My Last Week

My Last Week

My last week in D.C. was a whirlwind. I had so many emotions going through me and so much to prepare for. In my mind, I had always thought of leaving in November. It did not occur to me that this was actually the first week of November. When Halloween hit, I thought I still had so much time. In reality, my days were numbered and home was just around the corner. The time had run its course faster than I could have ever expected.

Leaving My New FriendsThe RAF had become my life. I had my apartment and my people. I was so used to coming home to a very nice home, making my own home cooked meals, and having a really standard routine. On the weekends, I would hang out with different people and go to events. The topics of discussions always circled back to politics at the RAF. I was so used to the lifestyle that I almost rejected the thought that I was leaving it.

 

I spent most of my last week running around trying to finish assignments. I had an endless to-do list that included errands, purchases, museum visits, packing, homework, and saying goodbye to people. I tried to cross them all off, but the list just kept growing and growing.

 

One last D.C. event - Taste of D.C.

 

When it came to saying goodbye to the friends I had made at TWC, it was an odd mixture of emotion. Everyone else had another month left. They were not in the "saying goodbye" mood. All the ‘last times’ for me were just another time for them. It was hard to say goodbye when everyone else was still in the middle of it. It felt more like a ‘see you later.’ Everyone else was still going, still learning, still working, still growing; I had to be finished.

 

The major question that most people had when I was saying goodbye was, “when will we see each other next?” The majority of people in the program were from the East coast. They could make trips up and down or have run-ins years from now. I, on the other hand, live almost 3,000 miles away. I don’t know if I will ever see some of these people again. Well, that is slightly wrong. I know I will see many of these people doing big things. I will see them from afar on television broadcasts. I look forward to that. It saddens me that my in-person interactions will be limited. I cherish the time I had with these great young adults and all the knowledge I gained from our endless hours of discussion. I hope to do my best to stay in touch.

 

My last sunset run.

Leaving My Job

Leaving my job was the hardest part about leaving D.C. I adored every element of it. It would be hard to go back to doing something meaningless after having written important memos and set up congressional meetings. The hardest part was missing out on events. Because of the government shut down, many events that were planned to take place while I was still in town got pushed back. I helped with all the planning and was really invested in it. I knew it up and down. Unfortunately, I was not there for the events. The event I put the most planning into took place the Monday after I left. Two days. I was missing the event by two days. That was very painful. I made sure everything was as done as it could be so that the office would be prepared. It was still a tremendous experience, but some would say what’s the fun in planning a party you can’t attend?

 

Going Home

To say I was excited to go home might have been an understatement. I was beside myself. I am the type of person that builds up something in my mind past the point of reality. Seattle was a beautiful, freezing cold, cloudy vision full of weirdos and hipsters and hundreds of people I know. Seattle was the homeland. I forgot about all the things I would no longer have access to like a beautiful apartment, endless monuments, and constant political chatter. I was taking those things for granted by that point. I was ready to be home in the familiar. There are never enough hours in the day for all the things you want to do. That is exactly how I felt during my last week in D.C. There were so many unique D.C. experiences left to have and I was leaving. I was ready to go home but also a little heartbroken to leave it all so soon. I highly considered trying to stay for another month, make it into a semester. I realized, in the end, there was a reason I had chosen just ten weeks, and I needed to stick to that. When I finally left, everything felt very bittersweet. I was so happy but so disappointed as well. This experience had been so fulfilling, yet I thought I would come away with more answers about my future and the clear path for me. But there I was, 5 a.m., waiting for the shuttle to take me to the airport, and just as clueless as ever.

 

Another beautiful plane ride.

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