Slowly but surely falling back in love…
I moved to Chicago nearly 7 years ago from Houston knowing only one poor soul. Completely blind, I packed up my car and a Uhaul, in search of a better job and metropolitan trappings. The feeling I got the first night, sitting in my new Wicker Park pad was that of desperate panic. I remember calling my mom in tears, “All I want is coffee and cigarettes and I don’t even know if I’m supposed to turn left or right out my front door to find a store!” It was pathetic. I got a job as a designer at Sidewalk, which did wonders for my ability to find my way around.
About a month later, I was at a party and met who would end up becoming my husband. He took me all around the city. Everyplace that became important to me was, for the most part discovered because he introduced me to it. The museum campus, Taylor Street, even Superdawg. The hard part about getting to know a new city with someone is that when the relationship ends, you almost feel as though you’ve been shut out again.
Over the past year, I’ve had to sift through all the places that I had discovered with him and reclaim them as mine in a new life. One at a time, Francesca’s turned from being the location of our first date and into the place I go with my best girlfriends for cocktails. Superdawg turned from the place he asked me to move in with him into the place I ride to with my motorcycle friends on a summer night.
This time I know where I’m going, but now I’m getting re-acquainted with Chicago. Wooing it for myself, falling in love all over again, on my terms.