A Page From History

I’ve got an appointment coming up. It’s been 31 years in the making.

During the fall of my Junior year of high school, I was a Page in the U.S. House of Representatives. I went to school in the attic of the Library of Congress. I worked in the Capitol. I lived in a dormitory in a Congressional office building.

And, most importantly, I began a transformation. I went from a painfully shy introvert to a confident and independent young man. It didn’t all happen in 4 months. To be fair, the Page experience was the spark that started the fire. But I look back at the experience as a pivotal event in my life. It fundamentally changed me.

So this weekend, as I return to Washington, D.C. to take part in this Page class reunion, I’m nervous. My time in DC may have begun a change in me but my classmates wouldn’t have seen it. When I look back at the time I spent there I still see the shy, lonely kid.

I wonder how many people go to reunions with this mix of curiosity and dread? I’m nervous – but I’m going. Facing fears is why I’m writing this blog, after all.

One thing that resonates from my younger self… writing was a magical thing for me. I wrote this piece for my place in the yearbook. Enjoy!

No matter what we say or do, we will never really leave here. Some part of us, however small, will remain.

Years from now, when we (inevitably) visit, we will meet ourselves. That little part of us that chose to stay behind will greet us, leading us down forgotten hallways that we once travelled, our feet sore and our backs aching. It will greet us in a dormitory where we talked, laughed, or maybe even cried. We will find it in five small classrooms where both students and teachers listened to each other and shared knowledge.

Everywhere we were, we will unearth a piece of ourselves. And there is no greater find than that.



Filed under Essays

2 responses to “A Page From History

  1. Amy Canavan

    I remember that shy boy. He was sweet, quirky, quick witted young man who had yet to find his way. Being away and on your own made you recognize the courage that lived inside. Hopelessly optimistic, you shared your positive energy with those of us who were living without much hope. When I see you today, I still see the sweet boy who taught me how to be an optimist.

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