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Monday, August 5, 2013

And it All Came to an End

I have not blogged in over three weeks. Sorry! As the end of my summer in D.C. came down to just a few weeks to enjoy, my spare blogging time wasn't a luxury anymore.

This blog became an escape, normally a late night escape, where I could reminisce over my week to rant, rave, rejoice, and recollect my thoughts. My thoughts accumulated over seven days were all laid to rest the moment I put my fingers to the keys. Soothing.

Instead of going over three weeks (individually), let me talk about The Experience...............

"It's over $5,000"

For every pro of the program I answered with the cost-con. I'll be living in the nation's capital for eight weeks, cost-con. I will automatically will have internship placement (great a radio station), cost-con. This will open much opportunities for me, cost-con. You get the point. I battled with myself constantly on what would be the right move for me. Expand my resume or my bank account? Enhance my journalistic skills or keep my pockets tight? I made so many past mistakes, I didn't want to put myself in further debt hole. If that meant I would not do TFAS in the summer, I was okay with that decision--more money saved for me.

My sister really didn't understand why I was holding on to money when I had the financial means to do things that I want to do and participate in programs like TFAS and most importantly college. Then my aunt, she was so excited for me. Between her and my sister I realized "what-ifs" and "I should ofs" are the burden of a nation.

Because I put so much time, thought, money, and myself into TFAS (really whatever I do), I take it all very serious. It was not an option to make my time in D.C. memorable, one I would never forget. If I left feelings as if I needed and wanted to do more, my mission was complete.

"What's a goal"

I didn't have any goals this summer. A goal to me, nothing fancy: something you set out to achieve and then it's over. You're done. You did what you wanted to do. What's next? Everything is an ongoing process to me; my goal in completing my first internship isn't over because I should not and settle for one. My goal on becoming successful is less of a goal everyday. Once I obtain success then I have to keep it. I think it is pointless to have these tons of mini goals when you can just continue the process of doing what you set out to do. In other words: I hate being asked, "what are your goals in life?" Let's say a simple goal: get a job. I leave an interview as a full-time employed worker. Great, I just completed a goal. But having a job is an on going process, is it not?  I made my point, if you missed it oh well, I'm going off on a tangent here.

I honestly did not know what to expect when I got to D.C., I intimidated myself before I even got there. What type of intern would I be? What connections would I make? Would I be useful? The list goes on. I wanted to leave not only an impression on my workplace, peers, professors, but the city. Did I do that?

Once again I fool myself in my capacity of greatness. Self-doubt is the worst form in personal conflicted to be ever committed by a human. That's where my motto comes in: I think I'm just as good as anyone else? Think it's cocky, not even. When you're in a room full of young scholars a.k.a competition (to an extent, the workforce) one cannot think, "what am I doing here?" You have to believe you're part of the best. It'll boost the hell of out your confidence and your life will thank you for it.

"The Dreaded Hours"

Even though classes were at the bottom of my list of things I enjoyed, I survived them. I was burned out with the classes mid July so how I was focusing, the hell if I know. But I left each class with a higher level of intelligence, the point right.

"The Loner"

I didn't do much mingling with the other students, but at the same time I really didn't care to. Not saying that I like to close myself off from other people, I love meeting new people. But Idk, to me, since I was a few days late in arrival; I felt friends and bonds were already made. That didn't bother me, my focus was blazing through the summer and leaving my marks wherever. All the previous posts of my adventures around D.C. were done solo. There were times I wish I had company, but that was only when I need a picture taken, other than that being alone gives you time to think. I was able to not rush, do something at my own pace, and not worry about anyone and whether they were enjoying the moment. Take in the scenery.

"The Experience"

My TFAS experience was special. It was a time where I was tested on my strengths, weaknesses, patience, credibility, the list goes on honestly. I got the chance to take back skills with me that I learned throughout my week that will help me so much along the way. I got to visit sites and meet state representatives, reporters, anchors, writers, magazine founders over the course of eight weeks all thanks to TFAS. I got placed at one of the leading NPR member stations, WAMU 88.5,  of the DMV region and worked as a research/assistant/news reporter/producer. I got to SIT in the house floor of the representatives in the U.S. Capitol building. I attended lectures of movers and shakers in our economy, in our world. I got to hear Senator Rand Paul, Fox News political/judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitano, and meet some pleasurable people.

All in all TFAS gave me what I needed and more. To people who are reading this and don't know what TFAS is or maybe considering the program, take the time to learn more about it or go with your gut instinct. This program is really like a family with the wonderful staff who are there every step of the way and make sure to know who you are as a person. What more could you ask for. I am forever grateful to TFAS.

Also I learned the importance of staying true to yourself. There will be times where I will be tested but I got to experience how much I truly don't take for granted the person that I am today. Who you are can make or break you, you're your biggest critic.

"Thank you"

As I carried over 70 lbs. of luggage, oh yea my first day in D.C. all over again, to the metro because I didn't have cash for a taxi, I thank D.C. for a memorable last day.

To the man at the metro that offered me a metro card between his many compliments because I was searching in my purse for mines and just got out the hospital and possibly had vomit on his shoes and pants, did not remember what happened to him, asked how I stay so "fit", and then asked me "you mixed with something or are you just normal black?" Shout outs for giving me something to talk about. "Normal black" huh. I've been asked and I mixed before (definitely was not the first) but that "normal black" caught me off guard. There is an abnormal blackness population and they must be discovered and normalized.

To Victoria, the University of Kentucky student, that was interning in D.C. and kept me company briefly on out way to Union Station and we ended on southern hospitality with a nice hug. Best wishes girl.

To the Middle Eastern older woman I sat next to on the train, I wish you well.

To the older woman that helped me carry my luggage once I got to the Amtrak station in Savannah and had to wait for a while because my sister was at the bus station instead of the train station. Thank you.

It is little instances like that and my entire time in D.C. where the saying "first impression is the lasting impression" are a truth of test.

I will probably do other posts of my last three weeks in D.C. of just photos (with captions) AND I did tons of cooking and took photos of all my meals.

To all the reader of my blog: thanks for rocking with me. I will still post my work at the radio station as soon as it's published

Kayla

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mace Anyone.

It has come that time where I blabber about my week. Three weeks left, I knew time would fly by. Why do I blog late at night every time I do a post? Hmmmm anyways........

Sunday I got to have to dinner with one of my dear friends at Matchbox, a restaurant located in the China Town area. Did I mention China Town to me just looks like a bunch of random Chinese restaurants and Chinese words translated under buildings? No. Okay. Anywho yea back to dinner, it feels real good to see familiar faces since technically I am up here alone. One of the most memorable moments about dinner was that the table where me and friend were having dinner was next to a window and for some reasons there were flies. Me no likey. I just happened to have a Chinese restaurant menu in my hand and my friend starts smacking the flies with the menu. I.was.dying. It was hilarious, I laugh to myself randomly throughout the week about that. Thanks for that memory Tat.

I did some retail therapy Saturday at The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and I'm going to add much need retail therapy so I can feel better about my purchases. I love me a sale rack, Macy's has great sale racks, and I found a cute dress for twelve buck; you can't beat that. It was a moment I had to admit I can fit an extra small.....in some things, I try to pretend I'm not that tiny. I don't know where I get these eat-whatever-the-hell-you-want-it-won't show genes from, but THANK YOU!

Does anyone feel Forever21 is a hit or miss? I do. I can walk through that store and have absolutely nothing in my hand. In this case I had to kind of force myself to find things. I have more bottoms than I do tops so I wanted to balance out my wardrobe for work. And let me tell you, I have been repeating pieces of my wardrobe. The lack of options I gave myself during my so-called packing the day I left has been biting me in the ass. But I'm making it work.

I did the most damage to my pockets at Steve Madden--my favorite shoe brand. I pretty much love every single shoe made and want each one. I'm a shoeholic. I strongly believe that we were force to only wear shoes, I country would be much healthier. There was a buy one get one half sale....you know BOGO. I couldn't resist. Once I become financially well off, I will still have pre life of riches.

If I'm sounding a little vain or materialistic, trust me when I say I'm not. I'm simply a girl that loves her shoes and a great deal on anything really.

Well besides doing a little shopping, there was one other thing I noticed a can't bag (get it bag, okay): a guy. Yea yea I'm 21 and still fairly just starting out but I believe I'm old enough to know what a good man is. I honestly think I have the worst luck with guys lol. I don't date much and when I do it always ends.......sour. But I'm staying positive. Before my aunt passed she told me I was going to change the dry spell of weddings we have in our family. "You're going to change that, I just know it", she said. As much faith as she had in me, I hope she's right.

Work was work this week. Nothing really major that stuck out to me.

My first site briefing for the summer was at The World Bank. I strongly support and want to join their mission in ending world poverty. There is enough food in the world to end poverty it's just a mean or resources that some of the poorest low-income countries do not have.
Globe inside The World Bank.
Me at the podium after the presentation.
"Our dream is a world free of poverty"
 

I mentioned before that the metro is literally sucking me dry. I need metro money management asap. I brought a $36 seven day pass and it actually only lasted me six, so I put $20 on my card on the sixth day so that was $56 on metro alone within a week. Then Thursday guess how much I had on my smartrip card, no take a gander. Ninety five damn cents, $.95, so I put $10 on my card, so in just a week and some change I have spent $76 towards the metro. I caaaaaannnnooooooooot. It's just three weeks left but I need to make some changes. I know there is the bus and it's cheaper but the metro is faster and I really don't like the bus (especially after riding one for 12 hours to get here).

I had a mini journey for last week's Thursday class. From Foggy Bottom to Virginia-GMU is 4 metro stops. Why in the hell it took about 15 stops to get there? Oh yea, cause I decided to just hop on the first metro not even recognizing its the wrong color. All these damn metro colors: green, blue, yellow orange, and red. Class started at 7 p.m., I got there at 7:38 p.m. The only thing good about getting lost that day was the three sexy metro officers that almost made me fake a distress.

"Someone is following me."

"Who?"

"Never mind he stopped."

Like they were that attractive.

The weekend is normally when I take my adventures because that is when I have a whole day for free time on my hand. I decided to go to the Corcoran Gallery of Art and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The gallery was beautiful man, my first art gallery experience. I have such an appreciation for the arts. Also since I went alone I didn't have to feel rushed. I was able to soak in every piece of art and capture that moment the flash went off or the last stroke of paint hit the canvas. You really never know what you are interested in until you do something that you may find uninteresting. That was not my last gallery visit. Oh and it was a free admission weekend #SCORE

 
Beautiful.
 
Full figured mhm.

Can you believe those last 7 pictures are action figures? Amazing.


Since I had window of time until I had to be to The Kennedy Center, I decided to just grab something quick to eat. I ended wandering around the downtown area just looking for a place to eat. Anything could have satisfied me, I passed by a McDonalds for crying out loud but noooooo I wanted *spirit fingers* Panera Bread.

Oh no no searching for a place to eat was not nearly as annoying as a creeper I came across. A creeper is a over 30 year old man that is........creepy; a scrub is 29 and below.

I am just walking, minding my own business and this man starts to bother me. I have become a pro at ignoring people, so good I don't recognize when I do it. So yea he's bothering me, but I do give a dry hello, matter of fact it was a hey. This fool cups his arm and tells me "put your arm right here". I look at toward his direction and he says it again. He wants me to latch my arm in his and "come walk with me for a minute." I couldn't help but shiver in disgust and badly wish I had I can a mace to sauté that ass up! It was daylight by the way and as soon as the crosswalk had that little white person and said "walk", I was already across the street.

I just do not understand why men feel that any woman they talk to is obligated to speak to them. If makes no sense how I cannot even walk down the street with someone hollering at me, I hate for myself and women to be looked at some human sex toy. It does not matter what you have going on in your life or what type of person you are, if you look good that is all that matters. I cannot tell you how many times I have men just feel that since they spoke to me I have no choice to speak back, especially, especially old ass men. This is not the 1970s. A lot of times it just disrespectful how men approach women, stare or yell something at them. I don't consider that a compliment or cute. Some women like attention that way but that's not the right way to get it. I don't even know what made that guy say to me to walk with him. It doesn't matter if I'm 21 or 11, STRANGER DANGER! It also made me realize that even though I go out solo during the day, it's creepers and scrubs 24/7.

The Kennedy Center has free performances every Saturday at 6 o clock, my next stop for the day. It is literally down the street from where I stay, seriously my dorm is in a great location.

Tumbao Band y Raul Morel (lead vocalist), a Cuban-Salsa flavored band was a great and relaxing way to end my Saturday. I'm just a lover of music in general, I really don't have a favorite genre, whatever sounds good to my ears. Oh how bad I wanted to dance, but I don't know how to salsa, oh and I was alone hehe. Overall I still very much enjoyed the performance.
Sculpture outside The J.F.K center.
Performance at Millennium Stage.
Lots of the crowd dancing up front.
A river view from The J.F.K. center.
J.F.K. sculpture.
Overall week six, I cannot complain. I enjoy all my weeks so far and the little adventures I have.

Before I close out I just want to say something, get this off my chest.

I absolutely hate when I have to filter myself for the people I am around. I'm at a point in my life where I feel I can actually be myself and I don't like to be restricted other people, especially when it is not in a business setting. To have to give up my level of comfort to make someone else comfortable does not make sense to me and I'm talking about in the environment of adults, people who are no longer teenagers. At some point in your life, one must realize not everyone is like them or thinks like them. I understand that, but people I come across do not. Do people even believe in being oneself anymore?

Adore