Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm fine, how are you?

I told everyone I'd keep this blog to let you all know how I'm doing but somewhere along the line it took a turn and became a collection of silly adventures and shoe mishaps. I suppose I can't help it that sometimes my shoes are the most interesting thing about me, but I guess I should hold up my end of the "keeping in touch" deal. Plus, I keep getting the same questions. So, without further ado, here's the real answers to the questions I answer with, "Fine" or "good" or whatever.

#1) How am I doing? I don't usually answer this one honestly b/c I don't want anyone to worry about me and if I said what I was thinking: "Well - I work seven days a week, I chipped a tooth and the dentist told me it would be $650, Everything is ridiculously expensive so I could really use a day off work but I can't afford it, I'm getting fat, and the other day my toilet overflowed at 11:00 at night and they didn't come fix it until 9:30 the next morning.

Now, don't get me wrong. It may sound like I'm miserable out here, but that's not true at all. Although, it would be true to say that life is fully of annoying krap no matter where you are. Even when things are going great, you can always find something to make you feel depressed.

#2) How is work? Great Actually! Things are going better than expected at work. My job is pretty much the same kind of work I was doing before as an administrative assistant, it's just really far away in a really expensive city at a fairly well-known non-profit organization. In the beginning, I was so envious of the people upstairs (our offices are on two separate floors.) I really wanted to be doing research and it was frustrating at first to be fixing the copy machine and typing memos instead. After a few weeks, I have a new perspective.

Part of my new perspective is because I was asked to help with the newsletter. It's not part of my job or anything, but someone in the fundraising department asked me to help proofread the monthly newsletter. I sat in on the meeting and offered to help with a few different things. It was nice to have a creative project and it's made life more pleasant. I have to admit that even though my current position wouldn't have been my first choice, it is a great experience as far as entry-level work goes. After I came to terms w/my envy for the researchers upstairs, I noticed that they don't seem to leave their offices very much. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and I still hope to do that job someday; but in this administrative position, I interact with everyone. When I move up - whether it's within the same organization or a different job entirely - I will take with me experience working with all of the departments as well as some outside connections. It's definitely to my benefit to be on a first name basis with the directors. Plus, I pitched a new idea today that the president and chief of staff were both very supportive of. I'm really excited about it. It's 100% my project, so it will involve a lot of work on my end, but everyone else will be able to reap the benefits once it gets going. I don't want to make too much of it because I don't know how it will work out in the end, but if I can get the word out and build some interest it could be noteworthy. If it doesn't work out, no harm done - but if it does it could be a nice feather in my cap. More on that later.

#3) Have I made any friends yet? I hate this question!! People ask me all the time and much like question #1, I don't know how to answer it honestly. I have the best friends in the world and they're located in the Midwest. I have such a strong connection with my friends back home, I couldn't imagine finding that here in DC in a million years. It works out well for me because I am constantly in contact with people who are not my "friends" - neighbors, co-workers, co-workers [other job], people on the Metro... there are people everywhere out here. Hell, there's about twenty five people standing on the sidewalk on the next block in front of the movie theater! [Yes, they were lined up for Batman when I got home at 7:30] So, if the question is - am I lonely? The answer is no. Have I made friends? Yes - back in Iowa. It took me ten years to do it and they are only a phone call away.

#4) How is DC? Fun, fascinating, and expensive!

#5) Isn't it scary to live so far away from home? No. That's not scary. Living in the same place your entire life is scary.

#6) Is it dangerous out there? When it comes to crime in DC, there is definitely a pattern. I was just reading a blog by a friend from U of I who is working for a program teaching special ed in a neighborhood called Anacostia. I've never been to Anacostia, but I know that it's not a place that a whimsical Iowa gal like me should just wander into (nor anyone else who uses the word "whimsical" for that matter.) [Although there was an uncharacteristic shooting a few miles from my apartment on Sunday. It happened at noon, someone was shot in the leg and the witnesses chased the dude down until the cops got him. That's a hell of a neighborhood watch program.] It's interesting to me to think about how different our experiences are. We both wrote a column for the DI, both graduated from the U of I this year w/a Communication Studies degree, we both moved to Washington, DC immediately after graduation, but when he goes to work every day it's in a neighborhood that, according to wikipedia, "is primarily known for its excessive crime rates." We should get together in a year and exchange stories. That would make a good movie plot.

Well, I think that covers it. Let me know if I missed anything, and congratulations if you actually read this entire entry. I'm never at a loss for words. But, now that we got this out of the way, the next time you call me we can talk about you!!

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