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!
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.
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.”
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.
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?”
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.