October 5, 2011 : Erin Bell

October 5, 2011 : Erin Bell

It’s the first hump day of the month and what a gorgeous October day it looks like it will be - 77 and sunny. I’ll take it considering how much I complain about non-existent Spring and ridiculously long Winters here in Chitown.

The morning was the usual – I hit snooze 2 times, got out the door a little after 8. Packed bus as usual. Some kid had puked on the bus so it was stinky.

I’m really intrigued by these promotional balloons I keep seeing on Michigan Ave. on the way in to work.
“FUEL YOUR CURIOSITY.”

“STOP TALKING. START LISTENING.”

“TEACH SOMEONE SOMETHING.”

After the initial feeling of being screamed at since they are in all CAPS, they make me wonder if I’ve become too complacent or comfortable with my routine. Monday through Friday, I get up at 6:30AM, go to work, sometimes the gym after work, head home for dinner and then land on the couch for some TV or reading. Once in a while, I have a random activity during the week like babysitting my friend's daughter tonight. Saturdays are often spent with my fiancé and friends. Sunday is the boring stuff: groceries, laundry, maybe the gym or a walk, talk to my out-of-town loved ones on the phone, read and end the night with Boardwalk Empire.

This morning, I spent the entire walk down Michigan Ave. thinking, “Do I have any good, BIG ideas? What are there? What should they be focused on?”

Sometimes it feels like that enthusiasm and passion you have when you’re a kid gets stomped out of you by life. We are told "NO" so many times.  But that’s silly. There is always something we can contribute – we just have to figure out what it is. And, we don’t have to do it alone. That’s why these balloons and the Chicago IDEAS week fascinate me.  It looks to be an event where great minds come together to talk about creating an "ecosystem of innovation, exploration and intellectual recreation". I gotta get in on that.

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About the author: Erin Bell (@eebell) works in digital PR and is passionate about learning. She believes in  "work hard, play hard". Coffee order: Tall bold in a grande cup, half and half and 1 Splenda.

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