One of the greatest experiences I’ve had thus far was nothing that “special” at all. There wasn’t a chance encounter with a celebrity on the street – or happening to meet a visiting Prime Minster. (Not to say there were not many incredibly inspirational and powerful people I had the privilege to see).
Rather, one of the most special moments this summer dawned on me in a coffee shop. I was waiting to meet with my supervisor for a briefing on an upcoming event we had the next day. It was raining, so I decided I would take my time in the café to see if it would pass.
While this would usually be a moment in which I listen to some music and wait for the time to pass, I noticed I had forgot my headphones at home. Thus, I sat at a long table – just listening – surrounded by a sea of different conversations flooding through my ears.
The more I honed in on each conversation to my own curiosity (and slight nosiness), the more I noticed one common theme: each conversation (besides maybe one slightly uncomfortable interaction between an arguing couple) was related to politics and the current events in the country. While this seems so miniscule, it was something so important and special to me. Most of my life and the places I have been, I have not been surrounded by too many people with similar passion and interest in the world of politics. By being in a coffee shop in the nation’s capital, I was immersed with “everyday” people simply discussing the things that I follow so closely.
As someone who is very affected by my surroundings, it was a moment of clarity for me that this was a city I truly belonged in. To be surrounded by like-minded people allows you to further learn and grow in ways you may not have thought about or have been exposed to. Thus, this experience of just being surrounded in this environment really stood out for me and helped the full gravity of my situation and opportunity sink in.