Made it to DC, Anxiety, and a Social Gathering

So, the past few days have been extremely busy. I’m incredibly tired, but I’ll put some info up about it.

On Friday, we left Lexington and headed to West Virginia and Virginia . It took hours to get to the small town the Teacher grew up in, and it involved some nasty turns on some crazy mountainous roads. I finally met her sisters, which was nice. It was also kinda odd.

Afterwards, we went on to VA, and I met the Teacher’s grandmother, who helped raise her for much of her childhood.  We mostly just pulled out lots of the Teacher’s old stuff from her old room. Lots of books, some old memory items, and a stuffed mononucleosis virus.

Saturday morning was spent with some important mentors of the Teacher’s. It was very nice, and a strong contrast with the day before. Then, we drove up to DC and our new apartment. (We got turned around on I-495 on the way up, but we finally got here.)

There were some things that I wasn’t ready for in getting here. There was a pet fee, which I should have expected (and apparently the Teacher knew about), and I somehow didn’t know. Also, I lost the receipt for the hotel room from Friday night. In general, these were small things, but with the stress just hit me hard. I woke up with a bit of a panic attack, because there is just so much going on.

The first big thing we did today was a grocery trip. A full grocery trip to stock an all new apartment was…stressful, as well. Also, I’d forgotten how much more expensive things are here in the DC area than in KY. I knew it was going to be a big trip, but the sticker shock was rather awful.

Honestly, the biggest stress right now is just that–money. Though I’m about to start a job that pays FAR more than I’ve ever previously made, the money that has flowed out for travel (to NYC and back, to DC), for the wedding, for the cat, for the long-stay hotel, etc., have really outstripped the money that was coming in from Kaplan. I’ve racked up some debt, and I’ve really burned through a lot of my savings. It’s all temporary (and I have plenty of credit room left), but it’s still very frustrating and scary.

However, a few things have made it a bit better. One is the apartment itself. It is amazing. A fantastic king-sized bed, two TV’s with satellite, and plenty of furniture. We’re going to see about switching out the art for our own stuff, but overall it’s fantastic. (Oh, and a dishwasher and washer/dryer!)

The other big thing is that today was a meet and greet with the other new FSOs. Everyone I met there was pretty cool. Most were definitely more experienced in both work and overseas, but I didn’t feel completely out of place.

(A special shout-out to the Teacher, who has been consistently supportive and loving, despite all my anxieties. Everything she does has made my life SO much easier this whole trip. I’ve very lucky to have her with me.)



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