After seeing a dear friend of mine, Stephanie Kleven, twice in two weeks due to her proximity (she lives in Philly), I realize how important this decision to move to D.C. was for my social needs.
God bless Missouri. I'm glad I was raised close to nature, with humble beginnings, solid values, the slow life, and zero materialism. On the other hand, I am a total skeptic of easy questions and simple answers and ends. For some unknown reason, I have always questioned simple conclusions, the average path and conventional reasoning. Curiousity was the death of my content Midwestern spirit and I set out to search for different answers.
Only in my travels did I collide with like-minded questioners. Free spirits on a search for something they couldn't explain. Not content unless they were in discovery. Pushing limits for the thrill of it and not writing anything off as impossible. Searching for something bigger than themselves. These were the people I needed in my life. These were my kindred spirits.
Now they are close. They live in D.C., Philly, New York, Boston. . . for the moment. Until they, too, head off on the next adventure. Chasing dreams, pursuing ambitions, starting non-profits, disappearing on long bike rides for the fun of it, acting on their (calculated) whims, studying what they are passionate about, plotting wild adventures in savage-like countries, pondering cross-country road trips, and, most importantly, never saying never. Never assuming the answer to life fulfillment is as easy as A, B, and C, but positive it's about living out A through Z. Shoving as much life and as many different types of livelihoods into this one life we are given.
I have amazing friends leading extraordinary lives. They never cease to inspire me. I could not even begin to guess where life will take them. Much to my relief.