Sweet Home Chicago…when I need it.

Just got home home from visiting Chicago, for the first time in months.

Now I really feel like my new car is mine, now that I’ve taken it to Chicago! I think it’s good luck, because I didn’t get lost once!

It was so easy to maneuver into a parking space, AND I found parking quick.

My city friends are always encouraging me to move up there. And while it’s tempting, I don’t know I’ll ever leave suburbia.

The reason Chicago is so wonderful is because  I can go there whenever I want, and then come home.

I can enjoy the thrill of getting on 90/94 West to various exits, or the beauty of Lake Shore Drive.

I can come home to parking lots, and quiet, and cheaper car insurance.

But I will say that people in the city do go out of their way to be nice and helpful, moreso than I notice around Joliet.

And I love that I dress more stylishly and arty when I go up there, because I can get away with it. Everyone dresses expressively, and I can just be myself without worrying someone will think I’m over-doing it.  I put my outfits together differently when going on Chicago adventures. And it cracks me up, because apparently I now dress like a local.

On the street, I was walking alone. A couple was lost, and the woman stopped me. The man told her to leave me alone–they’d figure it out. But she asked me anyways where they were– and for once, I KNEW the answer! She smiled and thanked me with sincerity, and they went on their way.

I laughed to myself, it’s come full-circle. How many times have I stopped strangers and asked them for help in the city? While walking, while driving in traffic, while stopping at gas stations after being totally lost. And every person I’ve asked has been eager to help, happy to stop and talk to me.

I’m glad I got to pay it forward.

The funny thing was, I was looking for something myself when they asked me. I was looking for an ATM, to get cash before a poetry event. I never found it, and just gave up and went back– but I had that moment with that couple. Maybe that’s what I was meant to find.

Chicago will always be a part of my home, even if I never move there.

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