Confession: I think a lot about Ghost Lives (via Adventurous Kate), my Sliding Doors lives: what my life would be like had X happened instead of Y. If I had gone to this college instead of that college; if the military hadn’t transferred my father to Virginia and instead we had stayed in New York; if I had never had my first internship in international education that eventually led me to my chosen career path.
I particularly think about my ghost life in relation to DC. I lived in DC for six years during college and grad school as I hatched from a little baby freshman college student to a semi-adult (at the very least, I learned how to pay bills, and I kind of learned how health insurance works). While my mother could certainly tell you about my ups and downs during this time (many a teary phone call, as I do not handle transition well) I tend to look back on this time with rose-colored glasses. I had so many lovely friends around me, DC is a genuinely fun city (at least Kristen-level fun- I have no need for 24 hour transit since my bedtime is 10pm), and it was just a bus ride away from home.
When I left DC in 2012, I was pretty ready to leave. Many of my college friends were starting to drift away, and I wanted a new challenge. And so, I spent a year bouncing around Europe and Asia and living at home like a bum, and then moved to Boston three years ago, where I have shivered ever since.
Part of me wonders though: who would I be if I were in DC as a late twenty-something individual? Would I have remained in my old, familiar ruts, or would I be taking advantage of the many events and networking opportunities? Where would I be working, and where would I be living?
There’s obviously no way for me to know, although I felt some twinges of nostalgia over the past year as work sent me to DC on a semi-regular basis. As I met up with friends and explored the city with fresh eyes, I felt a little sad to be going back to my little rut in Boston. (To be honest, I have way more friends in DC than in Boston, which is just depressing.)
My ghost floats around DC, and who knows? Maybe my body will join her sometime soon.
Oh yeah, there’s a book review here. It’s a book set in DC, so there’s your connection.
WHAT I READ:
The Hopefuls (Jennifer Close), Book #103 of 2016
On a scale of 1 to 5 DC Tropes, 1 being THAT HUMIDITY and 5 being BUT EVERYONE IS SO BORING, I give this 3 corrupt politicians.
Beth and her husband, Matt, kick off the book in 2009 having recently transplanted themselves in DC; Matt worked on the Obama campaign, and is eager to continue the Hope and Change in the presidency. Beth is less than thrilled, because apparently DC is a hellhole compared to the Elysium that is New York City – DC is hot, humid, only populated by government workers (which is surely a surprise for the 60% of the DC population who does not work for the government, including formerly yours truly), and she just has nothing to talk about with them. She mostly spends the first fifty pages bitching about living in DC, going to dinner at her in-laws’ house (her MIL does sound pretty terrible – any woman who refers to her first child as her failed “first pancake” has definite shades of Lucille Bluth), and basically not making any effort to make friends or find a job of her own. The first fifty pages end with Matt and Beth meeting another couple who actually seem interesting and full of life: Ashleigh and Jimmy.
WHO KNOWS what will happen from there? (Well, I know, because I read this already)
HOW IT MADE ME FEEL:
In general, I give this a “meh.” I didn’t hate it? I liked reading the stuff about DC? But certainly there was a lot to be desired. More here! And I’ll try to read a better one next time, SORRY GUYS