I was cordially invited earlier this week to attend a private dinner event with a renowned political pollster. The main reason why I was amongst the guest list was, to put it simply, due to working in the international affairs industry.
DC is a big place with big people. There are dozens of events every day featuring influential people. The event I attended was one of many hundreds of dinner events that day. Like I said, big place with big people. And who am I? A nobody. I’m the bottom of the food chain, a recent graduate moved to the opposite side of the country for less than two weeks time.
There were three round tables with eight or nine people per table. Of those ~25 in attendance, there were four former/retired ambassadors, several board of directors members, executive members, managers, presidents, and other top dogs.
Then there’s me, a measly bachelors from a school on the opposite coast.
But that’s what makes this place so interesting. Everybody in DC is generally smart, so having a college degree from an accredited institution is just the bare minimum. Everyone has different backgrounds, like the manager of a national programming agency who was born in Spain and has traveled most of southeast Asia; or the foreign service officer who have served 16 two-year terms around the world; or the man who owns a international consulting firm; or the honorary speaker of the night who has correctly polled several president elections since 1992, down to individual swing states. They all have their own stories, their backgrounds.
However, I have mine. Who studied abroad in China’s equivalent of Harvard. Who fought for my life (twice) in Mexico’s Pacific coast. Who speaks multiple languages with the ability to read and write…
…Who took off from LAX and somehow landed at Dulles International Airport, Virginia, while getting hustled a 33% tip by a Super Shuttle driver to Washington, DC.
Meeting people, staying active and alert, maintaining health, contributing at professional presentations, and attending events. It’s tiring here. But no better time to do it than now, as I’m entering middle adulthood. I’m nowhere near the smartest guy out here, or anywhere for that matter, but I have conviction and chase after things I want. This is the best place for me right now.
But, for now, I’m just small fry trying not to melt in a large city.