I just had one of the toughest workouts. Kickboxing at Gold's Gym on Capitol Hill with Jen. She sounds nice, the experience sounds normal, but I am in PAIN! She kicked my butt. After our initial meeting I came to the conclusion that this Jen is NOT nice...or maybe she's simply sharing a tough love, because I will feel better about my caloric intake while I limp to work tomorrow. After an an hour and a half of hell, I ran home, and decided to head up to the roof for an evening swim. It was so relaxing to be back in the water, especially on a warm summer night with the glow of the Nationals stadium to my left and the Capitol and Washington Monument to my right. I then made a much needed call to a best friend in Auburn. What a blessing to have such good "bosom friends" as Anne of Green Gables referred to them. I don't know what I would do without the consistency of a wonderful roommate, an incredible family, and circle of friends and mentors who truly care for me.
These past two months have been a balance between managing a new work life and finding new friends. It's actually not been that difficult, God has laid everything in my lap. I have no complaints, it's just an odd reality that my friends and family in Auburn or elsewhere in the world have no idea about my life here. It's completely different and separate from the last 21 years of my life. The majority of my friends are new, a new church, new scenery, new apartment, a new world. No one back home can relate to the experiences I'm having. And yet in a way I feel like they should because they know me.
There are endless interesting things to do and people to meet in DC. I feel as though my weekly activities are constantly changing and I'm collecting new emails from acquaintances all the time. (We don't really do facebook, or cell phone numbers, correspondance is all through email. This is the downside of everyone having a Blackberry.) One weekend I spontaneously went to New York City to the US Open with a friend from Auburn who was interning in NYC. So a few hours after deciding to go I got on a bus and made a friend at 8 am on the way there, and another at 3 am on the way back. Both women were incredibly accomplished and so interesting! I had a truly eye opening week with the wide variety of people that I encountered. I now keep in touch with both women and have been touched by their different experiences. After living in Auburn, Alabama for 17 years of my life I have broken out of my sheltered bubble. Even with the multiple trips and conferences I went to, I did not have the depth of relationships with people who were really much different than me.
Then the realization hit me, there are a lot of generally confused people who are hungry for answers. They are unsure of what is going to happen in a sinking economy and a world filled with war, depression, hate, and hopeless discontentment and greed. DC is a prime location for hurting people. The "successful" ones just know how to cover it up. I want to make a difference on this planet in the short life I'm given. And even if it pulls me away from my family and friends, I want to be in the place where I can be best used by God. I want to serve as an open sounding board for anyone who needs a friend; to be able to implement the many ideals and values imprinted on me throughout my life. So here I am. A displaced southerner who seeks fulfillment in the daily joys of life with a passion to make even the smallest difference in the world around me. Why do I consistently chose to be silent and ignore opportunities when I have been blessed with the answers? As Christians WE have been given the answers!!!! Speak up and act out, for our reward is not on earth, but in heaven and we do not answer to men, but to the Creator of the universe.
14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear[a]; do not be frightened."[b] 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.1 Peter 3:14-16