SORRY!! Again, it’s been a while since I wrote an update… That’s the problem with this blogging thing… When life gets going, it’s hard to make yourself write! Since my last post, I left my temporary place, Hurricane Isaac royally messed up my plans for going back to New Orleans to enjoy friends and family (and get furniture), I was a “hurricane refugee” again in Chicago for a few days (big thank you to my friend who let me camp out for a few days!), including on Katrina-versary, which REALLY freaked me out, I finally did get back to New Orleans, had an INCREDIBLE few days including shutting down Superior Grill with some of my best and oldest friends, drove a Budget truck over 900 miles in one day, with my Dad (without a wreck or a fight! Impressive, right?), and moved into/ unpacked my stuff in my “real” Chicago apartment. ….Oh, and in the middle of the moving in process, I went to school for two days (my 2 last face-to-face classes ever!!! WOW!) and met some cool new people at Adler (I’m not with my usual group for this last class).
So, now you’re updated. The End.
Kidding! But, that is the meat and potatoes of it. It feels so good to finally be “at home” for the first time since July 20. I’ve never had a problem living out of a suitcase and such; in fact, I generally enjoy it. But, living in a place that isn’t yours with all your things in Whole Foods bags (genius packing method, btw) just isn’t quite as much my scene. On Saturday night I slept in MY BED for the first time in quite a while… I slept like a rock!! As of today, there are no boxes, I have furniture, everything is clean, set up, organized, and my place really feels like “mine”. Onto other important things… Like music and employment. While no real “answers” on either of these fronts yet, nice progress is being made. Musically, I have 2 auditions set up for later this week with some kick ass church programs here… So let’s hope the allergies behave and I sing well! On the job scene, I’m still meeting my goal of sending off 4 applications a day (having took a few days off during NOLA visit and the move in). I’m becoming less and less discriminating, as I am open to most anything… I feel confident the “right” thing will come, I just have to be patient… like patient until my masters is completed in 10 weeks. In the meantime, my friends’ sister works for this cool company called Threadless here in Chicago, and I hope to begin some temporary work there in the near future, which will be great. I gotta have structure and a plan for the day… Hanging around the apartment is NOT fun for me…. Well, ok, I admit, it was a little fun today just because it was the first day I could enjoy my new space… But enough. I’m done. Put me to work & fill up my Google Calendar, PLEASE!!!
To help me keep perspective and sanity during this transition time, this is the new quote on my quote board (the one that used to be hanging on my cubicle at internship is now on the side of my fridge):
“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coelho
It’s a good reminder for me as to why I made this decision, and why I’m still happy about the decision I made… and that I am committed to living a full life… Which challenges me to shed my dependency on predictability, embrace the unexpected and change, and to be ok with a certain amount of vulnerability and risk.
That’s a tall order for me, kids!
But it is possible. And it’s an absolute requirement for living a purpose-filled, passion-driven, focused life. …And I’m not willing to settle for anything less than that. I’ve been clear on that from the beginning. It’s also me putting my money where my mouth has been for years, at least with my students. No limits. Dream big. It’s ALL possible. You don’t have to “do” or “be” ONE thing. If I thought I could find what I wanted and needed in New Orleans, I’d still be there. It’s hard to move, to change, to leave friends… but it’s exciting and scary and thrilling to move, to change, to keep those old friendships and feel them adapt to change, and to meet new people and develop new relationships.
When I was in New Orleans, I was reminded of all of this stuff by a few things that happened that I would like to share with you:
1. I got perhaps the BEST compliment of my life.
Nope, it wasn’t my mom telling me I looked skinny when she got me at the airport (although I DID love that)… It came from one of my former students. She occasionally reads this blog, so if I get the words a little wrong, forgive me… I was choking back tears when you said it, k? I had the chance to go to dinner with some of the members of my Chorale from the girls’ school I used to teach at. It was great to see them, chat with them, hear about their lives, and how the year was going so far for them. Obviously, since my job situation changed in the middle of the summer, we didn’t have that “goodbye” moment, so there was a sappy moment or two in the meal. This young woman thanked me for teaching her not to limit herself. She said that’s what she learned from me. She said she wanted to be a neonatologist, but had already counted herself out of being able to do that (I donno why; she’s brilliant and talented and ambitious!), however; somehow, I inspired her to decide that she COULD be that if she wanted to be. I have no idea what I ever did or said to make her think that (although it’s true)… I didn’t even know that was her dream job until this dinner… But wow. It floored me. I think it’s the best compliment I’ve ever heard. (Yes, former psychology students, I think this one-ups my favorite compliment from Jack Nicholson in “As Good as It Gets”: ‘You make me want to be a better man’. But that’s still pretty kick-ass, right?) 🙂
2. I don’t have to be a disaster every time I come to town.
I was sooo worried I was going to have this emotional breakdown/ cry-fest when it was time to leave town again, you know, like the last 3 days before I left town?…. I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t cry once the whole trip! I was happy. I had a great time, saw my most favorite people in the world, did & ate & drank my favorite things, and honestly, felt ready to go “home”. It was interesting and surprising to me that somewhere else already felt like “home”, but Chicago did. That’s cool. Wanna know what’s even cooler? Having several people in Chicago who are already ready to tell you, “Welcome back home. We’re glad you’re here.” 🙂
3. The People you are really connected to in life go way beyond Geography.
My “Goodbye Happy Hour” was incredible. It was a go-with-the-flow kinda thing… day changed, venue changed (thanks, Isaac), but it was AWESOME. It was one of those strange kind of ‘get-togethers’ that make you want to freeze a moment. I had my usual “group” there, but I also had my favorite people from all over my life…. From work, from my childhood, from high school, from college, from my family, from my current friends. My best friend from 6th grade drove in- it was fantastic. She shut down the bar with us (I don’t even remember the time!). Some of the people at this event I had spent time with that very day; others I hadn’t seen in weeks, months, or even years… But all of them? Just like old times. Instantly. They are the people my life couldn’t function without. It’s a timeless thing… place and date don’t matter… These are the people I have “history” with. Granted, there are lots of other people I feel this way about that weren’t there, this gathering certainly was not a complete collection, but it was a beautiful moment to see a bunch of great people I have and have had in my life. Never die or have a funeral for yourself, just have a goodbye happy hour. The memories from that will keep me happy for many, many hours!! 🙂
Ok, I think that’s all the insight I’ve got in the Diet Coke Oracle for today… However, in an effort to add some structure to my days, I’m going to challenge myself to 10 days in a row of blog posts. Tomorrow I’ll be back with a more humorous post- “Things I’ve Learned While Moving/ After Arriving in Chicago”. So, tune in tomorrow to see what wacky lessons (minor disasters) living in and moving to “the big city” has taught me so far!
Take Good Care,