So the time has finally come for me to bid farewell to DC.
I moved to Washington on September 14, 1995. My first living situation was in a group house with two others, one of whom I never saw, at 10th and D, NE. The one roommate I did see had “questionable” friends in and out of the house at all times of the day or night. I ended up moving out after living there for one month.
One of my first nights in DC, I went to Kramerbooks on Dupont Circle and bought the newly published, “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. It was primarily to help me get over my homesickness. I walked across the street and had dinner at The Childe Harold and sat outside, eating my pasta, drinking my red wine, reading my book, and feeling oh so cosmopolitan.
After 10 years, I forsake 2 apartments, 2 houses, and 5 jobs. I leave behind experiences like sharing a pizza on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at 2AM, seeing the pink cherry blossoms color a gray dawn at the Tidal Basin, shopping on an autumn Sunday at Eastern Market, biking along the Potomac River, and walking through the streets of the city with thousands of others during an AIDSwalk – all things that could only be experienced in DC.
I blow a kiss to 3 ex-boyfriends, all of whom allowed me to grow and learn and be the person I am today. They showed me love in a city that is known for being unfriendly at times. Each one helped me discover something about myself. And to all the others who showed me love even if it was just one night at a time, I thank them for sharing their lives with me.
And I say “see ya later” to a myriad of friends and acquaintances. There are people in DC who met me 10 years ago and still remember me. I know it has just about everything to do with the fact that I have an interesting name. But to my vanity, I would like to think that I left some kind of lasting impression on them, as everyone I have met has on me, be it good or bad. But there are some, a precious few, with whom I will miss grabbing dinner, drinking Margaritas at Lauriol, singing karaoke drunk, dancing ‘til dawn, shopping in Georgetown, and just hanging out and laughing. Please remember friends that I am a mere 2-hour plane ride away. With room for company.
So onward, but not necessarily upward, I travel to new horizons. With a new lease on life, and a new heart for good measure, I leave behind my youth and look forward to my 40s in Chicago. Perhaps when I am on the cusp of turning 50, it will be time to move to another city, perhaps Boston, perhaps New York, perhaps something smaller, perhaps even DC again.
My flight leaves this morning at 9:45AM. I hope DC will remember me as fondly as I will remember all of it.