Last week I had a couple of days off of work –what a blessing! Time to tackle all of the ‘I don’t wanna’s…’
Doctor’s appointment: Check.
Order new Social Security Card (lost many moves ago): Check.
New PA Drivers License: Check.
What surprised me was that it was hard to change my license. It had an emotional effect on me. Handing out my Illinois license was my justification to say –“HEY STRANGERS, GUESS WHAT! I USED TO LIVE IN THE COOLEST CITY EVER!”
The same day my past Chicago roommate sent me messages of misses and kisses.
It then dawned on me I officially changed my residency exactly one year from my move away from the big city.
Memories began to flood to my mind. The sights, the sounds, the food, the friends, the intensity, the excitement. Oh but the cost, the distance, the job, the temptations. What a push and pull of things I loved and things I struggled with.
And so what more fitting this week than an ODE to Chicago-
I moved to Chicago April of 2012 and stayed for a glorious 18 months (exactly). I moved for hopes and prayers of promotions and growth with a company I loved and had been with for some time. I transferred from one college located in Baltimore, MD to Kendall College the number one culinary school in Chicago – a city known for food!
My View from the zoo. Less than a 1/2 mile from my first apartment!
Wow was I lucky. I started my stay in an over priced studio apartment in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood with money over looking the large and free Lincoln Park Zoo. I walked to work- where I ate all of my meals Monday through Friday prepared by young and passionate students who lived to share their concoctions with others. I was lucky in the fact that I instantly made friends.
I made friends with my coworkers –
One who had also made the same work transfer as I: He is loud and happy. He is a brilliant business man. He is confident and friendly. He loves being the ring leader, and he’s good at it. He is the master of joining separate groups of friends with out the blatant awkward separation of who knows him and how. He loves to work and to be the best at it. He loves to let loose and be the best at that as well. He loves live music (but refuses to admit any trend setting bands are worth his time). He is funny as can be. He will never ever give up.
One who started training the same day as I did: A gorgeous and brilliant, now triple degree holding women. She loves travel, international affairs and education, she loves history, and music, and food. She loves her dog and her husband. She loves to be quirky and fun with out ever sacrificing her ability to be a professional. We all love her ability to make good judgment. Her husband is fun, he is cool, he is charming and silly. They are wonderful.
One who became my roommate: My confidant. He saw me through everything happy and everything hard. He knew me genuinely and honestly. He has a heart bigger then anyone will ever fill. He believes in hard, very hard work. He helped me in every time of need. He was there to share all my times of joy. He too is a showman, and a talented one at that. He loves food and see’s it more clearly then the average person. He knows what people want, whether a meal or a friend. He is tidy. He never gives any ounce less than his best. He sees good in everyone.
my roommates ❤
Another coworker, and her husband. She is elegant and soft. She loves her friends and her family dearly. She loves her couch and her cat and things that are reliable. She loves quite and honest times. She is the most deeply genuine person you will ever meet. She does not judge, and she gives fair chances. When she opens up to you it is entirely and it is not something she gives away lightly. Her husband is her equal. A man with many talents. When he loves, he loves with depth, strength, and wisdom. They are so talented it is hard to not be annoyed, and they are so kind you can never ever feel an any thing but love for them.
I met a girl that is the funniest. Another department that required close relationships. She is quick. She is smart. She has a brilliant way with words. A way to make a statement that you believe with out drudging it in irrelevant emotion. She is professional. She is mature. She too loves music. She too can merge friendships. She instantly identifies someone’s strengths, and recounts it in conversation. This way she shares meaningful compliments. She is quiet. And she is not. She has an un-offending sass. She is cool to the bone, the kind of cool most girls wish they could carry.
I took a second job and picked up a few more friends. Food service employee’s have a way of ‘getting each other’.
I met a girl who is ‘lovely’. A short stint in the states, a break from college, and vacation away from Ireland. She is giggly, gorgeous, and years ahead of fashion trends. She is forward, but correct. She is sweet. Sweet as can be. She is a magnet, everyone wants to be in her presences. She brings out the best in every friend she has. She was well behaved but never the less spontaneous. She dances unbelievably well. The thought of her makes any friend smile.
She brought together a group, and we became fast friends. We were all so different but a like.
That is how I found my other roommate. She is a woman of the arts. She is amazing, her eye, and her ability. Anything that requires individualism, creativity, or soul- she conquered it. She can paint, photograph, sing, and play instruments. Her beauty is stunning. She is real and she is strong. She makes mistakes but they do not destroy her. If she gets down, she gets up faster than I have ever seen. She is incredibly adaptable. She loves to laugh. She loves to style. She loves to have a good time.
I met a girl who is so passionate. Her feelings are extreme and intense. Oh she is beautiful and hysterical. She sets standards and limits and she never allows for less. She is so quick. She hears every word you say and every word you didn’t say. She loves her cat, her nephew, her family, and her friends. She has a clean eye for style and decorating. She is a good women, someone you desire to be. Someone who is pleasant, does not give too much of herself away, can make any kind of person laugh, and she is bold.
I met so many more fabulous people. Students who changed my perspective on the world. Coworkers who opened up to me for no reason at all but that they are honest and genuine.
In a city so big it will swallow you whole, I have no idea how I found such golden relationships. I will never forget my time in Chicago, purely because of each of these friends. I dream of a day to combine my life in Pittsburgh, so different and just as beautiful, with my friends in the windy city.
I had one promised made when I left the good ol’ chitown; that I will visit once yearly for the rest of my life.
Thank you Chicago.