May 22, 2017

MSC in D.C.

The last time I went to D.C., I was thirteen years old and I’d just gotten my braces off. My eighth grade class at Clarendon Hills Middle School flew to Washington for a few days of history and general middle school awkwardness. I will never forget standing atop the Lincoln Memorial and posing in front of the massive columns with my friend and D.C. roomie, Erin. We laughed our way through that trip.

I went back this past Thursday for the Women’s Council of Realtors mid-year meetings. The National Association of Realtors was here, too, for legislative meetings on Capitol Hill. Realtors across the country flooded the city to bring change and make connections, including many of my peers in Chicago. Our association surprised us with very thoughtful gift boxes — mine was waiting for me at the foot of my bed. (That cookie from Manny’s was such a treat.)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am infinitely impressed by the people that give up their time to advocate for our industry. These realtors have passion and commitment — I admire them greatly. As for me, I spent my time in and out of WCR meetings. I slipped away for a quick video shoot for NAR (more on that later) and rubbed elbows with some real estate greats.

It was a 90 degrees and sunny in D.C. last week. On the first night, we attended a patio happy hour and a rooftop party. It was so hot, so hot. I thought I might melt away. Miraculously, I did not, and I was able to go meet one of my best friends, Dom, for dinner downtown. We went to The Hamilton for hamburgers and a bottle of red. After the sun went down, we walked to see the monuments: The White House, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. At night, each one was beautifully aglow. I sang silly America songs and enjoyed the time with an old friend.

The next day, I attended many more meetings: about real estate, about leadership, about event-planning. I admittedly spent a lot of time on my phone, negotiating contracts and scheduling showings. Spring is a very busy time of year — leaving on a weekend can be unforgivable. Somehow, I managed to get my clients into whatever they wanted to see (big thank-you to fellow agents who were willing to cover me and show my clients).
My introverted self needed alone time that evening. I changed into comfy clothes, pulled on my gym shoes and walked down Connecticut Avenue. Dupont Circle is a very happening place. I passed WeWork, DryBar, organic bistros and game bars and small boutiques. Eventually, I arrived at my intended destination (Chipotle, obviously) for a burrito bowl and solitude. That evening, the sky was churning with black clouds and the wind was picking up. Still, the streets were filled with people, and I felt perfectly alone.

I flew home yesterday afternoon, relieved to return to my beloved city. D.C. was a mini-adventure — I’m grateful for the opportunity to get outside of my comfort zone once more.

(And one more from the middle school memory book, for good measure.)