Saturday, October 3, 2009

Michael on Living in a Bubble

“DC is a wonderful place if you want to advance your professional career. But, the problem is that it is like living in a bubble. I think that, you know, people that have either grown up or lived in the city for a long time because they felt it was the center of the universe, they haven’t expanded themselves so they aren’t, to me, open-minded. This is a very diverse place, but even in all of its cultural diversity, there is still a thread of ignorance. It is weird to describe.

"You would think that with all of these cultures here, there would be this great understanding. This great harmonious vibe. These social interactions that would lift up everybody, but it just doesn’t exist. We give the appearance of this solidarity, and it looks good, we are all walking in the same parks and talking, but as soon as the city shuts down and we go home to our separate lives in separate neighborhoods, we still harvest those same thoughts about everything and bring it back to work the next day.

“The ironic thing about DC is that you would think that there would be a huge change with each Administration, including this one. You know, a new President and new policy that would somehow then trickle down and impact all of us who are here, running around like rats feeding. But, that’s not true. It’s funny, the Administration changes, but the game stays the same. It’s politics as usual. K Street doesn’t change and the lobbying effort doesn’t change. The way people treat each other doesn’t change.

“Here, we are slaves to the rhythm. You get up everyday at 6 am, most of our lives in DC are based around working. You get up for the commute…I get up at 5 am and hustle and bustle to get dressed, I hop a car to the metro and then hop a metro to the job. I work and then I do the same routine to get home. Get home about 7 pm and then there is time to do a little bit for myself and then, I'm in bed.

"In the mid-West, life is just different. You leave work at 5pm. You have time to interact with your family. You have time to enjoy the things around you. Everything we do in Washington, DC, seems to be centered around a very urban, rushed kind of lifestyle. What keeps me in DC is work and money, that’s about it. It’s a great city, someplace I’d like to earn a living for a little while, but when I retire, I see myself living a more wholesome life. You get caught up into the politics here. We all get soiled by it a little. I just want to get away from that."

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