I am cheered, as always, by arriving in Chicago.
"I always liked it, too," Mom sighed when I gushed over my room and the view and the simple luxury - established in childhood - of staying downtown. "Maybe we should come vacation with you rather than Chienne."
We departed early, loading bulky suitcases into large vehicles before making the lengthy-but-not-impossible drive to Lake Michigan. I fretted on the trip, staring out windows and mulling alternatives (or lack thereof, perhaps) and attention (or lack thereof, perhaps) and finally pulled laptop from bag to distract myself from being maudlin.
I beamed at the man behind the counter when he welcomed me to the city and hotel. When he offered an upgrade to a river view, I nearly fluttered my eyelashes at him before I recalled that wasn't overly impressive. I instead deemed him my favorite person for the day and was pleased when he grinned and ducked his head in appreciation.
I literally gave three happy bounces upon tossing my smaller bag on the first of the beds, deliciously soft and fluffy and bright white. I tossed aside the sheers and caught my breath, looking to the right (and quickly adjusting the gray armchair so that it faces that way) to admire the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Towers. The river glimmers green and my room is perched low enough to the ground that I can hear the cars honk and sirens wail on Wacker Drive.
I currently sit by my window, having taken more photos like the one above but in the changing light and fluid traffic, and prepared for the week ahead. I crave certainty, I admitted - once articulated, the sentence, 'I want to love someone who loves me back,' echoes endlessly in my mind. I don't know how to get there - I never have - and want to have faith that it will happen if the person and timing and chemistry are right. In the meantime, I'm trying to coach myself to stay in the moment - to enjoy what is, to not wish for what might be and to accept avoidance and annoyance with some degree of grace.
I hope this week helps with that - the opportunity to dress up for work, to have dinner some 100 floors above street level, to drink and giggle with friends and charm colleagues. To freeze in flirty dresses and soft tights and iron suits I don't wear often. And, when there's a pause, to make peppermint tea to soothe my sore throat, take cold medicine for my continued cough and achy ears, and stare out the window toward Michigan Avenue, watching the cars drive over adorable bridges and the river reflect the light that emanates from or sneaks between the buildings above.