Two weeks ago, I quit my job. The reasons were personal, but it lead to indecisive days of feeling I’d made the worst choice of my life but also like I hadn’t gone far enough. I wanted a fresh start, something completely different and new. I felt like I’d played my time out in Chicago and it was time to look elsewhere for my next step. Chicago felt like a rut I’d gotten stuck in. I saw Toronto, New York, Seattle stretch out before me.
But, walking my dog today, I gave myself the luxury of moving through my neighborhood with a fresh set of eyes. Taking the bus to interviews, I watched the city I grew up with, made myself slow down enough to appreciate it.
I saw three generations of women sitting on a stoop carving pumpkins. I saw two twelve year old boys acting as crossing guards for their school and sword fighting with their stop signs. I saw one of my favorite buildings in the city (the Louis Sullivan-designed Carson’s) getting revitalized by the arrival of a new tenant. I saw a young man dressed in a suit carrying a Captain America shield and walking around the Loop. I saw people laughing and crying and yelling.
Even when I felt like I’d grown too familiar with Chicago, I know the traffic and the streets and the bars and the people too well, I got reminded today what the lady looks like with her hair down and a smile on her face. I found myself drawn back in by the rhythm and the dance and the hard vowels and the blues and the way the hot sun feels with a cold breeze in the middle of October.
I know that I might dally here and there with another place. I might have an affair with Barcelona, or delight in the way Vancouver looks on my arm, I can even fall in lust with Austin based solely on the barbecue. But when it comes right down to it, all I want to do tonight is grab a beer with Chicago, and tell her all my secrets.