Learning the Ropes | #2

As I begin to settle into my DC internship, I begin to realize that there is so much I still need to learn. I’ve finally got my head around how the city streets work (Although I still find myself backtracked all the time) and settled into the office. However, the more I learn the more opens up to me. What is there to do in DC other than the super cliché tourism spots? Where’s all the good food? And all this isn’t even considering what I’m learning to do on the job. The vast amount of tools, work and resources available to me at the Department of Justice is astounding. Not to mention, the current political climate makes it all the more interesting to be working for the government all summer. But, I feel like I have the basics down. I can shop for myself and get myself around, and I finally have the time to explore the city as I want to. One saturday afternoon, I found myself wanting to escape all the wildness of DC, and wished I was back in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where I often find myself during summer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go up there so I went to the next best place. Rock Creek Park. Although in the city, the park sprawls for miles and has upwards of 72 miles of hikeable trails. So, I set off on my journey. The park is utterly stunning. While not as quiet as the upper peninsula (you can still hear a stray ambulance every now and then) I felt like I was no longer in DC, but somewhere else away from the craziness of the city. When I’m in DC, I never feel like I can escape and have a moment to myself. However, in the park, I found myself at the top of Pulpit rock, a small formation overlooking the river, and I just sat down and looked out. It isn’t the best view in the world, but the small glimpse of an open field and a flowing stream reminded me of some of the first advice I got in DC. “Find your escape”. I was told this city was too into politics and always needing to be somewhere, and I figured that was right up my alley and I was going to love it. But, sitting on top of that rock formation in the middle of a forest made me realize something very important. The most important lesson I learned in DC so far wasn’t something at work, or which direction Metro car I needed to get on, or why there isn’t a J street in DC, but, instead, to find a place where you can just be, with no plan, no goal, nothing. Who would have thought one of the world’s busiest cities would teach me to seek out a place where I can be anything but busy.

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