If home is truly where the heart is, then Ohio will always be home.
Lately, as the thirties continue to make me more maternal and sentimental than I ever imagined being, I’ve been realizing more and more that my heart has been stranded there since I relocated to Chicago nearly five years ago.
And after a phone call from one of my best friends tonight, who is now a proud papa, I’m anxiously awake trying to gather my thoughts (by typing them out) and missing my friends back in Ohio.
Now I’m not going to sit here and go on and on about how A*MAY*ZING my college years in Ohio were because I’ve done than dozens of times on this blog before. But rather, I feel myself in being pulled back by my love for Ohio- mainly the people there that I love- and trying to fight the urge to go back to the place I once called home (even though my hometown is technically Pittsburgh, PA).
Here I am, thirty-years old and engaged to a great guy, not to be mention that I am living in one of the greatest cities in the world. That being said, there isn’t a thing I can complain about.
But as I mentioned in my last post, being in your late twenties/ thirties brings about its own set of growing up challenges. Life is no longer about being able to go out until 2 AM (or 4 AM here in Chicago) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Instead, weekends are about visiting with family and friends, catching up on work deadlines, and resting up for the week ahead.
That being said, with the large majority of my (closest) friends living in Ohio and other non-Chicago cities, it’s becoming hard for me to adjust to changes in my life without my friends nearby to join me for the ride.
So here it is, once again: Chicago vs. Ohio. With Cubby’s whole life here in Chicago, not to mention his goals and dreams as well, it doesn’t seem possible that Ohio will be incorporated into our plans.
But, is that what I want?
I guess that’s what I’m trying to figure out.
Lately it seems like I’m trying to figure out a lot of things about my life. #cheerstogrowing up #thirties
One reason why I’ll always love Columbus, Ohio is that they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day ON St. Patrick’s Day. None of this weekend before bullshit. It’s March 17th, no matter what day of the week it falls on. Now I understand that a parade is best to be held on a weekend, but noticing all of the green paraphernalia and drunken stupor on the streets already I can ration that the ‘Irish spirit’ also takes over the city today. In fact, as expected based on my experience with the holiday, today’s celebration began early. On my way to Bootcamp class this morning I witness the drunk trolleys with shades of green running down Clark Street.
Call me a party-pooper if you want to, but I guess the all-day drinking just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Well, at least it doesn’t appeal to me in this city. If I was living in Ohio than I would probably be joining my friends in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on the actual holiday. Now I’m not an uber-snob when it comes to drinking, nor do I judge anyone for drinking. Being an OU alum, I’ve certainly witnessed my share of drunken debauchery and indulged in it myself. I could tell you a tale or two from my nights on the town in Athens, Columbus or another Ohio city. Wow. Most of my favorite memories occurred in O-H-I-O. I just realized that, which includes two St. Patrick’s Day festivities, both being celebrated on March 17th.
My last St. Patrick’s Day in Columbus was a memorable, with a lot of blurry memories. I remember working at Children’s Hunger Alliance during the day and listening to voicemails from my friend, Sarah, throughout the day as she began indulging in the festivities at 7 am. By the time I got home from work, Sarah was waking up from a 2-hour nap at my apartment on Buttles & High St. and getting ready to go out for Round 2. We started out at our favorite bar, O’Shaughnessy’s, for some Irish grub and my first drinks of the day. Everyone else was already drunk- for the most part- but Sarah made sure that I caught up. We hung out with some other OU alums and watched the bagpipers (Sarah’s fetish) before meeting up with some other friends. That’s when the evening got blurry, but I know I had a good time. Like always, my nights out in Columbus were the best. I miss that city and my friends.
The year before that we were able to successful corral the troops to Cleveland for some Saturday, March 17th adventures. It was the first reunion for this group of friends after college and truly A.MAY.ZING. Sure we were a bit drunk, but that wasn’t the reason. This day was memorable because of the people I spent it with.
Today was my second fake-St. Patrick’s Day (as Dusty calls it) in Chicago. The drunks were out, and I even got to witness one drunk girl crying. (It was like OU all over again. Never did a night go by without some girl in tears.) While I’ve yet to engage in a (fake) St. Patrick’s Day here in Chicago, I do have a memory from last year. Gosh, I cannot believe that was a year ago. Anyways, in traveling back to my apartment around midnight last year from Karrie’s apartment, I survived the drunks on the train to arrive back in my neighborhood. While waiting at the intersection of Clark & Broadway, I was ‘greeted’ by Green Man. Imagine being sober and seeing a guy dancing around in a head-to-toe green spandex outfit. What would you do? Probably what I did. First, you unfortunately wouldn’t stop looking at him; and two, you wouldn’t stop laughing and grinning. To my luck he was walking in my direction, so when the crossing walk sign changed, I was forced to look at him green spandexy butt for the next four blocks. I couldn’t not laugh as he danced around like a happy drunk. I was walking with his friends as they apologized to me continuously. All I could think is that I haven’t laughed this hard in a very long time. They had no idea how much I appreciated this ‘interesting’ moment. A few blocks from my apartment, Green Man decided to hang back and walk with me. We exchanged names (His was Ryan.) and he invited me to the party that they were going to, which I regretted saying no to but drunk me didn’t think it was practical. If only I was drunk too! When we got in front of the diner underneath my building, I stopped to go my separate way. As I said goodbye he told me to wait. He reached around to take off his mask, unveiling his face. He was hot. We smiled at one another…making me think of another moment like this that I shared (once upon a time) with ck. Another part of me felt like I was in a superhero movie where he risks it all to show his face to the girl. As I walked away from Ryan, I wished that I would have turned around and went with him to that party, or at least exchanged numbers. But not thinking about how big of a city Chicago really is, I figured that if it was meant to be then I’d somehow see him again.
Writing that now sounds so foolish. I guess for once I just wanted something magical like this to work out for me. Even though nothing really came from my run-in Green Man, I’m still grateful for the moments of uncontrollable laughter that he provided me. Thanks, Ryan. It was nice to have a crush for awhile. ♥ K