I called Patricia as my parents and I were driving across the Ohio-West Virginia border (they drove me here from Chicago). The next day, I was carrying luggage across H Street into her building.
The 700-mile trek from Chicago to D.C. was worth it. I already know this,
despite not having had time to explore the city and take pictures yet!
I've already met dozens of editors and designers, as well as other members of AARP Media. In the coming weeks, I look forward to the magazine's "Facetime" sessions, in which I'll get to meet individually with different members of the staff. While I've mainly spent the last two days getting settled in and doing basic research, tomorrow I get to help staff a lobby event on Capitol Hill.
Just when I thought I couldn't feel more at home here, last night I headed to Chinatown Coffee for a cup to go. When the barista's tablet wouldn't scan my debit card, he didn't make me pay, even though I told him I had cash. Now, as I sit on Patricia's couch and contemplate my first couple of days in D.C., I wonder how I've been so lucky, and more importantly, I can't get over how welcoming the people have been. As a Midwestern girl, I've been programmed to think Middle America is where all the "nice" is, but the District is shaping up to be quite the rival. I'm not intimidated by what lies ahead: I'm ready to open the door to more new faces and experiences.
by Lydia Belanger, Northwestern University, AARP The Magazine
Edited by Em Maier, University of Pittsburgh, Inc.