photo courtesy Flickr user afagen
When I was gathering references for my DC job search, I called on one of my old supervisors, a woman only a few years older than I was, to tell her that I was moving.
“Oh, Tiffany,” she said, “That’s wonderful. You’re destined for DC. You know how some people, you just know they’re going to New York or someplace? You are destined for DC.”
And it was with these words ringing in my ears that I arrived at the age of 23, and endured the adulthood trial-by-fire: a series of low-paying jobs, sketchy neighborhoods, landlords who wouldn’t fix a broken toilet, interpersonal drama, and all manner of situations that make twenty-something life resemble a Zach Braff movie.
But gradually, I figured it out. I made friends. I found better jobs. I found favorite restaurants and weekend activities, learned to throw dinner parties, and made a life for myself in my adopted hometown.
I’m nearly 30 now, and rather than loving DC despite all the quarterlife turmoil, I love DC because of it. I may have reached the age of majority in Pittsburgh, but I grew up here. I found my career here. I found my art. I fell in love. I got married here. This is my home.
These days, I never fail to be moved by cherry blossoms, the words on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial, or the look of wonder on an out-of-town friend’s face as she says, “Wait, we’re on Pennsylvania Avenue? THE Pennsylvania Avenue?”
Destined for DC? I can’t say. But it sure does feel like I belong.