OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute. Learn more about the internship at victoryinstitute.org/vci.
You and I have been here before. Endless thoughts, papers thrown around, and cautious dreams about the future. Main difference between us is that I was writing, and you are currently reading.
You are at the beginning of something, and I am at the end.
When I first embarked on this adventure with the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute – moving my life from rural Florida to the nation’s capital – I was scared. The type of scared about taking a leap. The kind of scared that is so deeply rooted in a heart filled with hope, but a mind too rational for its own good. Anxieties about not knowing anyone, and terrified that I somehow manipulated and tricked my way into being here after a spontaneous late night decision to apply. Yet, I stepped off the plane, felt the seasons for the first time outside my home state, and began to meet the strangers I would soon call my Victory family. It was life changing in every cheesy aspect of the word.
In some ways, I mean, of course I would say those things. I am writing a blog on the website for the non-profit I just interned for. From your perspective, it makes sense to write only positive farewells, but from mine, there are not enough English words to describe how incredible these past few weeks have been. I had a comfortable bed to call my own, a newfound queer support system that made me feel less alone, educational sessions that helped me discover myself, and workshops to put it down on a resume so I can truly succeed. Additionally, with newfound lessons in LGBTQI+ history, hands on professional experience with the legislative process, and education in the multitude of issues I feel passionate about, I cannot help but feel hope for the next chapter.
In many ways, I felt incapable of expressing the amount of gratitude I have for the newfound possibility this institution gave to me. But for now, while I finish packing up my suitcase and cross my fingers that they are not overweight, I hold dearly the second chance gifted to me and remain so thankful for my newfound family. So, while I will most definitely be bawling while I board my plane, I at least leave knowing that I will always be welcomed here. The people I met, the coffee chats, the endless laughs, the starry eyed futures planned, and every little moment in between. This Washington, D.C. home is always going to be a part of me, and I cannot wait for the moment I get to return. But until then, I will happily carry the memories along with me wherever I go.