Monday, May 19, 2008

two worthwhile stories

you ever have one of those moments where you just kind of look at your life through someone else's eyes and realize just HOW lucky you are? and all of the sudden things are put into perspective and all of the sudden instead of making "to-do" lists or laundry lists of your life problems, you're making mental lists of things you're thankful for and friends you've been meaning to call or send a card to? because you realize, life really is that short. and time really does fly. they weren't lying to us when people told us that growing up. 


two stories that made me think like this.

the first, short and sweet as it is/was, i thought about it for three days. i still think about it.

i was walking home from walgreens and there is this homeless man who sits in the corner right outside of the walgreens i go to. and, i pass him all of the time so i always say hello but that's about it, and i keep going on my way. he's in a wheelchair and he doesn't have any legs, so i've always kind of assumed he's a veteran. but once again, that's an assumption. 

i have always liked him though, because there are homeless people that beg for things, and ones that just say hello. he's one that just says hello. he doesn't pitch a sale, and i almost think that's his way of saying "i know if you had the means, you'd help out," without saying a word. he knows he doesn't have to tell people he's homeless. we know. we know why he's sitting on that corner. and we know that he'll take a dollar or a meal if we have some to spare. anyways, instead he usually says hello, or something about the weather. never anything too pushy though--so i appreciate that about him. 

well on my way home from walgreens i see an older man stop and talk to him. i slowed down my walk because i wanted to catch some of the conversation. i heard the older man say (and who knows why he would say this), "you don't have a home, and you don't have any legs." and in the fifteen seconds that i could hear them i caught the man's response... and it really stuck with me. he said "it could be a lot worse. i could not have a soul." 

how true. 

second story. i was in the grocery store on saturday and in the bread aisle looking for some bread to make sandwiches, whatever. anyways, i never really know what to buy and i don't necessarily have favorites so sometimes it takes me forever in an aisle. i must have looked puzzled or something because this woman started talking to me about which bread she eats and how it's lower in sodium, etc. she was probably late 60's. somehow her talking to me about bread led to us talking for forty five minutes. i have to admit part of the time i was frustrated, thinking things like "okay i have raw chicken in my basket, need to get home!" but i could tell that she just wanted someone to talk to, and she liked to talk. so, i listened. after all, it's just chicken. 

and we got to talking about everything, in the middle of the store. what food is good to buy when you live alone, what i want to do after school, what she does for work and her travels and men and life and wow. before i knew it, i knew this woman's life. and she knew some of mine. she mentioned a few times things about living by herself, and living down the street, always being on the road, etc. i could tell (by these subtle comments) that she was lonely. i'd guess either widowed or not ever married, no kids. and i got to thinking "gosh, that is really so true. when you're at that point in your life and you're not married and you don't have kids... who DO you talk to?" i can't imagine. 

so, we finally ended our conversation, and it was because she said something like "you should really go, i know you have a life." and i responded something like "not really!" and later, i thought about it and how lucky i am to have ten people to call if i want to talk about my day. it made me sad for her. when we were walking away she wished me luck and she said "you were really great to talk to. really. this was the best part of my whole day." it was so nice. she made my day too, when she said that. and immediately i felt bad for being frustrated and rushed during the conversation at times. and i learned a very valuable lesson on saturday--to always listen. you never know how much it may mean to someone. 

i certainly know it made me realize how much i take for granted. having a cell phone full of friends and family to call if something exciting or bad happens. 

so, two awakening sort of moments for me. and i wanted to remember them. and share them. that's all for now. 

Friday, May 02, 2008

updates and such

i feel like i used to be much better at keeping up with this thing :) i've been checking out all of my friends blogs and such and i realized that i'm totally neglecting mine. not sure what the reason for that is.

life is good. so excited for summer in the city. it's my favorite time of year, when i can sleep with my windows open and turn the heat off, but i don't need A/C yet. the city just comes alive when it gets warm outside. it's one of my favorite things about living somewhere with four seasons--the warmth is just so appreciated when it comes. i swear, the first day the sun is out people are in flip flops and crowding any restaurant or bar with patios. the sidewalks get crowded again and everyone just seems to kind of come out of this winter hibernation or what have you. i guess you don't have much of a choice when you live in chicago--it's hard to get really excited to get outside and do something when it's like a -20 windchill. so, needless to say, i'm ready for spring. and i think everyone here is! 

just wrapping up my spring classes, 2 more weeks! i'm taking 3 this summer which is going to be a lot, but i figured out that i can either then a) graduate in november (if i take 3 in the fall) or graduate in february if i decide to take my capstone class alone. we'll see, it will just depend. anyways, so exciting! the end is in sight! i can't wait to be done with my masters, it's been so much work, but i've loved it and i've learned a lot. it's still nice to know that i won't be in school forever though. for awhile it seemed that way!

it was my dad's birthday this past weekend. i can not believe my parents are 59. i guess i realized it, but it just seemed so weird to hear it... i just remember when i thought that was so old! and now that my parents are almost 60, it doesn't seem that old anymore. i know i shouldn't think about it, but i can't help but get sad about them getting older. i know it's more important to focus on the here and now, but still. anyways, spent some time with my family this past weekend--which is always very relaxing. i love being home. i also got to hang out with annie and aj and ava so that was great. all of my favorites in a weekend.

so, my brother moved back home. kind of weird. he hasn't lived at home since he was 18, and he's 30 now, so i think it's a pretty big adjustment for both my parents and my brother. it will be interesting! it was kind of hard to be home and watching him move in because we're just so different. it ended up upsetting me because i just think he takes the niceness of my parents to an extreme and takes advantage of them. i got really upset about it--almost like he's taking over their house. usually i don't want to leave my parents house, i couldn't wait to get back home. it's kind of been off my mind since then.

my car left chicago last night :-/ haha. my dad came to get it because i was in an accident a few months ago with this lady that was drunk and it's taking forever for her charges to go through and therefore get my car fixed. plus, i really don't use my car and it was costing a fortune to keep in the city for something i don't use. so, now it's in my parents garage. it will be an adjustment when it comes to grocery shopping and stuff like that, but i'll live. i'm just used to having it! at least i know it's safe... i've never really had to be 100% city girl as far as carrying groceries for blocks and taking public transportation everywhere, but i'm learning as i go... maybe i'll be a pro soon! i've gotten good at taking the bus to the train to get to my parents house... haha, it's a start.

i'm still loving my apartment. i don't think i'm going to move this october. i kind of thought maybe i should try a new area when my lease was up in october, but, i don't know. i'm so comfortable here. i like my building. i don't want to go through moving again. plus, i basically bought my things to fit in this apartment and it just feels so much like home now. i don't know if i can leave just yet... :) we'll see, few months to decide. i do love it here though. and i love my neighborhood. and i love being so close to school!

i have to say, things have been pretty good the past month or so. i can't complain. i've been a lot happier and i think it's because i found peace of mind in the fact that i can't count on other people to make me happy. i tend to do that. i need to do what's best for me. and sometimes that means that i have to let things go that i don't want to let go. all of the things with dean, they were tough, they still are. there are things that remind me of him all over this city. there are songs that remind me of him crowding my playlist. but it takes time and i know that. and i know that i will be just fine and that i deserve someone that is going to ask how my day is. and someone who isn't going to be who i wish they were, but is going to be exactly who they are. 

there's a great song by kate voegele called "wish you were." and i love this one line in it... 

"cause i've seen your act and i know all the facts, 
i'm still in love with who i wish you were." 

that's kind of how it is. i do miss him, i won't lie. but it's who i wish he was. not who i (unfortunately) found out that he was. nothing's perfect and i know that. the worst part is, at the end of that song, it says the same line, but then ends with 

"i'm still in love with who i wish you were,
 i wish you were here..." 

and i have to admit, there are days and nights that i do wish that he was here. i had a dream a few days ago that we were just hanging out in my place, like we used to when he'd come to visit, and the weirdest thing is... the part i remember most is this really big hug he gave me in my kitchen in the dream. i woke up and i felt like i had just seen him. i do miss that stuff, we had a lot of fun together. 

it will take time but i'm a strong girl with way too much confidence to let this bring me down anymore. it's getting better all the time... and waking up to a sunny day certainly helps things. 

until next time :) happy spring.