Sometimes when you meet someone, you’re not ready for it. Or they’re not ready for you. Then perhaps you cross paths again, at another point in time, in another location. And this time you’re able to observe more clearly, appreciate more deeply.
When I first met you, I was young, naive and inexperienced. I had such high expectations of you. I wanted to love you, and for you to love me back. But you were not gentle, inviting or warm. You were brutal. You were difficult. Unkind. Unrelentingly harsh. You revealed all my shortcomings. I resented you for making me work so hard for so little reward.
I eventually left you and sought refuge elsewhere. I wanted nothing more to do with you. I moved on.
But here we are together again. You’ve changed in the past 18 years, as have I. Your hard edges have been rounded out. I’ve grown a thicker skin. You’ve mellowed in a way, become more approachable. I’m more self-aware, more secure in who I am. I’m not oblivious to your flaws, but I can see more of your better qualities, your strengths. We’ve both grown and matured. We both bring more to the table this time around. I know how to negotiate and navigate a relationship with you now.
Thank you for everything you’ve taught me and inspired me to do. I can’t deny you will always have a piece of my heart. No matter where I may end up in life, you will always be a part of me, Sweet Home Chicago.
It was the end. Maybe not the very end, but 'an' end.
Every city has their ups and downs. The longer you visit, the more downs you start to notice.
Mahler's Resurrection Symphony
The salad bed in our garden
Spring, just for today though