There’s Gotta Be More

I had an entire post written. Then I deleted it because, well, it was pathetic and self depreciating and no on wants to hear that.

I found myself journal-ing about not really having the desire to seek out new things. Not having the desire to have ‘life altering conversations’. I do have them, few and far between, usually via text to a friend in Oregon or Pennsylvania or Colorado. Conversations about fear, desires, dreams: I used to have over a coffee, or a beer, or after too many beers. These are good, earth shattering conversations. Ones that are meant to change the world, change my life, or change the life of someone else.

Now most of conversations consist of topics like: beer, farm to table food, the proper form to do a lateral pull down. Running. How bad the winter sucks in Chicago. How bad the CTA sucks in Chicago. How we can’t wait for summer. Day drinking on patios.  All legit conversations to have, but pretty easy and unremarkable. Though Chicago does have some really great patios to drink on…

But wait. Wait wait wait. What I can’t figure out is if have changed or gotten lazy. Or if I don’t have the people around me to have these convos with. OR everyone around me actually has their shit so together that they don’t crave conversations about life, energy, love, nature… I do believe that I’ve changed, changed in the sense that I recognized my need to stop running away from what ever it is I run from. But that recognition shouldn’t hinder me from exploration connections. Is this what getting old is like?

[Side note, I’m in Chicago another year guys… this’ll be a record for me]

But I do think we need to go back to conversations about more than just patio drinking and money. I dream of traveling. I dream of being successful and stable. I dream of doing more than just going through the motions.

I guess that’s what life feels like at the moment. Just going through the motions.

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Disconnection vs. Investment

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Where have the last two months gone? What have I been doing. What have YOU been doing? Winter has finally, hopefully, left us, and were on our path to Spring time. My birthday (in January) came and went, Valentine’s Day smacked us in the face, we sprung our clocks forward and now March Maddness status updates are taking over my Facebook feed and I don’t understand any of them. But now to personify a couple words that have been huge influencers in my life.

Disconnection is something one feels when they hit the road after 10 months of ‘living’ somewhere. Investing in a community is not priority, friendships don’t seem as sincere because there is no depth to them. A bedroom doesn’t develop personality and warmth after just a few months. Disconnection is a hard state to live in and a super easy state to leave.
Where do you lean towards? Where do you road trip to and have a hard time leaving? Is Disconnection a place that’s on your map marked with a star? Disconnection used to be my only home, I had a house on wheels and a backpack full of books, a journal and a tooth brush. Disconnection and I… we flourished together, knowing that happiness was just one stop away, one more plane ride, one more move, one more man in my bed, drinking buddy at the local pub or a cute coffee shop to waste my day in. Happiness, she was coming, she had to be around the corner somewhere, right? Disconnection promised me happiness elsewhere and I believed her every step of the way.

This is what I thought until I met Investment. Investment is a sneaky little bitch that crawls out of hole somewhere, trips you and makes you stop looking towards the horizon and just see the sunset. She and I together freak each other out. She’s not good at hanging out with curly haired, independent ladies that love an adventure away from where she is. She doesn’t move quite as fast as I’m used to but we’ve become friends so I’ve learned to slow down for her, to take a little more time and think a bit more about each move, each choice I’m making.

Investment has encouraged me to sign up for a certification program. She’s helped me find ways to read the words I write to an audience. She’s taken my heart and began giving it to another person so I can’t just leave even if I thought I wanted to. Investment knows me and knows that I can’t end my relationship with Disconnection but she knows that right now we’re not a good fit. Right now I’m starting a garden for the summer and I’m planning trips to far away states and I’m becoming a regular at my favorite coffee shop. She knows that I wonder about my lease ending in August and respects the fleeting thoughts of mountain paths and crashing oceans but understands that now we’re friends I’m sticking around for a while.

As much as my heart wants to fly away I am here. I am present and I am navigating this new friendship with an open mind and adventurous soul.

Seat Buddy

I met a kind soul on my flight back from Denver yesterday. He introduced himself at 5:35am as “your seat buddy,” then later as Greg. His scraggly hair peaked out from under his flat billed skater hat, acne speckled his chin and he sipped a McDonald’s smoothie while he offered to hold my soy latte as I got situated in the dreaded middle seat on Spirit airlines flight.
We shared stories about our trips to Colorado as the flight attendants reminded us how to buckle our safety belts and where the exits are in case of emergency. I learned that Greg has dreams of bridging the gap of those awkward computer geek type and the saavy businessmen, “I’m good with both,” he says, “I want to do IT but bring my social skills to the game.” While telling me this he devoirs an Egg McMuffin. He asks why I was in Denver, what I do in Chicago–he was fascinated by my stories of travel and how I’ve ended up where I am now. He listen intently until the person across the aisle sneezes, “bless you,” he says with out missing a beat then continues asking me questions and answering mine.
As our bodies remember that we had to wake up at 4am to make the six o’clock flight our conversation wanes. The captain announces that we’ve reached 35,000 feet and Greg offers me a headphone with softly playing music pumping through–the band reminds me of high school. A band I’ve literally listened to for a decade and a half. We both nod in and out of sleep for an hour and wake to notice the sunrise happening above the clouds near the heavens.
We chat more, about the music, about the sunrise, about how I’m turning 28 next week and how he hates living the in the suburbs–he shares that he knows he needs to finish school and stay home to help his mother who has fallen ill in the last year.
As the plane lands we acknowledge we survived. “I never get this tight with people on an airplane. It was a pleasure meeting you Sloan.” He hands me his cell phone to put my number in to “Ya know, grab a drink in the city sometime.”
“For sure,” I say as I hand him back the phone.