i can’t promise that what follows will be much more than my usual musings about life and travel, but i hope that adding this degree of transparency to my internal monologue might help find it some company in your own personal experience.
it’s been just over a year since i arranged everything i owned somewhat neatly in the back of a rented truck, adusted the mirrors, kissed my mother, and left the city where i grew up. without divulging unecessary personal affairs, recent events have found me meditating on the concept of home.
to say that this past year was a tumultuous one would be an understatement, which i don’t think is necessarily abnormal, but certainly unexpected to someone like myself who tends to be chronically optimistic, sometimes to the point of fault. it’s easy - at least it was for me - to assume that i’d set down my bags in Chicago, and begin my grand new adventure without a hitch or setback or cloud in the sky. i know now that a home is built, not found.
this isn’t to say i believe it’s impossible or even that hard really to settle yourself in a new location where you feel adjusted, comfortable, stable - it just takes work: a labor bred from equal parts excitement and immersion. the long, harsh winters of Chicago coupled with the fact that i work remotely for a company not based in Chicago, certainly took their toll on my acclimation. add in a lot out-of-town of traveling during the precious brief summer months last year, and the protracted dissolution of a relationship, and there are days where it feels like i’ve been living here for a long weekend, with a dissonant and turbulent mental state to boot.
but however desperate or negative this all seems, a reminder that the objective of my rambling is not pity, but openness. one of the greatest tools we have against our own brutal ruminations is speaking openly about them. when having a beer with a friend and their reply to my worrisome complaints is, “i know exactly what you mean,” the relief i feel is enveloping and large.
in short: i was not meant to live & die in the place where i grew up, and i am intent on forging myself a home, be that here or wherever the wild heart take me next. these obstacles are fixable, temporary, part of an ongoing process of transition, both of person and location. were it effortless to pick up your roots and set them down with ease, we would all be beings of transience.
i’m just thankful for the people on the other side of the bar, desk, sidewalk, or phone that have continually reminded me that i’m worthy of not only happiness, but of this place as well.