I said something to Tom on Sunday that was so strange, so out of character, that I almost had to repeat it. But after almost a week back in the National Capital Region, it’s still holding true:
I think I could live in DC again.
When we left DC in late 2007, it was under a cloud of extreme stress scented with my first big professional failure. DC is a tough city in which to find your way; we have wonderful friends here and enjoyed a lot about our lives but there are a lot of really intense, driven people in DC. It’s hard to explain why it’s different here than in any other major city, but if you’ve lived here, you know it’s so. It’s not a bad place to live and it’s actually a wonderful place to visit. But for a long time, our personalities just didn’t match up.
Driving around and heading in and out of the city this past week, I felt something odd inside. At first I chalked it up to gas. But then I realized…could this be…fondness? Was I feeling nostalgic for this city? Affectionate, even?! I was. It was strangely disorienting, like falling asleep when the sun is up and waking up to dark skies, but…nice. Familiar. I started thinking “Won’t it be fun to come back when Maggie is a bit older to do X, Y, and Z? Oh! And then we can…”
I like to think I’ve grown up a little. (Not enough to hear the name Boehner without snickering, but that’s neither here nor there.) If nothing else I have a better sense of who I am and what our goals for our family are. DC is still the same, but I think we could get it together. I can stand up for myself; I’ve learned to love my type-B grasshopper tendencies. And with all the free resources, the DC metro area is a pretty damn good place to raise homeschooled kids.
Because of job commitments, our paths will surely cross with DC’s again. The current plan is to stay in the field for a while, then come back to the region when Maggie is about fifteen so we can start considering the college thing. It was something I had dreaded. But now I think it will be okay. It’s a nice way to feel.