The great journey East

Perhaps it was a good thing that I was completely disoriented as I boarded the plane from Minneapolis/ St. Paul to Washington DC-Dulles last Tuesday. Had it not all happened so suddenly I may have had time to stop and think about it, the ridiculously expensive ticket, the last minute jumping into an unknown city to speak with an organization to whom I had emailed a resume and job application nearly three months earlier, never expecting to hear from them again.

Anxiety producing tales of airport horrors and impossible commutes from Dulles into the city proved almost entirely misguided, as I got a nice nap on the plane, only had my bag searched once, and easily found the cheap public transportation that got me right where I needed to go with nothing more than a couple dollars, a little patience, and the humbleness to ask directions.

So Tuesday night I found myself in the guest room of the fancy apartment building in Cleveland Park where the Director of International Programs for the Cooperative League of America (http://www.ncba.coop/clusa.cfm), the organization with which I was interviewing, lives. They put me up for the night, since I flew myself out to the East Coast and all.

After being consoled through my dress-shoe anxiety by my professional fashion consultant, Kat (I have no idea how to present myself to an office on the fourth floor with a view of the Washington Monument!), I got off the Metro at Capitol Hill lookin’ snazzy and feeling pretty good (see picture, in the bathroom mirror with my phone…).

I wandered through the National Art Gallery, down the street, after four hours of interviewing, staring at Van Gogh’s self portrait, but not really seeing it. My phone rang. I scrambled out to the hallway when the guard yelled at me, to take the call. The rest of the day was a mix of anguish and excitement, surprise, mostly shell shock.

They offered me the job, and I guess I said yes. I will be leaving Minnesota in about a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, Eastward bound, for a great unknown. Another great unknown. I will be an Assistant Project Manager for the National Cooperative Business Association – Cooperative League of America’s International Development Program.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with the friend of a friend, who happens to be a reporter for the BBC’s Persian service and was covering a photo gallery exhibit in the Woodrow Wilson Center, watching how a BBC reporter interviews and puts together a radio piece, eating cheese and crackers and drinking wine with other people in fancy clothes, feeling very stimulated surrounded by other politics nerds. I could have a good time in DC.

And now Craigslist is my best friend as I desperately search for a place to live on such short notice, try to figure out how to start from nothing in a new place that I don’t really know. Anybody have any friends I can crash with for a while in Washington DC?

Of course I’m excited. Very excited. But there are also so many reasons to stay here in Minnesota, so much about life here that I am very passionate about. But it is one of those moments, those opportunities, where I feel that if I don’t at least give it a shot, see what it’s all about, I will look back and say “I wish I would have.” I never want to be in that place.

Mostly I’m concerned about how to get my favorite coffee making toys across the country, and having a place to put them…

I really hope I can hear from you all soon. Those of you in the Twin Cities, I especially want to talk to you before I am off on this next adventure. I hope all are really enjoying the beautiful spring.