MINI PENNY: There is a Light

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

There is a Light

The Chicago winter has been brutal this year. I've been spoiled in dodging crummy weather — Columbus in '10/11, Chicago in '11/12, and Philly in '12/13. It sorta feels like this year has been those past three years piled on top.

I'm not a winter person. I don't like being cold, even in the slightest. One minute I'm looking out the window at how beautiful the fresh snow looks, and as soon as I have to wrap myself up to go outside to dodge the slush and puddles and ice and wind, I curse it. And this time of year, when we know that spring is so close, it's almost that much more painful to look at the dirtsnow (you know, that black and brown gross-ness on the curbs) lining the streets of my neighborhood.

Yesterday we finally broke freezing.

I'd be lying if I said that this winter hasn't had an impact on me. This is my first winter working from home — coming off of what was an unhappy work and life situation in Philly, I was ready for greener pastures in Chicago. Being almost immediately thrown into a harsh winter has been less than desired, but totally appreciated.

I spent my Tuesday with friends — dodging the melting ice from dripping on our heads as our city begins to thaw — window shopping with no intention of spending a dime. I bumped into a lot of familiar faces that I haven't seen in months. We made plans to trek to other neighborhoods in the rising temperature, for old haunts and new hangouts.

When I left the east coast, I had the choice to move anywhere I wanted. I chose Chicago because of my ongoing love affair with it. I'm starting to feel that obsession wane, but in a good way. I no longer find myself loving Chicago from afar, like some high-school-crush or imaginary-ideal-lover. I think this winter has instead made Chicago a part of me, like a perfect relationship that falls into place when you aren't looking.

I don't know if I'll be here forever. But it feels right right now.

A lot of us (myself included) complain about the sub-zero winter weather on Twitter and Facebook — and a while back, I made a joke about the bright side being that as soon as it hits 40°, we're gonna feel like we're in paradise. Shorts and all.

And yesterday, I was right.


Travel update: Back at the beginning of the year, I noted that I would be visiting Detroit next month. Due to a friend's change of work status, it is possible that my trip will be cancelled or postponed. If anyone is interested in my Chicago > Detroit roundtrip bus ticket from 3/13-3/16 let me know and I will give it to you. No point in it going to waste!

Beyond Detroit plans/non-plans, I still have myself scheduled to be in Nashville on 3/8. I'm still looking for suggestions on cool places, people, and food to explore during my day.

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