Taking advantage of a beautifully sunny Chicago morning, I ventured toward the DMV to change my address to my brand new license!
Lo and behold when the questions came, the same old panic hit, but after a moment, with a clear conscious I could answer with nothing to hide. With no lines and no trouble, I was able to walk out with this sparking new beauty! I am a homeowner. It keeps hitting me over and over when I see it right in front of my face. It's real. It's real, right? I am an upstanding member of society and I have nothing to hide. It's altogether incredible to live an authentic life.
Then, I wandered down to the big library and changed my library card info.
As I was headed down the escalator, a sprite of an elderly man stopped to say, "Beauty before age" to allow me to go first. I smiled and laughed.
"You see, that's what we need more of in this time. More laughter, more smiles. Less this *puts his dukes up as if to fight*. Everyone is so quick to anger these days. We need more smiles like yours."
"Well, I couldn't agree with you more, sir."
He held the door as I walked out and said, "If I were younger, well I'd give you a run for your money. Do you believe I'm eighty? You must think I'm incredibly old as you are only 25 yourself!"
More laughter and have a nice day and keep smiling and all that and I was on my way back to the Tower when it just hits me upside the head again how much I love this city.
With all of its problems and troubles and corruption, this is my home. I live and work here and my kids will go to good Chicago Public Schools and I couldn't be happier about that.
Chicago is home. The people are home. Just a typical Tuesday in Chicago.
I smile at strangers as they wait for their popcorn. Some smile back, some give me the look of "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SMILING AT?"
In my head I think, "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know popcorn was that SERIOUS."
I pass this corner and think of times I sat there drunk and waiting for something. Anything. This city is haunted for me. I walk around and it hits me at odd moments, where I was 13 years ago, so lost, so broken, so hopeless and sad. And then today, there is so much hope and joy and happiness. It's really an odd experience. I like to remember. I like to keep it close. The contrast is astounding. I see the haunted looks of those still suffering all around me. There is never any shortage of misery.
BALANCE. The struggle is real. But it works. Home is where your heart is and mine is definitely in Chicago. With all it's haunted history all it's glorious unknown future, I'm so proud to call this home.
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