neighbor's car, I decided to step in and give them a piece of my mind.

I don’t know on what planet it is okay to jump on someone’s car. Again, I would totally understand it if you were being chased by a rabid dog, but seriously, wtf. I find myself saying that a lot when I stroll around my neighborhood. The teenage girls with their baby strollers drive me absolutely crazy. These kids need a reality check. I’d prefer it to come from a stern grandmother/older sibling/teacher, but instead it often comes from a brush with death, jail time or the reality of providing for a child when you are child.

First, let me say that the immaturity and delusionment extends beyond my DC hood. It is in suburban NoVA and MD, just in a different form.

I am tired of rolling my eyes at the ignorance and bad choices of the kids in my neighborhood and elsewhere. Seeing their excess, disregard and ignorance makes me wonder if the future as suggested by “Idiocracy” really is a possibility.

Of course, I blame the parents for indulging/ignoring their kids. But I recognize that "it takes a village" to ensure that a child stays on the right path. Tonight was a reminder that I simply must start volunteering with kids again. And it called to mind the old Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' line:

The world won't get no better if we just let it be
The world won't get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me.

8.28.2009

TGIF

I’m feeling so blah today. I blame it on the weather and the fact that I haven’t had a real August recess. In fact, it’s been the worst August recess ever. Sure, things are slower than when we were in session but the fact that we are understaffed makes me feel that I am doing three jobs (my own and the jobs of the two folks who left last month). I am exhausted, anxious and stressed. Thankfully, a new staffer and an intern start in a week, which will alleviate a lot of my workload. Then again, once the excitement of the Hill begins anew the workload and stress will increase for everyone. That means no real break at all.

But I shouldn’t complain. We’ve been itching for an opportunity to make a real difference after 8 years of Bush. I truly hope that we accomplish all the things we need to before attention turns to the elections again.

So what's a staffer like me to do? Sleep is obvious. And I am determined to take the rest of my comp days before recess ends (I have 3.5 left but I'll settle for using 2). And I will clean and reorganize my bedroom. Cleaning always has a way of relieving my anxiety and making me hopeful again.

8.27.2009

Happy Anniversary/Reunion

It’s amazing. This weekend marks my 10-year anniversary in D.C. I can still remember how excited, na├»ve, happy, and scared I was when I first arrived in Foggy Bottom. I never imagined that I’d still be here.

I never imagined many of the turns my life has taken. But all those turns have made me who I am. As I told a former co-worker this afternoon, I rate my life a 9.5 out of 10. The only reason I’m not a 10 is that I haven’t gotten into the shape I want and I don’t have a beau. Otherwise, I feel like I am finally in control of my destiny because I’m starting to truly know and accept myself. Time and experience have been a great teacher and healer for me.

I enjoyed showing off my 28-year-old self to my classmates at my 10th high school reunion. The reunion was very strange but I am glad I went. The folks I really wanted to see didn’t show but I got to catch up with at least two people from the lunch circle (my date and "Rubber/Eraser"). Mostly, the guys had more/less hair and were chubbier than I remember. Although some of the women were a bit worse for the wear (sunblock is key!), most of my female classmates looked the same—just a bit more stylish and taller from heels. Almost everyone is married and I got to fawn over two sets of baby pictures. There were several people I did not remember at all. Honestly, there is a lot of high school and even college that I don’t remember. No, it’s not the weed (unlike certain friends, I didn’t smoke) or selective amnesia. For some reason it’s just a blur. An enjoyable blur.

I felt out of place for most of the night as my lunch bunch and I huddled at a table snacking, drinking "reunion" cocktails (open bar!) and examining the new arrivals. Yes, many of the folks (including my group) did revert to the cliques and attitudes of high school. It seems like many of my classmates stayed in touch throughout college and beyond. It is odd that they are still close. Towards the end of the night, I decided to make the most of it and convinced my friend to join me in chatting with a few of the folks I couldn’t imagine not saying hi too, including the dork who didn’t want to be my date to the dance, my longtime crush, and the guy I used to joke with throughout junior and high school (there was a lot of alphabetical seating…).

So it was as they said. It was awkward at times but given that I kept my expectations low, I had a good time. It was also good that I went with my standby, a comfy dress and flats that allowed me to relax.

Class of 1999: It was interesting to see how far we’ve all come. I’ll be back in another 10. I can only pray that everyone is still alive and well in 2019.

8.19.2009

Countdown to the Reunion

My high school reunion is just a few days away. I’m a bit nervous but also excited. After a month of browsing online and in countless stores, I’ve decided what I will wear: a basic black work dress that is comfortable and fits me well. Paired with everyday flats, I’ll be relaxed and able to focus on the reason I’m going to the reunion, to connect with old friends.

I think I have checked my expectations sufficiently. I realized that it is not about wowing folks with an awesomely expensive dress, or proving that I’ve bested the rest in terms of my career and education, or about telling the dork who rejected my invitation to prom that he can shove-it (well, maybe it's a little about that...). It is about reminiscencing with old friends how awful, fun, anxiety-ridden, and carefree high school was. I do expect to exchange business cards and career insight, but I don’t expect to find a love-match or to make any significant connections that last. It’s like a one night stand with my classmates of ’99. No regrets, not expectations, no strings attached.

But I am bummed. One of my best friends from high school decided that she didn’t want to attend, despite my best attempts to convince/bribe her. For most of junior high and high school, she, another friend and I were the core of the original lunch bunch. It’s unfortunate that she won’t be there, but I won’t let that spoil the fun. My other high school bff is actually looking forward to it and I know that together we'll have a memorable night.

8.13.2009

Online dating

For some reason--perhaps a mixture of loneliness, boredom, and anxiety about my upcoming reunion--I created a profile at Match.com. I haven't taken the next step of subscribing, but I think it is only a matter of time.

I don't know what this says about my psychological-emotional state post-Floyd. What I do know is that I am ready to start looking and to start thinking about what I really want in a life partner. I won't ever settle again.

I'm skeptical about online dating. Sure, I have friends who have found great guys online, but I've heard about the undercurrent hookup culture on some sites as well.

Part of me feels that activating my profile signals laziness or fear in seeking guys the old fashion way--at mixers or through mutual friends and extracurriculars. I mean, I haven't even given manhunting an honest try before hiding behind my computer. Yet, for a closet wallflower/awkward-around-boys gal like me it seems like the best and perhaps, only real option.

8.09.2009

Almost-30 Anxiety

I am so anxious these days. It is like I haven’t been able to relax in months. Even though it is recess, I am stressed at work. Plus, I have put so much pressure on myself to get my non-work life in line.

The trouble is that work consumes my life and the little precious, off-time I have is relegated to everyday errands, catching up on sleep and using the remaining time for personal pursuits like fitness and hobbies.

It is almost mid-August, and I feel that I haven’t been taking advantage of the city and the summer. I guess I feel that I’m in a rut but I don’t think that it is a rut.

Maybe, it’s the “OMG, I’m almost 30” blues. Which just means that I’m anxious about taking advantage of all that life offers before it’s “too late” and I get “too old.” I guesss I should blame it on my upcoming 10th high school reunion. It reminds me that there is so much that I want to do before I turn 30. But the fact that I’m so dead-set on pursuing my Hill and political career as far as it will go precludes me from pursuing two of my other major “in-my-20s” goals: living in NYC and abroad. So I guess I’m coming up to a turning point in life. In the next two years, I will have to decide if I truly want to settle down in D.C. (my decision back in February) or if I want to try something totally different and move to NYC or Europe to do what, I don’t know.

The bottom-line is that nothing and no one is holding me back but myself which is awesome and scary—and leaves me feeling anxious.

8.06.2009

Glass half-full

I've been complaining all week about how I'm having to hold down the fort at work. My boss is off the grid for two weeks and despite the fact that it is recess, folks still need information. It has been unbelievably stressful and overwhelming.

Now that today's big event is over, I feel that I can relax enough to realize how much of an amazing and awesome opportunity holding down the fort actually is. If nothing else, my name is on the radar of a few key people and I am getting essential practice in dealing with staffers, the Member, and outside parties. Plus, I know now that I can step it up.

Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for my boss to return and release me from all of the sensitive and annoying requests and decisions which have led to sleepless nights and probably a gray hair or two. But I value what I've experienced in the last few days and all that I will learn and do during the final week that I'm virtually on my own.