Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Maybe you can go home again, kinda

I wouldn't know where to begin if I tried.

And I'm not even in the mood to try, because it's late and I've spent almost two evenings "at home" in the last few weeks. Don't misread that as a complaint--I have had the most unbelievably enjoyable weeks...catching up with family and friends from all of my previous incarnations.

I am posting from my new, beloved MacBook. (Yay!) I love it, but am still low on the learning curve. Add to that the hour, the wine, and the general confusion (of South v. North, of summer v. winter, of freelance v. full-time, of open agenda v. scheduling chaos), and you can likely forgive the whateverness of this post, right?

My Dad met me at the airport. Man, that hug was the best ever.

I spent the first few days nestled in Dad and Kris' warm home. I cuddled human-dog Spot a lot.

When I made it downtown, I parked my stuff at my dear friends Roberta & Michael's gorgeous condo. My friends are living in Wales at the moment, and they very graciously allowed me to crash at their place during my stay. I think I'm getting spoiled. Their home, a 20th floor condo in the heart of the city, is beautiful and comfortable. Forget the baby grand piano that I can't play and the 3 bathrooms, forget the fireplace I can't operate and the espresso machine I can--I'm living it up with a washer and dryer! The location is sweet and super-convenient to work. The tallest building in view from their living room is the new Trump Tower. It was under construction when I left--needless to say, it's done now. Enjoy this lovely evening view... as I do nightly.

I started working at Compass Lexecon, my former employer, on the Monday following my arrival and was surprised at how quickly and comfortably I transitioned back to the corporate environment. Dare I say, I think that one day I might even return to the "real world"... but not yet! Regardless, I was blessed with lots of great company at "Lex," but the one I had bonded with (and missed) the most was my girl Jackie. She's a rock star, I tell you. See for yourself...

...and Katie... she's an incredible girl with a spirit to match. Man, I missed these girls.

As I said, I've been out a lot. Reconnecting. Reliving. Reviving a little piece of my me, at the perfect time. When I visited Thiera, she had been in her new apartment approximately 36 hours. Still, she served me a big ol' glass of vinho tinto in a giant plastic cup--to which I responded: "this is why I love you." (One of the multitude of reasons, truthfully.)

A few evenings later, Thiera and I met Marcelo, my Paulista friend (and former Portuguese teacher) at a cute pub. (Tangent: I always knew, but just remembered, that Chicago has such a wealth of world class restaurants and bars--there are a million different places to go here, something for every mood, budget, and taste. We, if I can still count myself in that collective, are very fortunate for that.) Anyway, afterwards, Marcelo gave us a ride home in his new car. Marcelo has lived in Chicago for five years but, as he never had a car, he never had to clean off the ice and snow. As he peeled the cardboard packaging from his snow brush/ice scraper to do the deed for the first time, he proclaimed, "I'm living the American Dream!" and Thiera and I fell about the place laughing.

There are so many other bits and pics and stuff. The people I know here (like those in Brazil, and in Ireland, in Spain, in anyplace) are so amazing--so whole, so interesting, so admirable--that I feel like I am slighting them somehow by not writing a story for each person I cherish, conveying why and how they have impacted me. I don't want to slight them (you) all. Maybe, in time, I will manage to tell all these stories in words that do justice.

For now, though, I am happy here. I am freaking cold here. Still, it's been an enormous--surprising, even--pleasure. I trekked back here feeling a bit apprehensive about the ways I've changed... and the ways others might have changed in ways that I wasn't a part of... but I love love love this city. I love seeing my Dad, my friends--I even love working the grind (because of the previous bonds).

I've still changed. And I'm not done with my adventure. Please don't ask me what I'm looking for, because I don't know myself... but I'm not done.

But if and when I am done, I'll come back to Sweet Home Chicago. And I hope with all my hope that the people I adore are still here and just as welcoming as they are to me today--after my lengthy absence.

I leave you on ice, for now...

Happy 2010...

Loquinha Everywhere