I've enjoyed getting lost in the world of fiction with Grace over the past few months. The idea of sharing thoughts and personal happenings through a character has made me want to write more.
I know what you are thinking then-- why in the hell are you not writing? Like most writers can tell you, we get so caught up with our day dreaming, that sometimes we forget to then write it down except for personal use. For myself, the recent uprooting from my southern lifestyle and landing into Washington D.C. has prevented me from writing more.
I've been in DC three weeks today. The big city has swept me off my feet again-- referring to when I moved to Atlanta from Dalton for college-- throwing me right back into the pace of work, commuting, happy hours, making new friends, and exploring new sites.
People who don't like cities always say the same thing about them: "big cities are all the same." I hate bringing bad news, but if you have never visited our nation's capital then you really are missing out. And not even for partying purposes, but for American flavor.
I remember the first time I came to Washington, DC. Junior year of high school with Debby Barto and my AP US History class. My eyes were hit by marble, granite, and sandstone in the shape of the Washington Monument as we headed from the Reagan Airport into Arlington, VA. All 555 feet, 5⅛ inches of the monument welcomed me to DC.
"This place is magical," I remember thinking.
On July 28, 2010, with my car underneath me and my belongings in the back seat, I cruised 615 miles to DC for an 11-month internship with the National Wildlife Federation. During the process of looking for a more permanent job, I applied for positions all over the country, but subconsciously, I wanted to stay on the east coast and move a little north (even though I still want to go out west, ha).
Entering DC from Interstate 395 after two days of traveling, the "magical" feeling returned when I found the the Washington Monument reflecting off my glasses. My legs, arms and face goose bumped. American flavor. I'll say it: regardless of what you think of the government and their policies, DC is a magical place that bleeds some serious red, white and blue. Every street. Every building, monument and museum. The bars, hotels, rivers, hiking trails.
I've learned about myself over the years that I enjoy traveling and seeing new places because I genuinely let people, places and things impact my life. I let them touch me, teach me, move me. I open myself to experience whatever the moment has for me.
But I will be honest-- I have had my doubts about the "north" since my arrival. I'm southern. Born and raised. That means I say mornin (without the good) and I mean it, when I say it. I like to ask how your day was, and again-- I want a real answer. I'm southern, born and raised. A Georgia peach. A blue belle. Southern. And for that, I am gonna smile at you, make eye contact and smile again. Hell, I may even wink at you.
All these actions frighten northern people.
They don't do such things; making my search for friends a little difficult. BUT I have found a few who understand my need for over-the-top hospitality and redneck charm. So go ahead. Make fun of me as much as you want for my roller coaster accent that fades in and out-- I ain't going anywhere for now :-)