How life is different in DC

Okay, I don’t actually know how life is different in DC because I don’t actually live there. And technically I work in Northern Virginia (which will be henceforth known as NOVA), not the District. But still, if you’re going to classify me, that’s where you would have to put me.

I gave serious consideration to the standard ‘write on current events’ post, mainly for two reasons: One, they’re easy to write about. You just pick something and then state your opinions, usually laced with truthiness but not based in it, and all is well. And two, there’s a lot to say about the world right now, what with schools becoming battlefields, North Korea alienating itself from the world, and all the political turmoil which is building towards election day. But while I think you like to hear my thoughts on those things, I think you’re more interested in just hearing about my life. So I’ll give it to you as best I can.

There are lots of good things about living in DC. For one, I’m working in a job that I like. I don’t love it–that is to say it’s not necessarily the ideal job that I would craft given the opportunity–but it’s great, and is certainly an amzing place for me to start with out of college. Actually, I look at it a lot like I’m still in school. The atmosphere is a little more intense; you have to actually bring something to the table here, which is great because I became really adept at doing what was necessary to just ‘slide by’ in school, so being pushed is a nice thing. As things are right now, I’m also looking to be here for 2 or 3 years, which is also pretty similar to me being in grad school. Of course, that could change either way, so I’m not exactly making plans for 2009 yet.

I say it’s not the ideal job because, well, it’s not. I don’t particularly care for the fact I’m in such a professional role, and have absolutely nothing to do with the pastoral side of working in a church. Not that I expect to be preaching sermons anytime in the near future, but I have always enjoyed being involved in the creative & planning aspects of church services, and I do miss that involvement. Especially now that I’m in a place that makes an effort to involve people, try new things, and stay out of the routine. So when I do eventually leave here I’d like to go to a place where I’ll be more involved in those kind of things (or to Hollywood or Broadway, so I can win Tonys and Emmys).

I don’t like being out here by (almost) myself. Right now, the Lails, and specifically Nate, are all I have out here, and when I move closer to work, I’ll be giving up the ability to call Nate and hang out at a moment’s notice. And I will certainly miss that. Having one of your very best friends around is such a valuable thing… Nate’s the only reason I’ve keep my sanity all this time, being out here by my lonesome. Score one for the people who got married, I guess. Having a constant companion sounds like a nice thing.

Speaking of marriage, I can say that I do very much appreciate my status as a single person. It’s not nearly as uncommon as northen Indiana would have you believe, and I like the fact that I can pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want. I mean, I still expect and hope to get married in the next few years, but really I’m quite content being single so long as I can maintain a social life. I just have been sucking at maintaining a social life, because all people do in West Virginia is get drunk. And alcohol is too expensive to spend my time getting drunk. (That was a joke… I haven’t the desire either.)

I’ve had to grow up and become responsible, which kind of sucks. I’ve spent boatloads of money on things like rent, groceries, and car repairs, and almost nothing on fun things, cool things, or impractical things. There was a time in my life when I expected to buy one big-ticket, high-tech gadget every year; you know, something to keep the inner child alive. Now it seems that money is better spent by not spending it at all. Saving so I can make trips home whenever possible, planning for a deposit of an extra month’s rent, and even cutting out of my paycheck in order to fund health insurance, retirement funds, and school bills. Man, do I miss that college ‘half-responsibility’ mode. Just in case anyone’s wondering, I did diversify my portfolio, so don’t worry. It’s a very aggressive allocation, because I’m trying to retire by 32.

Hey, you gotta have something to hope for.