Why Rock Star Glam Helps me Live A Brave, Full, Life


During my presidential fellowship year, I made lifelong friends. Some of those became part of my chosen family. I met Dwayne when I was trying to hide, against the wall, in our hotel hallway before meeting, yet, more Washington elites during the first conference. I’ve never been great at small talk, and I needed a breather.

Dwayne walked right up and introduced himself. I was immediately soothed by his southern accent because it sounded a lot like home. I was instantaneously drawn in by his confidence. I thought I wish I had that. I’ll never forget the conversation that followed our introductions.

“What are you doing over here all by yourself?” I needed a breather. “From what?” The small talk. I’m so bad at it. I’m too awkward. “Not from what I see. You’re doing great!” I politely said thank you, but my eyes must have given me away (like always). “Don’t do that.” Do what? I asked in what I hoped was a casual manner. “Dismiss the compliment I meant to give you.” I gave him a slight grin. “You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t very smart…none of us would be.” I know, but it’s hard knowing people see my chair before they see me. “No, they don’t… not after talking to you for about five seconds.” This time he got a full on grin. “You ready for more?” Another deep breath, and a yeah. “Come on, rock star. Let’s do this.” I whispered together. He heard me. “Yeah, I got you. Come on. ” Okay, Dwayne, let’s go.

Before we left to go home: we all swapped contact information. Between getting home, in early November, and the second conference in March of the next year: Dwayne and I had many in-depth conversations and found out we had lots in common. Our mutual admiration and respect has only grown, in the years, since. He’s one of the most: authentic, kindest, and brilliant, souls I have the pleasure to know and very easy to love. Every time he knows I need a break (from anything): he’ll push me to go have fun. Rock star glam is always implied when he does. Rock star glam means: full make-up, cute outfit, and styled hair. Over the years, it has morphed into utilization when I need courage as well. It is a joy to be his friend, fellow political scientist, and fellow nerd. It is my absolute privilege get to be his chosen sister, however.

3 comments on “Why Rock Star Glam Helps me Live A Brave, Full, Life”

  1. Great post and uplifting story. It sounds like the world could use a lot more people like Dwayne! 🙂

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