Monday, April 30, 2007

Historic Capitol Hill Marketplace Burns

I've been talking to a couple of my good friends lately about how hard it is to know what's right and what to do. At least we're all in this big confusing melty mess together. It makes us all feel less crazy to see other people, who we don't think are crazy, struggling with similar trials and rough spots.

We all have different issues we're juggling right now, but it all boils down to the same questions - "Am I doing the right thing? Am I on the right path? Will I be ok? Will it all work out?"

We often wonder where the choices we make will take us, whether it's in the right direction or irrevocably away from something that's meant to be. So many times, we use those same tired old cliches to make ourselves feel better and reassure our doubts - If it's meant to be, it'll work out. Destiny will find a way. All roads lead to the same place. Blah, blah, blah!

In the end, we just have our gut as our guide. We make mistakes, yes, and sometimes frequent ones. We lose sleep. We upset our stomachs. But we also embark on adventures and add new chapters to our books. But are they new chapters in new books because we're so far from where we're "supposed" to be?

It takes you into one circle after another til you're so dizzy you can hardly hold your head on straight. And when you're so busy searching for clues and purpose, you miss out on a lot, and then everything loses its meaning.

I'm struggling right now so much because I feel like I really haven't been happier than I am right now. This is it. This is what I was trying to find. Good friends, stability, satisfying job, the neighborhood I live in and the city have so much character and personality, everything matches here, and I feel so comfortable in my own skin. Finally.

So why am I changing anything? I'm terrified.

Very early this morning, I was awakened by the sound of siren after siren whizzing past my window. I didn't know what was going on, but it was the loudest noise I've ever heard, and I briefly wondered what could be happening before I drifted back to sleep. When I got to work, I learned that the beautiful Eastern Market was on fire and much of the building was destroyed. The headline on this post was the headline in the Washington Post.

It's a historic building, built in 1873, and has been in continuous operation since then. People sell everything there - fresh dairy products, meat, fruit and vegetables, flowers, and even jewelry and art in the flea market that is open on the weekends. It's the heart of the community. I go there every weekend when the weather is warm, and it's my favorite place to walk visitors around in, showing them how historic and fun my neighborhood is. And now all that is gone.

There are already talks from the Mayor's Office and our tireless District Representative about rebuilding the Market and making it even better than it once was. I can't help but think. Is that what happens to us sometimes? We burn down a part of our life, only to rebuild it later to a finer glory? It will take time, but can't we all recover and be restored? Is that what this all is about?


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