Some vacations are remembered by the scar on your knee when you flipped over the handlebars on the rental bike while riding down the mountain, or in an over-priced wood sculpture that lives on the coffee table long after you've landed and laundered the wrinkled clothes in your suitcase.
All memories are filtered through emotion; only remember things the way we wanted them to be. This trip to Chicago has not been perfect (bad weather, shifting plans), but my mere presence in the Windy City is something. I made a promise to myself last year, after the passing of Victor's last breath that I was going to move. Not in the pack the bags and blow a kiss to the wind kind of way, but in a commitment to new experience. There is no growth without movement and uncertainty.
It's not a huge deal to fly out to Chicago, but it's even easier to conjure up an excuse to remain surrounded in the familiar (too much work, not enough money). And so, the act of buying a ticket and jumping on a place is a practice of freedom.
Before I could inhale this city’s air, I lost my wallet. Credit cards, ID, and cash gone without steps to retrace. A quick phone call home to my brother reconciled any financial woes and had me rebooted to keep it moving.
As both tourist and participant, I found a spot in the Cloud to catch my reflection and indulge in the spectacle of narcissism. As center of the universe, you find a way to be unfazed by pessimism and the false hope of the next great thing.
I was not in search of a good time, but on a quest to find the real authentic self who doesn’t sway in the presence of a few storm clouds and disappointment. This trip was about standing in a large crowd, spotting myself, and still thinking: not bad, kid.