Assuming the Future
Planning on leaving this amazing city has made me feel so appreciative of all it has to offer. It's made me linger on the lakefront watching the sunset for a few extra minutes. It's made me check out the restaurants and bars I've walked by dozens of times but never gone into. It's made me revisit places like the zoo, galleries, and gardens that I hadn't been to in ages. And it's made me think... Think about all the things I've taken for granted, missed out on, or underutilized soley based on routine and complacency. Not just here and now, but throughout my life. Assuming the future seems to make me take the present for granted. It's like, since I've always had the ability to put off for tomorrow what I could do today... I just never did certain things- on any day! I forgot that I love raspberry sorbet and running in summer rain; I'd forgotten how beautiful the Chicago skyline looks in the middle of the night; and I'd neglected doing silly, fun things- always, always, always choosing instead to do so-called 'responsible' things. Obviously responsibility is important, bills need to be paid and chores done, but wellness includes self care and self care includes fun. I feel like yolo encourages bad behavior, but I'm on a yolo mission for myself right now. Not to do dumb stuff or party my face of, but just to say 'yes' to life more willingly and more often. To stop stressing so much and working myself to the bone. To relax, smile, dance, hang out, and explore more. Because, I mean really, you only live once. I was fortunate enough to be born healthy, in a first world country, to get a good education, to make friends, and have opportunities. And I have not taken those things for granted. But I haven't fully taken advantage of them either. So, in a kind of new year's resolution meets yolo mindset, I have decided to really focus on happy. Things, people, and places that bring me joy. This city has so, so, so much to offer and I'm long since overdue to make use of those things. I encourage you, too, to do the same. Look at your city with fresh eyes, appreciate your home, think back to things you used to do and do them again. I think you'll be surprised, and more than a little happy, at the results.