Thursday, April 29, 2010

Empire State of Mind(ish)

Days don't always go as expected. On Tuesday, for example, I woke up & was like, "Awesome, it's my roommate's birthday! I'm gonna go to work & then leave at a normal time to eat at Chef Geoff's with my best friends to celebrate, followed by my standing 'American Idol' date with Rachel." I guess maybe I thought it in less-complete sentences, but that was the mental gist.

By 3:30, I was in New York City.

Yeah, you heard me. Er, read me. Sometime in the early morn, my boss asked if I'd mind terribly hopping a train to the Big Apple to do some work at our other office. So a few things happened:
A) I called my (very patient, understanding) mom & freaked out a little because heyitsjustanaverageTuesday&NewYorkisbig&scary&Ihavetoleaveintwohours?!
B) I packed a bag, and
C) I got on a train. And it was fine, & there I was.
So that's how that went down, plus or minus a hotel room of my own, two meetings with a lawmaker of a foreign country, & a few chai espresso lattes.

Do you ever look around at your life & think, "Oh my God, what is all of this & how did I get here?" And it's not a good thing or a bad thing, it's just a thing that you can't help but think. This trip was one of those trips when I remembered 17-year-old me, a high school senior who watched the Twin Towers fall & decided she could never be anything but a journalist. The version of me who made a pact with her high school boyfriend to someday live in New York City, where we'd both be writers, where life would be crazy & busy & beautiful & maybe we'd be poor but we'd sure as hell always be happy.

Cut to eight years later, where life is crazy & busy & beautiful & I'm almost always poor but also almost always happy. There's no boy & there's no Big Apple (usually); there's some writing, but not the magazine-writing kind that 17-year-old Kate (or even 22-year-old college graduate Kate) told herself was coming down the pipe. But it's a life I dig a lot. It's not what I ever could have predicted or planned for myself, but sometimes planning is a little overrated.

When I got back to DC last night, so tired I literally almost couldn't stand (whirlwinds wear me out, yo!), my roommate texted me a reminder to open the freezer before I went fell into a coma went to bed. And therein lay a bright, shining, mint chocolate chip token of Baskin Robbins' 31-cent Scoop Day, which I had missed while riding the train back from my 24-hour adventure:



Yeah, life's not what I expected. But it's pretty freaking sweet.
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