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.
Linked arms. Verbal offerings. Rainbow flags. Homemade (kinda) dumplings. Salsa dancing in dorm hallways and swaying in red bars and climbing tall trees.
This summer was filled with memories that I expect will last a lifetime. I’ve felt so at home in Washington with my fellow Capitol Hill interns (or “Hillterns,” as we so affectionately and ironically dub ourselves). I’ve always believed that feeling comfortable in a new city starts with people– interpersonal relationships that, through trust and familiarity, help find a home within the heart. The Victory Congressional Intern (VCI) community, a group of incredible queer individuals, did that for me.
Now, with the program finally coming to an end, I find myself contemplating my future, struggling to push away a looming quarter-life crisis. I’ll be here in D.C. for the next few years as a student at Georgetown Law. No longer will I have the in-person support of fifteen fellow interns to share Thai food or to go on spontaneous trips to Georgetown.
As I get closer and closer to finishing my time here, I reflect more on these joyful summer moments and how fast time always seems to sadly fly by. With my fellow interns, we often feel like we were in high school again, not yet bound by the confines of a full-time job and living close enough for midnight slushie runs to 7/11. As summer turns to fall, it also feels like part of my childhood is coming to an end. Within a month, I’ll be trading these carefree days for long nights at the law library.
Part of this realization is exciting– organizations like the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute have prepared me incredibly well for going off into the real world, like with weekly programming and an exceptional job on the Hill. Other times, I wish I could rewind the clock.
Through it all, though, I’m thankful for time. That ticking thing on your wrist and chiming in towers. For my application essay to the Victory Congressional Internship, I wrote about playwright Tennessee Williams’ iconic quote: “Time is the longest distance between two places.” I argued that, actually, time just might be the shortest distance between two places. Boy, did this summer prove that.
Nevertheless, I’m grateful for all that time has given me, even if it does feel like I just arrived in D.C. yesterday. Time gave me dozens of new friends. Time allowed me to proudly reconcile my sexual orientation and professionalism with a strong base of VCI support. Time gave me the chance to prove myself on Capitol Hill in an exciting, novel way. Time gave me memories I’ll cherish forever.
Knowing I’ll have to step on a plane soon and depart from this journey makes me incredibly wistful, nostalgic, sentimental– basically, every sad word infused with happiness and longing that the dictionary holds. However, to quote the ever-timeless Winnie-the-Pooh, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”