Sunday, March 29, 2009

Union Station
Washington DC

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mr. Samuel Goes to Washington

I made it. I have been in the DC area for 12 days and things are moving very quickly. Although I haven't exactly landed a job yet, I am finding much to fill my time. I have been getting to know the city, learning how to find my way, and making connections I think will be beneficial. I actually took this picture (to the left) before I went out to my first reception/mixer on the Hill. With my navy suit and blackberry, I seemed well equipped to pal around with Washington's power brokers. It has all been very surreal, and it's just hard to believe that this is home - that D.C. is the next chapter. I am living with relatives in Stafford, VA while I look for a job and endure the dubious networking process. Although, I guess I should describe it as such. It is very much an essential component of politics and a professional career on the Hill. It's about creating and building relationships. So although I don't have a job (yet), and despite my occassional moments of doubt, my better senses tell me I am on the right track. And my friends tell me the God has already got everything worked out and that I have to simply catch up to his plan:

"I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you...plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

And I do believe this scripture. I don't believe that my being here is mere coincidence. The way was paved for me, and it seems things were set in place a while ago. When I look back on it all, everything makes sense. So back to this photo. Before I left home, my dad got me a navy suit and a blackberry. And that's kind of the uniform here. Everyone is in a suit or sportcoat, and everyone has a blackberry. From the metros to the streets, everyone is on their blackberries. And being a recent convert, I get it. It makes you more accessible and it allows you to get all your emails on the go. It is a very practical device. When I took this picture, I was on my way to a congressional mixer on the Capitol Hill. Thankfully, I had some friends who were able to connect with people in town. They in turn have been showing me the ropes and introducing me to the right people. So on this day. I had a few engagements to attend. I first had a meeting with a founder of a local lobbying firm in the city. Despite being ill the night before, I shaved and cleaned up and brave the outdoors to make my appointment. As it turns out, it was worthwhile. The founder was very cordial. There was a quiet intensity about him. You could sense he had experienced much in life both professionally and personally. He seemed willing to assist me in my ongoing quest so he said he would forward my resume to some notable folks and then he proceeded to introduce me to other people in his office. Later, my local tour guide took me to the NAACP office. I really couldn't enjoy the experience like I wanted to since my allergies started to flair up again. It was a small miracle I made it out that day anyway. At any rate, I met another person there who was also going to pass along my info to someone else.
Later, I made it to a reception for a congressional caucus. It was crowded, and it general I had a good time. Again, I met alot of people. The blackberry was filled up with new contacts. I also met Barney Frank in passing. We shook hands and he sort of brushed me off, and was not very engaging. I wasn't disappointed. I didn't have any expectations, but the encounter was consistent with how he presents on TV. Still, much respect to Mr. Frank. Anyway, there were alot of cool folks in the room, and there were also some "less than cool" people there too. Again, it was like the first day of law school. Everyone is there sizing out the competition and trying to flex some muscle or exhibit a pretentious amount of intelligence. This wasn't everyone. There were actually plenty of pleasant people there too. But looking back on it, I would liken the evening to the first day of school.