Friday, June 17, 2005

Sunshine Barato (“Cheap” Sunshine)

(A cheery Bossa Nova album for today – check out the band at!)

It’s a beautiful day here in Northern VA . . . the sun is shining, it isn’t humid, and my mind wanders outside of the walls of this non-descript building sitting in the middle of this non-descript office park.

I have much to do this weekend – helping a friend move on Saturday, having my parents over on Sunday – and downtime will be non-existent.

Running in place at the moment, I am. I feel like selling the condo and moving elsewhere, just for different scenery. Itching to travel and enjoy the sunshine.

Last Sunday, we went to a going away dinner for a friend of mine, L, who is moving back to Sydney, Australia this week. She has dual U.S./Aussie citizenship, and had come over to the States to see the World Cup in 1994 and just kind of stuck around for 11 years. At this point, she wasn’t thrilled with her job (she worked for the DLC) or the vibe she’s been getting in the States, so she thought “what the heck?” She’s in her 30’s and single, found a job combining her love of politics and international soccer, and found a great apartment overlooking Sydney harbor. I am insanely happy for her, and only a bit jealous. Which is why I need to get a passport and quite soon . . . although 15 hours on a plane is not something I would really look forward to. It was quite a teary good-by – I’ve known her for 10 years which, outside of family and the lovely Justrose, is one of the longest friendships I’ve had. There is a whole group of us that met around 1995 and still hang out from time to time. (A bunch of us married each other too, which makes things even chummier.) But slowly people have been moving away, whether physically or mentally, for business or for family reasons – and this makes me very sad sometimes.

In this transient area, it is really hard to keep friends that you have such a shared history with, that you don’t have to explain the odd references to past events and people. I am glad that I can check in from time to time, but I do miss the old days when we went out rather often and were thick as thieves, discussing everyone’s crappy jobs and loser dates and campaign intrigues, going to cheap happy hours and the odd congressional receptions where our mantra was “If it’s free, it’s for me.” Why is it when you’re young and broke you can always scrape together money for going out? I can’t seem to find the money now, and there are TWO of us to pool our earnings.

Those truly were the years of “cheap sunshine” and limitless opportunity. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that 10 years from now that I’ll be looking at today the same way – and that I need to take advantage of that accordingly.

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