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Gritty & Pretty

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I live in a neighborhood that Money magazine describes as a perfect balance of “gritty and pretty”. In a city that to me feels more strip mall suburban soccer mom than anything else, that scrappy little hood is my lifeblood. I spend a lot of time trying to convince myself I like Charlotte, but nothing makes me loathe the Queen City more than going to big, loud, dirty, quirky, bustling cities. I live for that mess.

So while I’m currently up in DC helping my busted up friend get around on a broken leg, it comes as no surprise that man, oh man… I am filled with agonizing life regret.

Can’t win ’em all, Katie!

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I rolled out yesterday around lunch and knocked out the drive in six hours, which I thought was pretty impressive. I noticed no more than an hour north that the leaves are really starting to change in ways we’re not quite seeing in the city yet, and DC is in full on fire mode.

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It wasn’t until I got here that I realized a hasty packing job left me with nothing but three pairs of yoga pants, a chambray shirt and some sweatshirts. Whoops. Doesn’t matter. We’re just sitting around eating all the cookies anyway. Current life motto: “Calories don’t count when Isaac’s on crutches.”

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Most of my core group of college friends landed in DC after we graduated so I’ve been up here at least twice a year for the last seven years so I kind of feel like it’s my adopted big city. Or I’m its adopted urban-lusting small-city resident. Something like that.

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I’ve made lots of trips here, but this trip in particular was a lesson in showing up for me. I run a tight ship when it comes to my friends and in general I remain disinterested and distant for like four years before anyone ever sees any bit of who I actually am. I don’t like people to know me. I don’t like to need anyone. You know.

So in the not so distant past I was in a really just wretched terrible ugly dark place and whining to a smart person about how alone I was and how no one would check on me or really even care because why would they? And her brilliant tough love response to my question as to why I didn’t have any friends was: “Are you being a friend to anyone?”

Touche. Touche.

I wouldn’t say it drastically changed my Ice Queen personality. I’m still shy. I still like to keep people at arm’s length. But I have decided to start making this concerted effort to let people in my life know that they’re in it on purpose, that I need them and that I’ll show up when they need me.

I am super late to this basic human interaction, I know. It’s ok. I’ll bring cookies.

12 Comments

  1. Hilary Hilary

    I have a similar relationship with Charlotte – but I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I feel like so many people love it and move here on purpose.

    Enjoy DC!

  2. LJ LJ

    I feel compelled to point out that Charlotte is, by definition, a large city. It’s not NYC, but it’s not a small city.

  3. Erin Erin

    I use to think I didn’t need anyone either. But then, pretty slowly, I began to notice the good energy I got from people. And then I noticed the more I put out good friend energy, the more I got back.

    I’m a late people-bloomer too…but who cares ’cause I’m (we’re?) here now;)

    Thanks for sharing this story, I really connected with it.

    • Katie Katie

      Late bloomers unite!

  4. Michelle Michelle

    Why not look into re-locating? You are young and you aren’t uprooting a family – go where makes you ahppy.

    • Katie Katie

      I keep guilting myself out of it because my family is here 🙁

      Which just means I’m scared of it…

  5. Emma Emma

    So much gratitude for your honesty.

    • Katie Katie

      <3

  6. Ironic, considering I’m currently realizing a dream of mine to live in Spain for a year…but am also currently applying to PhD programs, one of which is in Charlotte! I’ve never commented, but I wanted you to know that I’ve followed your blog for years and yours is the only one I spend time checking while I’m in the land of tapas 😉 So much goodness here.

    • Katie Katie

      Uggghhhh I love Spain so much. Jealous!

  7. you had THE best response to my broken ass leg. you’ve always been a great friend to me, whether it be a simple letter asking for a hug when i lived in france or your immediate response “i’m coming” after the broken leg. you do have a knack for priceless devotion. don’t sell yourself short. oh yea, bring more clothes next time.

    • Katie Katie

      Haha YOGA PANTS FOR LIFE. I love you.

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