I heard some news regarding my job hunt.
As you know, I have recently applied for several jobs at museums in the DC area. I've gotten a couple of responses. At this point I know I did not get the jobs with National Geographic and I also did not get the Program Assistant position at the National Gallery of Art. The good news is that the Education Specialist position has not yet been filled at the American Art Museum. In fact, they only recently started reviewing applications. Out of all of the positions that I have applied for, this is probably the one that I want the most. It's a dream job for me: working in a major museum doing professional development for teachers and developing classroom materials based on museum collections. I want so desperately to get back into museum education and I am trying to wait very patiently, but it is proving a little bit difficult.
I just wanted to share some of my favorite photos I took in DC this past weekend.
I am already planning a return trip to DC over my Spring Break. There was so much that I wanted to do, but couldn't cram into three days, especially because I was feeling miserable. There are still a couple of cemeteries that I would like to visit and there is an exhibition up at the National Museum of Women in the Arts about social and religious functions images of the Virgin Mary have that I would like to see if it is still up.
I left DC this morning, although I really didn't want to. I told myself that I was going to stay until I absolutely had to check out of the hotel. But I didn't sleep much last night, so I was up early and I forced myself to leave.
The drive home was okay: long, but fine. I guess that is the way all drives are when you know you are going home to face a reality that you don't want to face. So much has changed in my life in the past 4 days that it is kind of surreal. What will happen to me, I do not know. I can only cross my fingers and hope that things will work themselves out.
I was laying in the hotel bed thinking and I just had to get up and write some of this stuff down.
I came to DC to find myself. As cliche as it sounds, it's true. I don't know if I found myself necessarily, I still have a lot of looking to do, but I did realize some things:
Horoscopes can be eerily accurate.
We all make mistakes, some bigger than others. Bad decisions are a part of life. I don't regret any mistakes I've made. I don't think any one should. I think the thing that I regret the most is not listening to my gut sooner and sacrificing my dreams and my happiness for part of me that told me they were unattainable.
Stop, and take a deep breath. We all make decisions in the heat of the moment, but don't let your emotions overwhelm you.
If you really want something, sometimes you just have to go for it.
People come in and out of your life all the time, some fast and others slow. I really do believe that the people you meet, you meet for a reason, though what that reason is may not be readily apparent.
You think you know how you're going to react when someone breezes in and then is gone before you want them to be. But, I'm not mad. I'm not even disappointed. I'm... I don't know... If you're reading this (and I think you know who you are, if you are) I just want the best for you. Remember, never settle for just being content. I know there are others you have to factor into you decision making, but if they truly love you, they will support you. Sometimes you have to put yourself first, and you can't adequately take care of others if you don't take care of yourself. You know how to reach me if you ever need, or want, to.
Never forget to pack an umbrella.
I like being alone. I like being able to make spur of the moment decisions and go and do what I want.
That being said, I see the value in traveling with someone.
No one is worth not eating over.
Change is scary.
First impressions are everything.
Failure is a part of life. No one is perfect. The people at the top have failed more times than you have even tried.
Don't compare yourself to others.
Progress is glacially slow.
Put yourself out there.
Lean back, and cross your fingers. That's all you can do sometimes.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
I am better at giving advice than taking it.
Sometimes writing things down is the best way to process something. And this is why I place a huge value on being able to write and write well. I know that was a lot and it was meant more for me than for anyone else. I had to deal with my existential crisis somehow.
The city was quiet today. Not that I'm complaining. Maybe it was the cold, persistent rain. Maybe it was the fact that it was a Sunday. The crowds just seemed smaller.
I'm kind of in love with it here. It's small enough that you don't feel overwhelmed by its metropolitan nature. But, it's large enough that you can lose yourself in it. It is the perfect blend of historical and modern. And, enough goes on here that you don't feel disassociated from the world.
I went to the American Art Museum today. Was it frustratingly large, yes, but I was impressed with their collection. I found a new appreciation for the work of Thomas Hart Benton and John Singer Sargent. I fell in love with the work of James Castle. And, "The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art" was well worth traveling to DC to see. The works of Fred Tomaselli and Laurel Roth Hope were astounding.
I have to leave tomorrow and I wish that I didn't have to. I don't want to go home to reality, but I suppose I can't stay here either. I do have to work on Tuesday after all. But, I have applied for several jobs up here: one at National Geographic, two at the National Gallery of Art, and one at the American Art Museum, so here's to crossing my fingers that one of them decides to take a chance on me.
The walk did not happen, but food and a nap did. Both made me feel a little more alive so I spent a little time planning a walking adventure for tomorrow.
I think I feel up to it. I do right now anyway. But, it is supposed to rain tomorrow, so I might end up driving or taking the metro to where I need to go. On the top of my list is going to the American Art Museum, because, as many time as I've visited and or drive through DC, I've never visited any of the national galleries. They currently have an exhibition up about birds in contemporary art which I am very much looking forward to seeing, especially since I had my students last semester doing artwork about birds.
Other than that I just want to take in the sites.
I've noticed a couple things about DC. First, the roads are terrible. For as bumpy as they can be, they might as well be gravel. Second, there is so much chlorine in the water ( and maybe it's just the hotel) that it smells like I've spent way too much time in a pool. Lastly, everything is much more expensive than back home. I anticipated the higher prices, but I find the fact that gas is more than a dollar more expensive here than it is in NC a little ridiculous.
And now, it's time for me to go back to bed I think.
I dragged my butt out of bed this morning after another shower and much convincing, actually left my room.
I went to Rock Creek Cemetery. I had seen images of some of the monuments in a book called "Stories in Stone", which is essentially and illustrate guide to cemetery symbolism. Anyway, they captured my attention because, not only are they strong representations of grief, but the fact that the bronze had turned into a sickish green and black added to their creepiness and allure.
Driving there this morning was the first time that I had felt peaceful in the past few days. I don't know if was an because I was forcing my mind to think about things other than personal issues, but for a few brief minutes, I knew what it felt like to be alive. And, I felt sort of at home. Okay, well maybe that is a bad expressions, but I did feel a sense of familiarity as I was driving, even though I had absolutely no idea where I was at.
Then I pulled through those cemetery gates and that lifelike feeling I had disappeared and I felt like death again. Appropriate, maybe, considering the circumstances. It was weird to know that you are the only "living" person in a sea of the dead. If there were other visitors in that cemetery, I sure as hell didn't see them. But that's okay, because I'm fairly sure I would have looked like a crazy person. There were a couple of times that I just had to sit down on an exedra and cry and, it may sound a little crazy, talk to anyone who would listen, even if I couldn't see them.
No one must of been listening, or I didn't hear them respond, because I left with as many problems as I came in with.
Anyway, the cemetery was quite nice and represented to me a lot of wealth and power that I don't quite think had faded in the area yet. The stained glass on the mausoleums was beautiful and if I could have gotten good pictures, I would have. The bronze sculptures I came to see in the first place did not disappoint, although they were smaller in real life than they appeared in my book. In fact, the Ffoulke Memorial was even more beautiful in person. The black streaks running down the figures face gave it a expression of absolute exasperation and grief.
It really resonated with me, in case you hadn't guessed.
I don't know what I am going to do tonight. I never ate that Clif bar and I am starving. I am also thoroughly exhausted and would love a nap. I kind of also just want to take a walk. Maybe I'll do all three, or none at all.
I came to DC to find myself. Cliche, yes, but certainly true. And even though this trip was planned long ago, I really feel like it couldn't have come at a better time.
My life has fallen apart the past couple days. I've barely slept. I haven't eaten in 24 hours. Hell, even now I'm sitting in the office chair in my hotel room nursing a cup of coffee and trying to force myself to eat a Clif Bar. So far, no luck.
Getting here was easy and I had this plan in mind of what I was going to do when I got here. I took a half assed nap, which made me a little better since driving always makes me tired. And then... Let's just say the Universe likes to take good and crazy things away from you. Endings have a way of happening prematurely. Stories you feel like should carry on far into the future encounter a bad case of writer's block and they are left half written. The end could be final. In a couple days or weeks or months, more might be added to it.
I don't want it to be over.
Since then, I haven't left my hotel room. Well, that's not entirely true. I did attempt to go down to the bar, but found it too crowded, so I just went back to my room. The bed or the shower (which is kind of amazing by the way) have been my places of meditation because god knows I need to think. I've thought about everything: the good, the bad, the even worse... I've run the gambit of emotions. Sometimes I am inconsolably sad, sometimes not. Sometimes I am ridiculously angry (at myself, at others), sometimes not. Sometimes I feel incredibly relieved, sometimes not. And sometimes, okay a lot of the time, I just feel nothing, which in and of itself is a strange feeling for someone as emotional as I am.
I took one bite and I think I am done.
The good news is that I did sleep a little last night, although I was up every two hours feeling like shit. I am going to leave the hotel today and do one of the things I came here to do, visit Rock Creek Cemetery. I'm going to try and enjoy myself, but there are no guarantees of anything at this point. And if I am not creepily excited to go to a cemetery, then you know how I feel.
This weekend is going to be a long one.