Chicago Wanderings

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Journal from Summer 2011

I’m surprised by how easily I’ve adapted here in Chicago. As if the suitcase full of clothes and shoes is enough. That the most minimal amount of things is necessary, and everything else is expendable. Anything I may need, I can get, anything I love, I can collect here. How easy it was for me to leave, as if I came here to start over, as if I don’t have an entire life of school, friends and family back in Austin waiting for me. The greatest lesson I’ve learned from being in Chicago, is how capable I am. I am capable of bringing less, and creating more, wherever I go. I am capable of being alone. Capable of loving myself away from all the very basic things that made me who I am. The sun feels nice here, warm and familiar. The summer here is nothing like I’ve ever experienced.  It’s a big city, mostly safe, with trains and buses that can carry me home. The people here make me feel like I belong. Sometimes I’ll just sit by the river, watch the water and it’s pretty shade of blue and green. I always want to take photographs of it, capture it’s texture, the constant motion, the ripples. 

Chicago is about solitude for me. Chicago has been about recovery. Finding calm against the chaos, like a sailer out at sea. Chicago has been about being the calm in the storm, understanding exactly what I want and don’t want. How to listen to myself through the noise of others opinions. Chicago has taught me how to be alone, and be okay with it. I’m not sure I would have found this feeling quite as quickly in Austin, where I have the security of friends and family, and familiar streets.

After yesterday evenings yoga class, I sat on a bench waiting at the train station for the brown line. I’ve really been living in Chicago, truly been immersing myself into a routine like I’ve been here for years. During yoga, I was on my mat in my usual spot, next to the window. I go to yoga in the evening now because I get to watch the setting sun from the 6th floor of the studio. The way the light falls over the brick of the buildings, like hands reaching for the shadows, reflections of buildings reflecting buildings, an infinite mirror, like something from a picture, soft edges of orange and blue and shades of grey.