It’s harder for me to fake enthusiasm for Tuesdays (the day after Monday… the day that keeps me from getting to halfway through the week) than it is for me to fake orgasms, but you do what you have to do. And that’s just life. You live and you learn.
Not to sound too redundant here, but I’m super excited/SO PROUD of my Saaghi jooooon for getting her baby up and running this past weekend – have you checked it out yet?! SHOPJOON IS THE BESTEST. I love it because personally, those shirts look sooo cute on me ;) More photos to come so hope you’re all ready! And if you’ve ordered a shirt – send us a photo wearing it because we definitely want to see our joonies sporting the goodies.
ANY-VAY, I’m slowly creeping up on my 2 year anniversary living in D.C. (next month yo), and the past few days it’s forced me to reflect a lot on what my expectations were when I first got here and how I’ve changed.
I met up with a new DC transplant this past weekend and he asked me, “Do you think DC has changed you?” And I didn’t even have to think twice about my answer:
Every city and state are different. And for me, wherever I’ve lived – I’ve had to grow stronger and taller – I had to adapt in order to survive.
I grew up in a sheltered bubble. My hometown has one high school, and it was the type of CALI-living town where you would go to Downtown and run into half of your high school. Leaving the house without makeup on was never an option because I would inevitably see someone I knew.
And Persians are all about their image – so there was no way I’d never look not cute (except for when I was going through puberty… good God). At 18, I really thought I had figured it all out – the “secret to life.” No one could tell me what to do and I’d never been given an answer that I didn’t like.
But then I moved to L.A. and it was just one reality check after another. I was screwed over by people I trusted in a way that I’d never thought possible. And my instant reaction was to cry about it and hide in my studio apartment, afraid to show my face to the world. I thought something was wrong with me – and that’s why people hurt me.
Living in LA – I learned to stand up for myself. I learned to speak my mind when people hurt me, and I learned the importance of letting loose and having fun – with the right people.
I also learned why you should never wear corsets as your party top… in public.
Check out dem ghetto fabulous jeans.
I was excited to leave LA after college – not because I didn’t love college, because I did – but because I was ready for the next big adventure. I felt like LA prepared me for the world. I was stronger, smarter, and I didn’t let people walk all over me… anymore.
I was the new and improved FARRAH, and I felt untouchable.
Then D.C. happened. The first piece of advice I got upon moving here was to network. Your connections are who you are — it’s how you find a job. And as an intern, I really wanted to get a job. So I threw away my shyness and I tried to meet people as often as possible – happy hours, metro, through colleagues. You name it.
So imagine my surprise when I met a man (old enough to be my father) at the bus stop who works at the State Department in the Middle East department – specifically on Iraq issues.
I thought, “Wow, DC is the city of dreams – everyone is doing something cool, everyone is a connection.”
And I thought I hit jackpot when he invited me to come to the State Department for an “informational interview.”
I spent hours the next day editing my resume and drafting my email to him.
And when he invited me to go to his office the next week – I was so nervous.
I sat in his office with a staff of five people and he said, “You have 5 minutes to tell us why you are so special.”
I stuttered… and then I started – I bullshitted about how government is so important and how I think the State Department is doing valuable work through x, y and z – and how I want to be able to contribute to the “greater good of my country.” Seriously, some off the cusp Farrah bullish*t. I had one-on-one time with each of his immediate staff members where I attempted to ask thoughtful questions and tried to develop a connection with them in five to ten minutes. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
You are given five minutes to make an impression that 100’s of other people have attempted to make. You have to be intelligent and unforgettable. I’m usually unforgettable after a few shots of vodka.
In the end, I had my one-on-one time with him. He said, “This was your test. I wanted to see how you would be able to do with my staff and I’m impressed so let’s schedule a follow-up. Email me.”
I walked out of there feeling like a million dollars. I had barely started my first internship in DC and I had already found my way into the State Department (I hadn’t thought about the fact that I would have to give up my Iranian citizenship if this worked out). The first thing I did walking out of the State Department: I called my dad and told him all about the interview – and about how DC was the best choice I had ever made in my entire life and how this random man saw “something” in ME.
So I ran back to my internship and sat there – writing an email to every single person I met in that office thanking them for taking the time to meet with me. Then I started writing him - thanking him profusely and asking about the follow-up.
He responded, “How about we meet for dinner? What time do you turn into a pumpkin?”
He never thought I was good enough for his office – he just thought that maybe he could get into my naive little pants.
I realized in that moment that not everyone is a connection – you have to be able to detect the fake assholes from the real assholes.
In a city like DC – everyone is trying to further their own agenda – whether it’s their career, their wardrobe, drinking abilities, or frankly their extra-marital affairs. You have to develop a toughness… you have to be able to determine what’s real and what’s not. And furthermore…
You have to accept the fact that not everyone is going to help you out of the kindness of their hearts.
You have to be able to market yourself as invaluable. My mentality now is so different than what it was when I first moved here. I used to think that successful people will always be down to help because they used to be in my position once too. And then I realized that…
Some guy with a kickass resume and career may just want me to s#ck his dick – but I have to prove within seconds why I should be more to him than that.
So yes, DC has changed me, but for the better – I’m blunt, I don’t put up with bullshit and the second I feel like someone is giving me the “go-around,” I call them out on it… because that’s the only way that I KNOW how to survive here. And I’ve accepted that I’ll never know “everything.”
There are assholes in every city in the world – you just have to be able to determine the difference between them and the people that you CAN trust.
I will never be untouchable.
I will always have to adapt and I will always have to question people’s intentions before trusting them.
Trust is earned… never forget that.
So here’s to another year in DC – bring it on.
TWEET AT ME: @FARRAH_JOON