For years I’ve had a love-hate relationship with our nation’s capital, but this time I fell in love with it. Looking back it seems as though every time I tried to enjoy the day as a tourist in D.C., something would either go wrong or distract me from my plans, but this trip was different.
This time I didn’t break any bones and spend the day in the emergency room, nor did I spend all day and night swooning over a man who never fails to make me feel sexy and awesome. (I might have done that if he hadn’t been out of town on business in Chicago.) I spoke at the conference, went out with a cool guy who treated me to one of the best burgers in D.C., spent time with Brandon (who is one of my favorite people on the entire planet,) went to dinner with an awesome and inspirational friend and visited with executives who were interested in hearing what they could do to make air travel better for people of size.
When the conference was over and Brandon left, I decided to take a walk down to the White House. I hadn’t been there in about two years, and there’s something magical about being at the home of the most powerful person in the free world. I nerd out for it every time.
The White House was about a mile from my hotel, and it was about another mile to the Lincoln Memorial (which is easily my favorite spot in the city.) I stopped in front of the White House to take a photo, of course, and a few minutes later I stopped by the Washington Monument to post it on Facebook.
When I opened the app, I saw a message from someone who used to mean the world to me. She was a close friend when I lived in New York, and our relationship suffered because I couldn’t be honest with her. I’ve talked about this many times on my blog. She doesn’t have a blog, nor are we connected online. She just sent a message that said, “Hey, are you in front of the White House?”
She was there visiting from New York with her husband and saw me, but I didn’t see or hear her because I was wearing headphones and listening to Maroon 5’s latest album (which is awesome, by the way.) I walked back up Constitution, and I can’t tell you how amazing it was to hug her. I apologized for being a piece of crap, and we walked to the Lincoln Memorial together. In some ways, it felt like ages since I last saw her (almost 4 years ago,) and in some ways it felt like yesterday.
I don’t know if we’ll ever be friends again, but it was so good to spend time with her. It felt as though something in my heart was mended that day, and it felt good to say ‘I’m sorry’ in person.
My trip, which included stops in Boston and New York as well, was one of the best I’ve experienced in recent memory. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to cultivate change and to be surrounded by close friends and inspirational game-changers. Now I’m back in New Orleans, and I’m looking forward to fall and all of the good things that come with it.