Tuesday, October 16, 2012

unexpected what you did to my heart

Part III.

Yesterday, I fell in love not only with D.C. all over again, but with this particular trip all over again. (The catchphrase that's become a refrain punctuating each conversation of our trip is kind of actually a lie. You don't only GOLife once. I'm here for a second shot at this gig.)
And yesterday, I remembered why I was here again. I fell in love with this city so completely all over again.
Only in my hometown do I have the same feeling walking down the streets: the feeling that not only do you own these streets, these buildings that you pass, but that they own you. You know them in a way you know a dear friend: an intangible something makes them infinitely dearer than even the most beautiful block of New York City. And, in some strange way, they know you as well. There's a part of me I didn't even realize was dormant until I had steeped myself in the D.C. air for a bit.
But then I felt myself come alive again.

But it started yesterday morning with an early morning trek to an adorable, perfect little coffee shop. 
Coffee shops must have two things to register as adorable and perfect:
1) Large windows and good window seating
2) Luscious pastries sitting in the cases.
This shop had both. And we sat in the window seating, sipping the rich, nutty coffee.
We did a wee bit of reading (to feel justified in visiting the coffe shop, and in order to pacify the productive part of our soul [that's the fourth part that Plato forgot to include] that demands that we produce homework. 
But then we got to the real reason coffe shops exist: conversation, and the rest of our time was spent in life chats and girl talk.
It was refreshing and revitalizing. There's nothing like a break for stepping back and taking inventory of where you are so far in your year. And so those who you spend your breaks with become doubly important. They're the ones you can share discoveries with, hash out relationship drama, work out problems, and talk through the journey of the semester thus far. It's utterly delightful.

We walked around the National Mall this afternoon, and visited all the monuments. The sky was a chiseled bank of clouds. They looked like marble sculptures, and mirrored the magnificent marble memorials all around us. We watched the sun set over the Potomac from behind the Lincoln Memorial. Fun fact: I had no idea you could walk around the Lincoln Memorial. And I had no idea that the view from  behind the Lincoln Memorial was that incredible. And I thought to myself as we sat there: this is not real life.
And then an October rainstorm came. And we opened our umbrellas and covered ourselves with jackets and scarves and forged out into the rain on our walk home.
As I watched the city lights glisten off the rain-soaked bricks of the sidewalk, I fell in love with D.C. all over again.

After our meeting in the afternoon (more on that anon), I was like a firecracker. I was walking and talking through the city at full speed, gesticulating wildly, and barely letting my poor, patient conversation partners get a word in edgewise. I had missed that part of Renée. The part of Renée that lets a rant about the societal injustice that abortion perpetrates against women burst out of her on a first date, because she just doesn't know how to not.
I've learned a valuable lesson over the past year: I've learned how to not let myself get carried away by passion.
My next lesson is to learn which passions I can allow to carry me away with them.
I'll gladly sign up for that adventure any day.

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