Friday, June 19, 2009

Simple Pleasures

After work today I decided to take advantage of the fact that outside of work I have zero commitments. No one to see, no where to be. I decided to go the gym for a good workout to end the week, and a trip to the sauna which is my way of rewarding myself, not to mention it helps me from getting too sore. I showered got ready and decided to take a bus that I never take to see where I might end up. I found a great bookstore, a really cool salon... (where I happen to be going tomorrow to get my "hair did") and then decided to catch a movie at what would be comparable to the Tower in Sacramento. I secretly love going to movies alone, and it happened to be showing "Away We Go" at the right time. Now let me digress for a moment... as you all know Chicago is fickle about weather. Last night at 3:30 am: Thunderstorm and HARD rain. 7:15 am: Sunshine about 78 degrees, beautiful. 9:00 am: The DARKEST clouds I have ever seen followed by Thunder and lightning, followed by a white out of rain, followed by 20 minutes of hail, followed by more rain. 4:30pm: Bright sunny skies, humid 80 degrees. Are you getting my drift?! There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to this cities weather. So when I emerged from my movie tonight, old man weather had yet again changed his mind... and it was POURING. Luckily I'm catching on to his tricks and had an umbrella handy. So I plugged in my iPod, turned on the new Pete Yorn CD (which is AMAZING) opened my umbrella and headed down the road. Since it was raining a good part of the day, everything was flooded... puddles galore. I'm walking along as graceful as can be, and next thing I know I've lost a flip flop, it slipped right off my foot!... so, backtrack three steps, flip flop back on, keep on walking. Walk a bit more, and all of a sudden, lose my flip flop again... stop, giggle this time, backtrack three steps, flip flop back on. This charade continued about four times... the fifth time I lingered and was really laughing at myself... out loud. Wondering how hard could it be to keep on a flip flop... I turned to look up and this guy was coming towards me laughing. He stopped when he got to me, we were kind of laughing together by that point, and he said... "I saw the whole thing... you keep losing your shoe and you've helped me laugh for the first time today..." We walked the rest of the way together to the bus, still chuckling at my tragic shoe issue, and I did my best to keep my shoe on this time. After we got on our collective buses I sat grinning from ear to ear. I felt so happy, so content. Unlike the weather, things are starting to look brighter for me... I have met some new friends in the past few weeks, gotten into a great workout routine, and started feeling really settled. A month ago I probably would have been annoyed by tonight's wet fiasco but now, it's a different story. It made me realize... sometimes you just have to stop and laugh, even if it's at yourself. Even if it's been raining and you keep losing your shoe, even if someone sees the whole thing and you're a little embarrassed. Life is too precious to take too seriously. So, tonight better than the workout or the movie... I got caught in the rain,... and laughed with a stranger.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of clarity

I know, it's been a while... so many of you wonderful friends and family members have been mentioning the blog and wondering when would be the next... well here it is.

The main reason I haven't blogged in a while, is because I kind of lost my clarity. I had these two really tough weeks, where I questioned what I was in, everything that was Chicago, and the onset of what I now know was a taste of REAL loneliness. I have no idea what brought it on, but I hit a wall. I felt hopeless and sad and just wanted to be with my family and friends. I confided in a friend at work, as the tears were flowing... and she said... "well why don't you go home for a weekend then?" Umm... Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?! I was trying so hard to just get through, and keep on pushing, when really what I was doing was making it worse. Sometimes when you're sad or struggling with something and your mind and heart just can't process anything, you just have to give in. You have to be okay being uncomfortable and unsure for a few minutes, maybe even a few days if that's what it takes, because no matter how big the weight or how uncomfortable the pain... guaranteed it will pass. And it did. As soon as I hit the purchase button on the computer screen, I INSTANTLY felt better. Knowing it wasn't an absolute, or forever like it felt inside. Being home was wonderful, it was like every minute was wonderful. I saw almost all my amazing friends, soaked up many moments with my beautiful, bouncy, adorable niece, and loved on my parents as much as possible! ;) It was the perfect remedy.

When I stepped off the plane back in Chicago, I felt at peace. I know that I will continually miss all the people I love so much, because I am blessed with some pretty amazing "people"... but it will get easier. And for now, this is where I am supposed to be.

In Chicago-land as of recent... the grass is green, the trees are full and bushy, and the air is getting warmer with promises that soon it will be summer. (I have my doubts thanks to lots of rain and THUNDER storms... but we'll see). I met some great people last weekend, a few friends of friends one of which is actually from the Chi and now lives in Sac, and a boy... well actually a MAN, but that will have to wait. It's soon to tell, and I don't want to jinx anything ;) This weekend is the first major festivals of the season... the Art festival and the Gospel festival in Millennium park. I plan on going to both and spending as much time possible OUTSIDE!! If the sun is shining that's where I'll be. I signed up for tennis lessons which don't actually start until July, but I am SO EXCITED! They are held at the Irving Park courts which border the Lake... how much better can it get?! Which reminds me... I have fallen in love with walks/ jogs along the lake. It helps me breath and relax, and running (which I have been strongly against since 7th grade, and having to run the dreaded mile) is actually not so bad. It's kind of great. I NEVER thought I would say that, and I am not claiming to fast or even good... but I am slowly "trying" it out. About two miles from my house is this area with this big cement steps that sit right on the water... you can stretch and relax and enjoy the sunshine before heading back home. I like it. A lot.

My goal is to eventually be able to get to the end of Lakeshore drive. Note to self: that is a total of 6.3 miles... that might not be for a LONG while so don't be getting your hopes up.

So... for now, that is all I can muster. It's been a busy week. Work is getting really crazy and I like it. The days fly by and before I know it, it's quitting time. I've been going to the gym in the AM, which let me tell you... no cup of tea! But it's nice to be really DONE at the end of the day, and it really makes sleep so much more worth it.

I hope to have some great stories and pictures of the weekend, and weekends to come. Thanks to all of you for being patient with me while I settled, and found my footing. Hopefully, it's only clear skies from here.