good morning, columbus. i missed you.

I’ll start with saying, Good Morning, and then say that I survived my overnight Megabus trip.  But being Megabus, there was an adventure of some sorts.  To keep it brief, I was running late and ended up taking a cab.  Nothing too special about that, but as soon as I got downtown to Union Station that all changed.  First, I got approached by numerous homeless people asking me for money. (Just another day in Chicago, but turning them down never gets any easier.)  Then, after getting to the actual Megabus stop I discovered that I either forgot my boarding pass at my apartment or in the cab.  Fortunately I brought my A-game last night and decided to 1) permit my parents to break into my email account (hope they didn’t find out about the tattoos…oh well); and then 2) try my best to ‘borrow’ someone’s Wi-Fi.  Option 1 wasn’t working out due to slowness of computers over in Pittsburgh, but fortunately an arriving Megabus to Memphis was courteous enough to bring me Internet service (Hllelujah!).  Indeed this prevented me from going ape-shit as it began to….HAIL…and HAIL some more.  By the way, I am NOT kidding.  Two days ago it was a very humid 80 degrees in Chicagoland, and last night it was below 30 degrees and hailing, and hailing some more.  Ridiculous?  This is the apocalypse, right?  Just making sure.

Anyways, the Mega of all Buses finally arrived- not too late, but not on time.  The driver was a sweetheart and accepted my written-down reservation number with ease.  (Love her.)  Unfortunately the bus was packed and I ventured to the upper deck, only to be stuck sitting with a group of high school students heading back to Cinci.  The girl I sat next to was a sweetheart, but the rest of the group was still..,well, high school kids.  Let your imagination doing the rest.  They were fine-ish.  It could have been a lot worse.  I decided to throw in a movie to distract me for awhile..but then I was interrupted…by the lovely Sarah Donley and Ruth Sharp.  I love these girls and cannot wait to see them today!!!  It’s been so long! 

Here’s some background on these girls and the others that I’ll be spending my weekend with: I met Sarah, Ruth, Kristin, and Carrie through my former roommate, Jackie, who was roommates with Ruth & Kristin the year before.  Sarah and Carrie went to high school with Ruth and Kristin in Lancaster, OH- which is in between Athens & Columbus.  (Think of it as a suburb of Columbus.)  Anyways, these were the main players in my blurry memories of nights on Court Street my junior year at OU, as well as many enjoyable (hungover) memories of girl time.  Those times continued after college when I reconnected with them in moving to Columbus.  Something I just remembered, during winter break (of my senior year, I believe) I came up to Lancaster to visit Sarah, Kristin, and Ruth and this is when I fell in love with Columbus.  After this trip I just felt like it was the city for me. 

That’s a perfect segue to where I am right now, as I sit at my happy place…yes, Starbucks.  In the photo to the left is a picture of Nationwide Arena: Home of the Columbus Blue Jackets (NFL Team) and Kristin’s beloved, #61 Rick Nash.  Behind those trees on the right is a Starbucks- where this lovely, somewhat tired blogger of yours is writing from.  This is familiar ground for me since I spend many nights at the Blue Jackets games with Kristin and her fiancée, Jim.  And if you walk north from here, you will pass through the Arena District- the imfamous Columbus bar scene- and eventually come across my first apartment in C-bus on Buttles & High Street.  9 Buttles.  Wow!  That feels like forever ago.  It was about 3 years ago when we first found that apartment.  (‘We’ being my former roommate, Tony, and I.  Actually, Tony still lives there with another female roommate.)

I lived in Columbus for about 15 months and I really was content with staying there…well, forever.  But with my AmeriCorps position coming to an end and being forced to find another job, I knew I had to seize the opportunity with Action for Healthy Kids (my current employer) and move to Chicago.  While everyone else thought it was exciting…‘Lucky you!  Chicago is a great city!’  Honestly, I heard it all; however, my heart was breaking in leaving Columbus, my friends, and the life that I spent 15 months creating.  But life happens.  Sometimes it doesn’t make sense at the time, but in looking back I truly believe that it was something I need to experience. 

I’ve only been here for 1.5 hours, but it already feels good to be back here.  I’m in my element here.  The people are nowhere near as crazy as they are in Chicago, in fact I find myself sitting here waiting for something to happen.  But instead, I’m caught off guard by the sanity all around me.  People are friendly, and maybe even happy….unlike Chicago (generally speaking).  Additionally, I keep seeing one hot guy after another.  I love Ohio boys so much, and oddly enough they always seem to love me too!  As Adriana and I joked about, I’m like a glittery vampire-esque version of Edward Cullen when I’m in Ohio.  It has to be the resurrection of my confidence because I honestly have no idea what else it could be.  But no matter what, I have to say: All non-crazy/ obsessive, Columbus boys.  I give you permission, this weekend, to fall in love with me.  My heart is yours for the taking.  Just be gentle with me.

By Your Side (Sade) was playing this morning when I first sat down at my table here in Starbucks.  I found myself listening attentively to the lyrics.  I will find you darling and I will bring you home; And if you want to cry; I am here to dry your eyes; And in no time, you’ll be fine.  Last night, while waiting for the bus, I was on the phone with my mom and the honesty began pouring out of me.  With the hail, lost Megabus reservation, and crazy Chicagoans, I just wanted to let it all pour out of me.  Part of me wanted to cry, just to get it all out.  But instead, I spoke my feelings and my mom was the ‘lucky’ one who got to listen to it.  She’s the best.  In essence I told her that all of these struggles, bad days, etc. are truly character building but in the end, I cannot help but keep thinking- Is this really worth it?  I’m at the point where I’m just living to support myself.  But am I happy…no.  That’s evident.  But the thing is, I was insanely happy in Cinci last weekend (Sorry A.  I’m most likely not moving there.) and I trust that I’ll be happy this weekend in C-bus too.  But in Chicago, I’m just dragging myself along, paying all of the bills that I’ve been accumulated, and truthfully just doing my best to keep the adrenaline rushing. 

Forgive my rambling.  Here’s my last thought.  I’ve learned firsthand that we must all challenge ourselves to grow.  We must do the things that we fear because we learn so much about our capabilities when we overcome these barriers- and we will overcome them.  But admist life’s struggles, there comes a time when you have to say- Is this really worth it?  I have had my share of struggles in my life and I’m not naive to think that there will come a day when they’ll end.  Truthfully, knowing how much I’ve learned through my struggles, I don’t want them to end.  But in saying that I really want to make sure I’m living, and in Chicago (to one’s surprise), I don’t feel like I’m doing that.  I think that just proves that it’s not about the place, but the people, and additionally, home is where the heart is.  This weekend, my heart is going to be right here, in Columbus, Ohio. ♥K

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