My North Star

Today has satisfyingly been not only a day of errands, but also a day of great reflection. It’s been a hard 2 weeks to really soak in what’s going on in the political sphere. This trip is coming a great time so that I can focus on something good. Tonga and I had talked about our expectations for this trip and are on the same page about joining in on a protest if there is something going on in the city we’re at.

So going back to my time in D.C., this is the city that for some odd reason, took a chance on me and gave me my north star. I’ve always loved volunteering in my community and helping to make a difference. I am where I am because I had people lift me up along the way. They I’ve never figured out how to translate that into a job. I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities pop up, but I’ve always been thankful that someone took a chance on me. One I somehow ended up at the White House Internship Program, I knew that public service was it. This was my north star.

When I came on as a staffer to help run the internship program, this was the greatest opportunity for me to give others the same opportunity to realize what they’re capable of. I will admit, that if you ask any of the interns, they will tell you they were either terrified of me or that I had a stick up my ass. Someone had to be the bad cop. End of story. I loved what the program was about and I loved how I had the chance to completely change someone’s life. I was real with these interns. I never fluffed up anything because they wouldn’t learn anything if I coddled them or allowed them to get away with something. It was a very hard position to be in, but it was worth being able to see the interns leave at the end of every semester much more confident and ready to make a difference.

It’s been a dream the honor of my life to have been part of the Obama Administration.  One that if you had told me in college that I was going to be working for President Obama, I would have laughed at you and walked away. I think the most notable thing I’ve done these last 3 years is introducing my parents to President Obama. They emigrated from Vietnam to escape the war as refugees some odd years ago and never looked back. I’m so thankful that they had the opportunity to live a better life. I’ve recognized my privileged of being here and of having the opportunity to “move to D.C. because it just feels right.” My parents have been my biggest cheerleaders even when my future was uncertain. And for that…. I promise to not send them to a nursing home…… JK…. no but really, sorry future hubby, we’re going to have some bombass over-the-shoulder roomies. So it really hurts my heart to see the recent travel ban and discrimination against refugees. This is another conversation to be had at a later date…. because trust me, I have a lot to say about this.

So continuing with the theme of D.C. proudest moments, I’ve found a kickass family here these last 3 years. They have embraced all of my weirdness (according to the D.C. culture, I’m still the laid back cali gal who hunts for food). What’s even worse is that I think they’ve actually encouraged the weirdness to grow. Whenever I have a crazy idea, they never hesitate to join in. They bring out the extrovert to my self prescribed introvert. Although I’m headed out, I don’t doubt that I’ll be back someday (probably in a few months because I’m dramatic).

This isn’t a goodbye. This is a ta-ta for now. Thanks for laughing with me, crying with me, and eating with me ❤

Jphan

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