Exactly one week ago, I went to Washington D.C. for the first time as an adult.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't run around the city pretending like I was in an episode of The West Wing.
I wanted the title sequence music on a loop. I mean, can you blame me?
But jokes aside, I was taken aback by the beauty of the city.
Maybe it's because it's an election year, but the energy of Washington is palpable - and it's positive.
Negativity seems to be pouring into every screen I look lately, all under the guise of what's good for people. All under the cloak of political knowledge.
Everyone's a critic, a political expert, and a historian. Everyone knows what's best for one another, for their neighbors, for people whom they have never met.
I don't know about you, but I find it exhausting.
And hatred, well, it fogs the brain. It weighs you down. It makes you lose perspective.
We walked around the National Mall in 81 degree heat on an October day. I had opted for one of my typical all black outfits, a poor choice in retrospect.
As we walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial I remember just stopping for a moment to take it all in. So many people were out and about on this hot day. So many languages filled the air. So many families celebrating being together.
So many reminders of what matters.
Perspective can be easily lost amidst the chaos and chatter of today. But standing in the middle of the National Mall is a surefire way to remember what it's all for.
The monument tour ended in the evening, sitting in the cool marble of the Jefferson Memorial.
It was quiet. Much more so than earlier in the day, as a lot of people had long gone home.
There was something so moving about being there at night. With the cool marble and the quiet. It fills you with pride for you country, for justice, and for hope.
Hope is so important. So needed. So Beautiful. I do believe it's what will see us through, it's the thing to hold on to when the world feels too vicious.
Washington D.C. is hope.
Out of the past comes the dreams of our future, and a hope for a better tomorrow.
So sit in the monuments of those who've paved the way. It's so very humbling, it's so very important.
And as November rounds the corner, remember the dreams of immigrants who started this great nation, and the promise of possibility that they held close to their hearts, of all that was, of all that could be.