For my birthday weekend, I got to spend it in Chicago. Don’t get all excited, I got in on Saturday morning and I left Sunday night – and most of Sunday was spent in the suburbs – but it was exactly what I needed.
I can’t remember if I talked much about it on here (and I’m too lazy to go back and re-read,) but it was kind of rough to transition from school to home for the first week. I wasn’t used to having my own room, having to make social plans, or simply living with my family again. Even though we really don’t have that bad of chores, having to do them at all was frustrating and annoying, and even the simplicity of doing laundry was getting on my nerves. I was constantly missing the freedom, my roommates, all of my co-workers, and even the cafeteria food a little bit.
I’ve figured out why this was so rough for me this past weekend, too. It wasn’t the fact that I had to live at home, and it wasn’t even the fact that I didn’t know if I’d get to return to the city at all over the summer. What made it so hard was the jump was so abrupt. I went from working the whole day for the radio department to the car with my aunt and her boyfriend driving back to small-town-Minnesota. I had been in constant contact with both my roommates and friends/co-workers in the department, (during MANIFEST of all things,) to not having anything to say to almost anyone. I was missing the gossip of the happs at school, talking smack with Sam and Jessie, and being able to decide what I wanted to accomplish and do with my day.
Now, my parents aren’t some crazy control freaks (anymore, and even when they were it was probably for my own good,) but it’s more the principle of the matter. And I’m not just saying that because my dad reads my blog (hi, by the way.)
So when they told me I could buy myself a bus ticket to visit the city for my birthday weekend, I noticed a change in myself right away. I suddenly found things to talk about with my friends from school and work. I was excited to tackle the last bit of work I wanted to accomplish for the week. I was even more hyped to teach the color guard and learn some new things to broaden my own knowledge so that I could better teach them. I was happier than I had been all summer – and I have had some pretty happy moments this summer – and it was all because I was glad to just get the chance to go back home.
And as I was walking west on Jackson back towards the megabus stop, I found myself thinking of this time about four weeks ago. I was near tears, I was angry, I was frustrated, and I felt like my heart was being ripped in half. For some reason, it’s different this time. Let it be that I knew exactly what time I was leaving or that I wasn’t busy the entire day. I finally got the chance to get a little bit of closure. I got my moments by the bean and walking down Michigan Avenue and to see the Buckingham Fountain. I ran on the Lakefront Trail and rode the train around. I got some frozen yogurt from Chicago Kernel and pal-ed around town with some friends. As weird as it may sound, it was nice to just have a day to bum around the city and enjoy all the things I never had time to during the school year. I wasn’t completely immersed in school and work and everything else that makes me happy and feeling productive during the year, and that was exactly what I needed.
Maybe part of it is also that I know I’ll be back in barely less than two months, and even after that it’s just a few short weeks until I move back in. It also helps that I have so many things to look forward to in the coming weeks that I know the rest of this summer is simply going to fly by, and that in itself is crazy exciting.
I like to think that in this single weekend, I kind of grew up a bit. It could be just me, but I feel more mature. I feel like I fit more into the mold that I’ve kind of created for myself. I am the girl that trys to run every day, even while on vacation. I am the girl that stays off her phone during movies, and cries at The Fault In Our Stars, but more for the sentimental reasons than simply the story. I can sleep on busses like a baby and I’ve learned the tricks of dealing with the megabus – in its annoying, loud, smelly, and usually pretty cheap glory. I’m feeling more comfortable with myself and I’m able to define more who I am and what I hope to do. Maybe I’ve even started to figure out more of what I want to do – but that could be the exhaustion kicking in.
Either way, happy birthday to me, I guess. Cheers to the eight hour bus ride ahead of me.