It’s OK to miss DC

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{Pictures taken from a trip to the Shenandoahs during our final month in DC}

I have lived in DC twice. The first time I left DC I was moving to Los Angeles for a new job and to be closer to my now husband who was attending UCLA. But honestly I couldn’t have gotten out of that city quick enough. While I knew I had made some good friends for life in DC, it was such a transient city that many people seemed to be on their way out (read: my then boyfriend), and as I began to strategize how to get back to California I completely stopped investing in the city. I had a miserable final six months in DC, where you could easily find me making ridiculous complaints about everything and anything. “All the Asian food in the city is terrible,” “Everyone is the same here, doesn’t anyone care about anything other than work?” or, “How can one possibly live without the ocean?! This place is a disgrace.” I distinctly remember having a birthday party during my final month in the city with such a bad attitude that I didn’t even want to celebrate with anyone there – I was just fixated on cutting off ties and getting out.

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I know regret is a word you aren’t supposed to use, but I genuinely regret the way I treated DC and my life there those final months. I used my impending move as an excuse to not invest in the community I was in, rather than try and make the most of a potentially great time. I am sad to think about how I took the friends there for granted during this grumpy phase, and how I miss them everyday now as they live across the country or the world. In my final moments in DC I realized what I had done, and vowed to not let myself waste time wishing I was somewhere I wasn’t, and to be present with places and people I am lucky enough to be with, no matter what. And while I am happy to say I have lived by this affirmation many moves later, it also makes moving away so, so much harder.

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The second time I lived in DC the best part of it was the final six months, and it still hurts to write this and think about how I don’t have that life anymore. I can’t believe I can be brought to tears by the same city I basically gave the middle finger to just a few years before. The second time I lived DC it just felt so right being reunited with the friends and family there, and I just leaned into that until its final moments. It is hard that I miss the awesome DC people in these pictures (and others) in my everyday life in Delhi, but isn’t that something to never take for granted – people, community, and a city worth missing?
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4 thoughts on “It’s OK to miss DC

  1. Having lived in DC twice myself, I felt like I could have written this post. It weirds me out that I actually miss that city! That’s the difficulty with moving around – you never feel complete because you miss things about other places you’ve lived. This is a good reminder to live in the moment. P.s. I may be in your current city later this year. I’ll let you know if it happens!

    1. Suedy, I love this comment! It’s kind of nice being reunited a little through this blog :). And YES! Please let me know if you come through Delhi, it would be great to see you!

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