Monday, January 19, 2009

Other Inaugural Recollections

The energy in D.C. was electrifying. There is no other way to describe it. I have heard it compared to the positive and uplifting vibe that John F. Kennedy brought to the nation's capitol when he was the President-Elect of the United States. Having just turned 29 on January 18, I cannot recall the emotions of watching JFK being sworn into office ... since I did not yet exist, but I feel a new empathy for that time and the mentality fueled by a country's hope for a historic change.

The personal highlight was joining my best friend in some of her first baby steps onto the Hollywood social scene, but the bigger picture was entirely consumed by narcissistic pleasures. The weekend was made all the more memorable by the droves of Obama supporters swarming about D.C. There was a steady hum that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. There was a collective realization that we were witnessing the preparation for something extraordinary, a simultaneous moment in time that would have a distinct and simultaneously united view from every angle. Though I regretted not being able to stay through Tuesday for the Inauguration, I was grateful that I got to sense the anticipation and experience the atmosphere first hand.

At an awards brunch on Sunday, I heard Kerri Washington and Hill Harper give incredible politcal activism award acceptance speeches, each poignantly recounting their campaign journeys or their personal interaction with Obama. Washington's message was one of unity, reminding supporters that he is equally an interracial symbol of the evolving face of America as well as a role model for those of color, who are now finding the courage to consider the possibilities. Harper told a beautiful and endearingly witty story reliving the semesters he shared with Obama at Harvard Law School.

After an interesting first night that led from the chaos of car keys (permanently) lost by the valet to oddly-formed new friendships and various jaunts around the capitol to witness the sights, we rounded out the three-day MLK weekend by celebrating my 29th birthday yesterday before today's afternoon flight back to NYC. We had dinner at Marvin and hopped over to an Eric Roberson concert at The Black Cat. Afterward, we went out for drinks with my secret service buddy (off duty from his assignment to Joe Biden) and his fellow agents at J. Paul's in Georgetown. Throughout the course of the evening, my secret service buddy mentioned his admiration for my spontaneity with regard to my last minute trip on one of the most hectic and historic weekends in Washington D.C.'s history.

"You're doing something that very few people really do," he yelled over the bar chatter in J. Paul's. "And you know what it's called?"

He leaned into my ear, "It's called living."

I could not have been given a better compliment on my birthday.

1 comment:

tiffany said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!