Preparing for Departure

Even though I’ve been counting down for a while now, it seems like the end  is finally upon me. The signs are showing all around- literally, for my landlord put up a “for rent” sign in my lawn this evening. Last night my Bible Study group had a joint goodbye party for me and for a military family in our group that is moving across the country next week. My roommate moved out last weekend, and I brought home some boxes from the food bank that I plan on using tomorrow to start packing up y belongings. Without my roommate and her belongings here, it feels pretty quiet. I’ve just got another week to live like this though, for my parents will be up next weekend to celebrate the 4th of July and to help move me out of this place.

After 11 months here, I’ve decided that Washington is so liberal, it makes California look like Texas. When I lived in Orange County, I felt more liberal than a lot of the people around me, but here, with my team, I’m the most conservative person in the room! This was our second to last “team training” Friday, and after two wonderful training on Grant Writing and the In’s and Out’s of using the post-AmeriCorps Education Award, one of my team members presented a training with her coworker on the Intersectionality of Oppressions. I think this was our third “Anti-Oppression” training this year, and yet another session in which I am told to check myself and my natural privilege as a straight, white woman at the door. For two hours, I sit and listen to the evils of people who are not 100% supportive of LGBTQ lifestyles, abortion rights, and other “freedoms of sexual expression.” I looked around the room today at my team and realized that after being up here for a year, I have not assimilated. Just as sitting in a garage doesn’t change a bicycle into a car, spending a year in Washington didn’t transform my morally conservative values into liberal ones. I value the experience of getting to meet and interact with people who think differently than I do, but at the same time, I’m ready to not feel guilty for being born into a WASP family.