I decided to start walking to work. I missed walking everywhere. After living in Oklahoma for three years, I adapted to that lifestyle, including gaining 25 pounds! I still say "y'all" now and then. But they also drive everywhere. Every. Where. I suppose that's because there's plenty of free parking, unlike Chicago. They didn't drive because they were in a hurry. I never saw any evidence of that. When I was stuck behind them, I couldn't honk because I was certainly going to run into that person again. I always did.
On my first day of work in Oklahoma, my co-workers took me to lunch and we all piled into the cars. We drove one block. I got out and I could see our office building. Crazy. After lunch, I walked back to the office as they all piled back into the cars. Slowly but surely, they changed me. I started driving everywhere.
I moved back to Illinois over a year ago, and I thought I would be back into the walking routine, but then Winter hit. Y'all remember how bad that was, but it was even worse for me because I hadn't been around that type of cold in years. Excuses, excuses.
But now I'm walking to work. I can enjoy the weather, get a little exercise, and of course, check out the businessmen I pass along the way. I've tried different routes in an effort to pass by as many office buildings as possible. I've switched up the time I leave to catch guys out on the patio drinking coffee before work or grabbing a drink after.
I've been assessing the situation to find someone I want to talk to, and then earn permission to start a conversation. That has been this week's challenge. Waiting for the right person. The right moment. Slowing down something as simple as going to work means more opportunities. But as it turns out, not everyone wants to talk to a random girl, so I'm getting pretty good at picking those guys out. Yeah, I'm talking to you, guy-staring-fiercely-at-the-ground.
But I can't really blame him. On my way to work I've found myself trying to avoid eye contact with a few people. Like the guy who followed me down the street telling me that I had nice hips. I picked up my pace as he said, "you know what I could do with those hips? You can bet that I'd ..." I didn't hear the rest as I walked through the revolving door, but then a few seconds later, he popped his head through the door, shouted, "SHAKE 'EM", and continued through the revolving door back on to the street.
And this is why you wait for permission. Make some eye contact. Wait for a smile. Have a conversation about the weather. Once you've earned their permission, perhaps assess if it's the right time to talk about their hips.
Chicago moves way faster than Oklahoma, but slowing things down by walking to work means I won't miss as many opportunities that normally might pass me by.
Check out what my fellow ChicagoNow bloggers wrote about for this month's blogging challenge to write about someone, some place or something you miss. What do you miss? More importantly, what are you doing about it?