Posts Tagged 'Transition'
February 12, 2011
My time in Chicago is fading. Two weeks from yesterday, I will be packing up yet another rental car and proverbially stamping a giant “Return to Sender” sticker along the back. Has it already come to this?
I haven’t blogged during the second half of my time in Chicago. In fact, I haven’t posted anything since early November-over three months ago. Though a lot happened during that time, the idea of sitting down and writing something about my recent experiences or reflections always just sounded like a chore. I didn’t feel like I had anything to say that I hadn’t already said.
I absolutely love Chicago, and it had really started feeling like home. However, going back to Texas over Thanksgiving and Christmas helped me realize just how much I really do love Dallas. It’s my true home, and I ultimately want to end up back there. I was always tentatively planning on moving back to Dallas at the 6-month mark, but that’s when I made the final decision.
So, the new year has seen my heart and mind pointed southward. I still adore Chicago, and I’m so glad that I’m here, but I’m also very excited about getting back home and finally settling in.
Now that my days in Chicago can be counted on my fingers and the toes of one foot, my emotions are becoming increasingly conflicted. More on that later.
Good luck, and good fortnight.
November 4, 2010
As I recently mentioned, I’m working through moving from one phase of my great Chicago Adventure to another. The Genesis of this transition was a couple of weekends ago, when a friend was in town and invited me to a house concert in Pilsen. “Sounds great!” I said. “See you there.” I’d never even heard of Pilsen.
Pilsen, it turns out, is a large neighborhood southwest of downtown. So I jumped on the L and headed further out from home than I’d yet gone. The apartment where I was ultimately headed was a 15 minute walk from the station, so after getting off the train, I found myself strolling down a street unlike any I’d yet seen in Chicago.
After just a brief glance, its obvious that Pilsen is a predominantly hispanic neighborhood. The restaurants, shops and storefronts were all lined with Dia de los Muertos decorations, the sides of buildings were beautifully painted in huge, distinctly urban-hispanic murals, and the sweet scent of Mexican bakeries filled the evening air as I passed block after block dotted with art galleries and handmade craft shops. From the brief experience I had, it was a lovely, charming neighborhood.
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October 29, 2010
This weekend will mark two months of my living in Chicago, which means that I’ve already been here for a third of my intended six month stay. To celebrate this milestone, how about a recap of the past eight weeks?
I really like Chicago. I mean, I really really like it. I honestly cannot imagine a better, more epitomic American city. It fully embodies exactly what I’ve always thought a metropolis could and should be. Chicago is simply a great town. And the experience as a whole has been as contrary and different as I’d hoped it would be.
Having come two months into my time here, it’s becoming increasingly fascinating to look back on my time in Chicago. The more time that passes, the more perspective I have on the infant stages of the journey. Even in the short amount of time so far, there are several distinct stages that I can identify though I was largely oblivious to them at the time.
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August 27, 2010
Well, it’s finally happening. It’s nearly a month behind schedule, but it’s happening. Next Tuesday, the 31st, I will be falling asleep in the city of Chicago, IL. I’ve got an apartment leased, rent in the mail, and rental car reserved. Here we go.
Monday morning, I’ll pick up an SUV from Avis, drive it home, load it up with all of the stuff that I’ll be taking with me up north, and probably try to take a nap. Then around 9:00 or 10:00 Monday night, I’ll set off for the wild north. It’s about a 15 hour drive, so I’ll probably see the Chicago skyline crest the horizon around noon on Tuesday.
Lord willing, I’ll pick up the apartment keys, spend half an hour hauling all the stuff from the car to the apartment, then drive a mile downtown to Avis, drop the car off, and spend 15 minutes walking back to my new home.
The apartment I’m leasing is a total of 325 square feet. For perspective, that’s about 18.5′ x 18.5′, or a mid-sized living room. It’s a bed, office desk, bathroom, closet, small dining table and corner kitchen. I don’t even know where I’m going to set my piano up. I’m on the third floor, and I’ve got a small window that looks north over a parking lot and Division St.
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August 3, 2010
I remember saying about a month ago that once I had wrapped up my job at Pursuant and moved out of my apartment, it would be pretty smooth sailing from that point on.
Oh young, naive Cabeeb.
For two months or longer, I had been working towards a defined, dated goal. That was to have left my job and moved out of my apartment by the time my lease was up on July 18th. That was my first destination on the larger journey up to Chicago, and I’d been working towards it since since mid-May. It was extremely stressful, but it gave some definition to my purpose. Even if everything else was a giant whirlwind, that end goal was unwavering.
Now that stage has finally wrapped up. I exited Pursuant stage-left, crammed 90% of my possessions into a 5′ x 15′ padlocked room, and moved into a temporarily vacant bedroom in my parents’ house. That all took place in one of the most hectic 4 day periods I can remember, but it was done.
Yet the week following that milestone saw me depressed and overwhelmed. Somehow, having no deadlines hanging over my head was just as stressful as the previous weeks of several simultaneously culminating. The stress was of a different nature, of course, but it was just as potent and crippling.
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July 11, 2010
One month from now, I’ll be writing a blog post from a coffee shop in Chicago about life in the Windy City. Seven months from now, I’ll be right here writing a blog post about moving back.
Lord willing, of course.
A few weeks ago, I pulled the proverbial trigger on something I probably should have done years ago: Taking a risk. Doing something reckless. “Giving it a shot.”
Having been birthed and raised in the suburbs north of Dallas, I’ve never lived outside of a circle 20 miles in diameter. I went to a local college, living with my wonderful parents (and sisters) until six months before graduation. I took jobs always where close friends worked. It’s been great, and I wouldn’t change the past decade even if I could. But nowhere in all of that have I ever really done anything a little crazy or risky. Nothing that put me outside of the comfortable world I’ve always known. And having no reason to move or branch out, I’m on track to stay here for my entire life.
And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. But as I get a bit older and I look back on my adult life, those little “what ifs” start to rear their heads, and I can’t help but wonder how things would have ended up if I had branched out a bit. Normally I would internalize all of that and use it as fodder for future self-loathing. But not this time.
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