Imagine three large suitcases, each extended to their maximum width. Even the runt of the litter is marked with their signature ‘heavy’ sticker. As I plucked these pumped beasts from the first of the luggage to appear on carousel 4 at O’Hare, my fellow Chicagoans and I exchanged barbs. They teased, “What one’s yours too? You sure you’re not robbing the place?” “Yes, they’re mine. Believe it or not, I own a few things I didn’t take on vacation with me.” “It’s a good thing you didn’t over pack,” another passenger teased. “Can you tell that I’m not high maintenance?” I asked. “You’re just the down-to-earth girl next door,” another replied. As I wheeled the triplets out with my laptop bag and purse all behind five-inch heels, a woman seeing me for the first time said, “My God!” This is Chicago, I thought. It’s just this big, sarcastic family.
I’ve traveled a lot this year. I visited family and friends. In some cases, it had been a healing distraction. At other times, it was an irritating interruption. I keep coming back to Chicago. It’s full of people who loved Constance. It’s full of my memories of her. Many bereaved people have recommended to me that I relocate for a year or more. I don’t know if I’m going to do that. I suppose it is as much up to where I will be working as it is to the place I want to be. The ideal thing would be having a job I can do anywhere but I don’t know what that would be or how I’d convince anyone to pay me to do it.
This year, I’ve gone to California. I have friends there and all over the world. While cultures vary, my friends everywhere all seem to have the same characteristics: a sense of humor, a generous open heart, and wit. However rare, I believe I am capable of finding my people anywhere. However, new people can’t be Constance’s people in the same way and therein lies their beauty and Achilles’ heel.
I wish I could tell you what I’m going to do so you’d all stop asking and so I’d know which direction to row but I don’t. I can promise to keep you posted. Thanks for caring.