An Ode to What Comes Next

An Ode to What Comes Next

       Well folks, this is it. This is my last real posting. Now don’t get too bummed, I’ll still post one more later this week to update y’all on the wonders of tomorrow’s Benefit Luncheon. But, this is really my last post where I’m going to talk about my experiences with The Washington Center. This is my last chance to get all sentimental about my experiences in DC, and I fully intend on taking advantage of said situation. My overall experience has been extremely rewarding. Not only has it helped me pinpoint the skills that make me different in the workplace, but overall, I feel as if I’ve grown over the entire process. Life seems strangely different now that this is all coming to a close. Maybe this is because I’m about to graduate only a week and a day from when you will be reading this. Maybe it’s because I got all that “good professional experience” through my internship site. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I’ve found something I never really thought I would’ve found here. What I’m referring to, at the extent of sounding corny, is confidence. This is not to say that I’m not a confident person to begin with, but what I’m talking about is a different kind of confidence. It’s the kind of confidence that comes with being ready to embrace the unknown after graduation; with being ready for the unchartered void that looms ahead.
 
     Call it crazy, call it foolish or call it smart? I don’t know. But the one thing that will definitely stick with me are the feelings of complacence with not knowing what will come next; with harboring confidence that in some way, shape, or form the future will align my path with some modicum of success. I know, I know… you all are thinking why now? Why get all sorts of soft on us now? Well, the truth is, because up until this point, I don’t think I’ve really acknowledged it. I don’t think I’ve taken the time to reflect too much on my entire attitude up until this point. I’ve been too busy living in the moment, too busy absorbing everything. I’ve been too busy trying to make the most of my opportunities that I’ve failed to notice the biggest opportunity that stood at my feet when I entered the city: my own personal growth.
 
     While the actual experiences of The Washington Center have run the gamut from excellent to… well, some not so excellent, I think I can safely say that I will value everything that happened to me. Not only that, but I feel as if I’ve reached a new point in my life. This is what will stick with me. This is what I’ll remember ten years down the road. Not some program we had on a Monday, not even necessarily some of the memories from the RAF. What will come to mind is the time when I changed. When I moved beyond my collegiate… hell… my academic attitudes. When I realized that there was so much more that I was capable of. Now, notice I’ve never said that this feeling is totally, un-waveringly positive. It’s not without a little fear or hesitation. But it’s this fear and hesitation that I’ve come to be able to cope with. It’s the fact that I can honestly look at the future, not know what’s going to happen next, and feel like, that while there might be trouble along the way, that there’s an overall light at the end of the tunnel.
 
     With this in mind, let’s take a reflective glance at my internship experience: the catalyst to this overall wave of sentimental feelings that now pour out onto this page. I’ve never really described too much about what’s been happening at the Trust, and it’s not because I haven’t enjoyed it, or haven’t learned from it. It’s because I never really felt like it was necessary. While the Trust honestly and truthfully was probably the best place I could have interned at, at the same time I feel like anyone… at any internship site… could have somehow come to the same conclusions that I was making. My experience was not designed to bore you as pages and pages of reiteration of my daily assignments probably would’ve done. The purpose of me writing this blog was to open you, the reader’s mind to a different take on the experiences that many  consider paramount to a typical DC experience. This is why I chose to focus on the music, the feelings, and the thoughts that entered my brain rather than explain the places in nauseating detail (with the exception of the food… of course). I felt like this was the place that, whether you all enjoyed it or not, I could place down on paper my personal connection with each place that I’ve had the pleasure (or displeasure) of experiencing. I feel that I’ve accomplished this task, but hopefully you all have enjoyed it in the process.
 
     I wish I could say that this blog was my inspiration to get out and see the city; the reason that I brought so many images and sounds to every single one of you who faithfully read the words I spit out each week. Unfortunately this just wasn’t the case. In fact, the fact that I had a blog, at times made me feel lazy. I felt like if I really wanted to that I could simply sit and spit out some thoughts about the week that had passed and skated by. I guess you could argue that I’m doing that now… but you’d be wrong. This blog became so much more than that. It’s not like I sat down each week and cranked out three pages of text in half an hour. Nay, it took me almost three hours each week to come up with the stories that I chose to share with you. Each experience was carefully weighed, each song carefully chosen to truly reflect what I thought was important. If, at any point in time, I made even one person go to a monument, museum, or place that I referenced and listen to the song I chose… then my mission is accomplished. I’ve challenged you to take a new perspective. If you even checked out just one of the songs that I posted that you didn’t know before (you didn’t even have to enjoy it) and had even the slightest thought nagging at you, bugging you to question why I chose it: then my mission is accomplished.
 
     You may look at this post and notice that there are no pictures. Well, to be frank, I wish I had some to share with you. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy this week that I simply have forgotten to try and find some for all of you. Usually the last week is the easiest. This couldn’t be further from the truth in my case. This week we have not only our Benefit Luncheon (serving roughly 900 people lunch on the mall), but then two days later we have our Ball on the Mall: a dinner gala for roughly the same number of people. With this in mind, I simply haven’t had the time to really venture out and do much this week other than explore the backs of my eyelids. Even right now as I sit here writing this, I’m sitting on a day that started at 8 AM and ended at 6:30. The day before: 9:00 to 8:20. Tomorrow I gotta’ start at 8 again. This week is crunch week. This isn’t to say that I mind going in early or staying late. This is just to give all of you an example of the business of the last couple days. It serves as a testament to my tiredness… to prove just exactly how exhausted I’ve been recently.
 
     Therefore, as I sit here, pounding out word after word of these last thoughts on the entirety of my TWC experience, I find myself becoming more and more tired, but more and more reflective. Life has been good to me out here. In fact, I’m pursuing a job out here. There is just too much opportunity in this city. To think that I would have never thought of DC as a viable place to go start a career… stupid of me. There’s something about the area. Maybe it’s the “official” nature of everything. Maybe it’s the fact that jobs are everywhere out here. Maybe it’s the way that DC as a “big city” is actually quite small. Somehow it all fits together to form a pretty complete and enticing picture.
 
     They say time flies when you’re having fun. We’ll I’d like to think that time flies when you’re growing up. It seems like just yesterday that I was moving into the RAF. It seems like just yesterday that I waltzed into the Reagan Building for my first day of work at the Trust. It seems like just yesterday that I was still struggling to wake up at 7AM and go to bed at midnight. It seems like a lot had happened since I’ve moved in. I’ve made some good friends, some outstanding memories, and some good connections. But most of all, I’ve made a personal stride… I’ve grown. I’ve come beyond what I thought I was capable of for the semester. I’ve surpassed even my own expectations, and now I look to the future with more optimism than I had before. I feel like I’m ready to tackle the unknown. I’ve graduated on to the next phase of my life… literally and metaphorically.

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More