What does life look like post graduation from graduate school? I am about to find out!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Halfway There!!

Well, folks, today officially marks the halfway point of my time here in Chicago. Six months from today, I will be on a plane headed back to Texas and while I don't yet know how long I will be at home, the fact remains that I will be back for an as yet undetermined length of time. As I reflect on this fact, it shocks me to think that I am just six months away from returning to my old life. I will come back a changed person, though, that's for sure. I just hope I am able to maintain the changes even after I return home. I worry that I will slip right back into being the same person that I was before I left. Not saying that I was a bad person or anything, just that the person I have become since I left is so much better and I would hate to see all the progress I have made be erased.
I've grown to really love Chicago. However, I have also realized within the last few weeks that as much as I love it, it's not really my city. I can't really put my finger on why I feel that way but I just personally feel like this city isn't the right one for me and that I can't thrive here. It's an important revelation to have and indicates that I definitely need to look at other cities to relocate to when my time here is done. I had really hoped that Chicago would be the place for me and I am sad to realize that it is not. Like I stated earlier, I can't really put my finger on why just that it has become clear to me that this place and these people will never truly be mine. I need to find my own space and my own sense of direction. Chicago has been a blessing to me in so many ways and I don't for one second regret coming here. It helped me grow and change in so many fundamental and important ways and so for that alone, I am grateful to this city. However, I'm not meant to settle here and I know that now. I'm glad I had this experience and I will always look back on it fondly but when push comes to shove, I'm gonna be ready to say goodbye August 12th because I will know that I am meant to be thriving someplace else.
This doesn't in any way mean that I am counting down the days I have left or am anxiously awaiting my last day. No, far from it in fact. I am definitely not ready to say goodbye to this city or the friends I have made here. I plan to enjoy every minute of the second half of my journey and have no intention of looking at it in a negative light. Just that I am able to recognize that my time here is meant to be temporary and that I am not putting down roots here. It pains me to say that as I had really hoped to make Chicago my new home and everything but that just means that God has something else in mind for me. Maybe I'm too young to "settle down" as it were. I guess I need to travel and live other places before I can say for sure where I am supposed to land. I've always had wanderlust so that could be a big factor in my decision.
So, in conclusion, I guess you could say that I am once again a man without a country, as it were. No place to call home anymore and no idea what comes next. Here's hoping that over the next six months, God will help me find where I should head next regardless of whether or not that new place becomes home for me. I've made peace with this decision and have accepted that Chicago and I aren't meant to become permanent partners but rather just a temporary fling on my journey through life. Here's hoping wherever I land next will be somewhat closer to what I am looking for. Until then, here's hoping the next six months go smoothly and I can leave Chicago with a clear conscience and no regrets.

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