Sunday, June 14, 2015

What Capitol Hill taught me about friendship

This summer has seemed like a dream and it has flown by. As I go into my last week as a congressional intern I literally feel like someone is ripping a piece of my heart away. This summer has taught me more about history, politics, patriotism, myself and friendship than any other single experience I have ever had. So, I thought I would take a few moments as I go into my final week to just share some of the truths of friendship and human nature that I have learned this summer.

But, before I begin it would be ridiculous for me to not give a shout out to three beautiful people who have changed my life this summer and for good. They have given me the time of my life and taught me a little something along the way.

Beeta, my persian princess. You taught me so much about being open minded, being willing to learn about other cultures, people, ways of thought and ways of life. You taught me to laugh at myself. To live life with wild abandon, to dance in the rain, to eat the taco, to belly laugh until it hurts, to go after what I want and so much more. You opened my mind and heart to other countries, you taught me to turn away the media and explore the truths of the world... past the hate and see the love, you taught me what unconditional love looks like.

Brandon, my joyful, jewish buddy! I cannot thank you enough for your patience as you have had to explain so much to me this summer. Thank you for showing me that there are still genuinely good good good guys in the world (and thank you for being one of them). You taught me how to not always live so guarded and how to embrace my emotions and be ok with who I am. Thank you for exceptional kindness and patience this summer.

Dixe, my Yale darling. In you this summer I found a special kind of soul mate and a future bridesmaid (as is Beeta of course). Our life talks have meant more to me than you will ever know. You have taught me the value of listening, of putting others first, and hard work. You have shown me how nothing is out of my grasp unless I believe it is. Through your patience and constant sense of sassy sarcasm you have kept me laughing and feeling like this summer was the best decision I have ever made. But, more than any of that you have given me hope. You have caused me to see myself again and like what I see. You have stood by me in some of the darkest, most confusing experiences this summer and helped me see the light is right there if I just choose to turn it on. You are one of the most beautiful and brilliant women I have ever met and I am so blessed to call you a confidant, friend, and role model. I adore you, darling. Thank you for the summer of a lifetime.

All that being said here is my list of friendships and human nature:

1. Never be afraid to go down the hall and ask for the wifi password for two reasons (1) Wifi is a necessity to life and (2) you might just meet a life long friend if you are willing to ask silly questions.

2. Never be too afraid/uptight to make jokes about yourself. When you can laugh about it other people feel much more at ease and can laugh too. (Thank you Brandon for the endless Jew jokes)

3. Those little quirks you find strange about yourself (the love of brunch, museums, women's rights, and history for instance) may be totally endearing to other people and help you build life long connections...and enable you to find the best $21 brunch place in D.C.

4. Don't be fake people can see through that and it is hard to recover from.

5. Friends are for late nights, deep conversations, camel back water bottles, and good laughs.

6. Not all men are jerks, not all iranians hate america (actually most don't), and not all ivy league students are snobs...please cut the stereotypes.

7. By indulging in other peoples interest you may just find a new passion/topic that you love and can change your life. You may discover "Filthy Lucre," a new way of defining terrorism, or a new taco place behind Union Station....all good things.

8. No one actually has it all together.

9. Kindness, acceptance, patience, and understanding will get you a lot farther in life than always having to be right, hate, or rudeness. As John Boehner said to the interns "be nice when you can."...Then he insulted some guys shoes but the advice was spot on!

10. "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, religion, or philosophy as a cause for withdrawing from a friend" Thomas Jefferson (aka friendships can survive the democrat vs. republican baseball game AND the TPA vote).

Sunday, June 7, 2015

I am from...

I went to a new church today and the preacher talked about being "from" somewhere and it really made me think about where I am from. This is what I came up with:

I am from the gymnast mat and a pink bedroom.

I am from a mother who sparkles and who can love deeper than the deepest ocean.

I am from a father whose fierce determination and strong leadership have shaped my life.

I am from a sister who is so beautiful that every time I uncover a layer of it I find there is another more.

I am from cowgirl boots and red high heels and running shoes.

I am from the great smokey mountains and a grandmother's flower garden.

I am from a quick wit and sassy sense of self.

I am from a young couple in the church who adopted me as their drama child.

I am from a college and youth pastor who never gave up on me.

I am from the most competitive of classrooms and the most sincere of belly laughs.

I am from the debate stage and the youth group's drama.

I am from "Away in a Manger" to "The Old Rugged Cross."

I am from the friends who have taught me how to love and trust and fight.

I am from an eating disorder that tried to destroy me from my core and from a God who taught me to love a broken masterpiece.

I am from summers that pushed me to the edge and then off the brink to teach me how to fly.

I am from betrayal and forgiveness.

I am from a hunger for justice and a desire for mercy.

I am from an old dirt road and the city street.

I am from childhood memories and grownup dreams.

I am from pancake breakfasts I will never forget and more love than I have ever deserved.

I know where I am from and even though I may not know where I am going to I know that the journey is always the best part.

"To make living itself an art, that is the goal"