Thursday, August 23, 2012

Here's where I've been lately:

In summer class, one being a short fiction seminar (which I loved) and the other being a literature elective (which I didn't love). One inspired me, one consumed me with stress and self-doubt. More on stress and how I need better coping mechanisms later.

In the company of one of my best friends, who came up from her graduate school in Tennessee (Physician Assistant School, which is super hardcore and beats up my program for its lunch money). I loved having her here, and was reminded yet again how much I really miss being near my best friends. We were complete tourists and it was a blast, and we also played Cinderella for two nights in a row going to a glitzy, speakeasy-modeled cocktail lounge named after a line in a T.S. Eliot poem in Wicker Park where each drink sets you back $14 and they don't let you use your cell phone inside. It was glorious. Riding in the train on my way back from dropping her off at the airport, I wondered, is this what your early 20s is all about? Everyone speckled across the country, coming and going when you can and saying your hellos and goodbyes in airports. But I thought, how sweet it is for life to be this way - the sweetness in the few moments with your favorite people, whether in new cities or in video calls or in handwritten letters, to be able to have those precious, funny moments of life at all.

In the company of men. Yes, 2012 is surely the year to end all years, as I have been going on regular dates with interesting, fun men who pay for dinner and have jobs downtown. Only jokes about the apocalypse. But, yeah, this is all new and exciting for me, and all I really have to say that, it is new and exciting. There's nothing serious yet, but refreshingly, this is exactly where I want to be. I'm having fun.

At my new internship with Young Chicago Authors. YCA is a nonprofit, arts and youth outreach that works with young people all over Chicago through poetry slams, workshops, after-school programs, and in-school residencies. I really love what they do. If you have some time, check out these videos to get a good idea of YCA does, or rather, allows to be nurtured and expressed. This was a documentary filmed about the biggest festival they put on each year, but they do a ton of other projects and programs as well.

Yes, YCA is a part of great things. I'm in Development, which entails writing/drafting grant proposals, thank you letters, and a lot of other stuff which all boils down to asking potential donors/sponsors for money because this is how a nonprofit works. After three weeks I am really enjoying myself - the people are really nice, and as I said I really love what YCA is all about, and above all I have a lot of work to do and responsibility. It's another new aspect of my life where I am so grateful for the drive and direction. Plus it's a short bus ride out to Wicker Park in view of the skyline every morning, and the bakery nearby has bacon-chocolate cookies served to you by cute hipster boys. Yeah.

And finally, I have been elsewhere. Clearly, elsewhere from this blog, but also elsewhere in the city and this little bubble of my life inside the little bubble of Earth. I've been so busy and done so many random things since my last post that I can't quite remember all the little updates, but as it should be. I'm feeling infinitely more settled, content, excited, and happy than when I first got out here. I find that I'm coming into my own, and breathing deeply. I'm still homesick; that never goes away. But, for our purposes here, I just wanted to let you know that, lately, life is good. Life is grand, actually.

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