Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I’m in Chicago. I’m living in Chicago.
I’ve been here for nearly two months, but sometimes I’m still in awe and disbelief that I am, in fact, living in Chicago. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t lived in a big city before. I’m from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, a big, giant sprawl of city and suburbs. But these past few weeks, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I am, indeed, living in Chicago, and loving it.
There are plenty of things to do and see around the city: festivals, fairs, museums, parks and concerts. Whenever I’m at home during the weekends, I always feel like I shouldn’t be. I feel like I should always be out and about, taking advantage of all that Chicago has to offer, especially before winter sets in. With my housemates, I’ve gone to the German festival, the jazz fest, a few art fairs and heard music at Millennium Park. I called home asking my mom, “Do we have these things back home?! Am I oblivious to what’s going on around Dallas?!” Maybe there are a few of these events going on but as my mom pointed out, “It’s 100 degrees outside over the summer. Maybe it’ll drop down to 90 in the evening. Nobody wants to be outside.” Oooohh yeah...Texas doesn’t have short bouts of high temperatures but days (and I don’t miss it).
I’ve also enjoyed hearing the historical aspects of Chicago, especially from a few of my housemates who’ve lived around the city for a while, but I’ve also come to realize the costs of living in Chicago. It’s not the cheapest place to live and when we’re living on a stipend, the decisions to explore and enjoy the city and to live simply are conflicting.
Despite the negatives of living in a large city (like city traffic), I’m going to enjoy Chicago and all the Chicago things as much as I can while I’m here. As a house, we’ve created a South House bucket list of things we must do before our year is up and I have no doubt that we’ll accomplish it all, including the bazillion visits to Huck Finn Donuts for donut delights.*
*A donut delight consists of your choice of donut with a heaping scoop of ice cream of your choice, topped with whip cream and a cherry and are indeed, quite a delight.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Moving through the transition of graduating from college, to a summer of ‘non-profit’ interning, to Amate orientation, to working in the quasi-real world, has been quite an experience, to say the least. Riding this roller-coaster of emotions, I’ve come to realize that I am in the best possible place to cope with what feels like leaving one world behind and moving into a new world. Maybe it would be better to say finishing one chapter and starting another; the quasi-real world chapter, my Amate chapter.
So far, I have had nothing but the best experience with Amate. The people I live with are amazing. Living in an intentional community has fostered quick, strong relationships that provide incredible support and honesty, and in this transitional period those relationships are vital to maintaining a positive attitude. I have been so happy to be able to lean on my house mates and to provide support for them in return, and I can already tell the relationships within the house will only improve with time. And it doesn’t hurt that everyone I work with at the school next to our house absolutely adores the Amate volunteers. Going to work in such a positive environment really helps buoy my attitude when I come home to my roommates, which only further improves my overall quality of life.I never would have guessed before coming here, but Amate House and the people and experiences that come with it have been just what I needed during this time in my life. Whether it’s relationship woes, concerns for the future, or simply a hard or draining day at work, I always have my incredible friends to come home to, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I cannot think of a better transitional phase, and am very excited for the rest of my Amate chapter!