Friday, October 14, 2011

A little enthusiasm.

While the autumn air is starting to sweep through Chicago and the smell of cold fills my nose and open pockets of my early fall jacket, I'm beginning to warm up to the details of the city. The train stop is dirty but so familiar and endearing now. The construction down the road makes me curse every early morning it jolts me awake (I am not a morning person), but I've been here long enough to see new things take shape, new ads traipse downtown, new venues open up, new exhibitions and events happen. You don't get that stuff when you're a tourist (don't get me started with them), but when you're an amateur Chicagoan, oh, the possibilities! Even the bustling downtown is invigorating and energetic. Walking on Michigan Avenue at 4 p.m. is the best and worst thing at the same time. The anonymity is comforting most days. New friends are even more comforting.

I've come to enjoy the echo of Pink Floyd and (pre-Battle Studies) John Mayer in our shoebox apartment. The hall light on the third floor is out, but there is a skylight. Even if I can't ever find the right key after dark, I like that the coral-colored street lights get to peek through.

Show me a picture of every red line El train stop from here to downtown, and I can tell you exactly which one it is. I guess that doesn't sound so neat, but I like to think outside the box of monotony. The 30-minute ride to school every day has the potential to make me a grump because of its claustrophobia, loud and obnoxious teenagers on their cell phones, and consistently funky smells.

I still miss wide open space, harvest time in Nebraska, taking meals to the fields, Blue Hill high school football games, joking with my grandparents over a steak dinner, beating up on my little brother (who am I kidding? He'll never be little anymore)...singing everyday, getting drunk with good friends, and Pabst Blue Ribbon not being such a hipster beer. I don't think I'll ever stop missing these things.

Nonetheless, I knew that comfort would come and that my young and naive (with some additional urban maturity and navigation skills) country girl spirit of awe and wonder would come back to me, a better outlook on the challenges of the future.

The Blackhawks have been winning, and now, out of decency and respect for the sport, I know what I'm talking about when it comes to hockey. Yes, I did some research instead of doing homework. Sue me for being a Blackhawks fan and posting related videos more often than probably need be. Come on, it's hockey season!


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