previously on “jackie meets the real world”

Last time I wrote I was preparing to leave my college dorm room for the last time.

Tonight I’m writing from an apartment in Washington, D.C., halfway through my fellowship with The Washington Post.

It’s been quite the two weeks.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • I cried four times on the way home from Samford: once leaving campus, once just past the blasting zone on I-20, once crossing the state line, and one other time at a point I can’t remember. I am nothing if not a sentimental sap.
  • I got a new “working girl” wardrobe. I love shopping, but this was a bit odd-feeling. And not quite as fun. I’m not entirely sure of why.
  • I turned 22. Nothing happened.
  • Two dear college friends got married. It was not as strange an experience as I was expecting.
  • The wedding provided a miniature “SU Class of 2013 One-Week Reunion,” so that was cool. And there was dancing.
  • My friend and I pulled off some ridiculous semblance of swing dancing on an almost empty dance floor, and I almost cried because I realized we wouldn’t get another moment like this for at least a year. It took me a very long time to say goodbye to him at the end of the night. Rwanda is my least favorite country right now.
  • I flew solo. There were complications. I said a few unpretty things under my breath.
  • Everything worked out. I apologized to my luggage for what I said.
  • I was reunited with one of my deep loves: metro systems. I’ve missed them so much.
  • I walked around D.C. for a very long time. I got a blister. I fell in love. It was worth it.
  • I saw Trace Adkins and Taylor Hicks on parade floats. I missed RGIII, however [cue boos here].
  • I started my fellowship at The Washington Post. I got a badge with my face on it. And a login code. It was a big moment in my life.
  • I went to a Social Media Club- D.C. event. I felt simultaneously professional and juvenile. It was weird.
  • I stumbled upon the motherload of food trucks. It was another big moment for me.
  • I began helping with a major project at the Post. And then another one. I got nervous. But it’s working out really well.
  • I spent hours looking at art. There were Canaletto pieces. I swooned.
  • I got annoyed with middle school tour groups. Then I remembered that I went to D.C. as a middle schooler and wondered if I was that irritating (Mom, Dad…please say no).
  • Megan and I laughed at 1960s stewardess uniforms. There were hot pants involved. Honestly, Southwest, had you no shame?
  • We felt very small next to spacecraft.
  • We got annoyed with middle schoolers again.
  • I touched a piece of the Berlin Wall and cried in front of the mangled broadcast antenna from the top of the World Trade Center. The Newseum is worth every cent of admission. Every. Single. Cent.
  • I realized how weird it is to be working at the same thing for eight hours a day as opposed to the constantly in-flux schedule of college. I can’t tell how I feel about it yet.
  • I made this list.

So yeah, that’s my last two weeks.

I still don’t have a full-time job, in case you were wondering. I’m looking. Believe me, I’m looking. I’ve written so many cover letters and updated/rearranged my résumé more times than I can count. Job hunting is absolutely not in my top ten of favorite activities.

But I’m content right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve truly been able to say that, but I am. I don’t have all the answers, and I actually have very little direction, but I’m content.

Maybe the real world isn’t quite so bad. I might even like it a little bit.




I said might.


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