Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A morning scene

Whenever I tell a non-Chicagoan where I live, they usually perk up their ears and say "the Windy City."  And while it's true that Chicago does indeed experience a great deal of wind, especially when it whips off Lake Michigan, legend has it that the term really came about because Chicago was said to be full of "hot air" in either boasting about some sports team rivalry with Cincinnati back in the 1870s, or in trying to lure the 1893 World's Fair (which Chicago won, and which apparently peeved New York - a losing competitor - to no end). 

Still, we do get a ton of wind.  A few weeks ago, an incredibly powerful wind drove high waves into the harbor (even with a breakwall), causing 20 boats to lose their anchoring, and smash into the promontory wall (the left side of the picture).  On Saturday, three remained submerged, and by yesterday morning, just one was still in the water. 


Monday, October 24, 2011


The past six weeks have been all about change. 

Some of it has been about logistics.  Finding my way around a new neighborhood.  Exploring a new running path.  Setting up new utility accounts and finally getting internet access at home (no thanks to AT&T who couldn't get its act together, so I went with another provider).  Doing laundry in a much smaller washer and getting accustomed to the very annoying buzzer that signals the end of the dryer cycle.  (Did I mention that I thought my new dryer had lint-removing fairies who magically whisked that stuff away, and that I almost had the building manager place a service call to fix a dryer that didn't work anymore, until I figured it out? You'd think I'd never done laundry before...)

Some of it has been about my behaviors.  Learning how to sleep by myself again and be woken up by my cell phone alarm.  Getting accustomed to coming home to an empty apartment after work.  Making the time to write again when I would ordinarily have logged into my work e-mail instead at this time of the night.  Sitting on the sofa and reading. 

Some of it has been about how I feel.  Not caring how dorky I look when I wear black running shoes with my dress pants for my mile-and-a-half walk to work.  Not feeling like I need to be the "perfect" host when I entertain.  Starting to get out from under the overwhelming crush of guilt.  Trusting that it was the right thing to do, even though it was the most painful thing I have ever done - to me and to him. 

But some things never change.  Like my inability to have a freezer that is not filled. to. the. brim. 

Yes, there is only one of me, but yet I possess this inherent inability to pass up a good sale at the grocery store.  "Pork chops on sale? Why sure, I'll take four, even though I have four in the freezer already!"  I'm so used to cooking for four (dinner for two, with leftovers for another meal) that I'm still doing it, although now I save one portion for another meal during the week, and then freeze two portions for another time.  I've been pretty good about rotating through my freezer stock, so nothing's developed freezer burn (yet).  So tonight I decided to reorganize the freezer, thinking I'd have room to fit more.  Alas, no.  All I have now is a better organized freezer.  But still no extra room. 

Guess I'm going to have to finish one of those cartons of soy ice cream.  Sacrifices.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A fresh start

Wow...this posting is more difficult to write than I thought.  I've started it about a dozen times, and have been hitting the delete key continually. 

A month ago, I moved out of the house that I used to share with Matthew.

I know that this comes as a shock to many of you who haven't yet heard.  And the reasons are too many and too complex to tell, so I'm just going to leave it at that for now. 

But what I will say is that even though it was at my instigation, the day I left was truly the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life.  I think I have shed more tears in the past few weeks than I have in my life, and while it has been challenging to figure out who I am and what I'm going to do, I am just taking it one day at a time, and have been working on starting to forgive myself for breaking his heart.   

I know it seems completely contradictory that the last posting I wrote was about wanting to be a father, and now the adoption plans are moot.  A lot has happened in the past two months.  And while I'm sorry that I didn't have the courage to do what I did earlier, and that I have hurt Matthew and his family, I know it was the right thing to do, especially if a child had been involved later down the line.  Nonetheless, I'm very grateful to everyone who offered their help and support while we were going through the adoption process. 

Being the one who left, I'm the "unpopular" one, in many eyes.  I've already noted a few defections in my Facebook friend list.  I'm sure there are people from whom I won't ever hear again.  I get it.  And I'm okay with that, because they have to deal with this in their own way.  And if I'm the bad guy in their eyes, then so be it.

I feel like I've spent my life trying to be good for someone else - a good son, a good brother, a good partner, a good employee, a good friend.  But I need to be good to me, and this was just the first step in what will be a long journey of healing - for everyone involved.

So here I am, with a fresh start.  Figuring out how to live on my own again.  Learning how to cook for only one person (which I clearly haven't learned how to do yet, because my freezer is filled to the brim - still.  I'll post a picture one of these days.).  Finding my way in my new neighborhood and figuring out where everything is.  Discovering a new running path along the lake, and getting back into a good exercise routine to try to stave off the 10lbs I lost during the move-out week.  (In truth, I don't think I've been this lean in more than 10 years...)  Walking 1.5 miles each way to work, and loving it.

And I'm looking forward to finding my voice again, on this blog and in my life.  I haven't yet figured out what to do with my prior blog entries.  Part of me wants to scrub them all, and start over completely anew.  And part of me wants to keep them, because they're a document of my life.  Decisions to be made.  Regardless, I'll be posting more frequently and hope you'll keep visiting.

So in the spirit of fresh starts, here's a picture of a fresh start: sunrise over Lake Michigan on my first run on the new path.  It was a good day.