With or without

Earlier this morning I had a conversation with a new friend who I met at an outdoor zumba class in Millenium Park. She mentioned an ex-fiance, and the curiosity in me blurted out, “ex? what happened?”

Her answer was simple: “I was moving away for grad school and realized I didn’t want him to come with me.”

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Just a few days ago I packed up my entire life and moved from Buffalo to Chicago. One of the most brutal parts was that I realized not everyone who I knew and spent time with would make this transition with me. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s an inevitable truth that can be difficult to accept.

So who comes with you? Who do you simply carry in your heart, and who do you make the effort to keep a strong relationship with? Because let’s be honest, some people are only meant to be in your life for a short period of time, and that’s okay. But others… oh, others are meant for a lifetime.

For me the answer was simple: I thought about who I missed the most as soon as I pulled out of my driveway a few days ago. And then I thought about who was consistently on my mind throughout the day.

That changed my convoluted doubts into peaceful reassurance. The tricky part, however, is this: what are you going to do to ensure those people are a permanent part of your journey?

Your actions will make all the difference.


Just another Tuesday

You know those friends who you can walk away from feeling more at ease, as if they instilled a whole new sense of serenity over you in just a brief amount of time? Today I grabbed coffee with that friend of mine. He has kind eyes and an even sweeter soul, and our conversation gave me the clarity and perspective that I needed.

Since I leave for Chicago in about two weeks, I was grateful to be able to sit down with him for a few hours to talk and catch up.

We talked a lot about what we have ahead of us in the next year, particularly my upcoming adventure to a whole new city. It will be my biggest move to date, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed, confused and slightly overwhelmed. My friend could sense I was a bit anxious about how big of a change this is going to be, and he offered me some great advice.

He said, “The best thing you can do is go to Chicago and just be present each day. Wake up on a Tuesday and think, ‘it’s just a Tuesday in Chicago.’ Meet new people, get lost, explore what the city has to offer… but make sure to just be present for one moment and one day at a time. Anything else will be overwhelming.”

Just a Tuesday in Chicago. That really stuck with me.

The past couple of weeks have been filled with flights in and out of Buffalo, apartment hunting, paperwork, endless phone calls, cleaning, and the obvious packing. Not to mention making time to see my family and friends.

With such a life-changing transition ahead of me, his simple, “It’s just a Tuesday in Chicago” mentality funneled my worries down and gave me an incredible peace of mind.

Sometimes when life has your head spinning and you can’t seem to get a grip on what to do, remember that slowing down can be the best way to speed up.

Even with a major challenge, adventure, or change ahead of you, thinking “it’s just another Tuesday” can give you the perfect dose of realistic perspective to ease your worries, and in turn, make the journey that much more rewarding.

Chicago skyline. [photo via fansshare.com]