You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing, but what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. ~Alan Alda
I inherited a lot of personality traits from my mom, with her genuineness, sincerity, loyalty, humbleness, and generosity only being a few. However, even though we share more similarities than I ever noticed before, I am certainly not my mom. In fact she’s constantly telling me that I am, “my father’s daughter” upon noticing the quirks that he blessed me with. My dad is one-of-a-kind and, as I’ve probably said before, he has set the bar very high for any possible suitors.
But back to my mother. While she has proven to be one of my best friends and confidantes, we will never see eye-to-eye due to the different experiences that we’ve encountered along our individual journeys. Sure, she’s been by my side each day for 26 1/2 years, she has not seen everything that my eyes have seen nor heard what my ears have heard. And she definitely has not felt half of what I’ve felt over the years, although mother’s intuition has probably led her to understand me more than I realize.
My parents are on their way to join me for a few days in here in The Petting Zoo, my new nickname for Chi-town because it literally smells like such in the hot & humid summer air. I told my psychiatrist that today and instead of upping my medication, he told me that I made his day by saying, Maybe I’m not so crazy afterall, but seriously it’s true. This city smells horrendous.
Waiting for my parents’ arrival makes me think about moving here over 1 1/2 years ago and what a different girl I was back then. In fact, I’m not even sure if I recognize that girl who moved into an empty apartment with her whole life packed in boxes. Other than a few meals and basic neighborhood exploring, we hardly left the apartment as I spent the weekend fearing the unknown of Monday morning when my parents returned to Pittsburgh and I made my first trek to Skokie.
Well that was then, and this is now. I am anxious for my parents’ weekend vacation to begin, as for some reason they both always seem to feel relaxed when visiting the me and my city. Did I just call it my city? Seriously, who am I? To be honest, I feel more relaxed (for the most part) when my parents are in town. Knowing that my parents can physically see what I go through everyday- or at least in some capacity- makes me feel better about being here. To anyone who has lived away from home, perhaps this makes most sense to you.
This week I’ve had the unexpected pleasure of reconnecting with an old friend, which has led to a reunion at the DMB concert at Wrigley Field in mid-September. To be honest I never thought that this friendship could be repaired due to my own regrettable actions. (Long story, but in essence it was part of my I need a change days before going to OU in the summer of 2003.) The end of that friendship (and a few others that coincided) have scarred me for many years as I regretted my actions and how I chose to run away. Just thinking about those days reminds me of how much I’ve grown up and changed, knowing that I’d never behave that way again. You live and you learn, and that’s all I can say about that.
While I don’t hold my relocation to Chicago responsible for everything, I think that it deserves more recognition than I’m always willing to give. Sure I give it credit for my non-ending journey, but I don’t always properly acknowledge the impact that it has had on my various relationships.
Living here has taught me to appreciate, and never take for granted, the people who you love. My parents & brother are three of these people. Being away from them is never easy, especially when I only end up spending time with them on a few holidays and long weekends about every 3-4 months.
When I packed my bags for Chicago in November 2008, I didn’t know where this journey was going to lead me. I didn’t know that my friends would stand by my side and that parents & family would support my daily decisions. I thought that by going away to the big city, I had to abandon who I wa My pain has diminished and my scars remind me what I’ve overcome rather than hold me back.
So here’s to a weekend with my parents here in Chicago to celebrate my family and my friends’ continuous support and how far I’ve come. To the journey that I embarked on a few years ago, and to the many adventures that I’ve yet to experience.
The title of this blog comes from the song, Lover Lover by Jerrod Niemann.