Sunday, June 11, 2017

My First Real #SummerTimeChi

It’s almost summer vacation and since most of this year was more or less a vacation for me (hello “adult gap year”), I don’t feel the need to count down the seconds until summer like I have in years past. Of course, I’m still super pumped for this school year to end and to go to the beach everyday and just chill out. I mean, that’s the life, isn’t it? But for the first time in like forever, I don’t have any solidified summer plans. Usually I plan a long-ish trip and a visit home to Chicago with a few other things in there, but because I still don’t know what the fall holds for me, I can’t really plan anything. (And I can cross that trip home to Chicago off the list because, hey, I live here now!!) I mean sure, I could plan a million things, like a big Europe trip again and have an amazing time, but financially, it may not be the smartest thing to do until I know that I will have a steady paycheck come September. Plus, this is my first actual full adult summer living in Chicago and #SummerTimeChi ain’t no joke so I’m ready to dive in head first. I’ve had some FOMO over the last decade seeing things my friends who lived here were doing while I was in NYC. Of course I was doing some very awesome summer NYC things too, but part of me always felt like I was missing out on all the amazingly fun looking Chicago events. And now it’s finally my turn. Woohoo!!

So what’s on my summer agenda you ask? Here’s a little glimpse:

Summer activities I want to partake in:
- Beach Days (With perhaps some late afternoon Castaways thrown in there...depending on the crowd).
- Cubs games. (They were way too expensive to go to by the time I moved here last year.)
- Street Festivals. (I went to my first one ever yesterday and it was super fun!!)
- Movies in the Park. (The line-up this year is amazing.)
- Taste of Chicago. (I haven’t been in almost eight years)
- Jurassic World exhibition at the Field Museum. (I cannot wait!)
- Get on a boat in the playpen. (Please, please, please!)
- SUP at North Avenue Beach. (Looks super cool to try.)
- Attend one day of Lollapalooza (Preferably the Chance the Rapper day)
- Drink on the patio at Big Star or Federales or Homeslice or Parsons. (I haven’t been to any of these places and they just look like a great time.)
- Marathon Training. (Hopefully this will be doable. This whole being-in-pain-everyday-and-not-running-since-January thing is really getting old and frustrating.)  
-Bike riding along the lakefront (I'm finally going to get my own bike so I'm psyched to be able to do this.)  
- A night at Ravinia ( I haven't been there since high school.) 
- Kayaking on the Chicago River (My mom really wants to do this with me even though I’m slightly terrified.)

If you have any other fun suggestions I’m missing here that I need to add, please please let me know.

I need to make friends.
It’s a good list for my first summer living here, right? Last week I was all gung-ho about getting summer started on the right (fun) foot and when it came time to make plans, I realized that it is the hard part. Why you ask? Because I have like two friends here. True Life: It’s hard making friends in a new city when you’re 35 and single and don’t really have a job. Whenever I wanted to do something, I had no one to do it with. Now listen, I am super independent and outgoing and do things by myself all the time (and enjoy doing them alone most of the time), but going out and drinking on a patio in the summer isn’t something I necessarily want to do alone. Walking around a fun street fest solo also isn’t ideal. Attending a Cubs game with just me, myself, and I is lonely. Seeing a movie in the park as a party of one is something I’d do, but is also 100x better with company. I started to feel really bad for myself for not having anyone to go out with. I have all this fun stuff I want to do and no one to do it with. I need to start being more proactive about making new friends. So what are my next steps? I’m not so sure. I’ve reached out to some people who I use to be friends years ago and just lost touch with. Although I feel so desperate and loserish doing so (“hey, wanna be my friend?”…more or less), I have to start somewhere. The thing is though, everyone has lived here for so long, and if you haven’t gotten married and have kids and moved back to the suburbs, you are in the city with your solidified group of friends and don’t think to include me (or want to include me). Either way, it’s hard. I can’t be the one asking and asking and asking to hang out. I want people to want to include me and want to have me around. I will make the first step, but after asking once or twice and you being busy and you never reaching out to me, it’s not happening.

I’ve thought about reaching out to girls I’ve “met” on social media who live here and have similar interests, but again, that makes me feel a little desperate. They all seem to already have their groups of friends and I feel so weird just asking them to hang out since we've technically never met. I know a bunch of people who have made friends this way so I'm not against it, but I'm just not sure it's the route I want to go. Never say never though.

If my knee didn’t hurt me all the time, I would have joined a beach volleyball league or a softball league or November Project, and also all the cool and free outdoor workouts. This would have been my go-to way to meet people I think, plus I’d be doing all the things I love doing: playing sports and working out. Hopefully the doctor (I’m seeing a new one) can figure out what’s wrong and create a game-plan for how to get me on the mend and up and out again.

I need my knee and hamstring to heal.
I haven’t talked about this much on here, but for the past six months, I really haven’t been able to run.  Running is something that I actually really love, and gives me so much joy, so to not be able to do it for such a long period of time has really been mentally destroying me. Also, being in pain almost every day for those same six months has not been pleasant either. (Understatement.) I did three months of PT that didn’t help and have gotten two MRI’s and an X-ray, and the doctor still can’t figure out what is wrong. It’s beyond frustrating. And I am so (sooooo) ready to get back out there running along the lake and around the city. I miss that dose of endorphins in the early morning that biking or walking (which also hurts too) just can’t give me.
Because I haven’t been able to run in such a long time, I feel like I’ve literally lost a part of my identity. I’m sad to even say this, but sometimes feel like a fraud even calling myself a runner these days. I want to be running, I just can’t. I never thought it would affect me so much. Last year when I was injured, I saw improvement over time, and this time there has been none. My x-rays showed some spurring in my bones, but that shouldn’t be causing all this pain, as it’s a decently common thing, especially for runners. And it’s great that my MRI’s are showing no structural damage in my knee or hamstring, but then what is causing all the pain? Why does it hurt all the time? Even doing such simple tasks as taking off my shoes causes pain. This is not okay. At least if something actually showed up on the MRI, we’d be able to figure out how to fix it. I need an answer already. I have been seeing a sports medicine doctor, but am going to see an orthopedist in two weeks (the earliest I can get in with my work schedule) so hopefully he can figure out what the deal is. Like dude, give me a cortisone short or look at it arthroscopically since the images aren’t showing anything, but I need a solution. Not being able to run is shitty enough, but being in pain all the time is just no bueno.
I want to go to NYC with my mama + one small trip in the US.
If I don’t find a job for the fall (yes, I am going back to teaching, because I haven’t found anything else that I am really passionate about that actually wants to hire me), I can’t really afford to go away on a big trip. I mean, I guess I could afford it, and I have the time, but I’m not comfortable spending a few thousand dollars without knowing I’ll be making it back. Part of me is like YOLO; you have the money and the time so just do it. But the other part is thinking about how I may not find a full-time job in the fall so I need to be smart.

NYC is obviously happening this summer for many reasons. 1) I miss it all the time. 2) I haven’t been since April and 3) my mom hasn’t been in over a year and is dying to go back. We are going to try to plan it around Summer Streets (which I can hopefully run), but if not, will figure out a good time. I want to wander the city, see my friends, stuff my face, and just be back in my second home.

If I find a job soon, I will book something to Europe (I’m thinking Copenhagen, Budapest, Paris, etc..). But if can’t go abroad, I do want to try and get somewhere in the US that I haven’t been to before, that isn’t too expensive. I was thinking New Orleans, Nashville, Charleston, Austin, or even Las Vegas. We shall see. Hopefully one of these will be doable financially as well.

I’m hoping to find a job for the fall. 
Apparently CPS doesn’t really do much hiring until July or August which totally stresses me out. In NYC, if you were any good, a school would nab you right after Spring Break. It’s different here. Schools don’t have their budgets yet and can’t really figure out what they can or cannot afford, staff-wise.  There aren't many postings online and the decent ones that are up, aren't seeming to make many moves. I have gone on two interviews at good schools and I wasn't thrilled with how either went, but I can't figure out why either. It's all very confusing for me because I feel I'm a good interviewer and I am good at reading how I am perceived as well. Not to mention I think I'm a damn good teacher!! I'm pretty sure I want to get back to teaching full time and having my own classroom from the get-go so I need this to work out. And if a coaching opportunity were to arise as well, I would jump on that.

So yeah, summer is looking pretty great minus the whole not having many friends yet and my knee hurting all the time, but I’m still hopeful for a lot of fun.  I have big ideas in my head at least of how I want it to be.  If I know that I have a job in the fall, it will make things a lot less stress free. I’m actually pretty excited to get some things checked off my summer list really soon. It’s not even that long so I'm hopeful I'll get it done. If you want to hang out, hit me up. If I'm missing something fun to do in Chicago in the summer, let me know. I'm so open to just go out, have fun, and have a very memorable summer, so help me make that happen!!

No comments:

Post a Comment