The 2012 election came at a tumultuous time in my life. When I graduated from college in 2007, I'd always said I would move to DC within a few years. I loved this city and felt such a pull here. However, I got a great internship in Texas right after I graduated, which led to another internship where I was ultimately hired on full-time. The company was fantastic, I loved the work I was doing (I was that obnoxious friend who "loved her job"--my FIRST job, mind you). Then the recession hit, and we were all grateful to just have a job (and my company went through salary freezes and layoffs, so I felt doubly grateful to still have a spot).
At that point, it seemed crazy to upend my life and move across the country in such an era of uncertainty. I was too junior at my company to make a transfer to their DC office really seem valuable, and honestly the thought of moving probably scared me. I had wonderful friends in Dallas, family close by, and the dog I'd grown up with was 15/16 and still his delightful self. I started dating someone. Why would I leave?
My five-year college reunion occurred in October 2012. This made me literally screech to a halt. It had been FIVE years since college, and I wasn't living in DC? What was I doing? What happened to my "be there in few years" plan?
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't regret the time I spent in Texas over those five years (well, I may regret a few instances). I think that the happiness and contentment I felt during those five years helped distract me from the pull I felt towards DC.
So, around the time of my college reunion, I realized I was in a now-or-never situation. I wasn't getting any younger, but I also had very little baggage. I wasn't married, didn't have kids, didn't own a house, didn't even own a PET. So I started my job search in DC, talked to a few close friends who lived here about it, and took a tentative step into seeing if this new life I'd dreamed about was possible.
I remember waking up on election day in 2012, having early voted the week before. I dressed in red white and blue (and still have that outfit, ha!), stopped at 7-11 to buy coffee in an Obama cup, took a selfie in my car (oh to still have that photo, it's on a now defunct phone haha) and spent the whole day feeling very jittery. Feeling like this was not just a new presidency (even though the same president would win), but like it was a turning point for me. I'd taken enough steps to move to DC at this point that I was actually thinking about what it would look like.
And the rest, as they say, is history. So I take solace in knowing that while I'm viewing today's election with a lot of trepidation, none of it stems from my personal life. Let's do this, America.
(And now, one of my favorite West Wing scenes. Fun fact: this scene was supposed to have taken place at the library closest to me, but it shut down a few years ago to be rebuilt. And looked NOTHING like this haha)