In the horrible, volatile war field that is dating, romance and just sex there are people who leave scars deeper than others. These people act as the yardstick we measure all future flirtations, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers and even life partners against. These people occupy strange places in our lives, because they once knew us better than anyone in the world, and for some reason or another they fell away into the land of bittersweet memories.
Last night, to my surprise, a name I had not seen in a while popped up on the bottom of my Facebook screen. A name that used to cause middle school jitters and then later caused a lot of tears. A guy who I was unhealthy attached to for longer than I care to admit. We knew everything about each other (at least, I thought we did) spent countless hours together. We were good friends until we were more than friends. Then, very quickly, we were enemies.
I’m not going to get into the specifics of what happened between us, because they are not significant (and frankly none of your business). Basically he betrayed me, belittled me and broke my heart. Classic hopeless romantic stuff – the backbone of cheesy dime novels, Sara Bareilles songs and Lifetime movies – but painful none the less.
Is it weird that being happy makes me nervous? It is such an unfamiliar emotion, my body doesn’t know how to respond to it. I have a hard time accepting that things are really good right now and just relish in the success I have earned. What is wrong with me?!
I had an amazing day today: I walked downstairs this morning in my pajamas and picked up six copies of the Redeye and flipped open to my article and read it right there on the corner of the street. Then I walked back to my apartment, made a cup of hazelnut coffee with my new Keurig (I’m kinda in love with it) and watched Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on “Windy City Live.” The sun lit up every corner of my apartment, and I don’t think I could have designed a better morning (well, maybe if a muscular man delivered my coffee and paper, but we can’t have it all).
That afternoon I went into the city for an interview (no, not for an article, they were interviewing me, hopefully I will be able to share more info soon), and that too was idillic. I dropped off a few job applications at local restaurants (while I was away I quit my job at the first restaurant, so this blissful life also comes with brokeness). Then, that evening after kickboxing, I checked my e-mail and had another assignment request from Metromix. They LOVED my article, said I did a knockout job on the first assignment and wanted to kick butt on another.
So here I am, with this smile that keeps creeping onto my face, and I still can’t accept that it is all real. I am still looking around corners, waiting for all off this goodness to collapse in front of my eyes. This is the life I have been dreaming about, the life that everyone along the way told me I couldn’t have, so why can’t I appreciate it?
Wow it has been a while, I am sorry readers, but trust me I have a good reason for my absence. Read on and enjoy!
I sat in the lobby of the Tribune Tower for a while before I was called up to the offices of Redeye (which was good because I had just walked at least a mile from the train station, my feet were blistered and I was sweaty). I met with the editor who contacted me about my freelance application, the editor that turned my summer around with one e-mail, the editor who read my samples and liked them enough to call me in for a meeting. I also met with the weekend and entertainment editor of Metromix.
The three of us sat in a drab conference room with white walls, a standard office table and chairs. Someone joked that it looked like a doctors office and I politely chuckled. The interview started as most do: tell us about yourself, explain the work you did here and here, what do you enjoy about our publication, etc. I recited the usual answers, occasionally stumbling over my words. I continued on about my passion for writing, my qualifications as an editor and my appreciation of the Redeye tone. Somewhere in my slurry of wannabe-intelligent responses, I must have said something right.
Before I even sat down for this meeting, I had one of those feelings that my fate was already decided, one of those feeling that you don’t want to admit to yourself for fear of jinxing your opportunity. For once though, I was right and was offered a contract to freelance for Chicago Metromix and Redeye. Along with the contract my editor gave me one of the greatest gifts a writer could ask for: he complimented my creativity! The offer came with one stipulation: I had to live in Chicago.