Eight years ago today, September 8, 2000 I arrived in Alexandria, VA, my little black Nissan Sentra packed to the brim with all of my life I could fit in a four door sedan.
I moved in with Alice Turner, who I connected with through First Baptist Alexandria, and who I didn’t meet in person until the day I arrived in DC. This Angel from God showed me around this crazy town, taught me how to drive into DC and to my parking garage (Judiciary Building) and how to get to the “Social Safeway.” Alice truly was a Godsend, but the deal she makes with all the girls is, you live with me for two months until you find a place to plant your feet. Two months later, I moved to 12 Street Southeast, Washington, DC, my 500 square foot efficiency apartment with a futon, galley kitchen, and parkay floors.
I started my first day of work in DC for United States Senator Fred Thompson on September 11, 2000. Thanks to Chris Walker, Powell Moore, and Kim Coots Love, I landed a job as a staff assistant in the office of my home state Senator. Even though I am pretty sure Fred couldn’t pick me our of a line up in Law and Order, I can say with pride that I served the good people of my home state of Tennessee for almost a full year before transitioning to the land of peanuts, coke, and Georgia Bulldogs.
10 months into my time here, I accepted a job with a Congressman from South Georgia, a position I landed because my aunt knew the legislative director’s wife. (yes, its all about who you know.) I applied to be the press secretary. They humored me and told me if I would come to work for them as a legislative correspondent they would help me get a job as a press secretary one day. And did they ever! When the Congressman from the 8th District was elected to the United States Senate in 2002, I moved from legislative correspondent to press assistant, to deputy press secretary, to press secretary until I left the hill in 2007.
I went to work for Saxby Chambliss on June 4, 2001. Three months later, on the 1 year anniversary of my work in D.C., an event occurred that changed all of our lives forever.