If someone would have told me back in the fall of 2006 when I moved to Washington, DC that I would stay there for almost nine years, I would have laughed in their face. Yet it happened just that way. Three years ago today I passed the FSOA, and yesterday I moved away.
In the days leading up to my move, I was incredibly busy. After my packout I was still working full-time, attending meetings at the State Department every day. I reaped the rewards of having completed many administrative tasks and personal errands in the months and weeks prior, ending up with a little more time for fun. And most importantly, very few instances of being angry and frustrated that I had more things to do than allotted time to do them.
On the evening of Thursday, May 14 my husband and I threw a fun going-away happy hour downtown at Teddy & The Bully Bar. In my typical fashion, I sent out an invitation over five weeks in advance. LOL. Over the course of nearly nine years in this area, I have had the opportunity to meet dozens of fantastic friends and colleagues and I was so pleased that many of them were able to make it. I will truly, truly miss the professionalism, support, humor, innovation and intelligence of the people I’ve known here, and I hope that our paths will cross many more times in the future.
There were more than one hundred wonderful pictures from that night, many of which I haven’t even seen yet. Here are just a few…
I was pretty stunned when my matron of honor and her husband walked through the door of the bar. I hadn’t even invited them because they live hundreds of miles away. I only invited people who lived within 20 miles of DC because it was a weeknight and just a casual stop-by-for-a-drink kind of thing. But here they were standing in front of me – absolutely amazing. So we took them to a late dinner at the fabulous Founding Farmers and went for a final little drive in my car because…
…early on the following morning, Friday, May 15 my beloved VW was picked up and taken away to be shipped to Uzbekistan.
I went out to the parking lot over an hour early to remove the license plates and do a final sweep for personal items in the vehicle, when low and behold the truck showed up early. This is why it pays to do things early, kids. Bonus – an extra hour (albeit a carless hour) to myself.
It was strangely sad to watch her leave. And it was incredibly aggravating to navigate northern Virginia over the next few days with a full schedule by using only public transportation. Whenever I started to get irritated, or apply another band-aid to my foot, or anxiously check my watch for the tenth time worrying that I would be late, I reminded myself: soon you will be a stranger in a strange land, where everything is in Russian or Uzbek. After that, I settled down into a state of gratitude.