Friday, February 1, 2013

The Luck of the Washingtonian

I love this city. I love it more than I can find words to express.  There are so many awesome things to do, see, and experience here.  None more exciting than the inauguration of the President.  The peaceful transfer of power, the pomp and circumstance never fails to make me feel proud of my country. Every four years, the eyes not just of our country, but of the world, are turned toward Washington to witness history.  This year, I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural ball, to see the President and First Lady up close, sharing their first dance.  It was literally the greatest night I can think of (besides my own wedding).  I'm going to be high about it for weeks.

My exciting experience, and the incredible luck of being able to participate in something so special, got me reflecting on just how fortunate I am to live in this city.  It's easy to forget, when you hear from your friend on the Hill that they had a lunch meeting with the Speaker (of the House, obviously), or that a colleague was at yet another White House reception (cue exaggerated sigh).  But for me, this stuff never gets old. I was talking with my dad this weekend about how it's easy to forget that, just because it's fairly commonplace to "run into" our country's leaders on the street or at a professional reception, doesn't mean it's common to everyone else.  And while my experiences rubbing elbows with the elite of D.C. are fairly minimal by D.C. standards, they are opportunities that my friends from other parts of the country would die for.

This nerdy star-struckness starts young here in D.C.  I can remember a nursery school classmate bringing in for show-and-tell the dress she had worn while being held by President Carter as a baby.  Even then, my four-year-old self knew that this was a pretty big deal. 

In my adult life, whether in professional settings or just dumb luck, I've met a former President (more on that here), two Supreme Court Justices (more here), a handful of Members of Congress, the Secretaries of State and Education, as well as the Attorney General, and even a few "regular" stars (you know, the Hollywood type).  And even though they're people just like us, their face in the public eye makes them just a little more exciting.

To me, D.C. is the center of the universe, glittering with all different kinds of stars -- not just because it's our seat of government, but because it's home.  And I'm damn lucky to live here!