Last Sunday I had lunch with my mentor. Most times he tries to walk me through what I want to do post graduation. He always asks what immediate and future goals I have for myself? How I plan to achieve these goals? And what things do I need to cut out and gain to make the road of success a easier one to travel? But this time around he asked me if I felt like DC was the city that I wanted to permanently settle in? And even if not permanently, at least for a while.
The question seems simple enough and so basic, that it seems ridiculous that I've never honestly pondered it before. The answer should have also been easy but it really left me wondering. I honestly didn't know the answer, and that really concerned me. I've lived either within or about an hour away from the district the majority of my life. The culture is ideal, the pace of life is exactly what I love and the overall location is perfectly nestled halfway between the warm embrace of my southern heritage and the glitz and glam of northern opportunity.I love the DMV and I rep it every time I have the opportunity, but weridly enough it doesn't seem like my city. There's something about DC (and its surrounding areas) that doesn't belong to me. I feel like there's a secret to living in the District of Colombia successfully that I haven't and won't be privy to. People who've went to school with me for the last 4 years will probably disagree with me. They'll remind me that I'm pretty much a local. I have had a non-dorm affiliated address within the 202. And I know how to successfully navigate all 4 sections of DC. My family will say that most of my friends are directly in the area, my progressive mindset and ideas fit perfectly into the scheme of the city and the endless opportunities for fun and pleasure are right at my disposal. But still none of that truly makes me feel as if I am truly apart of this population.
In my opinion every major town/city/state and even country has a word that identifies the people and overall vibe of that particular place. Its a word that describes what everyone who lives there has on their mind. If you had ESP and could read the minds of the people who walked through the streets everyone's thought would eventually go back to an underlining theme. And that theme would be the word of that place. The word that identifies New York City would probably be SUCCEED. The word of Las Vegas would be PLEASURE. The word of the United States would be POWER. But the word that would describe DC would probably be LEGACY. It's also a word that describes Howard perfectly. Although that word is much more acceptable than some of the previously mentioned It still doesn't necessarily reflect my inner psyche. DC is built on so much rich history and antiquity which is definitely admirable... but sometimes people stand on their legacy so firmly that they never make it a point to create their own legacy. And that's the exact opposite of what I want. I want to make a name and history for myself. Do everything that I told myself I would at 8 years old. Attempt to fulfill my dreams. Change the thought process of those around me. Make right the things we have allowed to be wrong, for so long. I want to live in a place where I'll be able to identify with the words RISK-TAKER, HUMANITARIAN, COMMUNITY, ACHIEVE, ARTISTIC and eventually FAMILY, DEVOTION and LOVE. All words that I don't think I'll be able to somehow use as character traits if I settle in one place.
But who knows...if Marion Berry or Vincent Gray (mayors of DC at some point) gives me the key to the secret of the city than maybe i'll change my mind about making roots. (Although they both got arrested during their terms within their own city so I guess they are out of the loop...just like me.)