Travel

New Realities & Routines – – A Summer in DC

I wake up and forget where I am quite often. Sometimes I dream that I am an undergraduate trying to find my way around Vanderbilt University, pushing my way onto the subway in NY, or walking on the beach in Albania. My realities have changed so much the past 10 years, I often don’t have a good sense of where I really am in the world. Feeling sometimes like a dandelion petal floating with the wind.

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About a month ago, I moved to Washington DC for a 12-week summer internship with the U.S. federal government working with an agency that invests in businesses abroad to solve development challenges and promote U.S. foreign policy. For example, this agency invests in a diverse array of companies, ranging from a microfinance organization in India to a sanitation company in Kenya. I have been learning about how the agency evaluates potential new investments, and I have been doing my best to support this process.

This is me on a run on my first day in DC when I found my new office 🙂

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I had forgotten what it felt like to work again. Getting to the office around 9 and leaving at 6, which compared to other jobs that I have had in the past is quite good. Creating time for myself in the mornings by going for a run or yoga at 7am, and using the evenings to take an art class, spend time with some of my classmates and other friends in DC, and to read books. Wishing also to create more time to think and write. Carving out new realities and new routines takes time, to figure out how to plan time, to prioritize who you want to spend time with, and when you can have time for yourself (“introvert time”).

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But even in creating new routines in this new city for a few more weeks, I am grounded in both new and old friends – Vandy gals, HKS classmates, fellow summer interns, a kind roommate, and others who make me feel that this is home. Home for now, and home forever. And a home that will always exist because of the friendships woven through moments shared together.

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