Exchanging The Skyline For Coffee and Flowers


May 03, 2015

Moving from the city to a recluse town hasn't been an easy transition. For four years, Chicago made me feel like I was part of something important, even though I was insignificant. It crushed my heart to leave a happening community behind, along with my identity, but for a good reason. 

I've come to two conclusions. 

One. City life brings me visual inspiration. When I was there I viewed the world as a whole. Every day moved so quickly. There was always work to be done and people to meet. Saving money was impossible, because making rent was tough and the variety of authentic cuisine was a dream. The shrieking of the trains on their tracks and the hazy sunset behind the skyline never got old. I didn't have much time to think, only to absorb. I felt productive. I felt young. It was chaotic and addicting. 

Homesick Chicago

 

I wrote a personal letter to Chicago a few months ago:

Chicago,

You took my virginity. You were my inspiration, my confidence, and my faith. You pushed me to discover my purpose and because of you I became an independent woman. In you, I’ve met people who have broken my bones and filled my lungs. These are the people I see in the color red, I smell them on intoxicated strangers, I taste them with leftover frozen pizza, I hear them within foreign accents, I feel them in thrifted clothes. I’ve been utterly alone in one of your tiny apartments. I’ve been overly graced with an abundance of people in your CTA cars. I’ve been swallowed in deep depression through your lifeless winters coated with ice and extra snow on top. I’ve danced with the most innocent joy at Lollapalooza, while the summer sun set on the city skyline. I’ve felt near death and pure ecstasy in your streets. You were exactly what I needed at age 18, but at 23, I’m tired. All possible emotions have been stored within your limits and the pressure is screaming at me to get out. I love you, but the past still lives here and I no longer live in the past.

 

Homesick Chicago

I lost my sanity on a continuous loop with the subway. I knew I needed a change.

Homesick Illinois

Two. Rural life gives me internal, awareness. It has taken me a while to appreciate the quiet. The views in this part of Illinois are flat and boring. I've been searching for the external inspiration the city once showed me, but I've been trying too hard. Keeping tabs of unnatural moments doesn't feel right and I'd rather not do it at all. So, I've been selfish. I've spent a lot of time getting to know myself. Coffee and flowers heighten my senses, but I can only post so many photos of this combination. I've reached a content state of mind. Now, I'm curious and I'm craving to express.

Homesick Illinois

I haven't decided which is better for me. One or two. I'm in search for a middle ground and I have an undeniable instinct as to where that place is. 

I'm on an adventure to discover the truth! 

Stay tuned for an update about my upcoming trip to Portland, Oregon!

Love, 
Ari