About Me

Welcome!  This is a blog about my ambivalence toward living in Washington, DC and my attempt to resolve it.

am·biv·lence (noun)

uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by the inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.

such as loving and hating your hometown.

I’m Monica, a 20-something DC native, born, raised, and educated inside the beltway.  I live in the same city as I was born and work on the same street as my high school.  While I have technically lived in Michigan, Australia, and France for short periods, I haven’t paid the bills in a city other than this one.  And I admit that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  There is a lot to praise about DC and I feel proud when I travel and tell people where I hail from originally. I’m actually very “DC” in a lot of ways:  I’m a government contractor, I set the Washington Post online edition as my home page, and I like a nice sweater set.

Lately, however, I’ve been complaining a lot about living here and wondering if I’m better suited for a different city.  Politics poses as culture, summer is swampy, and the metro system is seriously flawed. I’m also not very “DC” in a lot of ways:  I’ve never interned for an elected official, I’m not a fan of the Redskins, and I’m not friends with any members of Late Night Shots.  Plus, as I explained, I’ve never lived anywhere else.

The solution: I intend to wipe my DC slate clean and be a tourist in my own hometown.  I will revisit old favorites, aim to discover new gems, and seek precisely what there is to love about DC.  The inspiration for this project comes from a couple of sources.

First, my husband, JP, suggested that perhaps I dislike living in DC because I don’t take advantage of its perks.  See, JP is from the sort of small town in central New York where friends futilely ask about evening plans as though there is more than one bar or movie theater to frequent.  He says that many DC transplants and aspiring transplants want to be here just because they get to live in a large diverse city with options.  Then I realized that I have never had many of the uniquely DC experiences of my peers such as touring the U.S. Capitol, dancing at Black Cat, or eating at Ben’s Chili Bowl. I’m going to finally do those things, as well as everything else I’ve overlooked simply because I’ve always had access to them.

Second, inspiration comes via one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies Paris, Je T’aime, “In pretending to be a man in love, he became a man in love.”  I wonder if similarly, by faking unequivocal love for DC, can I make unequivocal love for it?


12 Responses to “About Me”

  1. 1 Kristen

    Love that you created a blog! Can’t wait to hear more about your love/hate relationship with DC.

  2. This is sort of awesome. I’m not from DC originally, but I’ve lived here nearly 1/3 of my life now, and I too am ambivalent. But I haven’t done most of what this town has to offer. I will be following your blog!

  3. Thanks so much for the feedback! I’ll be following your blog, as well. 🙂

  4. 4 Anne

    I saw this on your FB page and was interested to read more. This is a great idea for a blog, though I don’t really read blogs so I’m no expert. This would be something I would read, though!

  5. I’m one of those types that interned in DC and I’m actually hoping to move back to DC in the VERY near future (without a job lined up, eep scary!). I’m so happy I came across your blog – I will be following your exploits. 🙂

  6. 8 A General Enthusiast

    Hi! I didn’t realize that you were so ambivalent about living in DC. Of course, my viewpoint is from someone who lives far away who wishes to be back there, but needs to finish other stuff first. I hope you find some of the real gems of the city; the ones that won’t be found in tourist books. Like suburbs that actually get respect, and a size that is cozy but not cramped. Here is a place where liberals and conservatives, church-goers and athiests, are friends. Enjoy DC’s generosity (have you ever paid 25 cents for a cup of water or been denied that extra basket of bread?). Slow and fast, quiet and loud, many many roads leading nowhere and everywhere – DC has it all. DC is the city where people who believe in a cause go, because there are actual opportunities to make change there. Convince me, enjoy being a tourist. But remember, the soul of any place is always found deep below its surface.

  7. 9 citygirlblogs

    Love your posts and the concept (or would that be ambivalence?) behind it! Keep the good writing and thoughts coming! Oh, and this line had me laughing out loud at my laptop:

    I’m actually very “DC” in a lot of ways: I’m a government contractor, I set the Washington Post online edition as my home page, and I like a nice sweater set.

    Hope to see you again soon! xoxo

  8. 11 reillybri

    hey! great idea for a blog. I am attracted to your topic b/c I’m a DC native too and have a love/hate relationship with the city. like you, I haven’t done so many of the touristy things that make our city truly great. looking forward to reading your entries and doing some of these things myself!


    • Thanks for the kind feedback, Brian! It’s amazing how many fellow DC natives I’ve talked to who feel the same way. I hope you do some of the things I write about, and please let me know if you have any ideas, as well!

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