Archive for the ‘moving to chicago’ Tag
Tonight, for the first time in at least a year, I got off my Brown Line stop and headed down Diversey to the apartment at roughly a decent hour for a weekday night. (Around 6 pm, I believe.) Actually, after getting off the train and heading home- with a detour through Trader Joe’s first- I wondered,Wait, did I make this whole spring break thing up and should really be in class right now? Yes, unfortunately that’s the truth. It sounds like this spring break arrived at the perfect time.
Anyways, as the evening sky darkened, I found myself experiencing some sort of the deja vu. Soon I found myself recalling all of those previous walks home from the train stop that accompanied my relocation to Chicago more than three years ago. As some know, back in the beginning no one- including me- thought that I would make it through the year without moving back to Columbus. However, here I am nearly 3.5 years later, and all I can think about is how much has changed.
For goodness sake, this past year has been an array of changes in itself. From leaving the job that brought here to beginning a full-time grad school program for Child Life, my daily life has kept me on my toes and clinging to any chance of a social life that I could grasp. To tell you the truth, my social life hasn’t been too adventurous lately; however, overall this past year has allotted a fair share of OMG moments. And the wrap-up of this past year couldn’t go without mentioning the boys that somehow found their way into my life. Yeah, some of those situations should more appropriately be classified as WTF moments. However, even thought I had some luck in the guy department this past year, I can stress that there is neither a ring on my finger nor a bun in the oven. Heck, there isn’t even an “It’s complicated” status for this girl anymore.
But then again, while this year has been somewhat adventurous, it also hasn’t been easy. Along with all the changes, I found myself struggling at different points of the year. (Oh well, enough about that.)
As I lay in my bed, ready to fall asleep at the time that I typically arrive home from class, I find myself reflecting back on my time in Chicago and all of the obstacles that I’ve fought to overcome. Wow. It’s really been a wild ride these past 3.5 years, hasn’t it? And to tell you the truth, when I think about every single challenge that I faced, I also remember the friends- either in or outside of Chicago- that helped me adapt to this new life.
While I’m not entirely sure if I’ve reached the point where I truly see Chicago as “home”, I will say that tonight’s walk home allowed me to see just how much of a life I have made for myself here. I guess it’s best to end this post by saying, “I’m glad I came to Chicago in the first place.”
Song of the Moment: Glad You Came by The Wanted
To me, FEARLESS is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, FEARLESS is having fears. FEARLESS is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, FEARLESS is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. FEARLESS is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. FEARLESS is walking into your freshmen year of high school at fifteen. FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again… even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s FEARLESS to have faith that someday things will change. **************************************************************
After reading the fabulous blog post, The Girl in the Taxi, written by my Little Sis/ Pen Pal/ Friend, Alisha, yesterday morning I spend the day lost in thought. Many thoughts. Even somewhat-secret thoughts. (Thanks again, Alisha & Kristin!)
Anyways, with another full day of work and volunteering, I found myself walking from Navy Pier to Michigan Ave…because I lost my CTA pass AGAIN…and taking in the city. Exhaustion and Stress accompanied me on that walk, as well as dozens of other pedestrians, but in essence I felt alone. (Long story that you’re not going to hear.) Although I eventually found comfort and company as I recalled Alisha’s post. Soon I was reflecting back on the last 2.5 years in Chicago and consciously reminding myself how much has happened since then… including all of the fears and doubts that arose as I embarked on this journey shortly after my 25th birthday. Goodbye Columbus, Hello Chicago?!
Back to Alisha’s post, The Girl in the Taxi, which is what inspired me today in the writing of my own. Besides the fact that we are Soul * Sisters, I really do see a lot of myself in Alisha. And if anything, this last post of hers confirmed that. As Alisha and I began corresponding last year, I found myself reflecting back on my own college days quite frequently, and even effortlessly. Those days were filled with doubts, fears, insecurities, anxiety, and tons of questions: What happens after graduation? What am I going to do with my life? Where am I going to go? What do I want to be? Who am I…really? There are so many days where I wish I could Time Travel like Henry (in The Time Traveler’s Wife) and tell my younger self that, “It’s all going to be okay.”
But since I cannot change the past for myself, I’ve realized that I could help guide the future for others (of that age and/or situations), like Alisha. While there are so many stories and life lessons that I could share, only one all-encompassing message comes to mind: Believe in Yourself. When an individual is graced with confidence, then Anything and Everything is Possible. Live Life. Take Chance. Follow Your Heart. Make Your Dreams Come True. Trust me, I know that Life is Scary and Change is even Scarier. New Experiences bring about Doubts and Fears, some that you didn’t even know you were capable of feeling. But you need to feel those feelings.
Let Yourself Be Vulnerable.
Let Yourself Get to Know Yourself.
Let Yourself Face Your Fears & Doubts.
Let Yourself Strive to Become Fearless.
Let Yourself Live.
As soon as I heard the lyrics, don’t be scared to walk alone; don’t be scared to like it, from John Mayer’s Age of Worry, I knew a post was in order. But I sit here, 2 days later not really knowing what to write. In a way I still don’t know, but I’m going to attempt this anyway. Heaven, help me.
If you didn’t (have the pleasure) to know me 2 1/2 years ago, then I’ll let you in on a little secret: I was terrified to move to Chicago. I was afraid of leaving my friends and moving further away from my family. I was worried about moving to a new place where I (really) knew less than a handful of people. I was shaken with fear of living on my own, something I personally vowed that I could never do. But fortunately those days are a thing from the past. Well…for the most part.
I woke up this morning and had this overwhelming feeling that I was in the wrong place. After seeing a few texts from friends and a message in my Inbox from another, I couldn’t shake the notion that I wanted to be anywhere but here. It pained me to rationalize that I couldn’t be in Cleveland and Cincinnati all at the same time. Life just isn’t fair. But, I thought, if I was living back in Columbus again then I’d only be a short two-hour drive to either place. Heck, I could even visit both places in one day if I really wanted to. (Note: Don’t prompt me because you know I’ll pull it off. After all, I am my father’s daughter.)
Now Kristin, before you start celebrating with wine in a leopard glass and dancing around with joy that your plan worked 😉 …know that while I hope it will one day, today is unfortunately not the day.
After responding to the texts and writing an email to another love of my life, I rolled over swearing that I could stay in bed all day. Okay, and maybe, just maybe, I wished that there was a boy laying next to me. Seriously, is there anything better in life than waking up next to someone…well…someone you really like? I guess that’s what happens when you fall asleep watching the Aidan episodes of Sex and the City. Back to my Aidan-less reality and the fact there, of course, wasn’t a guy next to me. Sadly just a laptop and an alarm clock playing some over-played pop song. So I pulled myself out of bed to make it to Kelly’s Spin Class in time.
During class my mind wandered to this thought: What if I wasn’t single? What would that really be like? Honestly, I have no idea. Minus a few whatever-relationships in my day, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve always been single. In fact, some of my very best friends are taken back (with shock first, then excitement) when I say, “I met someone”. (Note: This rarely happens, which you probably know from reading this open book blog of mine.)
I promise you that you’ll never hear me complain about being single. I’ll never whine about not having a boyfriend. I just don’t do it. Part of the reason why is because, truthfully, I’m ok with being single. Now there are several reasons why I say this, but one reason is my freedom. I mean how many people in relationships can travel to three different cities in Ohio for three straight weekends? How many single people can move-in with her friends for a week to help care for her children?
Now the dreamer that I tend to be wants to believe that Mr. Right with allow me these freedoms because 1) he loves me dearly and 2) wants me to do what makes me happy. However, in reality, I know this most likely isn’t the case. But isn’t impossible…right? Trust me, I hear the advice every day from my co-workers and other older friends, “Enjoy your freedom while I can. I wish I did more when I was your age.” While I value their advice, I tend to use my own perspective in seeing what faults lie in the single life.
For starters, it would be really nice to wake up next to someone and maybe/possibly/hopefully have them make/buy you coffee while you stay under the covers. Do you even know how many times I’ve daydreamed about that happening? And maybe I’ve also imagined the whole proposal scene from The Time Traveler’s Wife happening to me. But only once…or twice. (Take notes, potential suitors.)
In all honesty, for me, there’s just one thing that I constantly fight about being single. It’s so silly and probably the main reason why others in relationships desire to have their single man’s freedom back. So…sometimes…every now and then…I wish that someone would tell me where I’m going or what I’m doing. See, that’s the single girl in me. Let me rephrase it by saying that I wish someone would tell me where we are going or what we are doing. Yes, if I’m still blogging when I’m forty and finally in somewhat of a relationship, you can use this post against me. Actually, please do. But really this is how I feel. Call me crazy. Say, “Girl, I wish I didn’t have someone decided what ‘we’ are doing all the time.” And all I can say is, to each his own.
Two and a half years ago when I was getting ready to move to Chicago, for the first time since my childhood days I wished that I had a boyfriend. I wanted someone to be by my side as I veered far out of my comfort zone in the world of the unknown. But it was only me that moved in Apt 807. And it’s still only me, but with a whole lot of people by my side as I continue on this journey of mine. I mostly walk these Chicago streets alone as I head towards the train station, to volunteer or back home after a long day. But it doesn’t scare me anymore to be alone in this city, and in fact, some days it’s what I enjoy the most. Those rejuvenating walks when it’s just the city and me. Isn’t it funny how the one thing that used to scare you can one day become the thing you enjoy the most?
The stuff that we go through in life- the negative and the knocks- we can choose to take us down, or we can choose to stand up or rise up and make us even more brilliant and beautiful.
~ Mia Michaels ~
Two years ago, I spent my Thanksgiving day enduring a 9-hour car ride from Pittsburgh to Chicago. Two years ago, I ate Thanksgiving dinner at an Italian restaurant and slept in a hotel in Skokie, IL. Two years ago, I woke up early on Black Friday to unload all of my big girl purchases into an empty apartment: My new home. Two years ago I was full of doubt, fear, and anxiety. Two years ago I was not the same person that I am today, but I am who I am because of these past two years.
In a post a few months ago, I claimed that I was going to list 5 things that I’m thankful for on a more regular basis…but yeah, today is only the second (maybe third) time I’m doing so. But it’s not only appropriate to do in these last few hours of Thanksgiving, but it’s necessary. So here I go:
1. I am thankful to have had the courage to take a huge leap of faith in moving to Chicago two years ago.
2. I am thankful for each and every person- friends, family members, mentors, co-workers, etc.- who has (sometimes literally) held my hand and comforted me with their words (and hugs) from day 1 of this outside-my-comfort-zone journey that I embarked on two years ago.
3. I am thankful for each and every challenge that I’ve been presented, and the will-power to overcome them all.
4. I am thankful for all of the new opportunities that have been presented to me as I follow my passions and ambitions.
5. I am thankful that I’ve finally learned to accept myself for who I am- flaws and all.