Sunday, June 14, 2009

and she's off!

I’m in DC!!

I’m starting my second week here, but really, my first week completely settled and not exhausted. I got in last Saturday and stayed with a family that I had been in touch with for a while (the Blockers) for a couple days, until the family I am now staying with for the whole summer (the Mennealys) got back into town. Between moving from house to house, figuring out the metro system of DC, starting my internship, getting up at 5:45am for work, etc., it was a slightly tiring week. But this weekend has given me good time to catch up on sleep, completely unpack, and get to spend some time with the Mennealys (Scott and Donnita and baby Logan) and the campus ministry here. Being settled, I now really feel full of anticipation and excitement about the rest of the summer.
I am really encouraged that I’ve gotten adjusted so quickly, not that I really thought I would have a hard time, but I’ve learned things can be completely different than what I expect. The fact that things have gone smoothly getting up here and the following pieces of encouragement from God have really made be ever more sure that God is taking care of me, HE has a plan, and maybe this time, I’m not fighting it and that’s why it will be great: (and in no particular order…)

a. I really like my internship! This first week felt like school…all studying…but I think it will get easier. I’m working at the Woodrow Wilson Center with…I might as well put their names because it makes it easier to talk about…Maria Ivanova, a professor from William and Mary College and Dan Fiorino, a professor at American University who worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for about 30 years. With Maria, I’m helping her with a chapter on her newest book on the UN Environmental Programme. The chapter is on international organizations and their structure and design, and whether or not that influences performance. Dan has two projects. The first is on nanotechnology (which I have had to learn all about) and its environmental impacts. The second is looking at why the US has historically been good at conservation but not sustainability, and how that can change. I will be doing mostly research throughout my time here, but also getting to meet with people at the EPA. And hopefully, the summer will be filled with exciting and “careerly” beneficial meetings and experiences.

b. Oh, my building is three blocks away from the White House! It is so cool. The Reagan Building (where the Wilson Center is located) is in such a great location! I can easily get to tons of museums and monuments, and if they’re not in walking distance, the nearest metro stop is literally 25 yards from the entrance of my building. I feel like all that in and of itself is just God knowing what would encourage me and giving it to me.

c. Staying with the Blockers was so much fun and the perfect way to transition up here. I already feel like they’ve become and are becoming a surrogate family for me here. Andy, who was an advisor for Clinton when he was president and former VP of the New York Stock Exchange, works very near to where I do and since I have to leave with Donnita in the morning, which puts me in the city TWO hours before I start working at 9am, I’ve been able to hang out with Andy in his office some mornings. That has been a lot of fun and very encouraging. I might even be able to go with him some mornings to fundraiser breakfasts and congressional meetings that he has! It’s amazing to me that God has used him in such incredible ways, as a disciple, and that now I get to spend a summer building a friendship that I am sure will help me spiritually and secularly.

d. Since I will always be getting into the city two hours before I have to start work, I have decided that I am going to make that time enjoyable and memorable, instead of miserable and comatose. I’ve been having coffee/breakfast at Cosi, a really cute, urban coffee shop, but I’m going to start exploring for new shops and cafes and am going to figure out which monuments are near where I work so I can have quiet times there. How cool is that?!
I think those are the little things that I’ve thought about this week as being what have made my summer here off to a great start.

e. Oh, and it summer. Helloooo! Everything is better and happier in summer.

So, as most of you know, and have been the providers of :) , I receive the “how do you feel about everyone getting married” question quite often now. I’m not sure if things are finally clicking, if I’ve just had plenty of conversations about this, or if God is just giving me a lot more security and contentment, but I feel like I’m finally starting to embrace singlehood. Or, embrace that God has HIS specific and unique plan for me and, it’s perfect. So I’m going to fully love it and let him work and love me. I feel like I’ve said for a while that I’m going to live my life the way I want and enjoy it, and if someone wants to join in then, great! But I, more often than not, haven’t actually felt that way. I know so many women waste these years just thinking about the boyfriend or husband they don’t have and want and basically just sit in their little shell waiting. I obviously don’t want to be that and I’m grateful that I am only 21. But I do feel like I have wasted certain times or instances doing that. For example, I don’t want to look back at this time in my life or specifically my time in DC and realize that I didn’t enjoy it or do the things I want to do because I’m wishing I had someone to do it with me. And I don’t feel like I am. I am so excited about being here! About my time here! – all the museums and monuments I’m going to go to and see, the people I’m going to meet. And of course I’m going to build relationships here in the campus ministry, but I’m going to do these things for myself. And I’m not saying that in a selfish way. I’m just so amazed and grateful how God has led me, taken care of me, and given me this opportunity. I feel like this is possibly the first thing in the past three years that is something I’ve wanted and prayed about and received. I’m aware that God doesn’t have to answer my prayers the way I want and that if he doesn’t , that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me to the stars and back and in unimaginable ways; so I think I’ve grown in my gratitude for what he does do and I can see, and that he doesn’t have to do but does. (Oh, and I get to spend the FOURTH OF JULY in DC!! How exciting is that?!)

I’m sure I have more that I meant to write about had I done this earlier this week. I am going to work harder at writing much more often. And hopefully soon I will have lots more stories and pictures to include!

I would be so happy if any of you can come/want to visit me! It would be fun…. :)

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